Graphite, more commonly known as pencil lead, could become the next big thing in the quest for smaller, less power-hungry electronics. University of Arizona physicists are making discoveries that may advance electronic circuit technology.
Alan Jasanoff, who recently earned tenure in Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Department of Biological Engineering, is designing imaging sensors that could help reveal the brain’s inner workings. He has developed sensors that can be used with fMRI to image brain activity more directly, by measuring levels of neurotransmitters (the chemicals that carry messages between neurons) and calcium, which enters neurons when they fire.
Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles have used a standard LightScribe DVD optical drive to produce electrodes composed of an expanded network of graphene that shows excellent mechanical and electrical properties as well as exceptionally high surface area. These LSG supercapacitors demonstrate high-performance graphene-based electrochemical capacitors that maintain excellent electrochemical attributes under high mechanical stress.
IBM scientists report on a prototype optical chipset, dubbed Holey Optochip, that is the first parallel optical transceiver to transfer one trillion bits, or one terabit, of information per second, the equivalent of downloading 500 high-definition movies. With the ability to move information at high speeds, the breakthrough could transform how data is accessed, shared, and used for a new era of communications and computing technologies.
Imec announced that it has released an early-version process development kit (PDK) for 14 nm logic chips. This PDK is the first to address the 14 nm technology node and targets the introduction of key technologies, such as FinFET technology and EUV lithography.
By looking at the way electrons are excited, researchers can gain a better understanding of the new field of transparent electronics. A Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researcher has developed a new approach to investigate the interplay of excitonic effects and electron doping.
It won’t keep up with the real thing, but a robotic cat build for DARPA has just set a speed record for legged robots by cruising at 18 miles per hour. Boston Dynamics, known for its Big Dog and Petman projects, built the robot and intends to demonstrate a free-running prototype later this year.
University of Utah engineers designed a new kind of video game controller that not only vibrates like existing devices, but pulls and stretches the thumb tips in different directions to simulate the tug of a fishing line, the recoil of a gun, or the feeling of ocean waves.
A group of Italian and Swedish researchers appears to have solved the problem of radio congestion by cleverly twisting radio waves into the shape of fusilli pasta, allowing a potentially infinite number of channels to be broadcast and received. To demonstrate, they did this in real-life conditions by beaming two corkscrewed radio waves across the waters of Venice, Italy.
The International Telecommunication Union, which coordinates global radio spectrum use, recently came to an agreement that provides specific radio frequency bands for ocean radars, which until now operated only on an informal basis and were subject to immediate shut-down if they caused interference with other radio systems. The new technology may eventually make real-time detection of tsunamis and oil spills possible.
Featuring a resolution of 1,600 by 1,200 pixels coupled with high-grade optics, Bruker’s e-FlashHR electron backscatter detection (EBSD) system is able to display fine pattern details, making it useful for the analysis of fine-grained and/or nonconductive materials, nanomaterials, and for use at low beam current and accelerating voltages.
The technological world of the 21st century owes a tremendous amount to advances in electrical engineering, specifically, the ability to finely control the flow of electrical charges using increasingly small and complicated circuits. And while those electrical advances continue to race ahead, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania are pushing circuitry forward in a different way, by replacing electricity with light.
Sometimes knowing that a new technology works is not enough. You also must know why it works to get marketplace acceptance. New information from NIST about how layered switching devices for novel computer memory systems work, for example, may now allow these structures to come to market sooner, helping bring about faster, lower-powered computers.
A new implantable sensor developed at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute can wirelessly transmit data from the site of a recent orthopedic surgery. Inexpensive to make and highly reliable, this new sensor holds the promise of more accurate, more cost-effective, and less invasive post-surgery monitoring and diagnosis.
Georgia Institute of Technology's Tongue Drive is a wireless device that enables people with high-level spinal cord injuries to operate a computer and maneuver an electrically powered wheelchair simply by moving their tongues. The newest prototype of the system allows users to wear an inconspicuous dental retainer embedded with sensors to control the system.
Discera, a maker of micro-electrical mechanical systems (MEMS)-based timing solutions based in San Jose, Calif., has entered into a distribution deal with Avnet Electronics Marketing Americas, an operating group of Avnet, which distributes computer products, electronic components and embedded technology to customers in over 70 countries.
Ditching satellites and complex, powerful computers and opting for camera technology inspired by small mammals may be the future of navigation systems. A Queensland University of Technology faculty member is researching ways to make more reliable global positioning systems (GPS) using camera technology and mathematical algorithms, which would make navigating a cheaper and simpler task.
Near-Earth space is full of junk. NASA keeps close tabs on at least 16,000 objects larger than 10 cm in diameter. In an effort to tidy up the mess, the Swiss Federal Institute for Technology (EPFL) is building an $11 million satellite called CleanSpaceOne that will force debris toward Earth, burning it up in the atmosphere.
To keep energy consumption under control, future chips may need to move data using light instead of electricity—and the technical expertise to build them may reside in the United States, according to a Massachusetts Institute of Technology study.
The latest addition to computing power at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory is a 45-teraflop cluster of graphics processing units (GPU) that scientists use to explore the properties of the strong nuclear force. The GPU nodes power through data faster than any other computing nodes at more than five times the rate of the processing units of the previous generation.
NASA scientists are in the midst of preparing their Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) Testbed for launch later this year. Its mission will be to push the limits of software-defined radio, a communication system in which components typically implemented in hardware are instead provided by means of software.
Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have developed a new nanotechnology platform for the development of molecule-based electronic components using graphene. At the same time, they have solved a problem that has challenged researchers from around the world for ten years.
New and better ways of measuring high-tech energy consumption could lead to significant environmental and economic gains, a study from The Australian National University (ANU) has found. Researchers from ANU, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Washington have completed the first systematic profile of microprocessors, which could help lower the energy costs of electronic devices.
Researchers have learned how to improve the performance of sensors that use tiny vibrating microcantilevers to detect chemical and biological agents for applications from national security to food processing. This improvement can be seen by measuring amplitude instead of frequency.
Most RFID tags that are to be used on metal objects are made by placing an antenna on a spacer. Such tags can be easily damaged because they stick out. New tags, developed by North Dakota State University researchers and being presented at an upcoming IEEE workshop, use the metal objects themselves as the antenna.