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

Energy Harvesting Gains Steam


Energy harvesting is gaining traction with a surge in ultra-low-power IoT applications, ranging from inventory tracking, wearables and drones, to vibration sensors for motors in industrial settings. The idea that machines could run without batteries—or that energy could be harvested either from motion or ambient sound waves or chemical reactions to augment battery power—has been in the w... » read more

System Bits: Oct. 11


Carbon Is So 2015 Researchers at MIT have created a supercapacitor that relies on a material other than carbon. This new class of materials, called metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), are a porous and sponge-like, according to MIT, tthereby providing a much larger surface area than carbon. As with most things electrical, more surface area is essential for superconductors. The problem the re... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 30


Scalable data center chip Princeton University researchers designed a new scalable chip specifically for data centers and massive computing systems. The team believes the chip, called Piton, can substantially increase processing speed while slashing energy needs. The chip architecture is scalable; designs can be built that go from a dozen cores to several thousand. Also, the architecture ... » read more

Keeping The Lights On


IoT is comprised of numerous industries. For the sake of analysis, these can be segmented into several tiers that function as independent networks or integrated complicated meshes. In my November post I examined the three-tier IoT architecture at a high level. Then last month I focused on the rapidly expanding market of intelligent gateways. Gateways receive information from cloud applicatio... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: April 7


Hybrid supercapacitors Researchers at UCLA combined the best qualities of batteries and supercapacitors in a new 3-D hybrid supercapacitor. Based on laser-scribed graphene and manganese dioxide, the new component stores large amounts of energy, recharges quickly and can last for more than 10,000 recharge cycles. The team also created a microsupercapacitor small enough to fit in wearable o... » read more

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