System Bits: March 11


Cryptography IC for the IoT Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers report their development of a cryptographic circuit that could be used to protect low-power Internet of Things devices when quantum computing takes hold. [caption id="attachment_24144905" align="alignleft" width="300"] Image Credit: MIT[/caption] The research team presented a paper at the 2019 International Sol... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Mar. 5


Solar chemical manufacturing Researchers at RMIT University, CSIRO Manufacturing, and University of Melbourne developed a nano-enhanced material that can capture 99% of light and use it to power chemical reactions. One of the world's biggest energy users, the chemical manufacturing industry accounts for about 10% of global energy consumption and 7% of industrial greenhouse gas emissions. In th... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Jan. 2


High-temp electronics Researchers at Purdue University, UC Santa Cruz, and Stanford developed a semiconducting plastic capable of operating at extreme temperatures. The new material, which combines both a semiconducting organic polymer and a conventional insulating organic polymer could reliably conduct electricity in up to 220 degrees Celsius (428 F). "One of the plastics transports the ch... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Nov. 6


Camera for object recognition Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign developed a new camera that could improve object detection in vehicles. Inspired by the visual system of mantis shrimp, the camera detects the polarization of light and has a dynamic range about 10,000 times higher than today's commercial cameras. "In a recent crash involving a self-driving car, th... » read more

Cobalt Shortages Ahead


Rapid growth of electric vehicles is creating an enormous demand for cobalt, causing tight supply, high prices and supply chain issues for this critical material. Cobalt is a ferromagnetic metal and one of the key materials used in lithium-ion batteries for cell phones, notebook PCs, battery-electric cars and hybrids. It also is used in alloys and semiconductors. And while the IC industry co... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 4


Preventing battery fires Researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Rochester developed a method to prevent lithium-ion batteries from catching on fire when damaged. "In a lithium-ion battery, a thin piece of plastic separates the two electrodes," said Gabriel Veith, a research lead at ORNL. "If the battery is damaged and the plastic layer fails, the electrodes can... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 21


Physical neural network Engineers at UCLA built a physical artificial neural network capable of identifying objects as light passes through a series of 3D printed polymer layers. Called a "diffractive deep neural network," it uses the light bouncing from the object itself to identify that object, a process that consumes no energy and is faster than traditional computer-based methods of imag... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: July 10


Heating up EV batteries Researchers from Pennsylvania State University developed a self-heating battery that can charge rapidly in cold conditions, a step they hope could spread adoption of electric vehicles. "Electric vehicles are popular on the west coast because the weather is conducive," said Xiao-Guang Yang, assistant research professor in mechanical engineering, Penn State. "Once you ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: July 3


Graphene foam devices Scientists at Rice University developed a method for building conductive, three-dimensional objects out of graphene foam, which they say could offer new possibilities for energy storage and flexible electronic sensor applications. The same lab initially created laser-induced graphene, or LIG, in 2014. The process involves heating inexpensive polyimide plastic sheets wi... » 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

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