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Noel McKeegan

Computers

Intel's 3-D transistors to keep pace with Moore's Law

NASA, the double-helix model, Elvis ... there's a long list of things that emerged during the 1950s which still resonate strongly in 2011, but none more so than the humble silicon transistor. Transistors are the bricks with which the shiny house of modern consumer electronics has been built, but for more than 50 years these bricks have been limited to two dimensions. Now there's a third. Intel has announced that it is putting its revolutionary Tri-Gate 3-D transistor into mass production. The first 22nm microprocessor (codenamed Ivy Bridge) to use the transistors will be rolled-out later this year, delivering huge gains in performance and efficiency compared with chips that use current 2-D planar transistors and helping keep pace with Moore's Law.Read More

Medical

Medical tech company creates world's smallest video camera

Medigus has developed the world's smallest video camera at just 0.039-inches (0.99 mm) in diameter. The Israeli company's second-gen model (a 0.047-inch diameter camera was unveiled in 2009) has a dedicated 0.66x0.66 mm CMOS sensor that captures images at 45K resolution and no, it's not destined for use in tiny mobile phones or covert surveillance devices, instead the camera is designed for medical endoscopic procedures in hard to reach regions of the human anatomy.Read More

Laptops

G-Form Extreme Sleeve - the 'world's most rugged' laptop case

G-Form has taken its expertise in protecting the bodies of cyclists and skaters and applied it to consumer electronics, first with a case for iPad that's tough enough to withstand a bowling ball attack and now with what's billed as "the world's most rugged case for laptops." Made from a flexible, lightweight material that hardens upon impact, the Extreme Sleeve for Laptop will ship at the end of May in 11”, 13” and 15" sizes. Could be just the thing if you're looking to drop your MacBook off a balcony ...Read More

Mobile Technology

RIM announces the BlackBerry Bold 9900, Bold 9300 and BlackBerry OS 7

RIM's BlackBerry Bold line is set for a major upgrade with the imminent arrival of the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930 Smartphones. Combining the familiar full QWERTY keypad with a new "Liquid Graphics" touch screen, the new models are the first to run on the new BlackBerry 7 OS and pack 720p HD video, built-in NFC (Near Field Communications) technology, a 1.2 GHz processor and the thinnest BlackBerry form factor yet – 10.5 mm (0.41-inches). Read More

Automotive

Mercedes Benz E63 AMG – refined brutality

More power. Less fuel. That's the bare bones of the latest V8 equipped Mercedes AMG performance model – the E 63 AMG. The car's 5.5 liter biturbo V8 gives it a peak output of 386 kW (525 hp) and torque 
of 700 Nm – add on the optional AMG Performance package and it jumps to 410 kW (557 hp) and 800 Nm. Acceleration is specced at zero to 62 mph (0-100 km/h) in 4.2 seconds, top speed 
is 155 mph (250 km/h - electronically limited) and fuel consumption is down almost a quarter on its naturally aspirated predecessor at 24 mpg (9.8 liters per 100 kilometers). Needless to say, there's some impressive tech underlying these figures.Read More

Robotics

Caterpillars and the next generation of rolling robots

The millions of years of natural selection that lies behind the immense biodiversity found on our planet is fertile ground for keeping robotics research rolling ... in this case, literally. Some caterpillars in the Crambidae family have the amazing ability to spring into a wheel shape and roll away when it's time to get out of Dodge fast, and it is this talent that has inspired the creation of GoQBot – a 3-inch cm long soft-bodied robot that could provide a blueprint for versatile search and rescue robots of the future.Read More

Mobile Technology

Sony announces two Android 3.0 tablets

Sony has announced its intention to crash into the tablet PC market with two devices set for release later this year. Codenamed S1 and S2, both models will support WiFi and WAN (3G/4G) connections and run on the tablet-oriented Android 3.0 OS. There's little in the way of specifications available at this stage, but Sony is clearly looking to stand-out from the crowd in terms of form-factor. The S1 features a 9.4-inch display and looks pretty much like a "traditional" tablet aside from its wedge-shaped "off-center of gravity" design aimed at improving stability, grip and comfort. S2 gets a little more radical with its portable, horizontally hinged design and dual 5.5-inch displays which can be used separately or combined as a single large screen. Read More

Military

U.S. Navy demonstrates solid state laser weapon at sea

Solid-state laser weapons are a step closer to operational capability with the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR) reporting that it has successfully disabled a small target boat during testing off the Californian coast. Stemming from the Defense Department's Joint High Power Solid State Laser (JHPSSL) program, the Northrop Grumman developed Maritime Laser Demonstrator (MLD) was installed on the deck of the Navy's test ship the USS Paul Foster for the demonstration, making it the first time such a system has been integrated with a ship's radar and navigation system and the first time a high-energy laser has been fired at sea from a moving platform.Read More

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