More and more data-intensive applications are running on modern wireless consumer electronic products, and communication channels below 10 GHz, such as WLAN, are confronted with spectrum scarcity. Wireless system designers are therefore compelled to explore higher frequency bands, such as the unlicensed 60 GHz band. This band is available throughout the world and allows multi-Gbps wireless communication over short distances. However, the cost, footprint and power consumption must be drastically reduced to enable deployment of 60 GHz wireless communication technology in portable mass-market products.
An important step towards the deployment of 60 GHz technology is the new prototype transceiver front-end IC developed by Imec and Panasonic that achieves a 7 Gbps data rate over short distances in the four channels specified by the IEEE 802.11ad standard with QAM16 modulation and an error vector management figure better than -17 dB. The transmitter signal path, consisting of a power amplifier and a mixer, consumes 90 mW with 10.2 dBm OP1dB. The receiver signal path, consisting of a low-noise amplifier and a mixer, consumes 35 mW and has a noise figure of 5.5 dB and 30 dB gain. Electrostatic discharge robustness is over 4 kV with a human body model. The compact 0.7 mm³ core area makes the transceiver front-end especially suitable for use in phased arrays. The small area is achieved by using lumped components and very compact millimeter-wave CMOS layout methods. [via]
CMOS Transceiver hits 7 Gbps in 60 GHz Band - [Link]
Wrapped around this cardiac balloon catheter are temperature and EKG sensors and LEDs. The wires are stretchable coils. It is manufactured with a lift-off MEMS process. The etched silicon is then stretched and attached to a polymer backing. Silicon usage is minimized over the substrate and the ensemble is quite flexible, to survive inflation and deflation of the balloon.
Stretchable, inflatable electronics - [Link]
Cell phones and flashlights operate by battery without trouble. Yet because of the limited lifespan, battery power is not a feasible option for many applications in the fields of medicine or test engineering, such as implants or probes. Researchers have now developed a process that supplies these systems with power and without the power cord.
For more than 50 years, pacemakers have set the rhythm for many hearts. The engineering of microelectronic implants has since advanced by leaps and bounds: they have become ever-smaller and more technologically sophisticated. The trend is moving toward miniaturized, intelligent systems that will take over therapeutic and diagnostic functions. For example, in the future implantable sensors will measure glucose levels, blood pressure or the oxygen saturation of tumorous tissue, transmitting patient data via telemetry. Meanwhile, medication dosing systems and infusion pumps will be able to deliver a targeted release of pharmaceutical substances in the body, alleviating side effects in the process…
Power without the cord - [Link]
Charles Moyes (cwm55) and Mengxiang Jiang (mj294) writes:
We built a robust Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) using single-channel electroencephalography (EEG) with an AVR microcontroller, and we were able to play Pong using our brain waves (and monitor/record our sleep). Charles Moyes (cwm55) and Mengxiang Jiang (mj294)
We built a robust Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) using single-channel electroencephalography (EEG) with an AVR microcontroller, and we were able to play Pong using our brain waves (and monitor/record our sleep).
Brain to Computer Interface - [Link]
The wearable computing wars are about to begin, says a report released Tuesday by Forrester Research.
The report predicts that consumers will begin experimenting more with wearables over the coming year, specifically around health and fitness, navigation, social networking and gaming. This new theme among consumers will hasten big tech companies to begin creating wearable computing products.
Wearable Computers Are the Next Big Devices, Report Says - [Link]
Scientists and engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee have accidentally discovered an entirely new carbon-based material that is synthesized from graphene. The new material that the researchers are calling graphene monoxide unifies all three characteristics of electrical conductivity – conduction, insulation and semi-conduction – which are needed for use in electronics.
Graphene has the potential to revolutionize electronics because it conducts electricity much better than the gold and copper wires used in current devices. Applications for graphene however are limited because it’s too expensive to mass produce. Another problem is that, until now, graphene-related materials existed only as conductors or insulators.
The researchers created the new material by heating grapheme oxide (GO) in a vacuum to reduce oxygen. Instead of being destroyed, however, the carbon and oxygen atoms in the layers of GO became aligned, transforming themselves into the ordered, semiconducting graphene monoxide (GMO) – a material that does not exist in nature. It was not the result they expected. The new GMO exhibits characteristics that will make it easier to scale up than grapheme and it is semiconducting. [via]
Accidental Discovery Advances Graphene-based Electronics - [Link]
Samsung describe YOUM as thinner lighter and unbreakable! The flexible AMOLED features a TFT Film, Organic Layer Encap (Film) and a Polariser. Samsung Mobile display don´t use a glass substrat they use a special plastic material to reach the high resolution and the bending property. Samsung is ready to mass produce flexible AMOLEDs in Q2 2012!
Samsung introduce YOUM unbreakable Flexible AMOLED Display - [Link]
Supercapacitors can store substantially more charge than regular capacitors and they charge and discharge faster than batteries. Unfortunately they only have a fraction of the energy density of batteries. Improving the energy density of supercapacitors would represent a significant advance in energy storage technology, but this requires electrodes that not only maintain high conductivity but also provide higher and more accessible surface area than conventional activated carbon electrodes.
Researchers at UCLA have now produced laser scribed graphene electrodes that have these desired properties. The electrodes consist of an expanded network of graphene and have excellent mechanical and electrical properties, as well as exceptionally high surface area. The open network structure reduces the diffusion path of electrolyte ions, which is crucial for charging the device and also allows supercapacitors to deliver very high power in a short period of time. [via]
LightScribe DVD drive makes novel supercapacitor electrodes - [Link]
The paperless office clearly is an illusion as people continue to print and photocopy incredible amounts of emails, memos and other useless documents that end up in the bin. So if we cannot get rid of paper in the office, maybe we can remove the ink from it and then use the paper again?
An engineering team at the University of Cambridge in the UK has figured out how to erase pages by vaporizing common toners using a laser-based technique that doesn’t damage the underlying paper. The key idea was to find a laser energy level that is high enough to vaporize the toner without destroying the paper on which it is fixed. After many experiments it was found that 4-ns pulses with a wavelength of 532 nm (green light) worked best. [via]
Unprinter removes Ink from Documents - [Link]
LONDON – Mar. 26, 2012 – element14, the first collaborative community for design engineers and electronics enthusiasts, powered by global electronics distributor Premier Farnell [LON:PFL], has today announced its Design Flow Series webinars will be kicked off by Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton on 4 April.
In the first session Raspberry Pi fans around the world have a chance to see how simple it is to program one of the credit card sized computers. The possibilities of what can be done on a Raspberry Pi are only limited by the imagination, so to help users get up and running quickly, in this live session, Eben will talk through the simple set up procedure, how to download and install the Operating System on the SD card, run the boot up script, use the script editor and begin to create applications using the Python scripts that are pre-supplied with the software download.
Raspberry Pi founder demonstrates how to program the mini-computer - [Link]