System Bits: March 20

Design has consequences Carnegie Mellon University design students are exploring ways to enhance interactions with new technologies and the power of artificial intelligence. Assistant Professor Dan Lockton teaches the course, "Environments Studio IV: Designing Environments for Social Systems" in CMU's School of Design and leads the school's new Imaginaries Lab. “We want the designers of ... » read more

Non-Traditional Chips Gaining Steam

Flexible hybrid electronics are beginning to roll out in the form of medical devices, wearable electronics and even near-field communications tags in retail, setting the stage for a whole new wave of circuit design, manufacturing and packaging that reaches well beyond traditional chips. FHE devices begin with substrates made of ceramics, glass, plastic, polyimide, polymers, polysilicon, stai... » read more

System Bits: March 13

Wiring quantum computers According to MIT researchers, when we talk about “information technology,” we generally mean the technology part, like computers, networks, and software. But they reminded that the information itself, and its behavior in quantum systems, is a central focus for MIT’s interdisciplinary Quantum Engineering Group (QEG) as it seeks to develop quantum computing and oth... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Mar. 6

Neural network chip Neural networks are both slow and consume a lot of power. This made researchers at MIT examine the important aspects of the nodes within a neural network and to see how each part of the computation could be improved. The outcome was a dedicated chip that increases the speed of neural-network computations by three to seven times over its predecessors, while reducing power c... » read more

Wireless Charging Creeps Forward

It's well known that electricity can travel long distances through the air, but expanding beyond the boundaries of a wire has never seemed a practical or reliable way to power delicate electronics. In fact, wireless power has been widely available for years. Whether this approach will be used to extend battery life isn't entirely clear. But it is attracting renewed attention as the balance b... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Feb. 27

Encryption chip A team at MIT developed a new chip to lower the power consumption of public-key cryptography for IoT devices. Software execution of encryption protocols require more energy and memory space than embedded IoT sensors can typically spare, given the need to maximize battery life. The new chip is hardwired to perform public-key encryption and consumes only 1/400 as much power as... » read more

System Bits: Feb. 20

An evolution in electronics Restoring some semblance to those who have lost the sensation of touch has been a driving force behind Stanford University chemical engineer Zhenan Bao’s decades-long quest to create stretchable, electronically-sensitive synthetic materials. [caption id="attachment_24131783" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Zhenan Bao, the K.K. Lee professor of chemical engineer... » read more

Ayar Labs: Faster I/O

Startup AyarLabs is using a combination of high-bandwidth fiberoptics, low-cost CMOS fabrication and careful target selection to strike efficiently at the datacenter's worst bottleneck. "Moore's Law only covers the processor, not how we move data in and out of it during processing or how to get the processor and memory working at the same speed," according to Alexandra Wright-Gladstein, co-f... » read more

System Bits: Feb. 13

Enabling individual manufacturing apps Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD focused on Industrie 4.0 recognize that manufacturing is turning toward batch sizes of one and individualized production in what is sometimes referred to as ‘highly customized mass production.’ [caption id="attachment_24131609" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The scanning ... » 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

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