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

Manufacturing Bits: Aug. 28


Neutron scattering The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has reached what the agency says is the world’s highest power level for a neutron source. Oak Ridge has several facilities, including the so-called Spallation Neutron Source (SNS). The SNS is used in a metrology field called neutron scattering. Used in physics, chemistry, biology, and materials science, neutron ... » read more

Blazing-Fast Performance


When it comes to raw performance, there's nothing like a supercomputer. Until recently, though, most of this was simply bragging rights about whose supercomputer was faster. A trillion calculations (petaflop), more or less, doesn't mean that much outside of scientific circles. What's changing is that companies and governments now can utilize these blazing fast machines across a wider swath o... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: June 5


Water insulators North Carolina State University, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Texas A&M University have developed what could be considered as water insulators for energy storage applications. Basically, researchers sandwiched water between two materials, enabling higher power storage devices with more efficiency. More specifically, in the lab, researchers developed a compou... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: May 22


Sensing without battery power Engineers at the National University of Singapore developed an IoT-focused sensor chip that can continue operating when its battery runs out of energy. The chip, BATLESS, uses a power management technique that allows it to self-start and continue to function under dim light without any battery assistance. The chip can operate in two different modes: minimum-ene... » read more

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