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Graphene photodetector integrated into computer chip

September 16, 2013 12:34 pm | News | Comments

A recent study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology describing how graphene can be used to convert signals from optical to electrical has also been explored by engineers in Austria, who have also constructed a graphene light detector on a semiconductor chip. According to the researchers, graphene can convert all light wavelengths which are used in telecommunications.

Magnetic semiconductor material holds promise for “spintronics”

September 11, 2013 7:36 am | News | Comments

Researchers at North Carolina State Univ. have created a new compound, strontium tin oxide (Sr3SnO) that can be integrated into silicon chips and is a dilute magnetic semiconductor, meaning that it could be used to make “spintronic” devices, which rely on magnetic force to operate, rather than electrical currents.

Scientists use DNA to assemble a graphene transistor

September 9, 2013 8:15 am | by Tom Abate, Stanford Engineering | News | Comments

DNA is the blueprint for life. Could it also become the template for making a new generation of computer chips based not on silicon, but on an experimental material known as graphene? That’s the theory behind a process that Stanford Univ. chemical engineering prof. Zhenan Bao has revealed.

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Satellite cameras saving endangered species

September 6, 2013 3:47 pm | Videos | Comments

Product development firm Cambridge Consultants is helping conservationists protect some of the world’s most rare and endangered species. As part of the Instant Wild project, new satellite-connected and motion-triggered cameras are beaming near-real-time images of animals from the remotest areas of Africa. A mobile app allows users anywhere in the world to view the photos, providing early warning of illegal poaching activity.

Video: First microdrone crosses the Alps

September 5, 2013 10:17 am | News | Comments

Earlier this summer, a small drone managed something that even larger flying robots had not yet been able to do. Equipped with an HD camera, and in adverse conditions, it set off from Switzerland and crossed the Saint-Gotthard Massif towards Italy. The company behind this experiment has just released video of the record flight.

Electronics advance moves closer to a world beyond silicon

September 4, 2013 2:51 pm | News | Comments

Researchers  at Oregon State Univ. have made a significant advance in the function of metal-insulator-metal, or MIM diodes, a technology premised on the assumption that the speed of electrons moving through silicon is simply too slow. For the extraordinary speed envisioned in some future electronics applications, these innovative diodes solve problems that would not be possible with silicon-based materials as a limiting factor.

Researchers take a step closer to finding cosmic ray origins

September 3, 2013 8:38 am | News | Comments

The origin of cosmic rays in the universe has confounded scientists for decades. But a study by researchers using data from the IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole reveals new information that may help unravel the longstanding mystery of exactly how and where these “rays”, which are actually high-energy particles, are produced.

A new atomic crystal dynamic for titanium dioxide found

August 29, 2013 4:20 pm | News | Comments

Titanium dioxide is an inexpensive, yet versatile material. The use of titanium oxide in the electronics industry is currently being investigated. An international team of researchers has confirmed theoretically-predicted interactions between single oxygen molecules and crystalline titanium dioxide and the implications of these findings could be important for a variety of applications.

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Researcher controls colleague’s motions in first human brain-to-brain interface

August 27, 2013 2:50 pm | by Doree Armstrong and Michelle Ma, Univ. of Washington | News | Comments

Univ. of Washington researchers have performed what they believe is the first noninvasive human-to-human brain interface, with one researcher able to send a brain signal via the Internet to control the hand motions of a fellow researcher. Using electrical brain recordings and a form of magnetic stimulation, Rajesh Rao sent a brain signal to Andrea Stocco on the other side of campus, causing Stocco’s finger to move on a keyboard.

Small chip to advance the art of drug testing

August 27, 2013 2:43 pm | by Kurt Pfitzer, Lehigh Univ. | News | Comments

Standard drug-testing methods have shortcomings. Animal testing is expensive and unreliable, and the static environment of cells and cultures don’t mimic the behavior of the entire organism. An interdisciplinary research team at Lehigh Univ. is using microscopy and optical tweezers to develop a new finger-sized chip that can study the activities of cells at the nanoscale, possibly offering an alternative to traditional drug testing.

Exploring Google Glass through eyes of early users

August 27, 2013 2:26 pm | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Google Glass is designed to work like a smartphone that's worn like a pair of glasses. Although it looks like a prop from a science fiction movie, the device is capturing imaginations beyond the realm of nerds. Some 10,000 people are trying out an early version of Glass, most of them selected as part of a contest. Their feedback reveals some advantages and shortcomings of the technology.

Study advances use of iris images as long-term form of ID

August 20, 2013 5:33 pm | News | Comments

A new report by biometric researchers at NIST uses data from thousands of frequent travelers enrolled in an iris recognition program to determine that no consistent change occurs in the distinguishing texture of their irises for at least a decade. These findings inform identity program administrators on how often iris images need to be recaptured to maintain accuracy.

Sensor-equipped construction helmet can detect carbon monoxide

August 19, 2013 10:38 am | News | Comments

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a significant problem for construction workers because it can build up quickly in enclosed spaces from use of gasoline-powered tools. New research calls for the use of a wearable computing system installed in a helmet to protect construction workers from this type of poisoning.

