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]
Nanoelectronics research center imec and XIMEA, a progressive creator of machine vision systems, today announced their partnership in integrating imec’s Hyperspectral Imaging (HSI) sensors together with XIMEA’s xiQ USB3.0 camera product line. Exceptional interoperability between camera and sensor’s technology streamlined the success of this integration.
“Combining imec’s hyperspectral sensor with XIMEA’s impressively compact xiQ cameras is a new milestone for us. The high-speed USB3.0 interface includes power supply over USB that removes the need for expensive and bulky frame-grabbers and separate power supplies. It will enable our partners to design and mass-produce extremely compact hyperspectral imaging camera solutions,” stated Andy Lambrechts, program manager for imaging & vision systems at imec.
Imec bring smallest hyperspectral imaging camera to market - [Link]
By Colin Jeffrey:
We literally live in a wired world, with wires snaking hither and yon transmitting electricity and data. Many are visible, while many more are hidden in the walls of buildings, the panels of cars, and the fuselage of aircraft. Now, imagine; what if we were able to turn each and every one of these into a battery that not only transmitted electricity but stored it too? Well, two researchers from the University of Central Florida (UCF) imagined that too, and came up with a way to use nano-technology to make wires with supercapacitance that may eventually also double as batteries.
Researchers create flexible wires that could double as batteries - [Link]
Mag tape might be old school, but its the only memory technology for Big Data that is keeping up with Moores Law: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog
IBM Sets New World Record with Mag Tape - [Link]
by Nancy Owano:
When a global leader in providing equipment, services and software used for manufacturing semiconductors makes an announcement, industry players sit up and listen, as the technologies are going to impact market activity in devices such as smartphones, flat screen TVs and solar panels. Tuesday’s announcement from Applied Materials was big. The Santa Clara, California based equipment supplier announced the launch of its Endura Volta CVD Cobalt chip making machine. This is the only tool capable of encapsulating copper interconnects in logic chips beyond the 28nm node by depositing precise, thin cobalt films, said the company.
Applied Materials sets cobalt on path to future chips - [Link]
The Raspberry Pi took the tech world by storm when it first launched two years ago – after all, what self-respecting gadget lover wouldn’t want a teeny, super-affordable and almost infinitely customisable computer? Imagine if it had more power though; perhaps it could be the ideal pocket-sized gaming machine! Good news: such a super-gadget exists, in the form of the aptly-named Banana Pi.
As the fruity name suggests, the Banana Pi offers a similar concept to the Raspberry Pi. It’s an incredibly small, bare-bones PC, packing in the essentials and not a lot else. It means you’ll be able to customise to your heart’s content – coding specific programmes to carry out functions for your home entertainment systems, or adding different features like cameras – but it also means you’ll need to know what you’re doing if you want to get the best out of either the Raspberry or the brand new Banana Pi.
Banana Pi: The £35 mini PC twice as powerful as a Raspberry Pi revealed - [Link]
A startup Japanese company called Power Japan Plus have announced a new type of rechargeable battery which they claim is a significant improvement compared to LiIon batteries. The battery was developed at the department of applied chemistry at the Kyushu University in Japan.
The press release suggests that vehicles equipped with the battery would have a 300 mile range, indicating a better energy density than LiIon batteries. They also claim that the battery can be recharged twenty times faster than LiIon and can be cycled more than 3000 times without loss of capacity.
If that doesn’t tick enough boxes they also go on to say that the battery does not produce any significant temperature rise during operation so there is no need for additional cooling and no risk of thermal runaway. Details of the design are sketchy but they state that the only active material used in the battery is carbon, making it cheap to manufacture. The battery is described as using an organic electrolyte where positively charged lithium ions flow to the anode and negatively charged anions flow to the cathode, which would suggest other elements are also at play. The design is said to be 100 % recyclable. Power Japan Plus are currently focussing their research on a new type of carbon-complex battery made entirely from organic carbon.
Is Dual Carbon the Way Forward? - [Link]