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]
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]