Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 19


Healing perovskites A team from the University of Cambridge, MIT, University of Oxford, University of Bath, and Delft University of Technology discovered a way to heal defects in perovskite solar cells by exposing them to light and just the right amount of humidity. While perovskites show promise for low-cost, efficient photovoltaics, tiny defects in the crystalline structure, called traps,... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 12


Water-based li-ion battery Researchers at the University of Maryland and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory developed a lithium-ion battery that uses a water-salt solution as its electrolyte and reaches the 4.0 volt mark desired for household electronics, without the fire and explosive risks associated with some commercially available non-aqueous lithium-ion batteries. The battery provides i... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 5


Energy-harvesting yarn Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas and Hanyang University in South Korea developed a carbon nanotube yarn that generates electricity when stretched or twisted. Possible applications for the so-called "twistron" yarns include harvesting energy from the motion of ocean waves or from temperature fluctuations. When sewn into a shirt, these yarns served as a sel... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 29


Colored solar panels Researchers from AMOLF, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) developed a technology to create efficient bright green solar panels in the hopes that a greater array of colors will prompt greater adoption among architects and builders who might see the traditional blue or black panels as an eyesore. The panels have a gr... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 22


USB data leakage Researchers from the University of Adelaide found that USB connections are vulnerable to information leakage. In testing more than 50 different computers and external USB hubs, they found that over 90% of them leaked information to an external USB device. "USB-connected devices include keyboards, cardswipers and fingerprint readers which often send sensitive information to ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 15


Solar sunglasses Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) developed sunglasses with colored, semitransparent organic solar cells applied onto the lenses capable of supplying a microprocessor and two displays with electric power. The solar cell lenses, perfectly fitted to a commercial frame, have a thickness of approx. 1.6 millimeters and weigh about six grams, just like th... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 8


Energy-efficient neural nets Researchers from MIT developed new techniques for more energy-efficient neural networks, offering as much as a 73% reduction in power consumption over the standard implementation of neural networks, and as much as a 43% reduction over the best previous method for paring the networks down. First, they developed an analytic method that can determine how much power... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 1


Concentrating photovoltaics Engineers at Penn State University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign tested a new concentrating photovoltaic solar system, which they say can produce over 50% more energy per day than standard silicon solar cells. In contrast to silicon solar panels, which currently dominate the market at 15 to 20 percent efficiency, concentrating photovoltaics (... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: July 25


Sodium-ion cathode Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas and Seoul National University developed a manganese and sodium-ion-based cathode material they hope could lead to lower-cost rechargeable batteries. In a typical lithium-ion battery, the cathode is made of lithium, cobalt, nickel and oxygen. "Lithium is a more expensive, limited resource that must be mined from just a fe... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: July 18


Ad hoc "cache hierarchies" Researchers at MIT and Carnegie Mellon University designed a system that reallocates cache access on the fly, to create new "cache hierarchies" tailored to the needs of particular programs. Dubbed Jenga, the system distinguishes between the physical locations of the separate memory banks that make up the shared cache. For each core, Jenga knows how long it would t... » read more

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