Power/Performance Bits: July 30


100GHz transceiver Engineers at the University of California Irvine built a new wireless transceiver that works above 100 gigahertz. The 4.4-millimeter-square silicon chip, called an "end-to-end transmitter-receiver," uses a digital-analog architecture that modulates the digital bits in the analog and radio-frequency domains to process digital signals quickly and energy-efficiently. "We cal... » read more

System Bits: Feb. 26


Firefly microstructures in LED light bulbs Pennsylvania State University researchers wanted to improve the energy efficiency of commercial light-emitting diode light bulbs to save even more energy. They found the answer in the lantern surface of fireflies. "LED lightbulbs play a key role in clean energy," said Stuart (Shizhuo) Yin, professor of electrical engineering at Penn State. "Overall... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 26


Polymer pen litho Using a polymer pen lithography technique, the Air Force Research Laboratory and Northwestern University have developed a quick way to discover new materials. Researchers have developed a combinatorial library of tiny nanoparticles on a substrate. A combinatorial library, sometimes referred to as a megalibrary, is a collection of different structures. Each structure is enc... » 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: May 3


Nanowire batteries University of California, Irvine researchers invented a nanowire-based battery material that can be recharged hundreds of thousands of times. Nanowires have long been sought as a battery material. However, these filaments are extremely fragile and don't hold up well to repeated discharging and recharging, or cycling. In a typical lithium-ion battery, they expand and gro... » read more