Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 13


Smartphone virus scanner Scientists at the University of Tokyo built a new type of virus scanner for smartphones: to detect diseases, not malware. The handheld, portable device uses a smartphone to help scan biological samples for influenza virus. The virus scanner is about the size of a brick, with a slot to position a smartphone such that its camera looks through a lens. Inside the device... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: July 30


Scanning nanopore microscopes ETH Zurich has developed a new microscopy technique that can detect and analyze signals between individual cells in living organisms. The technology, called a force-controlled scanning nanopore microscope, is a new way to look at the behavior of individual cells. So far, researchers have tested the technology on rat brain tissue. It could one day be used to pro... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: July 10


Wearable heart monitoring Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin developed a lightweight, stretchy heart monitoring patch that can be worn externally. Along with being easy to wear, the graphene-based 'e-tattoo' is more accurate than existing electrocardiograph machines, according to the team. The e-tattoo measures cardiac health using both electrocardiograph and seismocardiograph... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: June 25


Improving IGBTs Researchers at the University of Tokyo developed a power switching device that surpasses previous performance limits, showing that there may still be gains ahead for the silicon-based devices, which have been thought to be approaching their limits. The team's improved insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) used a scaling approach, and simulations showed that downscaling pa... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: April 8


Designing metamaterials Sandia National Laboratories has developed an inverse-design software technology that automates the design of optical metamaterials. Metamaterials are artificial materials containing arrays of metal nanostructures or mega-atoms. Some metamaterials are able to bend light around objects, rendering them invisible. But they only interact with light over a very narrow ran... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Feb. 11


Body heat harvesting Chemists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst developed a fabric that can harvest body heat to power small wearable electronics such as activity trackers. The device works on the thermoelectric effect created by body temperature and ambient cooler air. "What we have developed is a way to inexpensively vapor-print biocompatible, flexible and lightweight polymer fil... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Feb. 5


Photonic-magnetic memory Researchers at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) have developed a hybrid photonic-magnetic memory device that takes advantage of the speed of optical writing and stability of magnetic drives. "All-optical switching for data storage has been known for about a decade. When all-optical switching was first observed in ferromagnetic materials - amongst the mo... » read more

October ’18 Startup Funding: IoT, Security, Auto


Billions were raised in October for Internet of Things, cybersecurity, automotive electronics, and related technology startups. Automotive October fundings rolled in on the automotive side for Israel’s VayaVision ($8 million) and South Korea-based SOS LAB ($6 million Series A), which are developing products for autonomous vehicles. Silicon Mobility ($10 million Series B), a French startup... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Aug. 21


World’s smallest transistor The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) has developed what researchers say is the world’s smallest transistor. Researchers have devised a single-atom transistor. The transistor switches an electrical current via a single atom, which resides in a gel electrolyte. The device also works at room temperature. While others have developed single-atom transist... » read more

Too Many, Too Few Rare Earths


A team from Japan recently made a major discovery—they found massive deposits of rare earths on the ocean floor off the coast of Japan. The team of Waseda University, the University of Tokyo and the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) found a deposit that equates to 16 million tons of rare earths. Rare earths are a group of critical materials used in various ele... » read more

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