Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 9

Phase-change memory Researchers at Stanford are working on phase-change memory technology, which could deliver the best of volatile and non-volatile memory. Phase-change materials can exist in two different atomic structures, each of which has a different electronic state. A crystalline, or ordered, atomic structure, permits the flow of electrons, while an amorphous, or disordered, struct... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: June 7

Tiny lasers on silicon A group of scientists from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the University of California, Santa Barbara, Sandia National Laboratories, and Harvard University were able to fabricate tiny lasers directly on silicon. To do this, they first had to resolve silicon crystal lattice defects to a point where the cavities were essentially equivalent to those gr... » read more

System Bits: Dec. 29

Optoelectronics built using existing manufacturing Using only processes found in existing microchip fabrication facilities, researchers at MIT, the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of Colorado have produced a working optoelectronic microprocessor that computes electronically but uses light to move information. The researchers reminded that optical communications prom... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Dec. 15

Biologically powered chip Columbia Engineering researchers powered an integrated circuit from adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy currency of life. They achieved this by integrating a conventional solid-state CMOS integrated circuit with an artificial lipid bilayer membrane containing ATP-powered ion pumps, opening the door to creating entirely new artificial systems that contain both b... » 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: March 3

Black phosphorus photodetectors Phosphorus, a highly reactive element commonly found in match heads, tracer bullets, and fertilizers, can be turned into a stable crystalline form known as black phosphorus. In a new study, researchers from the University of Minnesota used an ultrathin black phosphorus film 20 atoms thick to demonstrate high-speed data communication on nanoscale optical circui... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Feb. 3

Bulletproof vests for batteries It was almost two years ago that the Boeing Dreamliner was grounded because of fires caused by its lithium-ion batteries. Now researchers at the University of Michigan have used nanofibers extracted from Kevlar, best known as the material in bulletproof vests, to create a new barrier between the electrodes in a lithium-ion battery. Lithium atoms in batterie... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Dec. 30

Crafting ultrathin color coatings Harvard University researchers have developed a technique that coats a metallic object with an extremely thin layer of semiconductor, just a few nanometers thick. And while the semiconductor is a steely gray color, the object ends up shining in vibrant hues because the coating exploits interference effects in the thin films. Carefully tuned in the laboratory, ... » read more

When Will 2.5D Cut Costs?

There is a constant drive to reduce costs within the semiconductor industry and, up until now, [getkc id="74" comment="Moore's Law"] provided an easy path to enable this. By adopting each smaller node, transistors were cheaper, but that is no longer the case, as explained in a recent article. The industry will need to find new technologies to make this happen and some people are looking towards... » read more