Power/Performance Bits: July 3


Graphene foam devices Scientists at Rice University developed a method for building conductive, three-dimensional objects out of graphene foam, which they say could offer new possibilities for energy storage and flexible electronic sensor applications. The same lab initially created laser-induced graphene, or LIG, in 2014. The process involves heating inexpensive polyimide plastic sheets wi... » read more

The Growing Materials Challenge


By Katherine Derbyshire & Ed Sperling Materials have emerged as a growing challenge across the semiconductor supply chain, as chips continue to scale, or as they are utilized in new devices such as sensors for AI or machine learning systems. Engineered materials are no longer optional at advanced nodes. They are now a requirement, and the amount of new material content in chips contin... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Feb. 6


Recycling cathodes Nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego developed an energy-efficient recycling process that restores used cathodes from spent lithium ion batteries. The process involves harvesting the degraded cathode particles from a used battery and then boiling and heat treating them. In new batteries built with the cathodes, charge storage capacity, charging time and ba... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Jan. 30


Wavy display architecture Researchers at KAUST developed a new transistor architecture for flexible ultrahigh resolution devices aimed at boosting the performance of the display circuitry. Flat-panel displays use thin-film transistors, acting as switches, to control the electric current that activates individual pixels consisting of LEDs or liquid crystals. A higher field-effect mobility of... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Jan. 16


Lithium-iron-oxide battery Scientists at Northwestern University and Argonne National Laboratory developed a rechargeable lithium-iron-oxide battery that can cycle more lithium ions than its common lithium-cobalt-oxide counterpart, leading to a much higher capacity. For their battery, the team not only replaced cobalt with iron, but forced oxygen to participate in the reaction process as we... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Dec. 19


Stabilizing perovskites Scientists at EPFL and the University of Cordoba found a way to improve the stability of perovskite solar cells. While perovskites show promising efficiencies as solar cells, they are soft crystalline materials and prone to problems due to decomposition over time. By introducing the large organic cation guanidinium (CH6N3+) into methylammonium lead iodide perovskites, t... » read more

Silicon’s Long Game


The era of all-silicon substrates and copper wires may be coming to an end. Progress in the future increasingly depends on more exotic combinations of materials that are developed for specific applications. But after years of predicting the death of silicon, it appears those predictions may be premature. That's not always obvious, given the growing number of chemical combinations being creat... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Dec. 5


Solar jet fuel Researchers at ETH Zurich demonstrated the ability to use solar energy to create the precursor to jet fuel from water and carbon dioxide, a process that could lead to carbon-neutral air travel. The scientists performed 295 consecutive cycles in a 4 kW solar reactor, yielding 700 standard liters of hydrogen and carbon monoxide (syngas), the precursor to kerosene and other liqu... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Nov. 7


Speeding up MRAM Researchers at UC Berkeley and UC Riverside developed an ultrafast method for electrically controlling magnetism in certain metals, which could lead to increased performance for magnetic RAM. While the nonvolatility of MRAM is a boon, speeding up the writing of a single bit of information to less than 10 nanoseconds has been a challenge. “The development of a non-volatile... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: July 18


Ad hoc "cache hierarchies" Researchers at MIT and Carnegie Mellon University designed a system that reallocates cache access on the fly, to create new "cache hierarchies" tailored to the needs of particular programs. Dubbed Jenga, the system distinguishes between the physical locations of the separate memory banks that make up the shared cache. For each core, Jenga knows how long it would t... » read more

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