Advertisement

Chip

Science

Analogue computer chip mimics brain's neural function

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

Laptops

Intel gets some competition – AMD A-series CPU/GPU hybrids are on the way

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

Electronics

Increasing processor efficiency by matching power with demand

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

Science

Microfluidic chip device identifies bacteria types

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

Science

Scientists create a multitool for working with nanoparticles

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

Computers

What do you get when you cross a CPU with a GPU? AMD’s Fusion family of APUs

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

Science

Scientist infects himself with a computer virus

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

Inventors & Remarkable People

Researchers show off tiny piezoelectric energy capture sensor

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

    Advertisement
    Advertisement
    Advertisement

    See the stories that matter in your inbox every morning

    Advertisement