Chipmakers Look To New Materials


Graphene, the wonder material rediscovered in 2004, and a host of other two-dimensional materials are gaining ground in manufacturing semiconductors as silicon’s usefulness begins to fade. And while there are a number of compounds in use already, such as gallium arsenide, gallium nitride, and silicon carbide, those materials generally are being confined to specific niche applications. Tran... » read more

Pushing DRAM’s Limits


If humans ever do create a genuinely self-aware artificial intelligence, it may well exhibit the frustration of waiting for data arrive. The access bandwidth of DRAM-based computer memory has improved by a factor of 20x over the past two decades. Capacity increased 128x during the same period. But latency improved only 1.3x, according to Kevin Chang, a researcher at Carnegie Mellon Universit... » read more

System Bits: Nov. 21


MIT-Lamborghini to develop electric car Members of the MIT community were recently treated to a glimpse of the future as they passed through the Stata Center courtyard as the Lamborghini Terzo Millenio (Third Millennium) was in view, which is an automobile prototype for the third millennium. [caption id="attachment_429209" align="alignnone" width="300"] Lamborghini is relying on MIT to make i... » read more

System Bits: Nov. 7


Exposing logic errors in deep neural networks In a new approach meant to brings transparency to self-driving cars and other self-taught systems, researchers at Columbia and Lehigh universities have come up with a way to automatically error-check the thousands to millions of neurons in a deep learning neural network. Their tool — DeepXplore — feeds confusing, real-world inputs into the ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 31


Battery material supplies Researchers at MIT, the University of California at Berkeley, and the Rochester Institute of Technology conducted an analysis of whether there are enough raw materials to support increased lithium-ion battery production, expected to grow significantly due to electric vehicles and grid-connected battery systems. They conclude that while in the near future there shou... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 17


Harvesting body heat Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology developed a flexible, wearable thermoelectric generator that can harvest energy from body heat to power simple biosensors. Thermoelectric generators have been available for decades, but standard designs use inflexible inorganic materials that are too toxic for use in wearable devices. The team's device uses thousands... » read more

System Bits: Sept. 12


Neural network cautionary tale As machine learning and neural networks proliferate widely today, there is a need to exercise caution in how they are employed, according to Stanford University researchers Michal Kosinki and Yilun Wang. In a study conducted recently, they have shown that deep neural networks can be used to determine the sexual orientation of a person, and caution that this ma... » read more

Toward Defining Qubits


Quantum computing, by many accounts the future of high-performance computing, will be blazing fast, state-dependent, and it will require extremely cold operating temperatures. But beyond some general areas of agreement, comparing progress made by companies or different research groups is confusing. What's missing is a simple nomenclature to define some of the basic technology used in quantum... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 5


Energy-harvesting yarn Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas and Hanyang University in South Korea developed a carbon nanotube yarn that generates electricity when stretched or twisted. Possible applications for the so-called "twistron" yarns include harvesting energy from the motion of ocean waves or from temperature fluctuations. When sewn into a shirt, these yarns served as a sel... » read more

System Bits: Aug. 29


Could video goggles, and a tiny implant cure blindness? Incredibly, the world of medical research is on the verge of curing blindness. Similar to cochlear implants for deaf people, Stanford University scientists and engineers are developing new devices to this end, including a bionic vision system based on photovoltaic implants, which is awaiting approval for human clinical trials in Europe. A... » read more

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