Manufacturing Bits: Nov. 7


Making a superbeam Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has combined several lasers to create what it calls a superbeam. The move represents a possible breakthrough in the arena. In theory, lasers can be combined. But the laser beams tend to pass through each other, thereby making a combined laser or a superbeam nearly impossible. With the help of plasma optics, however, LLNL ha... » read more

Medical IoT Heats Up


Ever since the IoT was first introduced as a concept, the possibility of using ordinary devices or chips for monitoring health has been mostly an unfulfilled promise. In fact, one of the biggest selling points of smart watches and other wearables initially was the ability to monitor everything from heart irregularities to sugar levels on a continuous basis rather than a once-a-year electroca... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Sept. 26


Electrical twisted yarn The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), the University of Texas at Dallas and Hanyan University in South Korea have developed a twisted yarn technology that can be used to generate or harvest electrical energy. The technology, dubbed “twistron” yarn, incorporates twisted bundles of tiny coiled carbon nanotubes. The nanotube-based twistron yarn works in con... » read more

What’s New At Hot Chips


By Jeff Dorsch & Ed Sperling Machine learning, artificial intelligence and neuromorphic computing took center stage at Hot Chips 2017 this week, a significant change from years past where the focus was on architectures that addressed improvements in speed and performance for standard compute problems. What is clear, given the focus of presentations, is that the bleeding edge of comput... » read more

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

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