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

Power/Performance Bits: Dec. 12


Sunny days slow 5G 5G networks promise a world of fast wireless data speeds and connected everything.  However, researchers at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and King Saud University found that hot, sunny weather could degrade 5G cellular transmissions by more than 15%. The researchers focused on how solar radio emissions would affect the unlicensed 60 GHz bands, part of the millimet... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 26


Long-range communication Researchers at the University of Washington developed devices that run on almost zero power can transmit data across distances of up to 2.8 kilometers. The long-range backscatter system, which uses reflected radio signals to transmit data at extremely low power, achieved reliable coverage throughout 4800-square-foot house, an office area covering 41 rooms and a one-acr... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: July 26


Jumping films Riken and the University of Tokyo have developed a tiny autonomous actuator. The actuator, which is based on a special material, can automatically curl up or straighten out when exposed to ambient humidity. And in certain conditions, the film can even jump into the air by itself. A video can be seen here. Researchers placed a material called guanidinium carbonate into a hig... » read more

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