Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 16


On-chip modulator Researchers at Harvard SEAS and Nokia Bell Labs boosted shrunk down an important component of optoelectronics with an on-chip modulator that is 100 times smaller and 20 times more efficient than current lithium niobite (LN) modulators. Lithium niobate modulators form the basis of modern telecommunications, converting electronic data to optical information in fiber optic ca... » read more

Reconfigurable eFPGA For Aerospace Applications


Market research reports indicate about 10% of all dollar revenue of FPGA chips is for use in aerospace applications, and DARPA/DoD reports indicate about one-third of all dollar volume of ICs purchased by U.S. aerospace are FPGAs. FPGAs clearly are very important for aerospace applications because of a combination of short development time and the long mission life of many aerospace applica... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: May 8


Cobalt-free cathodes Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, built lithium-ion battery cathodes without cobalt that can store 50% more energy than traditional cobalt-containing cathodes. Currently, lithium-ion battery cathodes use layered structures, which cobalt is necessary to maintain. When lithium ions move from the cathode to anode during charging, a lot of space is left... » read more

System Bits: Jan. 30


Lab-in-the-cloud Although Internet-connected smart devices have penetrated numerous industries and private homes, the technological phenomenon has left the research lab largely untouched, according to MIT researchers. Spreadsheets, individual software programs, and even pens and paper remain standard tools for recording and sharing data in academic and industry labs — until now. TetraScie... » read more

Reflection On 2017: Design And EDA


People love to make predictions, and most of the time they have it easy, but at Semiconductor Engineering, we ask them to look back on the predictions they make each year and to assess how close to the mark they were. We see what they missed and what surprised them. Not everyone accepts our offer to grade themselves, but most have this year. (Part one looked at the predictions associated with s... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Nov. 7


Making a superbeam Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has combined several lasers to create what it calls a superbeam. The move represents a possible breakthrough in the arena. In theory, lasers can be combined. But the laser beams tend to pass through each other, thereby making a combined laser or a superbeam nearly impossible. With the help of plasma optics, however, LLNL ha... » read more

Medical IoT Heats Up


Ever since the IoT was first introduced as a concept, the possibility of using ordinary devices or chips for monitoring health has been mostly an unfulfilled promise. In fact, one of the biggest selling points of smart watches and other wearables initially was the ability to monitor everything from heart irregularities to sugar levels on a continuous basis rather than a once-a-year electroca... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Sept. 26


Electrical twisted yarn The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), the University of Texas at Dallas and Hanyan University in South Korea have developed a twisted yarn technology that can be used to generate or harvest electrical energy. The technology, dubbed “twistron” yarn, incorporates twisted bundles of tiny coiled carbon nanotubes. The nanotube-based twistron yarn works in con... » read more

What’s New At Hot Chips


By Jeff Dorsch & Ed Sperling Machine learning, artificial intelligence and neuromorphic computing took center stage at Hot Chips 2017 this week, a significant change from years past where the focus was on architectures that addressed improvements in speed and performance for standard compute problems. What is clear, given the focus of presentations, is that the bleeding edge of comput... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Feb. 14


Electronics for Venus A team of scientists at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland demonstrated the first prolonged operation of electronics in the harsh conditions found on Venus. Current Venus landers can only operate on the planet's surface for a few hours due to the extreme atmospheric conditions. The surface temperature on Venus is nearly 860 degrees Fahrenheit, and the planet h... » read more

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