Power/Performance Bits: Nov. 29


PV technology comparison Joshua J. Romero at the IEEE Spectrum put together an overview of photovoltaic technologies, including the world records for each type of cell, grouped into five broad categories. There is a brief overview of each cell type and some of its trade-offs. He also looks at how fast each technology has made efficiency gains. The most rapid progress is being seen in high... » read more

Energy Harvesting Gains Steam


Energy harvesting is gaining traction with a surge in ultra-low-power IoT applications, ranging from inventory tracking, wearables and drones, to vibration sensors for motors in industrial settings. The idea that machines could run without batteries—or that energy could be harvested either from motion or ambient sound waves or chemical reactions to augment battery power—has been in the w... » read more

System Bits: Oct. 11


Carbon Is So 2015 Researchers at MIT have created a supercapacitor that relies on a material other than carbon. This new class of materials, called metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), are a porous and sponge-like, according to MIT, tthereby providing a much larger surface area than carbon. As with most things electrical, more surface area is essential for superconductors. The problem the re... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 30


Scalable data center chip Princeton University researchers designed a new scalable chip specifically for data centers and massive computing systems. The team believes the chip, called Piton, can substantially increase processing speed while slashing energy needs. The chip architecture is scalable; designs can be built that go from a dozen cores to several thousand. Also, the architecture ... » read more

Keeping The Lights On


IoT is comprised of numerous industries. For the sake of analysis, these can be segmented into several tiers that function as independent networks or integrated complicated meshes. In my November post I examined the three-tier IoT architecture at a high level. Then last month I focused on the rapidly expanding market of intelligent gateways. Gateways receive information from cloud applicatio... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: April 7


Hybrid supercapacitors Researchers at UCLA combined the best qualities of batteries and supercapacitors in a new 3-D hybrid supercapacitor. Based on laser-scribed graphene and manganese dioxide, the new component stores large amounts of energy, recharges quickly and can last for more than 10,000 recharge cycles. The team also created a microsupercapacitor small enough to fit in wearable o... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 7


Crumpled graphene MIT researchers have now found that crumpling a piece of graphene “paper” — a material formed by bonding together layers of the 2D form of carbon — can yield properties that could be useful for creating extremely stretchable supercapacitors to store energy for flexible electronic devices, such as wearable or implantable biomedical sensors. The team said the new, fl... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 29


Supercapacitor for electricity storage With the potential for solar cells that produce electricity 24/7 and mobile phones with built-in power cells that recharge in seconds and work for weeks between charges, researchers at Vanderbilt University have created a novel supercapacitor design with these and other applications in mind. They believe it is the first supercapacitor made out of silic... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 10


Using DNA to assemble transistors from graphene Graphene is a sheet of carbon atoms arrayed in a honeycomb pattern, just a single atom thick. It could be a better semiconductor than silicon – if we could fashion it into ribbons 20 to 50 atoms wide. Could DNA help? Stanford chemical engineering professor Zhenan Bao, believes it could. Bao and her team of researchers hope to solve a problem... » read more