Researchers at Pennsylvania State University, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the specialty wafer manufacturer IQE have demonstrated a near broken-gap tunnel field-effect transistor (NBTFET) technology that could enable next-generation high-speed, low-power applications in wearable computing, the Internet of Things, implantable electronics, and smart sensor networks.
The device uses electron tunneling through an ultra-thin energy barrier to deliver high current at low voltage (see figures below) and exhibits a drive current of 740µA/µm, an intrinsic RF transconductance of 700µS/µm, and a cutoff frequency of 19 GHz at a VDS of 0.5 V. The findings were presented at the recent International Electron Devices Meeting in Washington, D.C.
Cross-section view of a vertical tunnel field effect transistor. Electron tunneling occurs at the interface between the transistor's
source and channel.
(Source: Suman Datta/Penn State)
A scanning electron microscope top view of the TFET.
(Source: Suman Datta/Penn State)
Researchers have developed an algorithmic approach that they say can predict -- and prevent -- cascades of power grid blackouts through real-time monitoring of fluctuations in the entire grid. Developed by Igor Mezic, professor of mechanical engineering at the University of California Santa Barbara, and associates, the method uses Koopman Mode Analysis, a dynamical approach based on a concept related to chaos theory.
The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has published a globally relevant technical specification for a single external charger for notebook computers. The IEC Technical Specification 62700: DC Power supply for notebook computer will be available in early 2014. It is designed to allow consumers to use a single external charger with a wide range of notebooks and laptops, and to make it easier for such chargers to be replaced or reused.
In product news, Toshiba Electronics has introduced a Qi-compliant wireless power receiver IC. The company says the TC7761WBG generates 30% less heat than its TB6862WBG.
New synchronous stepdown regulators from Linear Technology are geared toward automotive and industrial applications and operate from 3.5A, 42V supplies. The LT8610A and LT8610AB have a 2.5µA quiescent current and a minimum switch-on time of 30 ns.
Also new from Linear is the LT8584 monolithic active cell balancer IC. The 2.5A device integrates a 6A, 50V power switch and includes a telemetry interface.
Murata has announced a series of 1W regulated DC/DC converters suited for industrial, automation, and instrumentation applications. The fully encapsulated single-in-line through-hole MEF1 devices provide 3kVdc isolation and are rated to better than 1% of nominal output voltage.
A power supply IC from Elmos AG is designed to power and protect automotive antenna amplifiers and sensors. Including an I2C interface and eight-bit ADC, the E522.40 can be used in applications with input voltages from 4.5 V to 25 V, and it offers two independent settable output voltages from 3.3 V to VBat.
New TCN PulseCap tantalum solid electrolytic chip capacitors from AVX provide a polymer electrode version of the company's TLN PulseCap series. The company says that the devices are ideally suited for use as energy bank capacitors in SSDs and external HDDs, as well as for wireless transmitters, including smart meters and smartcards.
Finally, GE Industrial Systems' Critical Power business has launched a cloud-based DC/DC power module selection tool. The free online Power Module Wizard allows designers to select the GE Critical Power DC/DC module best suited for their application based on required specifications.