We all know lithium-ion batteries need careful monitoring to prevent over-charging and ensure cell temperature remains within limits. We all thought we knew the best way to replace the charge as well: trickle charge, take it nice and gentle to keep the cell temperature down and prolong cell life. Turns out we may have got that last one wrong! New findings published in the Nature Materials Journal by a team of researchers at Stanford University indicate that by tweaking the battery design it may be possible to get faster charge/discharge rates and also increase the number of charge cycles.
Better lithium-ion Charging - [Link]
The image may be a bit grainy and (at the moment) just monochrome but that is only to be expected for what is the world’s first flexible display to incorporate graphene in its pixel electronics. The new display technology is a result of collaboration between the Cambridge Graphene Centre and Plastic Logic. Plastic Logic has already developed flexible display electronics but this new prototype is an active matrix electrophoretic display, similar to the screens used in today’s e-readers, made of flexible plastic instead of glass. In contrast to conventional displays, the pixel electronics, or backplane, of this display includes a solution-processed graphene electrode, replacing the sputtered metal electrode layer within Plastic Logic’s conventional devices, bringing product and process benefits.
First Graphene-based Flexible Display - [Link]
The Raspberry Pi foundation have announced what they call an ‘evolution’ of the Raspberry Pi single board computer. The team have retained the original processor and clock speed and look on this new model as the final revision of the original design rather than a ‘Raspberry Pi 2’. To sum up the new model B+ has:
More GPIO. The GPIO header has grown to 40 pins, while retaining the same pinout for the first 26 pins as the Model B.
More USB. The B+ has 4 USB 2.0 ports, compared to 2 on the Model B, and better hotplug and overcurrent behaviour.
Micro SD. The old friction-fit SD card socket has been replaced with a much nicer push-push micro SD version.
Lower power consumption. By replacing linear regulators with switching ones the power requirements are reduced by between 0.5W and 1W.
Better audio. The audio circuit incorporates a dedicated low-noise power supply.
Neater form factor. The USB connectors are now aligned with the board edge, and the composite video now has a 3.5mm jack. The corners are rounded with four squarely-placed mounting holes.
Fresh Raspberry Pi Hits the Streets - [Link]
Rechargeable batteries save us a lot of money but take a lot of time. What if you could recharge a battery in seconds instead of hours?
Rechargeable batteries save us a lot of money these days but for the savings, we give up some of our time, waiting for them to recharge. What if though. What if there was a rechargeable battery that took seconds to recharge instead of hours? That is exactly what I’ve invented and I need your help to bring this to the masses and show the world that we no longer need to waste hours of or lives waiting for a battery to charge.
With the leaps and bounds being made today with capacitors, they’ve gone from being able to store a tiny potential of energy to now, being able to store enough energy to be considered a power source. These high Farad capacitors are known as super capacitors and aside from providing electricity for an extended period of time, they can also be charged very quickly. Recently, there’s been another development, combining the technology of super capacitors with lithium ion batteries. The usually downside to super capacitors from batteries is that they don’t provide electricity for nearly as long. However, with the advent of the lithium ion capacitor, that is quickly changing.
30 Second Charging, Rechargeable Battery - [Link]
By Darren Quick @ gizmag.com:
After unveiling the world’s first flexible OLED TV at CES earlier this year, LG has gone a step further with the unveiling of two new 18-inch OLED panels: the first is a transparent display, while the second can be rolled up. Although both fall short of the 77-inch flexible TV on show at CES, the company says the new panels prove that it has the technology to bring rollable TVs with screens in excess of 50 inches to market in the future.
LG “rolls out” latest flexible and transparent OLED panels - [Link]
Trulife Optics together with the National Physics Laboratory has demonstrated a new type of transparent head-up display device. According to Simon Hall, lead scientist of Adaptive Optics at the NPL the new technology is unlike existing solutions: “Google’s solution is effectively a prism; it’s like a half-silvered mirror that you’re looking into and the Epson Moverio uses an embedded, slightly different refractive index component in a very thick lens which is reflecting light travelling through the rather thick waveguide”.
This new component is set to transform the development of wearable augmented reality and head-up display devices. Jonathan Lewis, CEO at Trulife optics commented that, “The development of wearable augmented reality devices has been curtailed by the lack of an optical component that allows for the overlay of high-definition, full colour images. But with the launch of our optic, we are providing that missing piece in the augmented reality jigsaw.”
Novel Wearable Optical Display - [Link]
IBM has given itself a deadline of 2020 to perfect the nanotube transistor, for which there are significant technological hurdles: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog
IBM Will Produce Nanotube Transistors by 2020 or Give Up - [Link]
David Szondy @ gizmag.com writes:
If it weren’t for the microchip, your smartphone would be size of a building and need its own power plant to work. Thanks to the integrated circuit and its modern incarnation in the microchip, electronics are a bit easier to carry around than that, and this week, Christie’s put one of the very first integrated circuits up for auction. Designed and constructed in 1958 by Texas Instruments, it’s one of the three earliest “chips” ever made and went on the block with an estimated value of up to US$2 million.
One of the world’s first integrated circuits goes up for auction - [Link]
Colin Jeffrey @ gizmag.com writes:
In a conventional camera lens, the iris consists of a set of overlapping mechanical blades that control the amount of light entering the camera. As efficient as this mechanical system is, it is too bulky and too difficult to miniaturize to be incorporated in smartphones and other compact devices. To address this, a team of researchers has used “smart glass” to create a micro-sized electronic iris that may bring much greater image quality and flexibility to smartphone cameras.
“Smart glass” iris could bring greater quality and flexibility to smartphone cameras - [Link]