Power/Performance Bits: July 10

Wearable heart monitoring Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin developed a lightweight, stretchy heart monitoring patch that can be worn externally. Along with being easy to wear, the graphene-based 'e-tattoo' is more accurate than existing electrocardiograph machines, according to the team. The e-tattoo measures cardiac health using both electrocardiograph and seismocardiograph... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 3

Animal robots invade London The London Science Museum will premiere U-CAT, an underwater robot turtle designed to penetrate shipwrecks. In the exhibit, the museum will also showcase several robots that resemble an eel, bat, cheetah cub, tumbleweed, tuna, salamander and other creatures. Meanwhile, built by the Centre for Biorobotics at Tallinn University of Technology, U-CAT’s locomotio... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Nov. 19

Toothpick Fab Tools NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. has developed a specialized atomic layer deposition (ALD) system and a "virtual toothpick" to enable ultra-thin films on chips and systems. NASA has built an ALD reactor chamber, which measures three inches in diameter and two feet in length. The system can deposit films inside pores and cavities, giving ALD the abilit... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Nov. 5

Nano Bulletproof Suit Luxury tailoring house Garrison Bespoke has developed a bulletproof suit based on carbon nanotubes. The Garrison Bespoke bulletproof suit is made with carbon nanotubes, which were originally developed to protect the U.S. 19th Special Forces in Iraq. The patented material is thinner and 50% lighter than Kevlar, which is traditionally used for bulletproof gear. Th... » read more

System Bits: Oct. 1

Origami-Shaped Antennas A Georgia Tech-led research team is working to develop a unique approach to making extremely compact and highly efficient antennas and electronics based on principles derived from origami paper-folding techniques to create complex structures that can reconfigure themselves by unfolding, moving and even twisting in response to incoming electromagnetic signals. The str... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Sept. 24

LEGO AFM Students from the University College London (UCL), Tsinghua University and Peking University have built an atomic force microscope (AFM) or nanoscope using toy LEGOs. The AFM, dubbed LEGO2NANO, costs less than $500 to make. In contrast, traditional AFMs cost $100,000 or more. The system was made using LEGOs, Arduino controllers, 3D printed parts and consumer electronics. [captio... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: July 23

Space Tubes In 2011, NASA produced a material that absorbs on average more than 99% of the ultraviolet, visible, infrared, and far-infrared light that hits it. NASA’s so-called “super-black” material is based on a thin layer of multi-walled carbon nanotubes. Tiny gaps between the nanotubes collect and trap light. The carbon absorbs the photons, preventing them from reflecting off surf... » read more

What Will Replace Dual Damascene?

By Mark LaPedus In the mid-1990s, IBM announced the world’s first devices using a copper dual damascene process. At the time, the dual damascene manufacturing process was hailed as a major breakthrough. The new copper process enabled IC makers to scale the tiny interconnects in a device, as the previous material, aluminum, faced some major limitations. Dual damascene remains the workhorse... » read more

Predictions, Problems And Prognosis

Never before in the long and often turbulent history of the semiconductor industry have so many problems presented themselves at each new process node. And never before have there been so many well-tested choices to resolving them. After possibly the most intensive, extensive and expensive research this industry has ever witnessed, Moore’s Law is now technologically assured down to at leas... » read more

Advanced Materials: Mapping A Path To Low-Power Devices

By Cheryl Ajluni For many electronics devices, especially those utilized in mobile applications, achieving low power is the Holy Grail. Unfortunately this goal is one that is not easily attained. In accordance with Moore’s Law, transistor density is continuing to increase. With each scaling, transistors are being designed smaller and faster to realize increased chip performance. But the risi... » read more