Scientists have created a new generation of biosensors that could potentially allow machines to sniff out subtle differences in smell with more accuracy than our own human noses. From University of Manchester:
Every odour has its own specific pattern which our noses are able to identify. Using a combination of proteins coupled to transistors, for the first time machines are able to differentiate smells that are mirror images of each other, so called chiral molecules, something that has not been possible before. The human nose can distinguish between some of these molecules and the different forms of the same molecule of carvone, for example, can smell either like spearmint or caraway. Previous machines would not have been able to distinguish between the two.
The development will allow the creation of a new generation of biosensors with an acute ability to sniff out problems. These could have many industrial uses such as telling when food has gone off, and they could even be accurate enough to smell how much pollution is in the atmosphere.
A collaboration of academics from The University of Manchester and the University of Bari in Italy, have created a biosensor that utilises an odorant binding protein. The team’s findings are published today in the journal Nature Communications.
New Sensors Could Allow Machines to Smell More Accurately Than Humans - [Link]
by Amy Norcross @ edn.com:
Researchers at Scandinavian research organization SINTEF have made progress in developing components that dissolve in water. Printed on a silicon wafer, the components contain extremely thin circuits — only a few nanometers thick — that are designed to transfer energy. They are made of a combination of magnesium, silicon, or silicon with a magnesium additive; are water-soluble; and disappear after a few hours.
Eco-friendly electronics of the future will be designed to disappear - [Link]
by Jessica Lipsky @ edn.com:
Intel announced at CES 2015 the Broadwell family, its fifth-generation Core processors. The 14 new chips are essentially versions of the company’s 22nm Haswell architecture made in its new 14nm process, providing enhancements it hopes encourages PC and notebook users to upgrade.
Intel will offer dual and quad-core chips — 10 processors at 15W (both Core i5 and i7 chips) with Intel HD graphics, and four 28W products with Intel Iris Graphics spanning i3, i5, and i7 lines. The dual-core chips have 1.9 billion transistors, a 35% increase over the prior generation, and a 133 mm2 footprint that is approximately 50mm2 smaller than its predecessors. The 15W chips have data rates up to 3.1 GHz while 28W i7 cores hit up to 3.4 GHz.
Intel rolls 14nm Broadwell in Vegas - [Link]
by Dario Borghino @ gizmag.com:
Scientists at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore have developed a smart window that is able to tint itself blue, partially blocking incoming light, without the need for an external power source. The device also functions as a small transparent battery that recharges on its own simply by interacting with the oxygen in its surroundings.
Self-tinting “breathing” window doubles as a transparent battery - [Link]
At the IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) 2014 held in San Francisco last week the laboratory for advanced research in microelectronics (Imec) announced they had designed an 8-bit RFID transponder chip that used so little power it could run for 20 years on a single AAA battery. If predictions about the interconnectivity of all ‘things’ in the future are to be realized then it will be necessary to optimize the design of sensors and electronics so that they do their job using as little energy as possible.
Ultra Low Power Chips - [Link]
by Cabe Atwell @ edn.com:
Love it or hate it, there’s no question that Apple’s iPhone line is popular, and while the numbers haven’t officially been announced yet, the company has already broken its record for pre-orders online (roughly 4 million in a 24-hour period compared to the iPhone 5’s 2 million). The new smartphone comes in two flavors — the 6 and the 6 Plus. In this teardown, we focus on Apple’s flagship, the larger “phablet” 6 Plus.
Teardown: Inside the iPhone 6 Plus - [Link]
by Hanne Degans @ phys.org:
At this week’s IEDM 2014, held in San Francisco, California, nanoelectronics research center imec demonstrated an ultra-low power RFID transponder chip. Operating at sub 1V voltage and realized in thin-film transistor technology (TFTs) on plastic film, the chip paves the way for universal sensing applications, such as item level RFID tagging, body area networks (BAN) and environmental monitoring, that require prolonged remote autonomy, and ultimate thinness, flexibility and robustness.
One of the major drivers of the semiconductor industry is the Internet of Things (IoT). Market studies envision a society where billions of autonomous sensor nodes are seamlessly integrated into objects, in the environment and on human bodies, operating independently for months, interacting with each other and connecting to the internet. This IoT is expected to improve and enhance daily-lives through smart houses and smart cars, personal health monitoring and much more.
Ultralow-power RFID transponder chip in thin-film transistor technology on plastic - [Link]
When MC Hammer rapped ‘You can’t touch this’ little did he know of the work being carried out by a group of scientists at Bristol University. The team led by Dr Ben Long and colleagues Professor Sriram Subramanian, Sue Ann Seah and Tom Carter have produced an ultrasonic sound system able to generate 3D shapes in mid-air that can be felt.
Tactile Holograms - [Link]
by Stanford University @ phys.org. For decades, the mantra of electronics has been smaller, faster, cheaper. Today, Stanford engineers add a fourth word – taller.
At a conference in San Francisco, a Stanford team will reveal how to build high-rise chips that could leapfrog the performance of the single-story logic and memory chips on today’s circuit cards.
Those circuit cards are like busy cities in which logic chips compute and memory chips store data. But when the computer gets busy, the wires connecting logic and memory can get jammed.
The Stanford approach would end these jams by building layers of logic atop layers of memory to create a tightly interconnected high-rise chip. Many thousands of nanoscale electronic “elevators” would move data between the layers much faster, using less electricity, than the bottle-neck prone wires connecting single-story logic and memory chips today.
Researchers combine logic, memory to build a ‘high-rise’ chip - [Link]
by Richard Moss @ gizmag.com:
We’ve already seen artificial skin capable of sensing touch and prosthetics that sense texture, but now a group of Korean scientists has come up with a stretchable electronic skin that “feels” in three dimensions. The artificial skin is made from arrays of microscopic domes that interlock and deform when pressed. It can detect the intensity, location, and direction of pressure, whether from an object or a mere gust of wind.
Electronic skin can sense the direction in which it’s being touched - [Link]