Power/Performance Bits: April 28


Flat microwave reflector Researchers from Los Alamos National Laboratory developed a new flat reflector for microwaves that could improve communications while providing a better form factor. It also breaks reciprocity, effectively turning it into a one-way mirror. The flat reflector can be reconfigured on the fly electronically, allowing it to be used for beam steering, customized focusing,... » read more

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: Aug. 20


Six-angstrom waveguide Engineers at the University of California San Diego, City University of New York, and Johns Hopkins University created the thinnest optical waveguide yet. At only three atoms thick, the team says the waveguide serves as a proof of concept for scaling down optical devices. The waveguide consists of a tungsten disulfide monolayer (made up of one layer of tungsten atoms ... » 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: Jan. 9


Microspectrometer smartens up smartphones Thanks to researchers at TU Eindhoven, smartphones are about to get much smarter to do things like checking how clean the air is, whether food is fresh or a lump is malignant thanks to a spectrometer that is so small it can be incorporated easily and cheaply in a mobile phone. The little sensor developed at TU Eindhoven is just as precise as the no... » 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

System Bits: Oct. 10


Fast-moving magnetic particles for data storage According to MIT researchers, an exotic kind of magnetic behavior discovered just a few years ago holds great promise as a way of storing data — one that could overcome fundamental limits that might otherwise be signaling the end of Moore’s Law. Rather than reading and writing data one bit at a time by changing the orientation of magnetize... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


Tools Mentor released the latest version of its FloTHERM CFD software for electronics cooling simulation, adding a new design window to create and solve variants of a model with features to improve scenario definition and design space exploration. Other enhancements include support for Phase Change Materials, more abilities for PCB designs, and an improved parallel solver. Markets IC Insig... » 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

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