Manufacturing Bits: Sept. 22


Hairy nanoparticles The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory is developing a new type of material called preceramic polymer-grafted nanoparticles or “hairy nanoparticles” (HNP). HNPs can be used to manufacture a new class of aircraft parts made of ceramic composite materials. An HNP is a hybrid material. It is based on a polymer shell, which is bound to a nanoparticle core, according to t... » read more

Zeroing In On Biological Computing


Artificial spiking neural networks need to replicate both excitatory and inhibitory biological neurons in order to emulate the neural activation patterns seen in biological brains. Doing this with CMOS-based designs is challenging because of the large circuit footprint required. However, researchers at HP Labs observed that one biologically plausible model, the Hodgkins-Huxley model, is math... » read more

Spiking Neural Networks Place Data In Time


Artificial neural networks have found a variety of commercial applications, from facial recognition to recommendation engines. Compute-in-memory accelerators seek to improve the computational efficiency of these networks by helping to overcome the von Neumann bottleneck. But the success of artificial neural networks also highlights their inadequacies. They replicate only a small subset of th... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Feb. 25


Diamond finFETs HRL Laboratories has made new and significant progress to develop diamond finFETs. HRL, a joint R&D venture between Boeing and General Motors, has developed a new ohmic regrowth technique for diamond FETs. This in turn could pave the way towards commercial diamond FETs. Applications include spacecraft, satellites and systems with extreme temperatures. Still in R&D, diamo... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Nov. 19


World’s lightest foam Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has developed what researchers say is the world’s lightest gold foam. LLNL has devised gold aerogel foam. The foam is light enough where it could be carried on the back of tiny insects. Applications for the technology include electronics, catalysis, sensors and energy conversion and storage. An aerogel is based on a ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Nov. 13


Quantum memories The University of Alberta has developed a new method for making quantum memories, paving the way for a next-generation quantum Internet. Quantum memory is targeted for quantum networks and computers. In classical computing, the information is stored in bits, which can be either a “0” or “1”. In quantum computing, information is stored in quantum bits, or qubits, whi... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Sept. 4


Flat diamond chips Kanazawa University and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) have developed a process that solves a big issue for diamond semiconductors in power applications. Researchers have developed a water vapor annealing technique that creates atomically flat diamond surfaces. This brings diamond semiconductors one step closer to becoming more... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Feb. 6


GaN trusted foundry HRL Laboratories--an R&D venture between Boeing and General Motors--has launched a new foundry service for use in advanced millimeter-wave (mmWave) gallium-nitride (GaN) technology applications. HRL’s process, called T3-GaN, is a high-electron-mobility transistor technology. It will enable the fabrication of GaN-based monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Aug. 1


Magnetic chips HRL Laboratories—an R&D venture between Boeing and General Motors—has been awarded a contract to develop a new class of magnetic integrated components. HRL has received the award from the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) under the Magnetic, Miniaturized, and Monolithically Integrated Components (M3IC) program. The goal is to develop new magnetic materials... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Jan. 3


3D printed military drones The U.S. Army Research Laboratory has begun testing 3D printed drones for use in on-demand military missions. The technology, called the On-Demand Small Unmanned Aircraft System (ODSUAS), enables a soldier to input the mission requirements in software. Then, a 3D printer devises the optimal configuration for an unmanned aerial vehicle. And it’s printed and deliv... » read more