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]
Whether he really said that or not is still up for debate. The quote appeared at the beginning of an editorial written by James E. Fawcette published in the April 29, 1985 issue of InfoWorld and the was attributed to a certain William Gates, chairman of Microsoft in response to a question about why PC-DOS had an upper memory limit of 640 KB.
Well, things move on and at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona SanDisk Corporation introduced the ‘200GB SanDisk Ultra microSDXC UHS-I card, Premium Edition’, which is currently the world’s largest capacity microSD card for use in mobile devices. This comes one year after they introduced the 128 GB SanDisk Ultra microSDXC card.
According to Christopher Chute, Vice President, Worldwide Digital Imaging Practice, IDC “Seven out of 10 images captured by consumers are now from smartphones and tablets. Consumers view mobile-first devices as their primary means for image capture and sharing, and by 2019 smartphones and tablets will account for nine out of 10 images captured,” This high capacity card is suitable for Android smartphone and tablet users and the Premium Edition microSD card combines the world’s highest capacity with fast transfer speed of up to 90MB/s. The 200GB SanDisk Ultra microSDXC UHS-I card, Premium Edition, has a ten-year limited warranty and will be available worldwide in Q2 at an MSRP of $399.99.
640 K ought to be enough for anyone… - [Link]
In a world with a growing population and ever-expanding need for energy, achieving more efficient electrical power conversion is crucial, but presents a number of challenges. GaN technology offers a solution, delivering a number of advantages to ensure availability of reliable electric power.
TI’s latest whitepaper explores the role of GaN in the power supply chain. Read up on its advantages over silicon for power supply switching, and technology advancements required to create complete system-level solutions for GaN-based designs.
Delivering efficient, reliable power through GaN – [Link]
R. Colin Johnson @ eetimes.com:
PORTLAND, Ore. — Complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) imaging chips are becoming the industry’s leader in advanced process technology — instead of the traditional leaders (processors and memory) — thanks to strong demand for CMOS imaging chips in everything from smartphones to tablets to medical equipment and automobiles. Apparently, now the innovation surpasses Moore’s Law, says analyst firm Yole Développement.
Imaging was once done by film, but with the advent of solid-state sensors the technology breakthroughs seem to be growing exponentially, doubling with each new innovation (see slide 1), thus surpassing the traditional interpretation of Moore’s Law, argues Yole Développement (Lyon, France) in a new paper. Yole calls this effect “More than Moore.”
CMOS Image Sensors Surpassing Moore’s Law - [Link]
by Chris Wood @ gizmag.com:
Over the last couple of years we’ve seen a number high-tech cards that aim to slim down your wallet, all offering pretty similar functionality. The Swyp Card is the latest to make a bid for your hard-earned cash, promising to condense your wallet into a single metal card that stores info from debit, credit, loyalty and gift cards.
Swyp holds onto the classic card form factor and allows users to switch between stored cards using physical scroll buttons, with a built-in display showing information for the chosen payment method. New cards are registered by swiping them through a card reader that plugs into the headphone port on a user’s smartphone running a companion iOS/Android app.
Swyp aims to replace all your plastic cards with one that’s electronic - [Link]
by R. Colin Johnson @ eetimes.com:
The world’s first microelectromechanical system (MEMS) spectrometer on-a-chip was shown today at at Photonics West (San Francisco, February 10-12) by Si-Ware Systems (SWS, Cairo, Egypt with offices in La Canada, Calif.) Instead of transporting materials across sometimes great distances to be analyzed with a normal bench-top spectrometer, Si-Ware’s MEMS-powered spectrometer fits in the palm of your hand and thus can be taken to the material to be analyzed.
“Spectrometers are usually bench sized, so your have to take the object to the bench, but now with our MEMS sized you can can take the spectrometer to the object,” said executive vice president, worldwide marketing and business development of Si-Ware, Scott Smyser.
World’s 1st Spectrometer On-a-Chip - [Link]
by By Colin Jeffrey @ gizmag.com:
A new method of processing signals via fiber optic cables could vastly increase the distance at which error-free data is transmitted via submarine cables without additional signal amplification. As the technique is capable of correcting corrupted or distorted data being transmitted, it may also assist in increasing the capacity of all optical fiber communications.
With demand for internet connectivity running at an all time high – and only increasing – the fiber optic cables over which much of the data flows draw ever-closer to reaching capacity. Short of laying more cables, growing demand is being increasingly met by boosting the number of available frequency channels on which the data, in the form of encoded light signals, is transmitted. This is often achieved using a variety of compression and error-correction techniques, as well as employing methods designed to overcome nonlinearity in long lengths of optical fiber.
New electronic technique promises to double optical fiber communications reach - [Link]
by Colin Jeffrey @ gizmag.com:
Researchers from the University of Manchester and University of Sheffield have developed a new prototype semi-transparent, graphene-based LED device that could form the basis of flexible screens for use in the next-generation of mobile phones, tablets and televisions. The incredibly thin display was created using sandwiched “heterostructures”, is only 10-40 atoms thick and emits a sheet of light across its entire surface.
Flexible graphene-based LED clears the way for flexible displays - [Link]
by Graham Prophet @ edn-europe.com:
Researchers at IMEC have produced an 8-bit microprocessor that runs at 2.1 kHz. That is not a typing error for GHz; 2.1 kHz is a breakthrough speed in this instance because the transistors that make up the processor’s logic are entirely fabricated in low-temperature organic materials. Possible areas of application include high-volume printing of RFID tags.
Belgium’s Holst Centre, IMEC and their partner Evonik have fabricated a general-purpose 8-bit microprocessor using complementary thin-film transistors (TFTs) processed at temperatures up to 250 °C, compatible with plastic foil substrates. The “hybrid” technology integrates two types of semiconductors – metal-oxide for n-type TFTs (from materials companies iXsenic and Evonik) and organic molecules for p-type TFTs – in a CMOS microprocessor circuit, operating at a clock frequency unprecedented for TFT technologies of 2.1kHz. The results were published online in Scientific Reports.