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Silicon-based Power Semis Face Challenges


Suppliers of power semiconductors continue to develop and ship devices based on traditional silicon technology, but silicon is nearing its limits and faces increased competition from technologies like GaN and SiC. In response, the industry is finding ways to extend traditional silicon-based power devices. Chipmakers are eking out more performance and prolonging the technology, at least in th... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 28


Pneumatic memory Engineers at the University of California Riverside developed a pneumatic memory that can be used to control soft robots. Pneumatic soft robots use pressurized air to move soft, rubbery limbs and grippers, making them ideal for delicate tasks as well as safer to be around. However, they still require electronic valves and computers to control and maintain positions. The ... » read more

The Silicon Carbide Race Begins


The growing adoption of silicon carbide (SiC) for a variety of automotive chips has reached the tipping point where most chipmakers now consider it a relatively safe bet, setting off a scramble to stake a claim and push this wide-bandgap technology into the mainstream. SiC holds great promise for a number of automotive applications, particularly for battery electric vehicles. It can extend d... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: July 20


Shrinking RFID chips Researchers at North Carolina State University built a new, tiny RFID chip. They expect the chip to help drive down costs for RFID tags, making it possible to embed them in more things for supply chain security. "As far as we can tell, it's the world's smallest Gen2-compatible RFID chip," said Paul Franzon, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NC State. I... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


Siemens Digital Industries Software acquired Fractal Technologies, a provider of tools for IP validation and comparison checks of standard cell libraries, IO, and hard IP that reports mismatches or modeling errors, as well as comparing new IP releases close to tape-out. Siemens plans to add Fractal’s technology to the Xcelerator portfolio, joining the Solido software product family, which inc... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: April 20


Multiplexing twisted light Researchers from University of California San Diego and University of California Berkeley found a way to multiplex light by using discrete twisting laser beams from antennas made up of concentric rings. "It's the first time that lasers producing twisted light have been directly multiplexed," said Boubacar Kanté, an Associate Professor at UC Berkeley's Department ... » read more

Improving the Performance Of Deep Neural Networks


Source: North Carolina State University. Authors: Xilai Li, Wei Sun, and Tianfu Wu Abstract: "In state-of-the-art deep neural networks, both feature normalization and feature attention have become ubiquitous. They are usually studied as separate modules, however. In this paper, we propose a light-weight integration between the two schema and present Attentive Normalization (AN). Instead of l... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Nov. 17


NVMe controller for research Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) developed a non-volatile memory express (NVMe) controller for storage devices and made it freely available to universities and research institutions in a bid to reduce research costs. Poor accessibility of NVMe controller IP is hampering academic and industrial research, the team argue... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: June 30


Up-converting lasers Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania developed a filter chip that can convert the output from low-cost lasers to have the same frequency noise as big, expensive lasers, making them suitable for applications such as LiDAR. The noise in a laser's frequency is an important indicator of quality. Low-quality, noisy lasers have more random variations, making them use... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: March 31


Whiskey webs The production and sale of counterfeit wine and spirits is becoming a big and nefarious business. Using time-lapse microscopy, researchers have developed a way to detect counterfeit whiskey. To detect counterfeit whiskey, the University of Louisville and North Carolina State University have uncovered the mechanism behind what researchers call “whiskey webs.” Whiskey webs... » read more

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