System Bits: April 18


RISC-V errors Princeton University researchers have discovered a series of errors in the RISC-V instruction specification that now are leading to changes in the new system, which seeks to facilitate open-source design for computer chips. In testing a technique they created for analyzing computer memory use, the team found over 100 errors involving incorrect orderings in the storage and retr... » read more

System Bits: April 4


Nanodevices for extreme environments in space, on earth Researchers at the Stanford Extreme Environment Microsystems Laboratory (XLab) are on a mission to conquer conditions such as those found on Venus: a hot surface pelted with sulfuric acid rains, 480 degrees C, an atmosphere that would fry today’s electronics. By developing heat-, corrosion- and radiation-resistant electronics, the team ... » read more

System Bits: March 28


Automating biology experiments with adapted Lego kit To bring more of the features of modern biology labs — that often use robotic assemblies to drop precise amounts of fluids into experimental containers — to students and teachers, Stanford University researchers have shown how an off-the-shelf Lego kit can be modified to create inexpensive automated systems to do this in clubs or classro... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: March 28


Storing solar energy as carbon monoxide A team at Indiana University engineered a molecule that collects and stores solar energy without solar panels. The molecule uses light or electricity to convert the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide more efficiently than any other method of carbon reduction. Burning fuel such as carbon monoxide produces carbon dioxide and releases e... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: March 21


Making harder windows Using cubic silicon nitride materials, a team of researchers have developed a harder window that can sustain severe conditions. There is a demand for harder and stronger windows in various applications, such as engines, ball bearings, cutting tools and other others. To enable this technology, researchers used materials based on transparent polycrystalline ceramics. One... » read more

TFETs Cut Sub-Threshold Swing


One of the main obstacles to continued transistor scaling is power consumption. As gate length decreases, the sub-threshold swing (SS) — the gate voltage required to change the drain current by one order of magnitude — increases. As Qin Zhang, Wei Zhao, and Alan Seabaugh of Notre Dame explained in 2006, SS faces a theoretical minimum of 60 mV/decade at room temperature in conventional MO... » read more

Higher-Than-Ballistic Conduction of Viscous Electron Flows (MIT & Weizmann)


Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot  Israel Haoyu Guo, Ekin Ilseven, Gregory Falkovich, Leonid Levitov "A new finding by physicists at MIT and in Israel shows that under certain specialized conditions, electrons can speed through a narrow opening in a piece of metal more easily than traditional theory says is possible. This “superball... » read more

System Bits: March 7


Math picture language Harvard University researchers reminded that Galileo called mathematics the “language with which God wrote the universe,” as he described a picture-language. Now that language has a new dimension. [caption id="attachment_35501" align="alignright" width="300"] Arthur Jaffe (left) and Zhengwei Liu are the creators of a new, 3D pictorial language for mathematics. They b... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Feb. 28


Power converter for IoT At the International Solid-State Circuits Conference, researchers from MIT presented a new power converter that is efficient at a wide range of currents, which could be a boon for IoT sensors that have variable power requirements. The device maintains its efficiency at currents ranging from 500 picoamps to 1 milliamp, a span that encompasses a 200,000-fold increase in... » 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

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