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

Power/Performance Bits: June 13


Theoretical all-carbon circuits Engineers at the University of Texas at Dallas, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Central Florida, and Northwestern University designed a novel computing system made solely from carbon. "The concept brings together an assortment of existing nanoscale technologies and combines them in a new way," said Dr. Joseph S. Friedman, ass... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: May 16


Chaos-based IC Researchers at North Carolina State University and the College of Wooster developed a three transistor nonlinear, chaos-based integrated circuit combining digital and analog components, which they hope can improve computational power by enabling processing of a larger number of inputs. In chaos-based, nonlinear circuits, one circuit can perform multiple computations instead... » read more

System Bits: May 9


Graphene adopts exotic electronic states In a platform that may be used to explore avenues for quantum computing, MIT researchers have found that a flake of graphene, when brought in close proximity with two superconducting materials, can inherit some of those materials’ superconducting qualities. They reminded that in normal conductive materials such as silver and copper, electric curren... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: April 18


Cooling hotspots Engineers at Duke University and Intel developed a technology to cool hotspots in high-performance electronics. The new technology relies on a vapor chamber made of a super-hydrophobic floor with a sponge-like ceiling. When placed beneath operating electronics, moisture trapped in the ceiling vaporizes beneath emerging hotspots. The vapor escapes toward the floor, taking hea... » read more

System Bits: Jan. 24


Modified carbon nanotubes used to track individual cells Carbon nanotubes come to the forefront of scientific research yet again, this time for serving as the most sensitive molecular sensing platforms available. MIT engineers believe they have designed sensors that, for the first time, can detect single protein molecules as they are secreted by cells or even a single cell. The sensors that... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Dec. 13


3D porous microsupercapacitors A research team from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) developed an integrated microsupercapacitor targeted at self-powered system applications where the power source may be intermittent, such as sensors for wearables, security, and structural health monitoring. The key to the microsupercapacitors is vertically-scaled three-dimen... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 18


Speeding up memory with T-rays Scientists at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), the University of Regensburg in Germany, Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands, and Moscow Technological University proposed a way to improve the performance of memory through using T-waves, or terahertz radiation, as a means of resetting memory cells. This process is several thousand... » read more

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