Manufacturing Bits: Oct. 4

China’s powerful laser The Shanghai Superintense-Ultrafast Lasers Facility (SULF) in China claims to have demonstrated the world’s most powerful laser. The ultra-intense, ultra-fast laser is said to have delivered a peak power of more than five petawatts. This is supposedly the largest peak-power laser pulse ever measured on record. A petawatt is equivalent to one quadrillion watts. ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: July 5

World’s largest telescope China stunned the industry last month, when the nation rolled out the world’s fastest supercomputer. The system, dubbed the Sunway TaihuLight, is based on processors made in China, not Intel or other U.S. chipmakers. Now, China has nearly finished the construction of the world’s largest radio telescope. The system, dubbed the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Sphe... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: April 7

Liquid metal for Terminator robots The Chinese Academy of Sciences and Tsinghua University have devised a robot-like, self-fueled liquid metal mollusk. The liquid metal alloy within the system can move by itself and change form like the shape-shifting T-1000 robot in the movie Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The system consists of a liquid metal motor. The liquid metal is a mix of gallium, i... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Feb. 10

Deadweight machines The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is in the process of cleaning, restoring and recalibrating its 4.45-million Newton deadweight machine. NIST’s deadweight machine, the largest of its kind in the world, is equivalent to one million pounds-force. Built in 1965, the deadweight system consists of a stack of 20 stainless steel discs about three meter... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: July 22

Skateboarding on 2D materials Two-dimensional materials are gaining steam in the R&D labs. The 2D materials include graphene, boron nitride (BN) and the transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDs). These materials are attractive candidates for futuristic field-effect transistors (FETs). But researchers must gain more insight into these materials in order to understand their properties. For ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: May 20

Brain chips Pennsylvania State University has developed a technology that could enable futuristic biochips, namely those that mimic the human brain. In the lab, Penn State combined a thin film of vanadium dioxide (VO2) on a titanium dioxide substrate to create an oscillating switch. VO2 is an exotic material that exhibits semiconductor-to-metal transitions at 68 °C. In the R&D stage fo... » read more