Tuesday, September 30, 2014

#SUPERCOMPUTERS: "Electronic Brain Promised by 2023"

The European Union is throwing $1.3 billion over 10-years at creating an electronic brain--they already have an Atlas of brain subsystems begun and 100 universities and corporations on-board building them: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Junction of four HICANNSs (High Input Count Analog Neural Networks) inside a reticle on a wafer containing many HICANN circuits.

Junction of four reticles on a post-processed HICANN (High Input Count Analog Neural Network) wafer within the BrainScaleS project and will be used as a neuromorphic physical model.
(Source: University of Heidelberg)

Junction of four reticles on a post-processed probe-card wafer used to verify the final post-processing method for power tests of the wafer module.

Further Reading

#MATERIALS: "IBM Grows Wafer Scale Grahene"

IBM has not only perfected a method of growing wafer scale graphene as a potential material for the post-silicon era, but has found a way to use it today to dramatically cut the cost of GaN LEDs.

A four-inch wafer of graphene successfully transferred to a silicon wafer.

Further Reading

Monday, September 29, 2014

#CHIPS: "Fairchild Reinvents Itself"

Fairchild aims to pioneer the 21st century by putting together smart modules that solve problems better for energy efficiency, mobility and the cloud.

As an example of Fairchild's modernization, it is now fabricating complete compact, high-efficiency, cost-effective modules aimed at driving up quality while driving down costs to its customers.

Further Reading

Friday, September 26, 2014

#ENERGY: "IBM/Airlight Beat Chinese PV with Higher Tech"

IBM and its collaborator AirLight believe they can beat the price of even the cheapest Chinese photovoltaic panels with a higher-tech disk based system that produces 12 kW of electricity and 20 kW of heat that can be used for HVC or desalinating water or both: R. Colin Johnson @ NextGenLog

This solar dish produced up to 20 KW thanks to a collaboration between Airlight Energy, which has perfected low-cost solar concentration to 2,000X, and IBM, which has perfected water-cooling chips down to 105 degrees that would otherwise be driven up to 1,500 degrees.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

#MEMS: "Piezoelectric MEMS mics Seem Destined to Take Over"

Piezoelectric MEMS microphones have already chalked up 70 dB signal-to-noise rations (SNRs) and are on their way to 80 dB, which is virtually unattainable by the conventional capacitive MEMS mics that everybody else makes: R. Colin Johnson @ NextGenLog

Instead of a traditional round diaphragm like capacitive microphones use (right) piezoelectric microphones use a square block of piezoelectric material (aluminum nitride, green) divided into four triangles (along the X from corner to corner) which stretch and contract--but never touch--thus creating an ultra low-noise signal picked up by the metal (yellow and gold) electrodes.


Monday, September 22, 2014

#CHIPS: 10 Best Bets for Next Gen Memory"

Here are my best guess at the next-generation of memory storage technologies except for MRAM, 3D NAND, RRAM and Spin-Transfer Torque RAM (STT-RAM), which were left out for various reasons: R. Colin Johnson


Friday, September 12, 2014

#MATERIALS: "No End to Moores Law with III-V Gallium Arsenide Materials"

It takes 100 crazy ideas to come up with one good one--like the finFET. Likewise, of the 100s of crazy ideas engineers are trying today, some will keep Moore's Law alive indefinitely--or at least until we start using synthetic biological computers instead!)

An optical emitter can be easily added to a III-V chip to make on-chip communications between electronics travel at the speed of light.

A III-V ring oscillator in more precise, burns less power and uses fewer parts than silicon oscillator.

Further Reading

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

#CHIPS: "Intel Xeon Processors Outdistance Competition"

Intel announced its third generation Xeon E5-2600 v3 processors this week with up to 3X the performance and 18 cores per socket. Improvements in security and load tracking make the high-end processors attractive to cloud-service providers, but are also supplied in models for small businesses an workstations: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Further Reading

Friday, September 05, 2014

#CHIPS: "Intel's Core M Powers 2-in-1 Tablet/Notebooks"

Intel's new Core M for 2-in-1 combo tablets/notebooks is aimed at revitalizing the x86, especially for aging PC laptop owners who are envious of the "wow" factor of tablets, but still need the file space and keyboard of a laptop: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Intel's 14 nanometer Core M processors are manufactured on 12 inch wafers.

The Core M is a dual-core processor with integrated graphics and all peripherals on a single SoC.

Further Reading

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

#CHIPS: "Engineers Wildest Dreams Pioneer Future at Freescale DiscoveryLab"

Freescale's Discovery Lab give its engineers time off their regular job to create the technologies of their dreams: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Further Reading

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

#DISPLAYS: "Touchscreens Speed Access with Gestures on Blank Screens"

Saving battery life and speeding access to apps, Dongbu HiTek;s new touchscreen controller allows the user to define symboms drawn on a a blank screen--like a circle--to auto-matically open up a favorate app, like email, without the usual multi-step procedure of turning on, entering security code, find the Mail icon and tapping it. Instead just draw a circle on a dark screen and email pops directly up. The user can define any number of such one-step symbols: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Further Reading