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

Manufacturing Bits: Aug. 13


Exascale supercomputers The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) has signed a contract valued at $600 million with Cray to build NNSA’s first exascale supercomputer. The system, called El Capitan, is expected to be shipped in late 2022. El Capitan will be housed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and will perform research to maintain ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 5


Biofuels from microorganisms Researchers at Uppsala University are working on adapting microorganisms to be capable of producing useful biofuels out of carbon dioxide and solar energy. The team is focused on a series of modified cyanobacteria that produces the alcohol butanol, said Pia Lindberg, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Chemistry Ångström Laboratory, Uppsala University. "When ... » read more

System Bits: June 25


Supercomputers around the world At last week’s International Supercomputing Conference in Frankfurt, Germany, the 53rd biannual list of the Top500 of the most powerful computing systems in the world was released. Broken out by countries of installation, China has 219 of the world’s 500 fastest supercomputers, compared with 116 in the United States. Ranking by percent of list flops, the ... » read more

System Bits: May 14


Faster U.S. supercomputers on the way The U.S. Department of Energy awarded a contract for more than $600 million to Cray for an exascale supercomputer to be installed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory during 2021. Cray will provide its Shasta architecture and Slingshot interconnect for what is dubbed the Frontier supercomputer. Advanced Micro Devices will have a key role in building the... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Jan. 8


Atom interferometry NASA and AOSense have demonstrated a prototype quantum sensor that uses a measurement technique called atom interferometry. The technology could one day enable more accurate gravitational measurements, climate-monitoring missions in space and other applications. Originally developed in the 1980s, atom interferometry is like today’s optical interferometry. Used in sc... » read more

System Bits: Nov. 27


Silent, lightweight aircraft powered by ionic wind Instead of propellers or turbines, MIT researchers have built and flown the first-ever aircraft with no moving parts that is powered by an “ionic wind” — a silent but mighty flow of ions that is produced aboard the plane, and that generates enough thrust to propel the plane over a sustained, steady flight. [caption id="attachment_2414... » read more

Machine Learning Moves Into Fab And Mask Shop


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and chip and photomask manufacturing technologies with Aki Fujimura, chief executive of D2S; Jerry Chen, business and ecosystem development manager at Nvidia; Noriaki Nakayamada, senior technologist at NuFlare; and Mikael Wahlsten, director and product area manager at Mycronic. What follows are excerpt... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Sept. 25


Simulating quarks and gluons The U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory is simulating sub-atomic particles on the world’s most powerful supercomputer. The system is simulating these particles at speeds over 70 times faster than the predecessor. More specifically, Oak Ridge is simulating quarks and gluons on the recently-announced Summit supercomputer. In simple terms,... » 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

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