Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 21


Physical neural network Engineers at UCLA built a physical artificial neural network capable of identifying objects as light passes through a series of 3D printed polymer layers. Called a "diffractive deep neural network," it uses the light bouncing from the object itself to identify that object, a process that consumes no energy and is faster than traditional computer-based methods of imag... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 14


All-optical logic Researchers from Aalto University developed multifunction all-optical logic gates using a network of nanowires. To build the nanostructure, the team assembled two different semiconductor nanowires, indium phosphide and aluminum gallium arsenide. The nanowires have a unique one-dimensional structure, which allows them to function like nanosized antennas for light. Using ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 7


Optical neural network Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have made a silicon chip that distributes optical signals precisely across a miniature brain-like grid, showcasing a potential new design for neural networks. Using light would eliminate interference due to electrical charge and the signals would travel faster and farther, said the researchers. "... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: July 31


Training optical neural networks Researchers from Stanford University used an optical chip to train an artificial neural network, a step that could lead to faster, more efficient AI tasks. Although optical neural networks have been recently demonstrated, the training step was performed using a model on a traditional digital computer and the final settings were then imported into the optical... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: May 23


Pushing optical metrology The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has developed a new way to determine crystal types using optical metrology techniques. Using an optical-based technique called absorption spectroscopy, researchers have detected tiny nanocrystals down to about 2nm resolutions. Absorption spectroscopy measures the absorption of radiation. It is measured as a function o... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: April 11


High-efficiency silicon photodetector Electrical engineers at the University of California, Davis, and W&WSens Devices, Inc. built a new type of high-efficiency photodetector that could be monolithically integrated with silicon electronics. The new detector uses tapered holes in a silicon wafer to divert photons sideways, preserving the speed of thin-layer silicon and the efficiency o... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: June 7


Tiny lasers on silicon A group of scientists from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the University of California, Santa Barbara, Sandia National Laboratories, and Harvard University were able to fabricate tiny lasers directly on silicon. To do this, they first had to resolve silicon crystal lattice defects to a point where the cavities were essentially equivalent to those gr... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Feb. 2


Do-it-yourself optoelectronics The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has developed a technology to make optical components on a do-it-yourself basis. To make a component, researchers have devised what they call plasmon-assisted etching. The process makes use of a nanostructured template, which can be used to create optical components. The template is a 2D array of gold pillar-su... » read more

Technology Tsunami Approaches


How many times have we heard the saying that technology advancements are accelerating and that inevitably the older generation will have increasing problems keeping up with the new advancements? This happened to me with software development methodologies over fifteen years ago. I still program, when people actually let me, using basically the same techniques I learned when I was in my teens.... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: August 5


Double Big Mac chips Using molecular beam epitaxy (MBE), Cornell has devised a method of growing an emerging class of oxide films called Ruddlesden-Poppers. These oxides are layered structures, which consist of 2D-based perovskite slabs interleaved with cations. In the future, these structures could be used in various applications, such as superconductivity, magnetoresistance and ferromagne... » read more

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