The Growing Materials Challenge


By Katherine Derbyshire & Ed Sperling Materials have emerged as a growing challenge across the semiconductor supply chain, as chips continue to scale, or as they are utilized in new devices such as sensors for AI or machine learning systems. Engineered materials are no longer optional at advanced nodes. They are now a requirement, and the amount of new material content in chips contin... » read more

System Bits: Oct. 24


Optical communication on silicon chips With the huge increase in computing performance in recent decades achieved by squeezing ever more transistors into a tighter space on microchips, at the same time this downsizing has also meant packing the wiring within microprocessors ever more tightly together. This has led to effects such as signal leakage between components, which can slow down commun... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 29


Printing hair Using a low-cost, 3D printing technique, Carnegie Mellon University has found a way to produce hair-like strands and fibers. The printer produces plastic hair strand by strand. It takes about 20-25 minutes to generate hair on 10 square millimeters. A video can be seen here. [caption id="attachment_24544" align="alignleft" width="300"] 3D printed hair (Photo: Carnegie Mellon... » read more

System Bits: July 14


Missing magnetism of plutonium found In a discovery by two national labs that could hold great promise for materials, energy and computing applications, plutonium’s magnetism has been confirmed, which scientists have long theorized but have never been able to experimentally observe. According to Oak Ridge National Lab and Los Alamos National Lab, plutonium was first produced in 1940. Its ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: March 3


Black phosphorus photodetectors Phosphorus, a highly reactive element commonly found in match heads, tracer bullets, and fertilizers, can be turned into a stable crystalline form known as black phosphorus. In a new study, researchers from the University of Minnesota used an ultrathin black phosphorus film 20 atoms thick to demonstrate high-speed data communication on nanoscale optical circui... » read more