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DECEMBER 2018 I PCB007 MAGAZINE 41 very engaging speech focusing on how the dig- ital revolution is a game changer. I am looking forward to this year's keynote speaker as well. I will be prepped and ready for "Accelerating and Disrupting Innovation: The Tesla Story" presented by JB Straubel, chief technical officer (CTO) and co-founder of electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc. The future is definitely electric, innovative, and moving fast. Since he's responsible for new technolo- gy evaluations, R&D efforts, and technical dil- igence reviews of key vendors at Tesla, I am sure we are in for an exciting lesson. Tesla, Turkey, and Jolly Wishes! Similar to Tesla and JB Straubel, we at El- matica strive to be ahead of the digital revolu- tion. We try to lead in the right direction and make the digitalization an advantage instead of a weakness. Innovation is key, and you must dare embrace challenges. We have some inter- esting projects going on, but first, Christmas and New Years with all of its treats and joys, and then IPC APEX EXPO 2019. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and an exciting PCB New Year. The PCB Norsemen will be back in January with new thoughts. We hope you will follow us! PCB007 Jan Pedersen is a senior technical advisor at Elmatica. To read past columns or contact Pedersen, click here. Virginia Tech researchers Lingjia Liu and Yang (Cindy) Yi are using brain-inspired machine learning techniques to increase the energy efficiency of wireless receivers. Their published findings, "Realizing Green Symbol Detection Via Reservoir Computing: An Energy-Efficiency Perspective," received the best paper award from the IEEE Transmis- sion, Access, and Optical Systems Technical Committee. Liu and Yi, associate and assistant professors respec- tively in the Bradley Department of Electrical and Com- puter Engineering, along with Liu's Ph.D. student Rubayet Shafin are collaborating with researchers from the Infor- mation Directorate of the U.S. Air Force Research Labora- tory—Jonathan Ashdown, John Matyjas, Michael Medley, and Bryant Wysocki. This combination of techniques allows signals to trav- el from transmitter to receiver using multiple paths at the same time. The technique offers minimal interference and provides an inherent advantage over simpler paths for avoiding multipath fading, which noticeably distorts what you see when watching over-the-air television on a stormy day, for example. To minimize the inefficiency, the researchers are using artificial neural networks—comput- ing systems inspired by the inner workings of the brains. "Using artificial neural networks, we can cre- ate a completely new framework by detecting transmitted signals directly at the receiver," said Yi. "This approach can significantly improve sys- tem performance when it is difficult to model the channel, or when it may not be possible to estab- lish a straightforward relation between the input and output," said Matyjas, the technical advisor of AFRL's Computing and Communications Divi- sion and an Air Force Research Laboratory Fellow. (Source: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University) Virginia Tech Researchers Use Brain-inspired Methods to Improve Wireless Communications

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