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Power/Performance Bits: July 20


Shrinking RFID chips Researchers at North Carolina State University built a new, tiny RFID chip. They expect the chip to help drive down costs for RFID tags, making it possible to embed them in more things for supply chain security. "As far as we can tell, it's the world's smallest Gen2-compatible RFID chip," said Paul Franzon, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NC State. I... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: May 18


Efficient high-voltage power conversion Researchers from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Enkris Semiconductor are working to design new power transistors with the aim of improving power converter efficiency. "We see examples of electric power losses every day, such as when the charger of your laptop heats up," said Elison Matioli, head of EPFL's POWERlab, noting that ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: April 27


Energy-harvesting shirt Engineers at the University of California San Diego developed a 'wearable microgrid' that harvests and stores energy from the human body to power small electronics. The microgrid consists of three main parts: sweat-powered biofuel cells, motion-powered triboelectric generators, and energy-storing supercapacitors. All parts are flexible, washable and can be screen pri... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: April 14


Undoped polymer ink Researchers at Linköping University, Chalmers University of Technology, University of Washington, University of Cologne, Chiba University, and Yunnan University developed an organic ink for printable electronics that doesn't need to be doped for good conductivity. "We normally dope our organic polymers to improve their conductivity and the device performance. The proces... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: March 3


Optimizing fiber networks Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology are working towards reducing the energy consumption of fiber optic communications before the amount of electricity required by the Internet becomes too great to manage. To improve overall efficiency, the team tackled several aspects of fiber optic cables. One of the major energy drains the team identified was the err... » read more

System Bits: Oct. 1


Jumping the gap in microchips A quasi-particle that travels along the interface of a metal and dielectric material may be the solution to problems caused by shrinking electronic components, according to an international team of engineers. "Microelectronic chips are ubiquitous today," said Akhlesh Lakhtakia, Evan Pugh University Professor and Charles Godfrey Binder Professor of Engineering S... » read more

System Bits: Sept. 17


Quantum computing R&D in Germany IBM is teaming with the Fraunhofer Society for research and development of quantum computing technology, backed by the German government, which is providing €650 million (about $715.4 million) in funding over two years for the program. IBM has agreed to install a Q System One system at one of its facilities in Germany for the program. The system has 20... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: July 23


Image-recognizing glass Engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, MIT, and Columbia University developed a way to create 'smart' glass capable of performing image recognition tasks without the need for electronics or power. "We're using optics to condense the normal setup of cameras, sensors and deep neural networks into a single piece of thin glass," said Zongfu Yu, electrical and ... » read more

System Bits: April 30


Future batteries could use a graphene sponge Researchers at Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology devised a porous, sponge-like aerogel, made of reduced-graphene oxide, to serve as a freestanding electrode in the battery cell. This utilization has the potential to advance lithium sulfur batteries, which are said to possess a theoretical energy density about five times greater than lithi... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 30


Long-term solar energy storage Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology and Universidad de La Rioja created a system capable of storing solar energy for extended periods of time. The system, called Molecular Solar Thermal Energy Storage (MOST), hinges on a molecular photoswitch made from carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen. When the molecule is hit by sunlight, it turns into an energy-rich... » read more

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