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posted in November 2006

13 items
Strontium scheme enters atomic clock race
News & Analysis  
11/30/2006   Post a comment
A new kind of atomic clock is 40,000 times more precise by virtue of suspending strontium atoms in a lattice of laser light.
Battery-powered lab-on-chip may be near
News & Analysis  
11/27/2006   Post a comment
For a soldier in the field, a slight hand tremor, tic of the eye, sudden sore throat or whiff of a noxious odor could urgently put his battery-powered portable lab to work. Such microfluidic labs-on-a-chip could let soldiers test their own blood for exposure to many toxins simultaneously and in a matter of minutes. At least, that was the goal of a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology when he landed a U.S. Army contract to pursue work on the tiny tool.

Disposable biochip uses plastic
News & Analysis  
11/27/2006   Post a comment
Laboratories-on-a-chip pack the punch of an overnight testing facility, but get results in minutes by virtue of nanoliter-size chambers that speed up chemical reactions. Of the dozens of kinds of micropumps that can be used to fill those chambers, only a few avoid contaminating the nanoliter-size samples. Recently the University of Utah showed a design that avoids contamination via the use of vacuum-driven, plastic layered membranes.

'Mote-on-chip' rolls for sensor nets
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11/20/2006   Post a comment
Dust Networks Inc. (Hayward, Calif.) last week unveiled the world's first system-on-chip (SoC) for wireless sensor networks at Electronica in Munich, Germany.

Team claims midrange wireless energy transfer
News & Analysis  
11/20/2006   Post a comment
The hurdles to wireless power transfer through space have been perceived to be so great that the last serious work on the topic, reported in the 1920s, was inspired by Nikola Tesla's seminal demonstrations circa 1890. But now an MIT physicist claims the obstacles to wireless power transfer are surmountable, at least for distances under 12 feet.

Technology cutting final land-line links
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11/20/2006   Post a comment
What with the Bluetooth headset crowd wandering the streets talking to the air, you might have thought the final tether to land lines had already been cut. You would be wrong. At least two vital functions have yet to be loosed: network routers, which must always be on and thus cannot be battery-powered, and the chargers for all those batteries powering the world's wireless network nodes, cell phones and laptops.

MIT claims advance in wireless power transfer
News & Analysis  
11/14/2006   Post a comment
Researchers are claiming that the obstacles to wireless power transfer can be overcome--at least at distances up to 12 feet.
Discera, Vectron team for MEMS resonators
News & Analysis  
11/14/2006   Post a comment
Microelectromechanical system (MEMS) startup Discera Inc. said it is teaming with quartz crystal oscillator maker Vectron International Inc. to develop MEMS oscillators.
Wireless nets get SoC
Product News  
11/14/2006   Post a comment
Dust Networks Inc. announced what it claims is the world's first system on a chip for wireless OEMs.
Chips fill optical fiber cores
News & Analysis  
11/13/2006   Post a comment
Converting from optical to electrical signals, then back to optical, is the bane of modern networks, often requiring a $10,000 optical-to-electronic converter just to perform some simple signal processing, then another $10,000 electronic-to-optical converter to put the signal back on the fiber-optic cable. Now researchers have invented a method that merges electronics with optics by inserting semiconductor devices inside a hollow optical fiber, potentially integrating the electronic signal-proce
Purified protein advances biofuel cells
News & Analysis  
11/7/2006   Post a comment
Researchers have purified the essential protein performing the electronic function of a fuel-cell chamber membrane, potentially enabling commercialization of biofuel cells sans bacteria.
Purified protein enables biofuel cell sans bacteria
News & Analysis  
11/6/2006   Post a comment
In experiments, biofuel cells have harnessed membranes of living bacteria to separate anode from cathode--enabling them to share an electrolyte chamber like a lead-acid battery. Now, researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have purified the essential protein performing a fuel-cell membrane's electronic function, clearing the way to commercialize biofuel cells sans bacteria.

Spintronics approach advances toward live chips
News & Analysis  
11/6/2006   Post a comment
Portland, Ore. -- A research group has announced a promising technique in spintronics that might be used in standard silicon chips in the near future. Spintronics combines today's charge-based data storage and communication with magnetic-based information using spin as the common coin.

As data rates begin to move beyond 25 Gbps channels, new problems arise. Getting to 50 Gbps channels might not be possible with the traditional NRZ (2-level) signaling. PAM4 lets data rates double with only a small increase in channel bandwidth by sending two bits per symbol. But, it brings new measurement and analysis problems. Signal integrity sage Ransom Stephens will explain how PAM4 differs from NRZ and what to expect in design, measurement, and signal analysis.

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