Architecting For Energy


Most of the time, electrical design engineers create their designs by putting in the functions first, then going back later to figure out what they can afford to shut down. But with energy harvesting, this is flipped, and the systems must be built to normally be ‘off,’ and with a clear understanding of the minimum power requirements. Also, most of the time, energy harvesting systems are ... » read more

Energy Harvesting Gains Steam


Energy harvesting is gaining traction with a surge in ultra-low-power IoT applications, ranging from inventory tracking, wearables and drones, to vibration sensors for motors in industrial settings. The idea that machines could run without batteries—or that energy could be harvested either from motion or ambient sound waves or chemical reactions to augment battery power—has been in the w... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 25


Energy-harvesting floor Engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison developed a flooring material which can be used as a triboelectric nanogenerator to convert footsteps into electricity. The method uses wood pulp, a common waste material already often used in flooring. The pulp is partly make of cellulose nanofibers, which when chemically treated produce an electrical charge when th... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 20


Energy-harvesting fabric Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Chongqing University in China developed a fabric that can simultaneously harvest energy from both sunshine and motion. The fabric, just .32mm thick, was constructed using a commercial textile machine to weave together solar cells constructed from lightweight polymer fibers with fiber-based triboelectric nanoge... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 13


Core-to-core communication Most research featured in the Power/Performance Bits has far-off applications, but a team from North Carolina State University and Intel developed something that could be brought into practice today: a way to accelerate core-to-core communication. Many important workloads incur significant core-to-core communication and are affected significantly by the costs, i... » read more

Power To The People (Right On…)


If you’re the right age (or older), you will immediately think of John Lennon when you read the title of this piece.  The song was released in 1971, so I will cut many of you some slack on that. The title was inspired by several pieces of research that I was fortunate enough to be exposed to this past week. I am currently in Vancouver, British Columbia at the NEWCAS conference. NEWCAS... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: April 12


Digital storage in DNA Computer scientists and electrical engineers from University of Washington and Microsoft detailed one of the first complete systems to encode, store and retrieve digital data using DNA molecules, which can store information millions of times more compactly than current archival technologies. Progress in DNA storage has been rapid: in 1999, the state-of-the-art in DN... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Feb. 16


Energy storage on microchips After more than half a decade of speculation, fabrication, modeling and testing, an international team of researchers from Drexel University in Pennsylvania and Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse, France, confirmed that their process for making carbon films and micro-supercapacitors will allow microchips and their power sources to become one and the same. Si... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Feb. 2


Single electron transistors A group coordinated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) is setting out on a four year program to develop single electron transistors fully compatible with CMOS technology and capable of room temperature operation. The single electron transistor (SET) switches electricity by means of a single electron. The SET is based on a quantum dot (consisting... » read more

Blog Review: Jan. 13


Is it time for one of the Seven Wonders to return? In this week's top engineering and tech picks, Ansys' Justin Nescott highlights a project to rebuild the Colossus of Rhodes. Plus, new tech for cars and a hoodie for taking naps. From CES, Rambus' Aharon Etengoff expands on a talk about intelligent transportation systems and the need to balance technology which could help reduce accidents wi... » read more

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