Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 9


Smaller, cheaper integrated photonics Researchers from the University of California Santa Barbara, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) developed a way to integrate an optical frequency comb on a silicon photonic chip. Optical frequency combs are collections of equally spaced frequencies of laser light (so called because when pl... » read more

Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing


Arm's parent company, Japanese tech conglomerate Softbank, reportedly is considering a sale or IPO of its Arm subsidiary, which it purchased in 2016 for $32 billion in cash. Considering that Arm chips are in most smart phones, as well as an increasing number of computers and IoT and edge devices, this development is being closely followed by most of the tech world. Last week, Softbank directed ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: June 23


Capturing waste heat Researchers at Wuhan University and University of California Los Angeles developed a hydrogel that can both cool down electronics and convert the waste heat into electricity. The thermogalvanic hydrogel consists of a polyacrylamide framework infused with water and specific ions. When they heated the hydrogel, two of the ions (ferricyanide and ferrocyanide) transferred e... » read more

Logic Chip, Heal Thyself


If a single fault can kill a logic chip, that doesn’t bode well for longevity of complex multi-chip systems. Obsolescence in chips is not just an industry ploy to sell more chips. It is a fact of physics that chips don’t last more than a few years, especially if overheated, and hit with higher voltage than it can stand. The testing industry does a great job finding defects during manufac... » read more

Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing


AI/Edge Brewer Science is introducing its first material for permanent bond used in assembling ICs, image sensor devices, and MEMS for devices and packaging that “include low-temperature bonding, extreme chemical resistance, UV or thermal curable bonding process, and no material movement after cure,” according to a press release. The bond is part of the PermaSOL product family. “These hi... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Jan. 28


Fast photography The California Institute of Technology has developed a high-speed camera that can take pictures of transparent objects. The technology, called phase-sensitive compressed ultrafast photography (pCUP), can take up to 1 trillion pictures per second of transparent objects. Potentially, the technology from Caltech could be used in several applications, such as taking photos of s... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 27


The sound of typing Cybersecurity researchers at the Southern Methodist University found a way to detect what a user is typing based on sensor data collected from a nearby smartphone. The team found that acoustic signals produced by typing on a computer keyboard can successfully be picked up by a smartphone, which can then be processed to determine which keys were struck – even in noisy conf... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 13


Smartphone virus scanner Scientists at the University of Tokyo built a new type of virus scanner for smartphones: to detect diseases, not malware. The handheld, portable device uses a smartphone to help scan biological samples for influenza virus. The virus scanner is about the size of a brick, with a slot to position a smartphone such that its camera looks through a lens. Inside the device... » read more

System Bits: June 18


Another win for aUToronto Photo credit: University of Toronto The University of Toronto’s student-led self-driving car team racked up its second consecutive victory last month at the annual AutoDrive Challenge in Ann Arbor, Mich. The three-year challenge goes out to North American universities, offering a Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle to outfit with autonomous driving technology.... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: April 2


DNA programming Computer scientists at California Institute of Technology, University of California, Davis, Maynooth University, and Harvard University created a library of DNA molecules that can self-assemble to compute a variety of algorithms. Each molecule represents a six-bit binary number. The library created by the team is made up of around 700 short pieces, or tiles, of DNA. Each DNA... » read more

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