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UCL researchers have designed a silicon oxide-based memory chip that is faster than flash ...

These days, Flash memory is almost the defacto standard for data storage in consumer devices, being found in everything from PCs and digital cameras, to smartphones and USB thumb drives. But a team of researchers at University College of London (UCL) has developed a new type of memory chip that is much faster than Flash memory, while also offering greater storage densities and requiring much less power. Could the days of Flash memory's dominance be numbered?  Read More

The world's first molybdenite microchip has been successfully tested in Switzerland.

Back in February, Darren Quick wrote about the unique properties of Molybdenite and how this material, previously used mostly as a lubricant, could actually outshine silicon in the construction of transistors and other electronic circuits. In brief: it's much more energy efficient than silicon, and you can slice it into strips just three atoms thick - meaning that you can make transistors as much as three times smaller than before, and make them flexible to boot. Well, the technology has now been proven with the successful testing of the world's first molybdenite microchip in Switzerland. Does this mean Lausanne will become known as "Molybdenite Valley?"  Read More

An image of the new computer chip, that mimics the activity of neurons in the brain (Photo...

The human brain contains approximately 100 billion neurons, and each one of those communicates with many others by releasing neurotransmitters. Those neurotransmitters cross a gap – properly known as a synapse – between the sending (presynaptic) and receiving (postsynaptic) neurons. Ion channels on the membranes of the postsynaptic neurons open or close in response to the arrival of the neurotransmitters, changing the neurons’ electrical potential. Should that potential change to a sufficient degree, the neuron will produce an electrical impulse known as an action potential. It’s a very complex process ... and scientists from MIT have now recreated it on a silicon computer chip.  Read More

AMD has unveiled a new line of APU chips, the A-series, formerly known as Llano

Laptop buyers do not have much of a choice in terms of CPUs these days with the market dominated by Sandy Bridge and other Intel solutions, but some competition is on the way. Today, AMD officially announced a full range of multi-core chips for laptops combining CPU and GPU, the so-called APUs (Accelerated Processing Units). These complement the AMD Fusion family, and were previously known as "Llano."  Read More

A die micrograph of the fully integrated DC-DC converter chip (Image: Wonyoung Kim, Harvar...

For decades, chipmakers strove to develop the fastest and most powerful chips possible and damn the amount of electricity needed to power them, but these days raw grunt isn't the only consideration. As more and more devices go mobile and these devices become more and more powerful, chipmakers must also take the energy efficiency into account. Harvard graduate student Wonyoung Kim has developed and demonstrated an on-chip, multi-core voltage regulator (MCVR) that he says could allow the creation of "smarter" smartphones, slimmer laptops and more energy efficient data centers by more closely matching the power supply to the demand of the chip.  Read More

A team of biomedical engineers at Taiwan's National Cheng Kung University has created a ne...

A team of biomedical engineers at Taiwan’s National Cheng Kung University has created a new “on-chip” method to identify bacteria. By creating microchannels between two roughened glass slides containing gold electrodes, the researchers are able to sort and concentrate bacteria. A form of spectroscopy is then applied to identify them, providing a portable device that can be used for tasks like food monitoring and blood-screening.  Read More

A fluorescence micrograph showing nanoparticles separated by the NIST device

If you had to sort a bunch of nanoparticles by size, what would you use? A microscope, tweezers, and a very finely-calibrated caliper? Actually, you’d probably use the nanofluidic “multi-tool” created by researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the US. Before you start picturing a teeny-tiny Leatherman, which would admittedly be pretty cool, you should be aware that the NIST device is more like a coin separator, that sorts your nickels, dimes and quarters. In this case, however, they would be nickels, dimes and quarters that are smaller than a bacterium.  Read More

The AMD Fusion ushers is what AMD says is a significant shift in processor architecture an...

At Computex 2010 AMD gave the first public demonstration of its Fusion processor that combines the Central Processing Unit (CPU) and Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) on a single chip. The AMD Fusion family of Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) not only adds another acronym to the computer lexicon, but ushers is what AMD says is a significant shift in processor architecture and capabilities.  Read More

A UK researcher has infected his RFID implant with a computer virus as proof of principle ...

A researcher from the UK's University of Reading has warned of possible future infection issues for recipients of medical implants. The cause for concern is not biological, though. Dr. Mark Gasson's disquiet relates to the fact that as implants become more sophisticated, the computerized systems running them could become prone to virus attack. And to prove his point, the good doctor purposely infected a chip implanted in his hand with a virus, which subsequently spread to an external communication system.  Read More

Fully autonomous wireless temperature sensor powered by a vibrational energy harvester

Working within the Holst Centre program on Micropower Generation and Storage, researchers have developed a small piezoelectric device capable of harvesting 85 microwatts of electricity from vibrations. Fabricated using MEMS technology, the fully autonomous temperature sensor generates enough power to wirelessly measure and transmit environmental data to a base station every 15 seconds.  Read More

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