Power/Performance Bits: May 23


Biosupercapacitor Researchers from UCLA and the University of Connecticut designed a biological supercapacitor, a new biofriendly energy storage system which operates using ions from fluids in the human body. The device is harmless to the body's biological systems, say the researchers, and could lead to longer-lasting cardiac pacemakers and other implantable medical devices. The supercapa... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: May 16


Chaos-based IC Researchers at North Carolina State University and the College of Wooster developed a three transistor nonlinear, chaos-based integrated circuit combining digital and analog components, which they hope can improve computational power by enabling processing of a larger number of inputs. In chaos-based, nonlinear circuits, one circuit can perform multiple computations instead... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: May 9


Integrated battery and solar cell Researchers from the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) in Korea developed a single-unit, photo-rechargeable portable power source based on miniaturized crystalline Si photovoltaics (c-Si PVs) and printed solid-state lithium-ion batteries (LIBs). The device uses a thin-film printing technique, in which the solid-state LIB is directly ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: May 2


Turning bottles into batteries Researchers at the University of California, Riverside used waste glass bottles and a low-cost chemical process to create nanosilicon anodes for high-performance lithium-ion batteries. Billions of glass bottles end up in landfills every year, prompting the researchers to ask whether silicon dioxide in waste beverage bottles could provide high purity silicon ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: April 25


Thermal diode Engineers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln developed a nano-thermal-mechanical device, or thermal diode, which uses heat as an alternative energy source that would allow computing at ultra-high temperatures. "If you think about it, whatever you do with electricity you should (also) be able to do with heat, because they are similar in many ways," said Sidy Ndao, assistan... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: April 18


Cooling hotspots Engineers at Duke University and Intel developed a technology to cool hotspots in high-performance electronics. The new technology relies on a vapor chamber made of a super-hydrophobic floor with a sponge-like ceiling. When placed beneath operating electronics, moisture trapped in the ceiling vaporizes beneath emerging hotspots. The vapor escapes toward the floor, taking hea... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: April 11


High-efficiency silicon photodetector Electrical engineers at the University of California, Davis, and W&WSens Devices, Inc. built a new type of high-efficiency photodetector that could be monolithically integrated with silicon electronics. The new detector uses tapered holes in a silicon wafer to divert photons sideways, preserving the speed of thin-layer silicon and the efficiency o... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: April 4


Self-sustaining microbial fuel cell Researchers at Binghamton University developed the first micro-scale self-sustaining microbial fuel cell, which generates power through the symbiotic interactions of two types of bacteria. A mixed culture of phototrophic and heterotrophic bacteria were placed in a 90-microliter cell chamber, or about one-fifth the size of a teaspoon. Phototrophic bacter... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: March 28


Storing solar energy as carbon monoxide A team at Indiana University engineered a molecule that collects and stores solar energy without solar panels. The molecule uses light or electricity to convert the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide more efficiently than any other method of carbon reduction. Burning fuel such as carbon monoxide produces carbon dioxide and releases e... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: March 21


Tiny redox flow batteries for chips Researchers at ETH Zurich and IBM Research Zurich built a tiny redox flow battery capable of both powering and cooling stacks of chips. In a flow battery, an electrochemical reaction is used to produce electricity out of two liquid electrolytes, which are pumped to the battery cell from outside via a closed electrolyte loop. Such batteries are usually u... » read more

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