Power/Performance Bits: May 15


Aluminum battery materials Scientists from ETH Zurich and Empa identified two new materials that could boost the development of aluminum batteries, a potential low cost, materially abundant option for temporary storage of renewable energy. The first is a corrosion-resistant material for the conductive parts of the battery; the second is a novel material for the battery's positive pole that ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: May 8


Cobalt-free cathodes Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, built lithium-ion battery cathodes without cobalt that can store 50% more energy than traditional cobalt-containing cathodes. Currently, lithium-ion battery cathodes use layered structures, which cobalt is necessary to maintain. When lithium ions move from the cathode to anode during charging, a lot of space is left... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: May 1


Low power video streaming Engineers at the University of Washington developed a method for streaming HD video from a lightweight, wearable camera. The researchers used backscatter to send pixel data to a more powerful device, such as a smartphone or laptop, for power-hungry tasks like video processing and compression that have made a lightweight streaming camera out of reach. The pixels in ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: April 17


Flexible LCDs Researchers at Donghua University and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology developed a flexible, optically rewriteable LCD for paperlike displays. The team estimates it will be cheap to produce, perhaps only costing $5 for a 5-inch screen. Optically rewriteable LCDs, like conventional LCDs, are structured like a sandwich, with a liquid crystal filling between two ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Mar. 13


Wireless charging Engineers at the University of Washington developed a method to safely charge a smartphone wirelessly using a laser, potentially as quickly as a standard USB cable. Safety features of the system include a reflector-based mechanism to shut off the laser and heatsinks. The charging beam is generated by a laser emitter that the team configured to produce a focused beam in the... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Mar. 6


Neural network chip Neural networks are both slow and consume a lot of power. This made researchers at MIT examine the important aspects of the nodes within a neural network¬†and to see how each part of the computation could be improved. The outcome was a dedicated chip that increases the speed of neural-network computations by three to seven times over its predecessors, while reducing power c... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Feb. 20


Wireless TENG Researchers at Clemson University developed a wireless triboelectric nanogenerator, or W-TENG, that can also act as a battery-free remote. The key to triboelectric nanogenerators is using materials that are opposite in their affinity for electrons so they generate a voltage when brought in contact with each other. For the W-TENG, one electrode was constructed of a multipart... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Jan. 30


Wavy display architecture Researchers at KAUST developed a new transistor architecture for flexible ultrahigh resolution devices aimed at boosting the performance of the display circuitry. Flat-panel displays use thin-film transistors, acting as switches, to control the electric current that activates individual pixels consisting of LEDs or liquid crystals. A higher field-effect mobility of... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Jan. 23


Atomristors for thin memory Engineers at The University of Texas at Austin and Peking University developed a thin memory storage device with dense memory capacity. Dubbed "atomristors," the device enables 3-D integration of nanoscale memory with nanoscale transistors on the same chip. "For a long time, the consensus was that it wasn't possible to make memory devices from materials that were... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Jan. 16


Lithium-iron-oxide battery Scientists at Northwestern University and Argonne National Laboratory developed a rechargeable lithium-iron-oxide battery that can cycle more lithium ions than its common lithium-cobalt-oxide counterpart, leading to a much higher capacity. For their battery, the team not only replaced cobalt with iron, but forced oxygen to participate in the reaction process as we... » read more

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