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Silicon Valley keenly awaits latest Lego robot kit

August 19, 2013 9:16 am | by Martha Mendoza, AP National Writer | News | Comments

Few are more excited about Lego's new Mindstorms sets rolling out next month than Silicon Valley engineers. Ostensibly geared toward children age 10 and over, the new Mindstorms will also appeal to professional hackers. The sets will use open source software, Linux, for the first time, and controller apps are integrated for tablets and mobile phones.

Electronic warfare development targets fully adaptive threat response technology

August 19, 2013 8:17 am | News | Comments

When U.S pilots encounter enemy air defenses, onboard electronic warfare (EW) systems protect them by interfering with incoming radar signals: a technique known as electronic attack (EA) or jamming. Conversely, electronic protection technology prevents hostile forces from using EA methods to disable U.S. radar equipment assets. A research team is now developing a new generation of advanced radio frequency jammer technology.

Memory tech breakthrough eliminates the magnet

August 15, 2013 1:09 pm | News | Comments

Researchers in Israel have developed a simple magnetization progress that depends on electron spin to eliminate the need for permanent magnets in memory devices. The new technique, called magnetless spin memory (MSM), drives a current through chiral material and selectively transfers electrons to magnetize nanomagnetic layers or nanoparticles.

Agilent opens ninth calibration center in Americas

August 14, 2013 5:56 pm | News | Comments

This week, Agilent Technologies Inc. launched a new calibration center in Phoenix, Ariz. Owners of Agilent electronic measurement instruments in the area can receive true local OEM calibrations, with measurements performed using OEM procedures for every warranted specification.

U.K. bars trash cans from tracking people with Wi-Fi

August 14, 2013 11:38 am | by Raphael Satter, Associated Press | News | Comments

Officials demanded Monday that an advertising firm stop using a network of high-tech trash cans to track people walking through London's financial district. The Renew ad firm has been using technology embedded in the hulking receptacles to measure the Wi-Fi signals emitted by smartphones, and suggested that it would apply the concept of "cookies"—tracking files that follow Internet users across the Web—to the physical world.

Advancing resistive memory to improve portable electronics

August 14, 2013 9:39 am | by Sean Nealon, UC Riverside | News | Comments

A device based on the principles of resistive memory has been developed at the Univ. of California, Riverside, and can be used to create memory cells that are smaller, operate at a higher speed and offer more storage capacity than flash memory cells, the current industry standard. The key advancement is the creation of a zinc oxide nano-island on silicon. It eliminates the need for a second element called a selector device.

New electron beam writer enables next-gen biomedical, information tech

August 13, 2013 10:37 am | News | Comments

Electron beam (e-beam) lithography enables researchers to write very small patterns on large substrates with a high level of precision. In the Nano3 cleanroom facility at the Univ. of California, San Diego’s Qualcomm Institute, a new Vistec e-beam writer is helping to develop nanoscale transistors for integrated electronics, as well as neural probes for brain diagnostics.

Faster, more powerful mobile devices

August 12, 2013 8:12 am | News | Comments

The next generation of smartphones could be capable of storing 250 hours of high-definition video and carrying a charge for a week, thanks to an advanced data storage technology from a Univ. of Michigan startup that could upend the memory market. Crossbar Inc., which licensed the technology from U-M in 2010, recently announced it has developed a working resistive random access memory prototype in a commercial fabrication facility.

Digital signal processing could prevent a Wall Street flash crash

August 9, 2013 11:31 am | News | Comments

An expert in the relatively new field of adapting signal processing to strengthen the security of finance markets New Jersey Institute of Technology Professor Ali Akansu believes that by using digital signal processing (DSP) engineering another flash crash, like the one in 2010 that almost destroyed worldwide financial markets, need never happen again.

Keithley wins 2013 R&D 100 Award for high-power SMU instrument

August 8, 2013 3:16 pm | News | Comments

Keithley Instruments Inc. announced that its Model 2657A high-power system SourceMeter source measure unit (SMU) instrument has received a 2013 R&D 100 Award. The Model 2657A, which allows researchers and engineers to make electrical measurements at up to 3,000 V while measuring down to 1 fA, is part of Keithley's growing line of precision sourcing and measurement instruments.

A year of Curiosity on Mars

August 7, 2013 3:06 pm | Videos | Comments

Curiosity Rover team members re-live the dramatic Aug. 6, 2012 landing and the mission's achievements to date in a recent event aired on NASA Television and the agency's website. In the year since inspiring millions of people worldwide with its one-of-a-kind landing in a crater on the Red Planet, Curiosity has achieved its primary scientific objective; finding evidence that ancient Mars could have sustained microbial life.

Using Logic Analyzers to Reveal Digital System Problems

August 5, 2013 1:52 pm | by Brad Frieden, Product Planner, Agilent Technologies Inc., Santa Clara, Calif. | Agilent Technologies Inc. | Articles | Comments

Today’s digital designs are evolving in a variety of ways, prompting new approaches to design, simulation, measurement and debug. One change is the use of more serial buses. Another is the use of system-on-a-chip (SOC) integrated circuits or advanced field-programmable gate arrays with SOC capability. Despite this evolution, there's still a role for classic parallel buses in many designs and the need to measure those buses.

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