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

System Bits: Aug. 4

Turning electric signals into light signals Transmitting large amounts of data, such as those needed to keep the internet running, requires high-performance modulators that turn electric signals into light signals, and now, researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a modulator they say is a hundred times smaller than conventional models. They reminded that in 1880, Alexander Graham Bell deve... » read more

System Bits: July 28

Massless particles for faster electronics Princeton University researchers along with an international team have finally proved a massless particle that had been theorized for 85 years. They say this particle could give rise to faster and more efficient electronics because of its unusual ability to behave as matter and antimatter inside a crystal. [caption id="attachment_21431" align="align... » read more

System Bits: July 21

White graphene can take the heat According to researchers at Rice University, 3D boron nitride structures excel at thermal management for electronics. Rice researchers Rouzbeh Shahsavari and Navid Sakhavand have completed the first theoretical analysis of how 3D boron nitride might be used as a tunable material to control heat flow in such devices. In its 2D form, hexagonal boron nitride... » read more

System Bits: April 21

DARPA's Research DARPA's Semiconductor Technology Advanced Research Network, aka Starnet, unveiled its research plans for 2015 and 2016. Topping the list in 2015 is an investigation into the feasibility of using advanced 2D materials for ultra low-power devices, along with the fab methodology, modeling and simulation tools necessary to make it all work. The fiscal 2015 research will look a... » read more

System Bits: Feb. 24

New solder for semis A research team led by the University of Chicago has demonstrated how semiconductors can be soldered and still deliver good electronic performance by working out new chemistry for a broad class of compositions relevant to semiconductors. The compounds that the team developed can be used to join pieces of semiconductor, which researchers have longed struggled with. Th... » read more

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