Feeds

Hitachi spins up 'leccy fan motor sans rare earths

Where's your monopoly now, China?

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Japanese electronics giant Hitachi has unveiled what it claims to be a highly efficient mid-sized electric motor built without using the rare earth minerals which have become essential to the production of much of modern technology.

The 11kw motor is designed to power pumps or fans in factories and tunnels and should be ready for commercial production by 2014, said Hitachi.

The key design challenge the firm had to overcome was to build a magnet synchronous motor with the requisite energy efficiency and performance without using the rare earth minerals neodymium and dysprosium.

Hitachi said it achieved this thanks to developing its own “iron-based amorphous metal core”, which it has been working on since 2008.

The main drivers for the project were improving energy efficiency to counter global warming and move away from a reliance on rare earth materials which China has a virtual monopoly on.

“From the viewpoint of resource depletion, the need for replacement of recycling of rare earth and other materials is increasing,” the firm said in a press release.

China has come under increasing pressure from the US, Europe and Japan over its hardline stance on rare earths, of which it has a global market share of around 97 per cent.

It has been reprimanded several times already by the World Trade Organisation and is under investigation again after the US, EU and Japan filed complaints alleging China’s export restrictions are unfair and could severely affect the global supply chain for countless products.

While some have claimed China is squeezing exports deliberately to push prices up, the government has argued that this is merely part of its plans to become more environmentally friendly. In fact, it announced a cut back on rare earth mining last month as part of this strategy.

Whatever the reasons, the global supply chain would be a lot happier if either alternative rare earth deposits or alternative ways of manufacturing goods like hard drives and plasma screens could be found.

According to reports, Hitachi plans to develop its home grown technology further for use in cars and home appliances. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?
Don't worry about that cable, it's part of the config
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
Want to STUFF Facebook with blatant ADVERTISING? Fine! But you must PAY
Pony up or push off, Zuck tells social marketeers
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management
How using vulnerability assessments to identify exploitable weaknesses and take corrective action can reduce the risk of hackers finding your site and attacking it.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.