The Good And Bad Of 2D Materials


Despite years of warnings about reaching the limits of silicon, particularly at leading-edge process nodes where electron mobility is limited, there still is no obvious replacement. Silicon’s decades-long dominance of the integrated circuit industry is only partly due to the material’s electronic properties. Germanium, gallium arsenide, and many other semiconductors offer superior mobili... » read more

System Bits: Jan. 8


Measure twice, cut once University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center researchers are working with a robotic device that can perform laparoscopic surgery through a single incision, an operation that typically requires five or six small incisions. The device is called the SP Robot, developed by Intuitive Surgical. It features four arms that go into the body through a 1-inch incision. UT South... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Jan. 8


Ferrimagnetic memory Engineers at the National University of Singapore, Toyota Technological Institute, and Korea University propose a new type of spintronic memory that is 20 times more efficient and 10 times more stable than commercial ones. In spintronic devices, data is stored depending on up or down magnetic states. Current devices based on ferromagnets, however, suffer from a few issu... » read more

System Bits: Sept. 25


Schottky diodes: One 2D material equation to rule them all Specifying the right materials for the heterostructure of 2D Schottky diodes—which consist of a metal touching a semiconductor—means designers have to wade through sometimes conflicting theoretical models to select materials. “It is not uncommon to see a model, whose underlying physics fundamentally contradicts with the physical ... » read more

Chipmakers Look To New Materials


Graphene, the wonder material rediscovered in 2004, and a host of other two-dimensional materials are gaining ground in manufacturing semiconductors as silicon’s usefulness begins to fade. And while there are a number of compounds in use already, such as gallium arsenide, gallium nitride, and silicon carbide, those materials generally are being confined to specific niche applications. Tran... » read more

System Bits: Aug. 29


Could video goggles, and a tiny implant cure blindness? Incredibly, the world of medical research is on the verge of curing blindness. Similar to cochlear implants for deaf people, Stanford University scientists and engineers are developing new devices to this end, including a bionic vision system based on photovoltaic implants, which is awaiting approval for human clinical trials in Europe. A... » read more

System Bits: Sept. 6


How might AI affect urban life in 2030? In an ongoing project hosted by Stanford University to inform societal deliberation and provide guidance on the ethical development of smart software, sensors and machines, a panel of academic and industrial thinkers has looked ahead to 2030 to forecast how advances in artificial intelligence (AI) might affect life in a typical North American city. Th... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Feb. 16


Monoxide chips Two-dimensional (2D) materials are gaining steam in the R&D labs. The 2D materials could enable a new class of field-effect transistors (FETs), but the technology isn’t expected to appear until sometime in the next decade. The 2D materials include graphene, boron nitride and the transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDs). One TMD, molybdenum diselenide (MoS2), is gaining inter... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 29


Printing hair Using a low-cost, 3D printing technique, Carnegie Mellon University has found a way to produce hair-like strands and fibers. The printer produces plastic hair strand by strand. It takes about 20-25 minutes to generate hair on 10 square millimeters. A video can be seen here. [caption id="attachment_24544" align="alignleft" width="300"] 3D printed hair (Photo: Carnegie Mellon... » read more

System Bits: Sept.1


The quantum description of nature In quantum mechanics, the underlying physical rules that govern the fundamental behavior of matter and light at the atomic scale state that nothing can quite be completely at rest, but now for the first time, a team of researchers from Caltech, McGill University, and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light has found a way to observe—and control—t... » read more

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