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February 13, 2020 | Additive manufacturing: Parts can now be inspected as they take shape

FA 250​Increasingly, additive manufacturing techniques are the choice for producing parts with very complex shapes. A new quality control process was recently developed to ensure that these parts are free from defects while they are being manufactured.

Directed Energy Deposition (DED) is an additive manufacturing process in which layers of material are deposited to produce metal, polymer, or ceramic parts. A laser or electron beam is used to melt each layer of the material—in powder or wire form—as it is deposited. Parts with very complex shapes that would be impossible to manufacture using conventional techniques can be obtained with DED. In fact, DED is rapidly gaining traction in the automotive, aeronautics, medical, and other industries that demand defect-free parts. List, a CEA Tech institute, recently developed an interferometry-based method for detecting even the tiniest microporosities and cracks during the DED process.

A pulsed laser generates elastic waves, both at the surface of and deep within the object being manufactured. Another laser detects these waves, with abnormal propagation indicating defects. The researchers successfully synchronized the probe-robot's trajectory with that of the DED robot: So successfully that the system can detect defects measuring just a hundred microns.

This high-performance technology was unveiled at the Formnext trade show in Germany in November 2019, garnering interest from a number of potential industrial users. Additive manufacturing equipment maker Beam, LIST's partner on the project, is currently planning to integrate the technology into its machines.

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February 6, 2020 | Kalray sets sights on Chinese market

kalray processeur coolidge 250Kalray, which completed its IPO last year, recently signed a distribution contract that will bring its intensive computing solutions for artificial intelligence to the rapidly-growing Chinese market.

Artificial intelligence is no longer just something out of a sci-fi novel—it is making our electronic gadgets, digital assistants, and even our cars more and more "human". The number of potential uses for AI is growing, and demand for increasingly powerful processors is higher than ever. Founded in 2008 as a spinoff of CEA Tech institute Leti, Kalray has developed a manycore processor with up to 80 cores specifically for the autonomous vehicle and data center markets.

Today Kalray is present in several European countries as well as in the United States. The company is now setting its sights on China, with its recent announcement of a distribution partnership with Intron Technology, a provider of high-growth technologies to markets that include China. The partnership will give Kalray a prime opportunity to bring its smart processor and local tech support to manufacturers in China.

Kalray's architecture is capable of processing large volumes of data and trillions of instructions in parallel and in real time. The company has just released the third generation of its processor, which was designed for the execution of advanced applications for artificial intelligence.

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