Power/Performance Bits: Feb. 14


Electronics for Venus A team of scientists at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland demonstrated the first prolonged operation of electronics in the harsh conditions found on Venus. Current Venus landers can only operate on the planet's surface for a few hours due to the extreme atmospheric conditions. The surface temperature on Venus is nearly 860 degrees Fahrenheit, and the planet h... » read more

System Bits: Dec. 27


Melting quantum crystal of electrons Confirming a fundamental phase transition in quantum mechanics that was theoretically proposed more than 80 years ago but not experimentally documented until now, MIT researchers reported that they’ve observed a highly ordered crystal of electrons in a semiconducting material and documented its melting, much like ice thawing into water. The team said i... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Dec. 27


Tiny diamond radio Researchers at Harvard built the world's smallest radio receiver, built out of an assembly of atomic-scale defects in pink diamonds. The radio uses tiny imperfections in diamonds called nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers. To make NV centers, researchers replace one carbon atom in a diamond crystal with a nitrogen atom and remove a neighboring atom -- creating a system that 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: March 22


Tunable windows Harvard University has put a new twist on tunable windows. Researchers have devised a new manufacturing technique that can change the opacity of a window. With the flip of a switch, the window can become cloudy, clear or somewhere in the middle. Tunable windows, which aren’t new, rely on electrochemical reactions. Typically, the glass is coated with materials using vacuum... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Feb. 9


Molybdenum disulfide memristors Researchers at Michigan Technological University constructed an ideal memristor based on molybdenum disulfide nanosheets. "Different from an electrical resistor that has a fixed resistance, a memristor possesses a voltage-dependent resistance," said Yun Hang Hu, professor of materials science and engineering at MTU, adding that a material's electric propert... » read more

System Bits: Nov. 17


Algorithmic photo captioning Researchers at Idiap, an EPFL-affiliated research institute in Martigny have developed an algorithm that can describe an image without having to pull up captions that it has already learned by using a program that makes vector representations of images and captions based on an analysis of caption syntax. Rémi Lebret, a PhD student specializing in Deep Learning ... » read more

System Bits: Oct. 27


Uncovering a novel phase of matter In a finding that could have implications for high-temperature superconductivity, a team of physicists led by David Hsieh, assistant professor of physics at Caltech has discovered an unusual phase of matter that is characterized by an unusual ordering of electrons. The researchers said this finding offers possibilities for new electronic device functionali... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Sept. 15


Lasersabers and laser swords In 2013, the California Institute of Technology, Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) found a way to bind two photons, thereby forming photonic molecules. To accomplish this feat, Caltech, Harvard and MIT pumped rubidium atoms into a vacuum chamber. They used lasers to cool the atoms. Then, they fired photons into a cloud of atoms. This, ... » read more

System Bits: Aug. 25


Quantum computer building block In a finding that could ultimately be used to produce key components of quantum computers in the future, a team of researchers led by MIT have analyzed an exotic kind of magnetic behavior, driven by the mere proximity of two materials, using a technique called spin-polarized neutron reflectometry. This discovery could also be used to probe a variety of exotic... » read more

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