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Computers

Samsung moves into mass production of 3D flash memory

Samsung has announced production of the first solid state drives (SSD) based on its new 3D V-NAND flash memory. V-NAND flash memories read and write twice as fast as conventional NAND memories, and last 10 times longer while consuming 50 percent less power. At present, the 3D chips offer about the same physical bit density as do more conventional NAND flash memory chips, but while 2D geometries are reaching the end state of their scaling potential, the 3D chips offer as much as two orders of magnitude of additional elbow room for denser devices. Read More

Mobile Technology

Nvidia demonstrates incredible next-gen mobile graphics system

With its new Project Logan mobile system-on-chip, Nvidia has not so much raised the bar as blown the roof off expectations of computer and game graphics on mobile devices. In an impressive display of Logan's "oomph," the company has shown it running Ira, an incredibly detailed and effects-heavy demo of a human head animated in real time. The demo was itself unveiled in recent months, and previously shown running on Nvidia's super-heavyweight GeForce Titan graphics card.Read More

Electronics

Tiny digital chip delivers up to 20 W audio output

If you can find one, the new STA333IS digital audio chip and power amplifier from STMicroelectronics (STM) offers a quick and easy solution for converting digital audio into a 10 watt/channel stereo for anything from a boom box to a backyard sound system. Don't misunderstand, they currently are at distributors, selling for about one US dollar apiece. The problem is literally finding the chips. At about one-eighth the volume of a grain of rice and weighing only a few milligrams, drop one on a carpet and its gone for good. Read More

Mobile Technology

Apple inching further away from Samsung, cuddling up with TSMC for mobile processors

The relationship between Apple and Samsung is, well, complicated. They're like two bitter exes who work together, or maybe live in the same building. If circumstances permitted, they'd never see each other again. But, try as they may, they just can't get each other out of their lives. Can you say awkward? Well, that relationship is about to take one step closer to complete severance, as Apple is reportedly partially switching to TSMC for the coming year's iOS processors.Read More

Computers

D-Wave quantum computer matches the tenth ranked supercomputer for speed

There have been years of controversy about whether the superconducting quantum annealing computers manufactured by D-Wave are a) quantum computers; and b) fast enough for a) to matter. Now a test of the 512-qubit Vesuvius chip establishes at least that computing based on quantum annealing is, in the words of a computer science professor at Amherst College, "in some cases, really, really fast." Read More

Digital Cameras

MIT's new image-processing chip improves digital snapshots

Snapshots banged off on a smartphone, tablet or point-and-shoot camera could soon be getting a lot better looking thanks to a new processor chip. Developed by researchers at MIT’s Microsystems Technology Laboratory, the new chip enhances images within milliseconds, and reportedly uses much less power than the image processing software installed on some devices. Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Brain implant could warn of the onset of dementia

A new moisture-proof sensor has been developed, to monitor cerebral pressure that can lead to dementia. It was created by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT in St. Ingbert in Germany. The sensor, that is similar to pressure sensors used by the auto industry, represents a shift from previous implants that allowed moisture to penetrate and destroy the device.Read More

Energy

New MIT chip harvests energy from three sources

The problem with depending on one source of power in the drive toward the battery-free operation of small biomedical devices, remote sensors and out-of-the-way gauges is that if the source is intermittent, not strong enough or runs out altogether, the device can stop working. A small MIT research team has developed a low-power chip design capable of simultaneously drawing power from photovoltaic, thermoelectric, and piezoelectric energy sources. The design also features novel dual-path architecture that allows it to run from either onboard energy storage or direct from its multiple power sources.Read More

Science

Researcher develops world's first integrated chemical chip

While the silicon chips found in the electronic devices that we rely on every day are built around the flow of electrons through circuits, with the development of an “integrated chemical chip,” a doctoral student in Organic Electronics at Sweden’s Linköping University has created the basis for an entirely new circuit technology based on the transmission of ions and molecules.Read More

Science

New "ReRAM" memory chip outdoes flash memory in speed, density and energy efficiency

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

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