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Bill Marshall

United Kingdom United Kingdom

Engineer | WGM Consulting

Engineer, PhD, lecturer, freelance technical writer, blogger & tweeter interested in robots, AI, planetary explorers and all things electronic. STEM ambassador. Designed, built and programmed my first microcomputer in 1976. Still learning, still building, still coding today.

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71 Articles published
article
Bill Marshall

Electronics Design

2 weeks ago

The World of FPGAs and ASICs: Part 2

Programmable Logic devices can replace boards full of simple logic chips and have been at the heart of high-end product development for years. Now they can revolutionise hardware design for artificial intelligence and fault-tolerant applications.

0 comments
article
Bill Marshall

Electronics Design

6 days ago

The World of FPGAs and ASICs: Part 1

In Part 1 of this two-part post, I’ll be looking at the origins of programmable hardware which has reduced the chip-count of many PCB designs.

0 comments
article
Bill Marshall

Innovation

2 months ago

Rocket’s Return: The UK Space Launch Industry Then and Now

In 1971 the UK joined a very select group of countries by sending an artificial satellite into Earth orbit using a UK-built rocket. Then it gave up. Until now. Are we on the brink of starting again, this time launching from home soil?

0 comments
article
Bill Marshall

Robotics

3 months ago

The Intelligence of a Swarm

The behaviour of swarms of insects and birds has always fascinated scientists because it appears to demonstrate collective intelligence way beyond that of an individual member. Engineers are now trying to exploit this phenomenon using robots.

0 comments
article
Bill Marshall

Innovation

4 months ago

Ready for Blast-Off!

The Open University students' Rocket-1 is in New Mexico being prepared for the Spaceport America Cup competition this week.

0 comments
article
Bill Marshall

Innovation

4 months ago

New Constellations in the Sky

SpaceX has just launched 60 satellites into low Earth orbit as a test run for a future ‘constellation’ containing as many as 12000. Before that a CubeSat, KickSat-2 put 105 tiny ‘Sprite’ satellites into orbit. Isn’t Space too crowded already?

5 comments
article
Bill Marshall

Electronics Design

5 months ago

When Redundancy is a Good Thing

The recent crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight EA302 involving the latest version of the Boeing 737 airliner highlights how small changes in design can lead to a catastrophe. In this case, safety had become optional.

0 comments
article
Bill Marshall

Robotics

5 months ago

Who’s afraid of Intelligent Machines?

Fictional robots have always been supremely intelligent and physically much stronger than feeble humans. The reality is that yes, they can be made more robust than us, but as intelligent? Nowhere near. So, should we be afraid of them?

11 comments
article
Bill Marshall

Electronics Design

6 months ago

Getting into Digital Signal Processing Part 3: DACs and Reconstruction

The previous article in this series, Getting into Digital Signal Processing: Sampling & Aliasing, covered the process of converting a continuous analogue signal into a series of digital samples. This time we’ll look at the reverse process.

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article
Bill Marshall

Electronics Design

7 months ago

Getting into Digital Signal Processing Part 2: Sampling & Aliasing

In the first part of this series, Getting into Digital Signal Processing: A Basic Introduction, I talked about why we might choose digital over analogue signal processing. Now let’s start on the how.

0 comments
article
Bill Marshall

Development Kits

7 months ago

Porting FORTHdsPIC to a MikroElektronika Clicker 2 Board

Stalwarts of DesignSpark may remember my occasional posts on ‘Bare-metal coding’ based on my project to create an embedded version of Forth for the Microchip dsPIC33 DSC device. Here I try it on a Clicker 2 board with the EP version of the chip.

0 comments
article
Bill Marshall

Development Kits

8 months ago

The SBC: What is it and do I need one?

Every electronics project nowadays seems to need a digital computer at its heart. The ‘Single Board Computer’ (SBC) is frequently offered as the solution. But what is an SBC and is it really the best choice to solve your digital problems?

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