Power/Performance Bits: May 22


Sensing without battery power Engineers at the National University of Singapore developed an IoT-focused sensor chip that can continue operating when its battery runs out of energy. The chip, BATLESS, uses a power management technique that allows it to self-start and continue to function under dim light without any battery assistance. The chip can operate in two different modes: minimum-ene... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Feb. 13


Silicon spintronics Engineers at the University of California, Riverside, developed new methods to detect signals from spintronic components made of low-cost metals and silicon. Spintronic devices generate little heat, use relatively minuscule amounts of electricity, and would require no energy to maintain data in memory. However, previously developed spintronic devices depend on complex struc... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: July 18


Ad hoc "cache hierarchies" Researchers at MIT and Carnegie Mellon University designed a system that reallocates cache access on the fly, to create new "cache hierarchies" tailored to the needs of particular programs. Dubbed Jenga, the system distinguishes between the physical locations of the separate memory banks that make up the shared cache. For each core, Jenga knows how long it would t... » read more

System Bits: May 2


AI systems echo human prejudices One of the concerns about the of future artificial intelligence systems includes the perception that these machine-based systems are coldly logical and objectively rational, however, this may not be the case. In fact, in a new study by Princeton University researchers has shown how machines can be reflections of their creators in potentially problematic ways. ... » read more

What’s Next For Transistors


The IC industry is moving in several different directions at once. The largest chipmakers continue to march down process nodes with chip scaling, while others are moving towards various advanced packaging schemes. On top of that, post-CMOS devices, neuromorphic chips and quantum computing are all in the works. Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss these technologies with Marie Semeri... » 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: May 10


Topological insulators In a finding that could open up a new pathway to advanced electronic devices and even robust quantum computer architecture, researchers from MIT; Oak Ridge, and Argonne National Laboratories; the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Bochum, Germany; the Institute for Theoretical Solid State Physics in Dresden; the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris; and the Institute of N... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 13


Cooling down FPGAs Georgia Institute of Technology researchers found a way to put liquid cooling a few hundred microns away from where the transistors are operating by cutting microfluidic passages directly into the backsides of production FPGAs. The research, backed by DARPA, is believed to be the first example of liquid cooling directly on an operating high-performance CMOS chip. To ... » read more

System Bits: Aug. 25


Quantum computer building block In a finding that could ultimately be used to produce key components of quantum computers in the future, a team of researchers led by MIT have analyzed an exotic kind of magnetic behavior, driven by the mere proximity of two materials, using a technique called spin-polarized neutron reflectometry. This discovery could also be used to probe a variety of exotic... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 11


Tilting magnets for memory UC Berkeley researchers discovered a new way to switch the polarization of nanomagnets, which may offer a way for high-density storage to move from hard disks onto integrated circuits and potentially open the door to a memory system that can be packed onto a microprocessor. Creating and switching polarity in magnets without an external magnetic field has been a ... » read more

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