more top stories »

Low power

— Electronics

Millimeter-scale, energy-harvesting sensor could operate almost perpetually

Researchers have developed a solar-powered sensor system that is just nine cubic millimeters in size. It is 1,000 times smaller than comparable commercial counterparts and can harvest energy from its surroundings to operate nearly perpetually. The system could enable new biomedical implants as well as building and bridge-monitoring devices. It could also vastly improve the efficiency and cost of current environmental sensor networks designed to detect movement or track air and water quality. Read More
— Science

Quantum computing researchers achieve control over individual electrons

The superfast computers of tomorrow will likely be able to manipulate individual electrons, harnessing their charge and magnetism to achieve massive data storage and outstanding processing speeds at very low power requirements. But how exactly do you go about manipulating single electrons independently, without affecting the ones nearby? Princeton University's Jason Petta has recently demonstrated a way to do just that in a breakthrough for the field of spintronics that brings faster and low-power number-crunching closer to reality. Read More
— Science

Toshiba's spintronics transistor and a new storage mechanism in silicon come to life

In a recent issue of the journal Nature, researchers from the University of Twente, Netherlands, explain how they succeeded in transferring magnetically coded information directly into a semiconductor, for the first time at room temperatures. Meanwhile, Toshiba announced at the International Electronics Devices Meeting (IEDM) it has developed a MOSFET transistor harnessing spintronics, demonstrating stable, fast and low-power performance. Read More
— Computers

A touchy subject: the new maXTouch chip from Atmel

Atmel has just announced that its highly anticipated maXTouch mXT224 capacitive touchscreen controller chip is now ready for production release. Atmel representatives are positively bubbling with excitement about this product, which supports an unlimited number of simultaneous screen touches, looks out for unintentional touches and delivers smooth visuals with refresh rates of up to 250Hz - all on one tough, tiny, low-power chip. Read More
— Environment

Really green power - running an electric circuit from trees

Researchers at the University of Washington (UW) have taken the term ‘green power’ literally by running an electric circuit from the power generated by trees. Sure, there isn’t much electrical power to harness, but the researchers say it should be enough to run wireless sensors that could be used to detect environmental conditions or forest fires and could also be used to gauge a tree’s health. Read More