Power/Performance Bits: March 17


MRAM speed Researchers at ETH Zurich and Imec investigated exactly how quickly magnetoresistive RAM (MRAM) can store data. In the team's MRAM, electrons with opposite spin directions are spatially separated by the spin-orbit interaction, creating an effective magnetic field that can be used to invert the direction of magnetization of a tiny metal dot. "We know from earlier experiments, i... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Jan. 21


Two-layer MRAM Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology propose a simpler MRAM construction that could perform faster with less power than conventional memories. The idea relies on unidirectional spin Hall magnetoresistance (USMR), a spin-related phenomenon that could be used to develop MRAM cells with an extremely simple structure. The spin Hall effect leads to the accumulation of elect... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: June 10


Quantum dots plus perovskites Researchers at the University of Toronto and KAUST created a hybrid material for solar cells that utilizes both perovskites and quantum dots. Both quantum dots and perovskites suffer from instability: perovskites degrade quickly and certain types become incapable of fully absorbing solar radiation at room temperature, while quantum dots must be covered with a p... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Jan. 29


Thermal lithography Using a technique called thermal scanning probe lithography, New York University (NYU) and others have reported a breakthrough in fabricating 2D semiconductors. With the technology, researchers have devised metal electrodes with vanishing Schottky barriers on 2D semiconductors based on molybdenum disulfide (MoS₂). Thermal scanning probe lithography, sometimes called t-... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 23


Integrated solar battery Researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) built a unified solar cell-liquid battery device capable of returning more than 14% of the incoming solar energy as electricity. The device is capable of both converting solar energy to electricity for immediate use or storing it as chemical energy in ... » read more

System Bits: June 26


I’m enjoying a very busy Design Automation Conference this week in San Francisco, and on the lookout for interesting research topics here. In the meantime, enjoy a few interesting items from around the globe. AI platform diagnoses Zika and other pathogens University of Campinas (UNICAMP) researchers in Brazil have developed an AI platform that can diagnose several diseases with a high deg... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: April 24


Waste heat to power Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, developed a thin-film system that can be applied to electronics to turn waste heat into energy. The thin-film system uses pyroelectric energy conversion, which is well suited for tapping into waste-heat energy supplies below 100 degrees Celsius, called low-quality waste heat. In particular, the technology might be part... » 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: Nov. 14


Bacteria power wastewater cleanup Researchers at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) are exploring ways to detoxify warm, salty industrial wastewater while simultaneously generating electricity. They are using bacteria with remarkable properties: the ability to transfer electrons outside their cells (exoelectrogenes) and the capacity to withstand extremes of temperat... » 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

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