Manufacturing Bits: July 26

Jumping films Riken and the University of Tokyo have developed a tiny autonomous actuator. The actuator, which is based on a special material, can automatically curl up or straighten out when exposed to ambient humidity. And in certain conditions, the film can even jump into the air by itself. A video can be seen here. Researchers placed a material called guanidinium carbonate into a hig... » read more

System Bits: March 8

Living, breathing supercomputers Adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the substance that provides energy to all the cells in the human body, may also be able to power the next generation of supercomputers, according to McGill University researchers. The team has described a model of a biological computer that they have created that is able to process information very quickly and accurately using p... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Feb. 2

Single electron transistors A group coordinated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) is setting out on a four year program to develop single electron transistors fully compatible with CMOS technology and capable of room temperature operation. The single electron transistor (SET) switches electricity by means of a single electron. The SET is based on a quantum dot (consisting... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Jan. 12

World’s smallest magnet The University of Tokyo has developed what researchers claim is the world's smallest nano-magnet. The nano-size ferrite magnet consists of iron oxide. With the material, researches devised a 7.5nm structure with magnetic properties. [caption id="attachment_24751" align="alignleft" width="300"] Charting the world's smallest magnet (Source: Shin-ichi Ohkoshi)[/ca... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Dec. 8

Reducing transistor switching power One of the great challenges in electronics has been to reduce power consumption during transistor switching operation. However, engineers at University of California, Santa Barbara, and Rice University demonstrated a new transistor that switches at only 0.1 volts and reduces power dissipation by over 90% compared to state-of-the-art MOSFETs. "The steepn... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: July 14

Photo-doping semiconductors Scientists at Michigan State University found that by shooting an ultrafast laser pulse into a semiconducting material, its properties would change as if it had been chemically doped, in a process known as photo-doping. "The material we studied is an unconventional semiconductor made of alternating atomically thin layers of metals and insulators," said Chong-Yu... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: May 12

Quantum teleportation on a chip Researchers at the University of Tokyo have successfully integrated the core circuits of quantum teleportation, which generate and detect quantum entanglement, into silica-optical-waveguide circuits on a silicon photonic chip measuring 0.0001 square meters. While there has been significant progress in current technology of information processing, its perfor... » read more

System Bits: March 31

Virtual nose reduces video game simulator sickness While virtual reality games often cause simulator sickness – inducing vertigo and sometimes nausea — new research by Purdue University points to a potential strategy to ease the affliction: adding a virtual nose. They explained that a number of physiological systems control the onset of simulator sickness including a person's overall se... » read more

System Bits: Nov. 18

Phase transitions between liquid, gas Researchers from the University of Tokyo and Tokyo Institute of Technology reminded that materials change their form between three states -- solid, liquid, and gas -- depending on factors such as temperature and pressure. However, a phase transition does not necessarily occur between liquid and gas, and they can continuously transform from the one to the o... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 26

Making light work of snaps 'Superradiance', a phenomenon where a group of atoms charged up with energy act collectively to release a far more intense pulse of light than they would individually, is well-known to physicists. In theory the effect can be reversed to create a device that draws in light ultra-efficiently. This could be revolutionary for devices ranging from digital cameras to solar... » read more

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