Thursday, July 31, 2014

#CHIPS: "Movidius-2 Defines New Category of Co-processor"

Movidius has defined a new category of chip--the vision processing unit (VPU)--which goes between the camera and the application processor to provide sophisticated video processing tasks such as object recognition and 3-D mapping: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

The Myriad 2 vision processing unit (VPU) measures just 6.5 mm on each edge and is packaged in a 0.4 millimeter pitch 225 ball grid array (BGA) package with 1 Gbit of low-power double data rate (LPDDR II)
synchronous random access memory (SRAM).

Further Reading

Thursday, July 24, 2014

#ENERGY: "Energy Harvester Eliminates the Need for Batteries"

Vibration harvester from Omron/IMEC eliminates the need for batteries to wireless sensors on equipment that vibrates: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Imec and Omron collaborated on a board weighing just 15.4 grams and harvests vibrations to provide DC power to sensors in the 100 microwatt range.

Further Reading

#ALGORITHMS: "Moog Resigns Theremin with Built-in Synthesizer"

Moog has redefined the Theremin by adding an integrated synthesizer, MIDI output and other features that makes it truly a Moog--called the Theremini: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

The Theremini has a small ring antenna (left) to control column and a telescoping vertical antenna (right) for controlling the pitch of a single note or any parameter in the internal or an attached music synthesizer.

Further Reading

Monday, July 21, 2014

#CLOUD: "Build Your Own System-on-Chip (SoC) in the Clouds"

System-on-Chip (SoC) building can now be learned by any academic, giving them access to EDA tools and the training they need t use them from a special cloud server: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Cloud-based virtual machines provide the EDA tools, design databases, intellectual property, workflows, and more to universities worldwide that only need thin-clients (Chromebox)

Further Reading

Friday, July 18, 2014

#ROBOTICS: "Adding Extra Robotic Fingers Aids Human Dexterity"

Adding extra fingers, arm or self-defined extremities to humans is the next frontier for robotics: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

MIT doctoral candidate Faye Wu shows that by following the motions of the fingers the two robotic fingers adjacent to thumb and pinky can help users perform tasks with one hand that would ordinarily take two.

Further Reading

Thursday, July 17, 2014

#MATERIALS: "Super-resists Enable EUV to Reach 10-nm Node"

To get to the 10-nanometer node circa 2017 most semiconductor makers are still banking on EUV, which need special super-resists like the one described here to be successful: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Super-resist combine cross linkers in low concentration (left) enabling shorter exposure times than with high concentrations of cross linkers (right).


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

#DISPLAYS: "Flexible Displays Roll-up Like a Scroll"

Flexible displays are already here in the form of curved displays for TVs and smartphones encased in glass and metal, but these new-generation flexible displays will be encased in plastic so they can be rolled up like a scroll: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Flexible OLED displays can be rolled up for storage or transport or form fit to smart watches, visors, almost anything.

Further Reading

Monday, July 14, 2014

#CLOUD: "IBM Migrates All its Services to the Cloud for Cheap"

IBM now offers a complete cloud-based solution including computers, software and storage at what it claims is a 90 percent savings over competitors: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Further Reading

Thursday, July 10, 2014

#NETWORKING: "Bell Labs Matches Ethernet with 10 Gbit/s Over Copper Pairs"

Bell Labs is at it again, defining new horizons, in this case achieving Ethernet speeds over copper pairs, thus solving the Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) problem: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Further Reading

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

#ALGORITHMS: "Movea Motion Processing and Sensor Fusion Experts Acquired by Invensense"

All the motion processing and sensor fusion software makers are being acquired by MEMS or audio/speech makers. Only Hillcrest remains independent--but for how long? R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Sophsticated motion processing and sensor fusion software from companies like ExHillcrest, Movea and Sensor Platforms are needed to meet the growing need for combo motion sensors which will grow to over $1 billion by 2016, according to IHS.

Further Reading

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

#CHIPS: "36-Core Multiprocessor Chip has Internet on-a-chip"

Internet on-a-chip allows any number of cores to be networked into single-chip supercomputer, using a novel dual-network topology that MIT claims is a first: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Twin Internet-like networks on-a-chip preserve cache coherency for 32 cores, called tiles, according to MIT.

Further Reading

Friday, July 04, 2014

#MEMS: "Knowles Claims Worlds Lowest Power Mic"

Voice activated and other sound oriented functions requires that the microphone be always-on, but Knowles has figured a way to do it with only 235 microAmps--keeping it ahead of the pack: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

The world's lowest-power MEMS mic at just 235-microAmps measures a scant 3.50 x 2.65 x 0.98 millimeters.

Further Reading

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

#MATERIALS: "IBM Will Produce Nanotube Transistors by 2020 or Give Up"

IBM has given itself a deadline of 2020 to perfect the nanotube transistor, for which there are significant technological hurdles: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Four carbon nanotubes transistor channels are all controlled by the same local back gate.

Further Reading