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.
Visible Light Communications (VLC), a University of Edinburgh spin-out, will soon launch its first prototype light-emitting diode communications technology. “Li-Fi” relies on optical spatial modulation and an Internet protocol technology to allow LED light to carry optical wireless communications streams.
Computational sprinting is a new approach to smartphone power and cooling that could give users dramatic, brief bursts of computing capability to improve current applications and make new ones possible. Its developers at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan are pushing mobile chips beyond their sustainable operating limits, much like a sprinter who runs extremely fast for a relatively short distance.
Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a new approach to MEMS design that enables engineers to design 3D configurations, using existing fabrication processes; with this approach, the researchers built a MEMS device that enables 3D sensing on a single chip. The tiny device contain microscopic elements that can be engineered to reach heights of hundreds of microns above the chip's surface.
Researchers have developed a wireless link that bridges two fiber-optic points at an unprecedented 20 billion bits of data per second. The phenomenal speed, which is to be presented at the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition in Los Angeles next week, was achieved using much higher frequencies than have been typically used in mobile communications.
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.
At Cebit on March 6, Saarland University Professor Holger Hermanns will present an unusual bicycle. Unlike most other bicycles, his cruiser brakes using a wireless mechanism that theoretically will fail only three times out of one trillion uses. The technology presages what he hopes will be used in the future for train travel.
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.
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.
Researchers at Northwestern University have developed a new method for chemically altering graphene, a development that could be a step toward the creation of faster, thinner, flexible electronics. Their method, which oxidizes graphene without the collateral damage encountered in the Hummers method, is also reversible.
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.
Robots could one day navigate through constantly changing surroundings with virtually no input from humans, thanks to a system developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that allows them to build and continuously update a 3D map of their environment using a low-cost camera such as Microsoft's Kinect.
Infrared photodetectors are critical to national defense and security systems, and are increasingly important in commercial applications and consumer products. Superlattices made of certain materials, carefully structured, are minimizing electron loss in these detectors, greatly boosting their efficiency. Recent research at Arizona State University details these advances.
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.
Scientists at the University of Southampton, in collaboration with Penn State University have, for the first time, embedded the high level of performance normally associated with chip-based semiconductors into an optical fiber, creating high-speed optoelectronic function.
Scientists from Chalmers University of Technology have demonstrated a new kind of detector for sound at the level of quietness of quantum mechanics. The result offers prospects of a new class of quantum hybrid circuits that mix acoustic elements with electrical ones, and may help illuminate new phenomena of quantum physics.
Graphene has been touted as the next silicon, with one major problem—it is too conductive to be used in computer chips. Now, scientists from the University of Manchester have given its prospects a new lifeline. The Manchester team has literally opened a third dimension in graphene research.
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.
A research team working in Germany and Taiwan have created a “write-once-read-many-times” (WORM) memory device which has been made from a thin film of salmon DNA embedded with nano-sized particles of silver. Sandwiched between two electrodes, the device encodes information through ultraviolet light.
Invented and improved recently by the Rice University lab of Junichiro Kono, a terahertz polarizer built using carbon nanotubes is the most effective ever reported, blocking at least 99.9% of terahertz waves on demand. Prior iterations of the polarizer blocked only 30 to 50% of waves.
After years of collaboration, John Rogers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Northwestern University engineer Yonggang Huang are getting closer to perfecting their elastic electronics, tiny, wavy silicon circuitry that is thinner than a hair and can bend and stretch with the body.
One day in 2010, Rutgers University physicist Vitaly Podzorov watched a store employee showcase a kitchen gadget that vacuum-seals food in plastic. The demo stuck with him. The simple concept—an airtight seal around pieces of food—just might apply to his research: Developing flexible electronics using lightweight organic semiconductors for products such as video displays or solar cells.