Power/Performance Bits: Dec. 4


Bio-hybrid fungi Researchers at Stevens Institute of Technology combined a white button mushroom, electricity-producing cyanobacteria, and graphene nanoribbons into a power-generating symbiotic system. "In this case, our system - this bionic mushroom - produces electricity," said Manu Mannoor, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Stevens. "By integrating cyanobacteria that ca... » read more

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: April 3


Long-lived data storage Scientists from RMIT University and Wuhan Institute of Technology demonstrated a next-generation optical disk with up to 10TB capacity and a six-century lifespan using gold nanoparticles. The technology could radically improve the energy efficiency of data centers according to the researchers, using 1000 times less power than a hard disk center by requiring far less ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Feb. 13


Silicon spintronics Engineers at the University of California, Riverside, developed new methods to detect signals from spintronic components made of low-cost metals and silicon. Spintronic devices generate little heat, use relatively minuscule amounts of electricity, and would require no energy to maintain data in memory. However, previously developed spintronic devices depend on complex struc... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 24


Molecular storage Chemists at the Institut Charles Sadron and Aix-Marseille University used mass spectrometry to read several bytes of data recorded on the molecular scale with synthetic polymers, setting a new benchmark for the amount of data stored as a sequence of molecular units (monomers) that can be read. Polymers have great potential since, to record a bit, their component monomers r... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 12


Water-based li-ion battery Researchers at the University of Maryland and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory developed a lithium-ion battery that uses a water-salt solution as its electrolyte and reaches the 4.0 volt mark desired for household electronics, without the fire and explosive risks associated with some commercially available non-aqueous lithium-ion batteries. The battery provides i... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: July 25


Sodium-ion cathode Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas and Seoul National University developed a manganese and sodium-ion-based cathode material they hope could lead to lower-cost rechargeable batteries. In a typical lithium-ion battery, the cathode is made of lithium, cobalt, nickel and oxygen. "Lithium is a more expensive, limited resource that must be mined from just a fe... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: May 23


Biosupercapacitor Researchers from UCLA and the University of Connecticut designed a biological supercapacitor, a new biofriendly energy storage system which operates using ions from fluids in the human body. The device is harmless to the body's biological systems, say the researchers, and could lead to longer-lasting cardiac pacemakers and other implantable medical devices. The supercapa... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Feb. 28


Power converter for IoT At the International Solid-State Circuits Conference, researchers from MIT presented a new power converter that is efficient at a wide range of currents, which could be a boon for IoT sensors that have variable power requirements. The device maintains its efficiency at currents ranging from 500 picoamps to 1 milliamp, a span that encompasses a 200,000-fold increase in... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Nov. 29


PV technology comparison Joshua J. Romero at the IEEE Spectrum put together an overview of photovoltaic technologies, including the world records for each type of cell, grouped into five broad categories. There is a brief overview of each cell type and some of its trade-offs. He also looks at how fast each technology has made efficiency gains. The most rapid progress is being seen in high... » read more

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