System Bits: Sept. 20

Improving Torque Sensing In an advance that could bring new types of sensors and studies in quantum mechanics, Purdue University researchers have levitated a tiny nanodiamond particle with a laser in a vacuum chamber, using the technique for the first time to detect and measure its torsional vibration. The team said the experiment represents a nanoscale version of the torsion balance used i... » read more

Joint R&D Has Its Ups And Downs

As corporate spending on research and development dwindles, enterprises are reaching out to colleges and universities to supplement their R&D. And they often are finding eager partners in those endeavors, as professors and their graduate students look for help, financial and technical, in addressing long-term research projects. “Pure research is just a luxury no one can afford anymore,... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: April 12

Ink FETs The University of Pennsylvania has developed a new way to make chips by using nanocrystal inks. The devices, dubbed nanocrystal field-effect transistors (FETs), could be used one day to develop chips for flexible and wearable applications In the lab, researchers devised spherical nanoscale particles. These particles, which have electrical characteristics, were dispersed in a liquid... » read more

Internet of FD-SOI Things?

Are fully-depleted silicon-on-insulator (FD-SOI) wafers having a moment? Certainly SOI wafers are not new. Soitec’s SmartCut layer transfer technology was patented in 1994, and wafers with implanted oxide layers were available before that. Still, adoption of SOI wafers has been limited. Though they offer improved device isolation and reduced parasitics, the increased wafer cost has been an ob... » 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: Dec. 15

Building chips skyscraper style With the aim of boosting electronic performance by factor of a thousand, a team of researchers led by Stanford University engineers have created a skyscraper-like chip design, based on materials more advanced than silicon. For many years, computer systems have been designed with processors and memory chips laid out like single-story structures in a suburb whe... » read more

Rethinking Patents

Over the past few years the pressure on the patent system as a means of protecting intellectual property has been tested to the limit, and many changes are being made in an attempt to keep it viable. But in an age of globalization, coupled with the fact that for the patent system to work there has to be an infrastructure of suitable enforcement, it may be time to rethink its viability—especia... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Aug. 26

Smokestack metrology The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has nearly completed the construction of one of the world's more unusual measurement systems. The organization is devising a 50-meter horizontal smokestack at its campus in Gaithersburg, Md. The new facility will accurately determine the amount of gases discharged from smokestacks at coal-fired power plants and o... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Feb. 18

Polite cupcake helping robots Cornell and Carnegie Mellon have made a new discovery about robots. If they sound less snippy when they communicate, listeners will respond better. In fact, developers of robots should develop systems that use less confrontational language. In the study, entitled “How a Robot Should Give Advice,” researchers discovered that robots and humans are more lik... » read more

The Next Big Threat: System Security

No SoC ever will be totally secure, and no technology will stop experienced thieves who really want to get into a device. But chipmakers and IP companies are examining ways to at least make it more difficult—and at least in theory, far less lucrative. One big change, of course, is that a connected electronic ecosystem has made location irrelevant. In the past, crime was limited to where th... » read more

← Older posts