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2011
  Smaller and more energy-efficient electronic chips could be made using molybdenite. EPFL's Laboratory of Nanoscale Electronics and Structures (LANES) published a study showing that this material has distinct advantages over traditional silicon or graphene for use in electronics applications. This mineral, which is abundant in nature, is often used as an element in steel alloys or as an additive in lubricants. But it had not yet been extensively studied for use in electronics. One of molyb ...
  Computer engineers at North Carolina State University have developed hardware that allows programs to operate more efficiently by significantly boosting the speed at which the ‘cores’ on a computer chip communicate with each other. The core, or CPU, is the brain of a computer chip; most chips currently contain between four and eight cores. In order to perform a task more quickly using multiple cores on a single chip, those cores need to communicate with each other. But there a ...
In what could only be described as ‘fervent scientist madness’, researchers at Georgia Tech have developed a transistor with excellent stability and performance for use on plastic electronics. In addition, it can be manufactured at relatively low temperatures in a regular atmosphere. In the quest to develop flexible plastic electronics, one of the stumbling blocks has been creating transistors with enough stability for them to function in a variety of environments while still maintai ...
Researchers have invented a technique that uses inexpensive paper to make ‘microfluidic’ devices for rapid medical diagnostics and chemical analysis. Current lab-on-a-chip technology is relatively expensive because chips must be specifically designed to perform certain types of chemical analyses, with channels created in glass or plastic and tiny pumps and valves directing the flow of fluids for testing. But the chips, which are roughly palm-size or smaller, are difficult to design a ...
Taiwan-based handset ODM Compal Communications recently unveiled Robii, its first smart robot designed to accompany children aged 5-10, for sale under its own brand UrRobot, according to the company. Robii integrates image/voice recognition, sensors and projection technologies and features interactive learning and gamest based on multi-touch controls. Robii looks like a small monkey and can make more than 100 facial expressions using 170 LED chips and talks, and can track moving objects using bu ...
  The world of computing is in transition. As chips become smaller and faster, they dissipate more heat, which is energy that is entirely wasted. By some estimates the difference between the amount of energy required to carry out a computation and the amount that today's computers actually use, is some eight orders of magnitude. Clearly, there is room for improvement. One of the outside runners in the race to take the world of logic by storm is reversible computing. By that, computer scient ...
  Semiconductor Research Corporation and researchers from Stanford University have developed a novel combination of elements that yields a unique nanostructure material for packaging. This advance should allow longer life for semiconductor devices while costing less than current state-of-the-art materials. For semiconductors, the improvement will come in the form of packaging for devices. Presently, manufacturers must rely on tiny pins or thick solder to bond sections of the semiconductor i ...
The quantum computers of tomorrow might use photons to move data according to NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology). The new NIST papers address one of the many challenges to a practical quantum computer: the need for a device that produces photons in ready quantities, but only one at a time, and only when the computer's processor is ready to receive them. The first paper addresses the need to be certain that a photon is indeed coming when the processor is expecting it, and that ...
United Microelectronics Corporation has recently announced that the company has produced customer Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) sensor products, with volume production scheduled for this year. As MEMS sensor applications become increasingly popular, demand for CMOS-MEMS foundry services is also rapidly on the rise. One such product is a microphone that uses UMC's CMOS-MEMS technology has achieved successful function verification, with highly competitive specifications of above 56dBA fo ...
  Later this year, Hewlett-Packard researchers say, they expect to deliver to the U.S. Army a working prototype of what they're calling a "Dick Tracy wristwatch" — a lightweight, wearable device that soldiers in the field can use to view digital maps and other data on a flexible plastic screen that won't shatter or crack like glass. Though it will be spartan by design, researchers say HP's prototype could be one of the first in a new wave of products incorporating flexible electronic ...
One hundred years after superconductivity was first observed in 1911, a research team from Oxford, Germany and Japan observed conclusive signatures of superconductivity after hitting a non-superconductor with a strong burst of laser light. The material the researchers used is closely related to high-temperature copper oxide superconductors, but the arrangement of electrons and atoms normally act to frustrate any electronic current. In the journal ‘Science’, they describe how a strong ...
  Quantum applications, from cryptography to computation, all benefit from the use of entangled particles, (photons.) Creating and manipulating these photons is generally pretty straightforward, but storing them is not, which makes the issue of providing memory for a quantum computer a significant hurdle. It has been possible to successfully store some photons, but the media involved—single atoms or cold atomic gasses—aren't necessarily the most practical things to work with. In ...
  British defense tech firm BAE Systems is developing an active ‘e-camouflage’ system that will employ a form of electronic ink to project imagery of a vehicles surrounding terrain, rendering the vehicle somewhat invisible to potential attackers. Unlike conventional forms of camouflage, the images on the hull would change in concert with the changing environment always insuring that the vehicle remains disguised. The concept was developed as part of the Future Protected Vehicle ...
  A few unassuming drops of liquid locked in a very precise game of “follow the leader” could one day be found in mobile phone cameras, medical imaging equipment, implantable drug delivery devices, and even implantable eye lenses. Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute embedded drops of ferrofluid, a liquid infused with magnetic nanoparticles, into a thin substrate that was submerged in water. Then they exposed the device to a magnetic field to make one of the droplets ...
  It was only a matter of time before science and alcohol were combined to create something great. Who knew that drinking and finding new ways to create superconductors would go hand-in-hand? It turns out a Japanese scientist took the time to conduct such an experiment, and it worked! Dr. Yoshihiko Takano of the National Institute for Materials Science in Tsukuba, Japan, made the discovery after a party, soaking samples of a potential superconductor in hot alcoholic drinks (I’m gonna ...
  Bi-focals have been around since the dawn of mankind and haven’t changed much since they were invented by Benjamin Franklin. However a company called PixelOptics has gone ahead and re-invented them with state of the art technology. Their new emPower line of glass lenses change prescription faster than in the blink of an eye. There are no moving parts and the change is virtually instantaneous. An invisible electronic add zone located about a half inch below the center of each lens ch ...
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