Reworking Established Nodes


New technology markets and a flattening in smartphone growth has sparked a resurgence in older technology processes. For many of these up-and-coming applications, there is no compelling reason to migrate to the latest process node, and equipment companies and fabs are rushing to fill the void. As with all electronic devices, the focus is on cost-cutting. But because these markets are likely ... » read more

Materials For Future Electronics


Examining the research underway in electronics materials provides a keyhole view into what may be possible in future electronics design. Although some of this research will not end up in commercial products, it does provide an indication of the kinds of problems that are being addressed, how they are being approached, and where the research dollars are being spent. Flexible electronics are a... » read more

System Bits: May 9


Graphene adopts exotic electronic states In a platform that may be used to explore avenues for quantum computing, MIT researchers have found that a flake of graphene, when brought in close proximity with two superconducting materials, can inherit some of those materials’ superconducting qualities. They reminded that in normal conductive materials such as silver and copper, electric curren... » read more

Speeding Up Neural Networks


Neural networking is gaining traction as the best way of collecting and moving critical data from the physical world and processing it in the digital world. Now the question is how to speed up this whole process. But it isn't a straightforward engineering challenge. Neural networking itself is in a state of almost constant flux and development, which makes it something of a moving target. Th... » read more

System Bits: April 4


Nanodevices for extreme environments in space, on earth Researchers at the Stanford Extreme Environment Microsystems Laboratory (XLab) are on a mission to conquer conditions such as those found on Venus: a hot surface pelted with sulfuric acid rains, 480 degrees C, an atmosphere that would fry today’s electronics. By developing heat-, corrosion- and radiation-resistant electronics, the team ... » read more

System Bits: March 28


Automating biology experiments with adapted Lego kit To bring more of the features of modern biology labs — that often use robotic assemblies to drop precise amounts of fluids into experimental containers — to students and teachers, Stanford University researchers have shown how an off-the-shelf Lego kit can be modified to create inexpensive automated systems to do this in clubs or classro... » read more

System Bits: March 21


Sensors vulnerable to sonic cyber attacks According to University of Michigan researchers, sound waves could be used to hack into critical sensors in a wide range of technologies including smartphones, automobiles, medical devices and IoT devices. New research calls into question the longstanding computer science tenet that software can automatically trust hardware sensors, which feed auton... » read more

System Bits: March 14


Neuromorphic computing While for five decades, Moore’s law held up pretty well, today, transistors and other electronic components are so small they’re beginning to bump up against fundamental physical limits on their size, and because Moore’s law has reached its end, it’s going to take something different to meet the need for computing that is ever faster, cheaper and more efficient. ... » read more

What Does An AI Chip Look Like?


Depending upon your point of reference, artificial intelligence will be the next big thing or it will play a major role in all of the next big things. This explains the frenzy of activity in this sector over the past 18 months. Big companies are paying billions of dollars to acquire startup companies, and even more for R&D. In addition, governments around the globe are pouring additional... » read more

System Bits: Feb. 21


Recreating the brain Stanford University and Sandia National Laboratories researchers have created an organic, high-performance, low-energy artificial synapse for neural network computing that aims to better recreate the way the human brain processes information, and could also lead to improvements in brain-machine technologies. Alberto Salleo, associate professor of materials science and e... » read more

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