Manufacturing Bits: Aug. 23

Rolling Out Solar Power...Literally An International team of researchers have developed solar cells that can be added onto a roll of flexible plastic in liquid form, bringing the same kind of economies of production to the solar industry as rolls of paper and ink did for newspapers more than a century ago. Using a roll-to-roll processing method, the team was able to achieve a power conversi... » read more

RF GaN Gains Steam

The RF [getkc id="217" kc_name="gallium nitride"] (GaN) device market is heating up amid the need for more performance with better power densities in a range of systems, such as infrastructure equipment, missile defense and radar. On one front, for example, RF GaN is beginning to displace a silicon-based technology for the power amplifier sockets in today’s wireless base stations. GaN is m... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: July 5

More storage with electromagnetic switch Scientists at Hokkaido University designed a device that employs both magnetic and electronic signals, potentially doubling the storage capacity of conventional memory devices. In addition to the binary 0/1 method of storing information, this would add an A/B store for the information as well. To do this would require finding a material that can switc... » read more

Using Chip Technology To Detect And Prevent Diseases

The overlap between semiconductor technology and medicine is growing, creating the same kinds of economies of scale that have fueled the semiconductor industry for the past five decades. While technology has long held a place in the medical world, the idea that chips can save lives and improve health is a relatively new concept. That effort is gaining steam, too, as more capabilities are add... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Jan. 12

Incandescent bulbs might not be dead yet Can incandescent bulbs be as efficient – or even more so – than LEDs? More than 95 percent of the energy that goes into incandescents is wasted, most of it as heat, so researchers at MIT and Purdue University struck out to see if that could be changed. A conventional heated metal filament, with all its attendant losses, served as the basis. But... » read more

Inventing Christmas

Christmas has been a tradition in many countries for a considerable number of years. In fact, some of the associated decorations, such as the Christmas Tree, have their roots in 16th century Germany. So you would think that by now there would not be too many new inventions that pass the tests of being novel and non-obvious to those skilled in the art. A quick search using Google yielded more... » read more

What’s Next In Mobile Displays

The next wave of smartphones and wearables is invading the market. These systems will feature a new class of high-resolution displays, and in the near future displays will become foldable and rollable, although there are still some challenges with this technology. To be sure, mobile display technology is advancing on several fronts. On one front, for example, Apple and other systems vendor... » read more

System Bits: Dec. 15

Building chips skyscraper style With the aim of boosting electronic performance by factor of a thousand, a team of researchers led by Stanford University engineers have created a skyscraper-like chip design, based on materials more advanced than silicon. For many years, computer systems have been designed with processors and memory chips laid out like single-story structures in a suburb whe... » read more

What’s On Your Holiday Gift List?

This month Semico reduced our semiconductor growth outlook for 2015 and 2016. The slowdown is mainly due to lower sales of electronic devices such as new convertible notebooks and even smartphones. TSMC reported near-term uncertainty due to higher than seasonal inventories, customers’ cautious inventory management, along with active inventory reductions. The new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus rolled o... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 20

Memristors come in threes The race is on to produce a commercial memristor, and a duo from ETH Zurich may be providing a bit more push. "Basically, memristors require less energy since they work at lower voltages," explained Jennifer Rupp, professor in the Department of Materials at ETH Zurich. "They can be made much smaller than today's memory modules, and therefore offer much greater de... » read more

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