System Bits: Sept. 6

How might AI affect urban life in 2030? In an ongoing project hosted by Stanford University to inform societal deliberation and provide guidance on the ethical development of smart software, sensors and machines, a panel of academic and industrial thinkers has looked ahead to 2030 to forecast how advances in artificial intelligence (AI) might affect life in a typical North American city. Th... » read more

System Bits: June 28

Deep-learning-based virtual reality tool Given that future systems which enable people to interact with virtual environments will require computers to interpret the human hand’s nearly endless variety and complexity of changing motions and joint angles, Purdue University researchers have created a convolutional neural network-based system that is capable of deep learning. [caption id="att... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: June 14

3D printed neural networks The European Commission has launched a program that will replicate the brain’s neural network using 3D nano-printing. The program, dubbed the MESO-BRAIN consortium, has received an award of €3.3 million in funding from the European Commission. This research, led by Aston University, also involves Axol Bioscience, Laser Zentrum, the University of Barcelona, th... » read more

Pathfinding Beyond FinFETs

Though the industry will likely continue to find ways to extend CMOS finFET technology further than we thought possible, at some point in the not-so-distant future, making faster, lower power ICs will require more disruptive changes. For something that could be only five to seven years out, there’s a daunting range of contending technologies. Improvements through the process will help, from E... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: March 22

Superconducting memory A group of scientists from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and the Moscow State University developed a fundamentally new type of memory cell based on superconductors, which they believe will be able to work hundreds of times faster than memory devices commonly used today. The basic memory cells are based on quantum effects in "sandwiches" of supercond... » 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: Feb. 10

Solar power technology progresses at a snappy pace and the diversity of approaches keeps expanding. In this edition, investigations in two aspects of solar energy design: understanding a potential solar cell material and a design to make those we use now more effective. Unravelling the peculiarities of nanocrystals Researchers at ETH Zurich conducted an extensive study of nanocrystal ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: April 8

Spit power According to researchers at Penn State who’ve created a saliva-powered micro-sized microbial fuel cell, their invention can produce minute amounts of energy sufficient to run on-chip applications. Researcher Justine E. Mink has been credited with the idea as she was thinking about sensors for such things as glucose monitoring for diabetics and wondered if a mini microbial fuel ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Feb. 18

Outperforming copper Carbon nanotube-based fibers invented at Rice University have greater capacity to carry electrical current than copper cables of the same mass -- on a pound-per-pound basis -- according to new research. While individual nanotubes are capable of transmitting nearly 1,000 times more current than copper, the same tubes coalesced into a fiber using other technologies fail l... » read more

The List Of Unknowns Grows After Silicon

As discussed earlier in this series, most proposed alternative channel schemes depend on germanium channels for pMOS transistors, and InGaAs channels for nMOS transistors. Of the two materials, InGaAs poses by far the more difficult integration challenges. Germanium has been present in advanced silicon CMOS fabs for several technology generations, having been introduced used in strained silicon... » read more

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