Friday, May 30, 2014

#SPACE: "World's 1st Rocket Thruster 3-D Printed by SpaceX"

3-D printing is no longer just for prototypes, but can also be used for limited-run end-user products. For long runs its still cheaper to use stamp dies for sheet metal, injection molds for plastic parts, and CNC (computer numerical control) machine tools for metal parts, but I predict that the day is in sight when even mass produced items will be using cheap, super-fast versions of todays 3-D printers: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Today the world's first rocket thruster fabricated on a 3-D printer was certified by SpaceXRS.

Further Reading

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

#ENERGY: "Hy-brid Supercap/Batteries to Obsolete Li-ion"

Vanderbilt University researchers have found a way to embed a hybrid super capacitor/battery into the case of mobile devices thereby eliminating the need for Li-ion batteries: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Traditional solid-state super-capacitors (left) are subject to delamination, but Vanderbilt's super-capacitor's (right) roughened interior maintains its structural integrity.

The nanometer scale features of the porous surface allow efficient charge storage while the porous material remains both electrically and mechanically connected to the bulk electrode visible at the bottom.

Further Reading

Monday, May 26, 2014

#ROBOTICS: Bionic Machines to be Based on Half-Semiconductor/Half-Protein"

If our legions of machines were based on bionics that cleanses the air of CO2, wouldn't that help our environment by mitigating greenhouse gases? R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Brionic supra-particles may one day be the building blocks of cybernetic organisms.

Bionic supra-particles harness sunlight to make environmentally benign synthetic fuels.

Further Reading

Thursday, May 22, 2014

#ROBOTICS: "Cybernetic Organisms are Half-Semiconductor Half-Living"

Benevolent cyborgs (like in Terminator II) could become a reality in the future, by constructing the from bionic materials that are half semiconductor and half living protein: R. Colin Johnson @ NextGenLog

Bionic supra-particles--half semiconductor/half living protein--may one day harness sunlight to fuels cyborgs.

Artist's rendering of bionic supra-particles that may one day be the building blocks of cybernetic organisms.

Further Reading

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

#CHIPS: "Bell Labs Reborn in Former Image"

Bell Labs is back! Promising to restore the exploration of basic scientific discoveries uncovered while it does what Bell Labs alway did best: solve the world'd biggest industry problems: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Former Bell Labs researchers Robert Wilson (left) and Arno Penzias (right) discovered the cosmic background microwave radiation resulting from the Big Bang.

The AT&T Horn Antenna in Homdel, N.J., that enabled Bell Labs researchers Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson to discover the cosmic background microwave radiation resulting from the Big Bang.

Further Reading

Monday, May 19, 2014

#CHIPS: "Terahertz Detectors Shrink to Handheld"

Downsizing those giant airport scanners you stand inside of to handheld should cut their price and offer new applications areas: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

These tiny detectors convert terahertz waves into sound for handheld devices in Jay Guo's lab

Further Reading

#MEMORY: " IBM Sets New World Record with Mag Tape:

Mag tape might be old school, but its the only memory technology for Big Data that is keeping up with Moores Law: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

With a gap of just 90 nanometer on its giant magnetoresistance (GNR) read head IBM has set a new record fitting 154 terabytes on a single cartridge.

Further Reading

Thursday, May 15, 2014

#ROBOTICS: "3-D Printing Proves Mettle in U.S. Grand Challenge"

Proving the mettle of 3-D printing for drone-like ground and aerial vehicles was the purpose of this contest--using on-site construction od military reconnaissance and civilian search-and-rescue vehicles: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Virginia Tech mechanical engineering student Matthew Price works on a 3-D printed ground vehicle being build by six students for the Spring 2014 Additive Manufacturing Grand Challenge.

Further Reading

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

#CHIPS: "Cobalt Encapsulation Extends Moore's Law"

Applied materials thinks is has the solution to copper interconnects becoming unreliable below the 28 nanometer node where they are increasingly subject to voids during manufacturing and electro-migration in the field. The answer--encapsulating copper in cobalt whose excellent wetting prevents voids and encapsulation mitigates electro-migration.

Cobalt encapsulation tool adds two new steps to the copper interconnection process.

Endura Volta CVD encapsulates copper in cobalt to prevent voids and electro-migration.

Further Reading

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

#3D: "Chips On-the-Cheap Funded by SRC"

Stacking memory is just most obvious application of this ultra-cheap method of stacking 3D circuitry within the metallization layers of standard CMOS chips, but I'm sure that when designers put on their thinking cap they'll find many more useful applications.: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Interferometric TFT printed above an oxide covered (blue) metallization layer of a CMOS chip.

Further Reading

Monday, May 05, 2014

#CHIPS: "NeuroCore Enables Electronic Brain to Control Robots"

Brain emulators are being perfected at Stanford University where NeuroCore chips are ganged together for any sized NeuroGrid--or artificial brain. Emulators-as opposed to mere simulators--use hardware, here mixed signal NeuroCore chips that emulate the ion-channel and firing behavior of real neurons in realtime--aproximately the same amount of time used by reals brains; R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

The Neurocore tile contains four synaptic population circuits, four ion channel population circuits, a dendritic compartment circuit and a somatic compartment circuit. A Neurocore has 256-by-256 of these tiles.

he Neurogrid board uses 16 Neurocore chips to simulate one million neurons with six billion synaptic connections

Further Reading