Bar codes in the supermarket might face extinction sooner rather than later, if radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags can cost just a penny apiece, rather than the dime or more they currently run. Now South Korean researchers say they have the technology to print RFID circuits on plastic film, courtesy of nanotube-containing inks, Technology Review reports.
More than a year after the first consumer 3-D-ready HDTVs were demoed at CES, the next generation of sets are going on sale this week. But, aside from the new TVs, glasses, and Blu-ray players, the question of content remains. While there are already brand partnerships with networks like Discovery and ESPN, that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Transistor junction, what's your function now? Irish researchers at the Tyndall National Institute have fabricated the world's first junctionless transistor, a nanotech development that could change the way semiconductors are manufactured.
Scientistsu, engineers, and doctors yearn for tiny sensors to record a vast array of events in the world's many hard-to-reach places. And so far, the tradeoff between battery life and size has prevented sensors from becoming small enough to fit unobtrusively in the human body, or inside very small machines. Now, University of Michigan researchers seem to have solved that puzzle by creating a chip that draws energy through solar power, heat, or movement.
As if having trouble conceiving a child wasn't painful enough, the current method of male fertility testing adds to that misery with multiple trips to the doctor, awkward moments in sterile rooms, and lengthy waits while lab technicians painstakingly count out individual sperm. A newly developed chip may change that, and provide a fast, at-home method for anyone to test their sperm count.
According to Kwabena Boahen, a computer scientist at Stanford University, a robot with a processor as smart as the human brain would require at least 10 megawatts to operate. That's the amount of energy produced by a small hydroelectric plant. But a small group of computer scientists may have hit on a new neural supercomputer that could someday emulate the human brain's low energy requirements of just 20 watts--barely enough to run a dim light bulb.
Thanks to a new approach to one of microfluidics' biggest challenges -- how do you propel fluid in a number of directions at once without the clutter of myriad electromechanical valves and pumps? -- we could be closer to seeing our smartphones double as home flu kits. Credit goes to a team of chemical engineers at the University of Michigan for coming up with the innovative system, which uses music to control the fluid.
NEC and Rohm are going back and forth on new engineering breakthroughs that will allow integrated circuits inside chips to consume no power when they're briefly inactive between cycles. And unlike most chip-level developments on the edge, we may see the technology in consumer products by the end of the year.
A new set of chips gives super-slim cellphones the power of laptops
By Michal Lev-Ram
Posted 04.28.2009 at 10:36 am 5 Comments
Think of Toshiba's TG01 cellphone as the world's smallest PC. It powers 3-D games, plays high-definition movies, and smoothly runs many programs at once, a combo few other phones offer. Yet it's less than four tenths of an inch thick — 20 percent thinner than an iPhone — thanks to Qualcomm's Snapdragon system, which packs several previously separate chips into one case the size of a dime.
A quantum cryptographic chip using light particles to encrypt data during electronic transfer could throw off hackers for good
By Jaya Jiwatram
Posted 08.05.2008 at 12:23 pm 8 Comments
Imagine an encrypted data chip so secure that even the greatest hackers in history would find impossible to crack. That chip is very much a reality thanks to the combined efforts of Siemens, Austrian Research Centers (ARC) and Graz University of Technology who have teamed up to create the first quantum cryptology chip for commercial use to ensure securer electronic communication.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.