Manufacturing Bits: Nov. 13


Power beams The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory and PowerLight Technologies have demonstrated the ability to transmit energy using a long-range, free-space power beaming system. The system is being developed as part of the Power Transmitted Over Laser (PTROL) project. The system consists of two 13-foot-high towers. One tower consists of 2-kilowatt laser transmitter. The other tower consist o... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Nov. 11


Smaller DACs and ADCs Researchers at the National University of Singapore invented a novel class of Digital-to-Analog (DAC) and Analog-to-Digital Converters (ADC) that use a fully-digital architecture. This digital architecture means design time for sensor interfaces can be reduced from months to hours with a fully-automated digital design methodology, the team said. It also has the benefit... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Nov. 5


Nanoliter measurements The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed an optofluidic measurement system that can measure the flow of liquids at the nanoliter scale. Targeted for the field of microfluidics, the system can measure the flow of liquids as small as 10 billionths of a liter per minute. A nanoliter (nL) is one billionth of a liter. A liter is 33.814 ounces... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Nov. 5


Conductive yarn Researchers at Drexel University created an electrically conductive coating for yarn that withstands wearing, washing, and industrial textile manufacturing. Rather than using metallic fibers, the coating is made up of different sized flakes of the two-dimensional material MXene, which was applied to standard cellulose-based yarns. Titanium carbide MXene can be produced in f... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Oct. 29


Searching for dark energy The first tests have been conducted on a new cosmic cartography system that will soon search for dark energy and galaxies in the universe. The system, called the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI), is a complex unit with 5,000 fiber-optic eyes. The DESI system is mounted on top of the 4-meter Mayall Telescope at the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Ariz... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 29


Chip scanning Researchers at the University of Southern California and the Paul Scherer Institut in Switzerland developed an x-ray technique to non-destructively scan chips to make sure they conform to specifications. Such a system could be used to identify manufacturing defects or malicious alterations, the team said. Called ptychographic x-ray laminography, the technique utilizes x-rays f... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Oct. 22


3.5D chip packaging In a recent paper, PacTech has described a vertical laser assisted bonding process for use in developing advanced 3.5D chip packages. Laser assisted bonding (LAB) is an interconnection technology used in IC packaging. It uses a laser as a thermal energy, which in turn connects a die bump and a substrate pad, according to Amkor, which is the original developer of LAB tech... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 22


Flexible battery Researchers at ETH Zurich developed a flexible thin-film battery that can be bent, stretched, and twisted without interrupting the supply of power. Key to the battery is a new electrolyte and entirely flexible components. "To date, no one has employed exclusively flexible components as systematically as we have in creating a lithium-ion battery," said Markus Niederberger, P... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Oct. 15


Sandia’s fab upgrade Sandia National Laboratories has completed the first phase of a three-year upgrade program in its semiconductor wafer fab. The goal of the program is to convert Sandia’s Albuquerque, N.M.-based fab from 150mm (6-inch) to 200mm (8-inch) wafer sizes. As part of the move, Sandia is converting its 0.35-micron (350nm) rad-hard process from 150mm to 200mm. The process is ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 15


Probabilistic computing Researchers at Purdue University and Tohoku University built a hardware demonstration of a probabilistic computer utilizing p-bits to perform quantum computer-like calculations. The team says probabilistic computing could bridge the gap between classical and quantum computing and more efficiently solve problems in areas such as drug research, encryption and cybersecurit... » read more

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