by Suzanne Deffree @ edn.com:
Texas Instruments announced plans for the Regency TR-1, the first transistor radio to be commercially sold, on October 18, 1954.
The move was a major one in tech history that would help propel transistors into mainstream use and also give new definition to portable electronics.
TI was producing germanium transistors at the time, but the market had been slow to respond, comfortable with vacuum tubes.
However, the use of transistors instead of vacuum tubes as the amplifier elements meant that the device was much smaller, required less power to operate, and was more shock-resistant. Transistor use also allowed “instant-on” operation because there were no filaments to heat up.
TI announces 1st transistor radio, October 18, 1954 - [Link]
by Darren Quick @ gizmag.com:
Researchers from Columbia University and the Georgia Institute of Technology are laying claim to having observed piezoelectricity in an atomically thin material for the first time. The effect was demonstrated in the world’s thinnest electric generator made from a two-dimensional molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) material, which had previously been predicted to exhibit such properties.
Two-dimensional piezoelectric material forms basis of world’s thinnest electric generator - [Link]
Recent advances of Li-Ion battery technology could be the kick start the faltering electric vehicle market needs for it to go main stream. As well as the fast charge time the new battery can be cycled more than 10,000 times and has a lifespan of 20 years.
The work carried out at NTU Singapore replaces the traditional graphite anode with one made from titanium dioxide, an abundant, cheap and safe material found in soil. It is commonly used as a food additive and in sunscreen lotions. Before the material can be used it is converted into fine nanotubes which allows faster chemical reactions in the cell giving it super fast recharge times.
Li-Ion battery recharges to 70% in 2 mins - [Link]
by Darren Quick @ gizmag.com:
There have been numerous cases of lithium-ion batteries catching fire in everything from mobile phones and laptops to cars and airplanes. While the odds of this occurring are low, the fact that hundreds of millions of lithium-ion batteries are produced and sold every year means the risk is still very real. Researchers at Stanford University have now developed a “smart” lithium-ion battery that would provide users with a warning if it is overheating and likely to burst into flames.
“Smart” lithium-ion battery would warn users if it is going to ignite - [Link]
by Ben Coxworth @ gizmag.com:
Tired of digging through the collection of credit, debit and loyalty cards in your wallet? Well, if you are, then you’re the sort of person who might like the Plastc Card. It’s a new electronic card-format device, that can store the information for up to 20 other cards on it at once. You just select the card that you want to access via the e-ink screen, then use Plastc as if it were that card.
Plastc – one card to rule them all? - [Link]
by Nancy Owano @ phys.org:
Technology from a Taiwanese semiconductor foundry is to bring considerable benefits in performance and power efficiency to big.LITTLE implementations, in the name of FinFET. Hsinchu, Taiwan-based TSMC announced last month it had successfully produced the first fully functional ARM-based networking processor with FinFET technology and explained how TSMC’s 16FinFET process promises speed and power improvements as well as leakage reduction.
TSMC, ARM see impressive results with FinFET process - [Link]
A group of engineers have developed the smallest organic laser [via] :
The 8-µm-long device, which looks like a suspended bridge riddled with holes, is carved into a silicon chip coated with an organic dye. Integrated into microprocessor chips, such tiny lasers could one day speed up computers by shuttling data using light rather than electrons. They also could be valuable for sensors and lab-on-a-chip devices.
Engineers Build Ultrasmall Organic Laser - [Link]
by By Ben Coxworth @ gizmag.com:
It’s the big paradox of emergency-use flashlights … by the time you eventually need to use them, their batteries have died. Eton’s new Blackout Buddy H2O, however, will reportedly still work after sitting for up to 10 years. And to turn it on, you just add water.
This latest member of the Blackout Buddy line has a magnesium-oxide battery, which starts delivering power to the light’s three LEDs when exposed to H2O. To initially fire it up, you dip it into a small cup of water, or pour water into its battery compartment. After that, it will keep going continuously for up to 72 hours – if it starts to dim within that time, you simply add more water.
Blackout Buddy H2O runs on water to provide emergency lighting - [Link]
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.
IBM Grows Wafer Scale Graphene – [Link]
by Colin Jeffrey @ gizmag.com
Researchers working at the University of Missouri (MU) claim to have produced a prototype of a nuclear-powered, water-based battery that is said to be both longer-lasting and more efficient than current battery technologies and may eventually be used as a dependable power supply in vehicles, spacecraft, and other applications where longevity, reliability, and efficiency are paramount.
“Betavoltaics, a battery technology that generates power from radiation, has been studied as an energy source since the 1950s,” said associate professor Jae W. Kwon, of the College of Engineering at MU. “Controlled nuclear technologies are not inherently dangerous. We already have many commercial uses of nuclear technologies in our lives including fire detectors in bedrooms and emergency exit signs in buildings.”
Long-lasting, water-based nuclear battery developed - [Link]