Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 27


Self-organizing circuits Researchers studying the behavior of nanoscale materials at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory discovered that due an unusual feature of certain complex oxides called phase separation, individual nanoscale regions can behave as self-organized circuit elements, which could support new multifunctional types of computing architectures. "Within a... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Sept. 13


Direct-write liquid litho The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has developed what could be called direct-write liquid lithography. In the lab, researchers have modified a scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM). Then, using the STEM as an e-beam tool, researchers have devised a technology that enables the direct write of tiny features in “microfabricated liq... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Aug. 9


Faster FEBIDs Focused electron beam induced deposition (FEBID) is generating steam in the industry. Still in the R&D stage, FEBID makes use of an electron beam from a scanning electron microscope. Basically, it decomposes gaseous molecules, which, in turn, deposit materials and structures on a surface at the nanoscale. One of the big applications is a futuristic manufacturing technology... » read more

Complete Control Through Software


As Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications proliferate in critical infrastructure, such as the power grid and water supply, the importance of the underlying software and the availability of an open-source platform for app development is coming to the forefront. This marks a significant shift, particularly in the industrial and commercial world, where software historically has playe... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: June 21


Atomic sculpting Oak Ridge National Laboratory has combined a scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) with new electronic controls. This tool enables the construction, or the atomic sculpting, of 3D-like feature sizes down to 1nm and 2nm. To achieve these dimensions, the STEM is controlled with a special set of programmable electronics. This, in turn, enables the STEM to tunnel in... » read more

Rethinking Memory


Getting data in and out of memory is as important as the speed and efficiency of a processor, but for years design teams managed to skirt the issue because it was quicker, easier and less expensive to boost processor clock frequencies with a brute-force approach. That worked well enough prior to 90nm, and adding more cores at lower clock speeds filled the gap starting at 65nm. After that, th... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: May 26


Woven fabric electrodes An international team including scientists from the University of Exeter pioneered a new technique to embed transparent, flexible graphene electrodes into fibers commonly associated with the textile industry. Exeter Professor Monica Craciun, co-author of the research said: "This is a pivotal point in the future of wearable electronic devices. The potential has been... » read more

GPUs Dominate (Again) The Green500 List


The Green500 has released its latest list of the top 500 most energy-efficient Supercomputers. The top 17 are heterogeneous systems (systems that use more than one type of processor), with the top 15 systems all using NVIDIA Kepler K20 GPUs paired with Intel Xeon CPUs. Still at the top of the list is the Tokyo Institute of Technology GSIC Center’s TSUBAME-KFC, an oil-cooled Kepler powered ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Jan. 14


MoS2 FETs Two-dimensional materials are gaining steam in the R&D labs. The 2D materials include graphene, boron nitride (BN) and the transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDs). One TMD, molybdenum diselenide (MoS2), is an attractive material for use in future field-effect transistors (FETs). MoS2 has several properties, including a non-zero band gap, atomic scale thickness and pristine int... » read more

Shaking Up The Green500


Barry Pangrle Last September, I wrote about the efficiency of IBM’s Power7+ architecture in my blog. IBM’s Sequoia supercomputer (a BlueGene/Q system) this past June had just shot to the top of the Supercomputing Top500 chart, clocking in at 16.32 petaflop/s on the Linpack benchmark. Other systems built around the IBM BlueGene/Q, Power BQC 16C 1.60GHz, Custom were also dominating the top o... » read more