Manufacturing Bits: Aug. 7


DNA ROMs The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Semiconductor Research Corp. (SRC) are investing $12 million to develop a new class of memories and other technologies, such as DNA-based read-only memory (ROM), nucleic acid memory (NAM) and neural networks based on yeast cells. The effort is called the Semiconductor Synthetic Biology for Information Processing and Storage Technologies... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 7


Optical neural network Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have made a silicon chip that distributes optical signals precisely across a miniature brain-like grid, showcasing a potential new design for neural networks. Using light would eliminate interference due to electrical charge and the signals would travel faster and farther, said the researchers. "... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: May 22


Sensing without battery power Engineers at the National University of Singapore developed an IoT-focused sensor chip that can continue operating when its battery runs out of energy. The chip, BATLESS, uses a power management technique that allows it to self-start and continue to function under dim light without any battery assistance. The chip can operate in two different modes: minimum-ene... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: May 1


Low power video streaming Engineers at the University of Washington developed a method for streaming HD video from a lightweight, wearable camera. The researchers used backscatter to send pixel data to a more powerful device, such as a smartphone or laptop, for power-hungry tasks like video processing and compression that have made a lightweight streaming camera out of reach. The pixels in ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: April 24


Super electron guns The Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is developing a new type of electron gun based on superconducting technology. The new superconducting electron gun recently produced its first beam of electrons, according to SLAC. The technology is being developed for future high-energy X-ray lasers and ultra-fast electron microscopes. Electron guns a... » 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: Dec. 19


Stabilizing perovskites Scientists at EPFL and the University of Cordoba found a way to improve the stability of perovskite solar cells. While perovskites show promising efficiencies as solar cells, they are soft crystalline materials and prone to problems due to decomposition over time. By introducing the large organic cation guanidinium (CH6N3+) into methylammonium lead iodide perovskites, t... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Nov. 21


Greener greenhouses Researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz are testing greenhouses capable of generating some of their own energy, without hampering plant growth. Greenhouses use electricity to control temperature and power fans, lights, and other monitoring systems. Electricity-generating solar greenhouses utilize Wavelength-Selective Photovoltaic Systems (WSPVs), a novel ... » 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

System Bits: Sept. 5


Reducing power consumption of datacenter caches As is commonly understood, most websites store data in databases, and since database queries are relatively slow, most sites also maintain so-called cache servers, which list the results of common queries for faster access, researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) reminded. They noted that a data ce... » read more

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