Custom PC, Issue 105

Custom PC Magazine, Issue 105In this month’s Mobile Tech Watch, my regular column in Dennis Publishing’s enthusiast-oriented Custom PC Magazine, I cover two major advances in the world of smartphone and tablet technology: STMicro’s creation of the first Secure Digital 3.0 voltage-level translator, and Chamtech’s spray-on antenna technology.

The latter, naturally, is rather more interesting: a military contractor, Chamtech claims to have developed a simple kit which allows antennas for almost any frequency to be applied from a spray can. The result: walls, buildings and even trees can be turned into tunable antennas. For the military, it offer the potential to quickly set up field communications bases using whatever is available at the time; for the mobile industry, it promises a solution to the ‘not in my back yard’ attitude some people have to 3G masts.

Chamtech, sadly, is being somewhat cagey on whether it plans to offer the technology for commercial, rather than military, exploitation – but it would be missing a serious opportunity if it didn’t.

STMicro’s announcement of the first voltage-level translator for SD 3.0, by contrast, is both more prosaic and more likely to result in visible improvements in the short term:  boosting read speeds to 50MB/s and capacities to 2TB, the third major revision to the Secure Digital standard is a big one – and one which will start to make itself known in devices over the coming year.

Custom PC Issue 105 is available in shops now, or for digital download via the Zinio website.