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Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 28


Pneumatic memory Engineers at the University of California Riverside developed a pneumatic memory that can be used to control soft robots. Pneumatic soft robots use pressurized air to move soft, rubbery limbs and grippers, making them ideal for delicate tasks as well as safer to be around. However, they still require electronic valves and computers to control and maintain positions. The ... » read more

Security Research Bits


A number of hardware security-related technical papers were presented at the August 2021 USENIX Security Symposium. The organization provides open access research, and the presentation slides and papers are free to the public. Topics include side-channel attacks and defenses, embedded security, hardware security tokens, and more. Here are some highlights with associated links:   [tab... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 21


Catching switches in action Researchers from SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University, Hewlett Packard Labs, Penn State University, and Purdue University observed atoms moving inside an electronic switch as it turns on and off, revealing a state they suspect could lead to faster, more energy-efficient devices. "This research is a breakthrough in ultrafast technology and sci... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 14


Thermal management material Engineers at the University of California Los Angeles integrated a new thermal management material, boron arsenide, with a HEMT chip to demonstrate the material's potential. The team developed boron arsenide as a thermal management material in 2018 and found it to be very effective at drawing and dissipating heat. In the latest experiments, they used wide band... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 8


Backscatter radios for 5G Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Nokia Bell Labs, and Heriot-Watt University propose using backscatter radios to support high-throughput communication and 5G-speed Gb/sec data transfer using only a single transistor. “Our breakthrough is being able to communicate over 5G/millimeter-wave (mmWave) frequencies without actually having a full mmWave... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 31


Securing memory Researchers at Columbia University suggest several ways to make computing more secure without imposing a system performance penalty. The efforts focus on memory security, specifically pointers. "Memory safety has been a problem for nearly 40 years and numerous solutions have been proposed. We believe that memory safety continues to be a problem because it does not distribute... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 24


Low power AI Engineers at the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) designed an SoC for edge AI applications that can run on solar power or a small battery. The SoC consists of an ASIC chip with RISC-V processor developed at CSEM along with two tightly coupled machine-learning accelerators: one for face detection, for example, and one for classification. The first is a bin... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 17


Digital fiber Researchers at MIT, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, and Rhode Island School of Design developed a digital fiber that can sense, store, analyze, and infer activity after being sewn into a shirt. "This work presents the first realization of a fabric with the ability to store and process data digitally, adding a new information content dimension to textiles and a... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 9


Capacitors in interposers Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology developed a 3D functional interposer containing an embedded capacitor. They tout the design as saving package area and reducing wiring length, resulting in less noise and power consumption. The capacitive elements are embedded inside a 300mm silicon piece using permanent adhesive and mold resin. The interconnects between ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 3


Efficient ADC Researchers at Brigham Young University, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, Texas Instruments, and University of California Los Angeles designed a new power-efficient high-speed analog-to-digital converter. The ADC consumes only 21 milli-Watts of power at 10GHz for ultra-wideband wireless communications, much lower than other ADCs that consume hundreds of milli-Watts to... » read more

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