Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 10


Using DNA to assemble transistors from graphene Graphene is a sheet of carbon atoms arrayed in a honeycomb pattern, just a single atom thick. It could be a better semiconductor than silicon – if we could fashion it into ribbons 20 to 50 atoms wide. Could DNA help? Stanford chemical engineering professor Zhenan Bao, believes it could. Bao and her team of researchers hope to solve a problem... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: August 20


Rechargeable flow battery for cheaper, large-scale energy storage In a creation that may eventually enable cheaper, large-scale energy storage, MIT researchers have engineered a new rechargeable flow battery that doesn’t rely on expensive membranes to generate and store electricity. According to the researchers, the palm-sized prototype generates three times as much power per square centi... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: August 13


Graphene-based device enables next-gen energy storage Monash University researchers have brought next generation energy storage closer with an engineering first: a graphene-based device that is compact, yet lasts as long as a conventional battery. A research team in the Department of Materials Engineering has developed a completely new strategy to engineer graphene-based supercapacitors (SC... » read more

Security And Convergence


I’ve had a lot on my mind the past few weeks while reporting on seemingly disparate topics like the Internet of Things, embedded software and hardware accelerators, but in the world today, these things are really tightly connected, actually. They all boil down to convergence and security in my mind. Looking at the Internet of Things (IoT), which promises to connect all of us and all of our... » read more

Hardware Accelerators Earn Their Keep


By Ann Steffora Mutschler Hardware accelerators have been used for years, but with the proliferation of multicore chips and SoCs their use is evolving. Multicore processors have reduced the reliance on hardware accelerators, but that doesn’t mean the number of hardware accelerators is shrinking. The insatiable demand for performance while also reducing power consumption means that acceler... » read more

Too Big To Handle?


By Ann Steffora Mutschler With the insatiable demand for power efficiency today, the power management tasks have been pushed up into the realm of the software engineer due to the sheer complexity of the hardware design and the demands on the hardware designer to get their part right. Managing power properly in embedded software boils down to really understanding the application and how it i... » read more

Software Debug Gets Tricky


By Ann Steffora Mutschler As designs continue to grow in size and complexity, that complexity has led to an increasing number of processing cores. Additional cores, in turn, allow for additional software to be run on those cores, and debugging the software becomes critical. Traditionally, emulation has played a significant role in verifying that software against RTL code, and continues to d... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: July 9


All-optical transistor Optical computing uses light rather than electricity to perform calculations and is expected to potentially pay dividends for both conventional computers and quantum computers, which are largely hypothetical devices that could perform some types of computations exponentially faster than classical computers. One drawback is that optical computing requires light particl... » read more