A new generation of chipless RFID tags could soon be set to replace standard product barcodes. A research team at Monash University led by Dr Nemai Karmakar, from the Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering, have been developing chipless radio frequency identification (RFID) tags that can be printed directly onto products and packaging – including postal items, drugs and books – potentially making this new technology cheaper, smaller and faster than any other tracking system on the market.
The team have succeeded in producing fully printable tags for products made of metal and containing liquids including water bottles and soft-drinks cans. Until now, this hasn’t been possible because metal and liquids interfere with the technology. The tag can be printed using an inkjet printer and read when they are attached to reflective surfaces such as metal cans and water bottles.
Printable Chipless RFID Tags – [Link]
by Nancy Owano @ phys.org:
Michigan Micro Mote (M3) is the world’s smallest computer. How small? It’s about the size of a grain of rice. A University of Michigan’s March report can tell you that the team behind the computer have come up with a fully autonomous system that can act as a smart sensing system. “To be ‘complete,’ a computer system must have an input of data, the ability to process that data – meaning process and store it, make decisions about what to do next – and ultimately, the ability to output the data,” said David Blaauw, one of the faculty members who achieved the Michigan Micro Mote.
Hey, watch where you’re flicking. That’s a computer – [Link]
by Darren Quick @ gizmag.com:
Researchers at Stanford University have created a fast-charging and long-lasting rechargeable battery that is inexpensive to produce, and which they claim could replace many of the lithium-ion and alkaline batteries powering our gadgets today. The prototype aluminum-ion battery is also safer, not bursting into flames as some of its lithium-ion brethren are wont to do.
The prototype battery features an anode made of aluminum, a cathode of graphite and an ionic liquid electrolyte, all packed within a flexible, polymer-coated pouch. And unlike lithium-ion batteries, which can short circuit and explode or catch fire when punctured, the aluminum-ion battery will actually continue working for a short while before not bursting into flames.
Flexible, fast-charging aluminum-ion battery offers safer alternative to lithium-ion – [Link]
The wonder material with so many extraordinary properties has found its way out of the research lab and into a commercial product. This new product will surely posses super powers and allow us to do things we thought impossible and probably change our lives for ever. Well, actually no. In this case Graphene has been used in the reinvention of what was arguably the first commercial electrical device patented back in 1879. It is perilously close to April 1st but the National Graphene Institute has announced they will be producing a light bulb based on graphene.
The light bulb has an LED shaped like a filament coated in graphene. It is thought the new lamp will use 10 % less energy compared to conventional light bulbs. Manufacturing costs are also lower and it will be made using more sustainable components. The company behind this new light bulb is Graphene Lighting. Professor Colin Bailey is a director of the company and also deputy vice-chancellor at Manchester University. According to Prof Bailey the light bulb should be available later this year and will be priced around $22.
The future looks bright for graphene – [Link]
by R. Colin Johnson @ eetimes.com:
PORTLAND, Ore.– Researchers sponsored by the Semiconductor Research Corp. (SRC, Research Triangle Park, N.C.) claim they have extended Moore’s Law by finding a way to cut serial link power by as much as 80 percent. The innovation at the University of Illinois (Urbana) is a new on/off transceiver to be used on chips, between chips, between boards and between servers at data centers.
The team estimates the technique can reduce power up to whopping 44 times for communications, extending Moore’s Law by increasing computational capacity without increasing power. “While this technique isn’t designed to push processors to go faster, it does, in the context of a datacenter, allow for power saved in the link budget to be used elsewhere,” David Yeh, SRC director of Integrated Circuits and Systems Sciences told EETimes.
Researchers Claim 44x Power Cuts – [Link]
by Dario Borghino @ gizmag.com:
Flash storage technology will soon see a three-fold improvement in data density thanks to a joint development at Intel and Micron that will allow the production of 3.5 TB flash sticks and 10 TB standard-sized SSDs. Meanwhile, a new 48-layer cell technology development by Toshiba could pave the way for higher write speeds, more reliability and lower costs in solid state drives.
3D flash technology moves forward with 10 TB SSDs and the first 48-layer memory cells – [Link]
by Richard Moss @ gizmag.com:
As if smartphones can’t already do enough, soon they may be able to scan three-dimensional objects and send the resultant high-resolution 3D images to a 3D printer that produces hyper-accurate replicas. This comes thanks to a small and inexpensive device called a nanophotonic coherent imager (NCI), which was developed by scientists at Caltech. The NCI could add 3D imaging to a variety of other devices and applications such as improving motion sensitivity in human machine interfaces and driverless cars.
New chip could turn phone cameras into high-res 3D scanners – [Link]
by Shaun Mason @ phys.org:
The dramatic rise of smartphones, tablets, laptops and other personal and portable electronics has brought battery technology to the forefront of electronics research. Even as devices have improved by leaps and bounds, the slow pace of battery development has held back technological progress.
Now, researchers at UCLA’s California NanoSystems Institute have successfully combined two nanomaterials to create a new energy storage medium that combines the best qualities of batteries and supercapacitors.
Supercapacitors are electrochemical components that can charge in seconds rather than hours and can be used for 1 million recharge cycles. Unlike batteries, however, they do not store enough power to run our computers and smartphones.
The new hybrid supercapacitor stores large amounts of energy, recharges quickly and can last for more than 10,000 recharge cycles. The CNSI scientists also created a microsupercapacitor that is small enough to fit in wearable or implantable devices. Just one-fifth the thickness of a sheet of paper, it is capable of holding more than twice as much charge as a typical thin-film lithium battery.
Scientists create quick-charging hybrid supercapacitors – [Link]
by R. Colin Johnson @ eetimes.com:
Living beating hearts on-a-chip were recently created from pluripotent stem cells discovered by 2010 Kyoto Prize Winner, Shinya Yamanaka. Bioengineers at the University of Berkeley aim to create all of the human organs on-a-chip then connect them with micro-fluidic channels to create a complete human-being on-a-wafer.
“We have learned how to derive almost any type of human tissue from skin stem cells as was first discovered by Yamanaka,” professor Kevin Healy told EE Times. “Our initial application is drug screening without having to use animals, but putting organs-on-a-chip using the stem cells of the patient could help with genetic diseases as well.”
Heart On-A-Chip Beats – Microbots put all organs on-a-chip – [Link]
Amy Norcross @ edn.com
Researchers from several universities, including the Georgia Institute of Technology, are working on a keyboard that can isolate typing patterns — such as pressure applied to each key and the time spent between strokes — to accurately identify users. Their findings were published in the journal ACS Nano.
Four layers of transparent film on the device, including polyethylene terephthalate, indium tin oxide, and fluorinated ethylene propylene, harvest and collect energy from the user’s fingertips. “This intelligent keyboard changes the traditional way in which a keyboard is used for information input,” said Zhong Lin Wang, a Regents professor at Georgia Tech’s School of Materials Science and Engineering. “Every punch of the keys produces a complex electrical signal that can be recorded and analyzed.”
“Smart” keyboard knows who’s typing – [Link]