5 Major Shifts In Automotive

Much of the automotive industry has begun repositioning and retrenching over the past few months, pushing back the projected rollout for fully autonomous vehicles and changing direction on power sources and technology used in the next-generation of electric vehicles. Taken together, these shifts mark a significant departure for traditional automakers, which find themselves playing catch-up t... » read more

Betting On Hydrogen-Powered Cars

The automotive industry is taking another look at hydrogen fuel cells, but how they ultimately fare depends on a combination of consumer demand, automaker investment and infrastructure build-out. Hydrogen fuel cell technology has been steadily advancing over the past six decades since the first practical fuel cell system was demonstrated by Cambridge engineering professor Francis Bacon. The ... » read more

Fuel Cells And The IoE

There is no arguing with the fact that civilization is consuming power like never before. Even with a growing awareness of energy conservation at all levels, and across all types of platforms the world’s appetite for energy is growing, logarithmically. And technology is not going to be able to make conventional energy sources efficient, and earth-friendly enough to supply all that will be nee... » read more

Technical Overview of Fuel Cell Systems

Fuel cells offer the means for the conversion of chemical energy in hydrogen rich fuels (fossil and renewable) directly to electricity without having to generate thermal energy as an intermediate step. In a fuel cell, the fuel and oxidizer, usually the oxygen in air, react electrochemically to produce water and heat. The entire fuel cell system includes the fuel cell and a number of additional ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 22

Photonic memories A team of researchers from Oxford University, the University of Münster, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, and the University of Exeter produced the first all-photonic nonvolatile memory chip. The new device uses the phase-change material Ge2Sb2Te5 (GST), used in rewritable CDs and DVDs, to store data. This material can be made to assume an amorphous state, like glass... » read more

Energy Harvesting Makes Progress

The dream of a self-powered device has been around for a long time—thousands of years, in fact. The first windmills and waterwheels date back to ancient Greece and the beginning of recorded history. Self-winding timepieces date back to the late 1700s. The Foucault pendulum has been in motion in Paris, minus some brief hiatuses, since 1851. And it's been 144 years since two French physicists d... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: July 15

Improving battery performance with sand Researchers at the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering have created a lithium ion battery that outperforms the current industry standard by three times using sand as the key material. The researchers, who said this is a low cost, non-toxic, environmentally-friendly way to produce high performance lithium ion battery a... » read more

Fill ‘Er Up With Hydrogen

Japan’s Nihon Keizai Newspaper reported recently that Toyota and Honda would release fuel cell vehicles (FCV) in 2015 at a price of 10 million yen ($98,000) or less. This follows a decline in popularity of electric vehicles due to limited range per charge. FCVs use a generator rather than a battery, which means they need to be filled with hydrogen. The current cost of an FCV is more than 1... » read more

Putting Energy In Perspective

The resurgent interest in 2.5D stacked die, the introduction of ultra-low-power memory and the relentless focus on low power for the Internet of Things are rather predictable progressions to engineers working in the semiconductor industry. What’s less obvious is how these changes are filtering out into the rest of the market and where it needs to go next. While many people have been talkin... » read more