New and Emerging Technology News part 146 ~ NEW GEN TECH LIFE : new generation technology news

Sunday, 2 February 2014

New and Emerging Technology News part 146

The new version of the Ferrari 599XX track car features a rear wing with electronically-ro...
For the past couple of years, many of the technologies destined for Ferrari’s road-going supercars were initially developed on the automaker’s track-only 599XX. Based on the 599 GTB Fiorano, the 599XX is made in very limited numbers, and serves as a kind of mobile testbed for new ideas. While it is possible for a few of Ferrari’s favorite people to buy the cars, the company still prepares and drives the vehicles on their behalf, at test tracks and race tracks in Europe and the U.S. Although the car was premiered in 2009 at the Geneva International Motor Show, the latest version is being presented at this month’s Bologna Motor Show. One of the more noteworthy features on the new model is its active aerodynamics system.  Read More
Art. Lebedev's Optimus Popularis fully programmable keyboard with LCD-equipped keys, has b...
Unveiled more than three years ago, the Optimus Popularis keyboard has been finally made available for pre-order at Art. Lebedev design studio's website. Each key of the Popularis incorporates a tiny LCD running at 64 x 64 pixels resolution and can display any chosen image (or even an animation), performing any function assigned by the user. Art. Lebedev is also taking orders for the Optimus mini six external keyboard which offers six programmable LCD keys.  Read More
The SatPlus Sat Chair is the equivalent of a 60cm traditional satellite dish
Want to install a satellite dish at your home but can't due to a building regulation or uncooperative landlord? Hiding an in-built dish and LNB, the SatPlus Sat Chair will let you pull in those satellite signals and the landlord will be none the wiser. The chair can be installed on a terrace, balcony or anywhere else you want to install a satellite dish without breaking any rules - although it might look out of place on the roof.  Read More
The WHILL on display at the Tokyo Motor Show (Photo: Gizmag)
Wheelchair users with full use of their arms generally don't need electric wheelchairs ... but sometimes, especially if those users have long distances to cover, it sure would be nice to have one. Instead of going out and buying themselves a full electric wheelchair, however, those people may soon have the option of using a WHILL. Recently spotted by Gizmag staff at the Tokyo Motor Show, the prototype device clamps onto the wheels of an existing manual wheelchair, temporarily providing it with electric drive.  Read More
AOC's E1649FWU 15.6 inch USB display
Recent days have seen the release of AOC's catchily-named E1649FWU display. Its name isn't important. What is important is that this is a portable 15.6 inch 16:9 LED display with a maximum resolution of 1366x768 at 60 Hz. Most impressive is that the e-fwoo (as I'm calling it) is solely USB 2.0-driven, which means a single cable, connected plug and play to your computer, for video signal and power.  Read More
Senseye's technology uses the forward-facing camera on your smartphone to locate your eyes...
Could you one day control your smartphone by just looking at it? Tech company Senseye thinks so, and is developing the technology to do just that. The technology uses the forward-facing camera on your smartphone to locate your eyes and then estimate where you're looking on the screen. The computer-vision algorithms used are precise enough that your phone will be able to tell even what icon you're looking at, allowing you to open programs, or even control games.  Read More
D-Art melds three-wheel and robotics expertise to create a tilting three-wheeled EV
Japanese design studio D-Art seems to be popping up in all the right places. Its design for a robotic exoskeleton arm was demonstrated at the International Robotics Expo in November, with an target retail price US$2500 to US$3000 projected for 2013, and just a fortnight later at the Tokyo Motor Show, it showed an all-electric three wheeler named the “Style.” The 30 kg Style will do around 25 km/h for 20 km, and costs JPY500,000 (around US$6500).  Read More
Never go back to an iNuke Boom once it's shuffling (Image: Behringer)
If one had to describe Behringer's 10,000 W iNuke Boom dock for iPhones and iPods, it would not be big. That word does not begin to do it justice. The 700 pound dock is 8 feet wide, 4 feet tall and about as deep, and looks like the results of a crossbreeding experiment between a common or garden iPod dock and a monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey.  Read More
More Android in-car entertainment systems are on their way. In September, Hong Kong's Innotrends unveiled an Android 2.3 Gingerbread-based "infotainment" system. Problem is, that system only fits in vehicles with German "2 DIN" standard dashboard. So the news that Intel subsidiary Wind River, which makes all kinds of embedded devices found in cars and elsewhere, is teaming up with stereo maker Clarion to develop new Android-based in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems is big news for anyone interested in seeing more Android in more places.  Read More
The Zapata Flyboard: Aquaman meets Iron Man
We don't think Franky Zapata knows what's about to hit him. The French jet ski champion has just put together an absolutely insane leisure product, released a short video about it - and then took off on honeymoon, where presumably he's having about the least romantic getaway of his life as his phone and email inbox go absolutely bananas. And here it is: the Zapata Flyboard. This ingenious and deceptively simple device bolts on to the powerful motor of a jet ski, then routes the resulting water jet through a long hose that connects to a pair of jet boots and hand-held stabilisers. The arrangement lets you fly, Iron Man style, up to 9 metres in the air - or leap headfirst through the waves like a human dolphin. The best part? You can buy it for under 5000 Euro (US$6700). That is, once Franky digs his way out from under the avalanche of orders he's going to come home to.  Read More

 Espro Press features a two-stage micro-filter that preserves coffee flavors and prevents ...
Coffee lovers Chris Mclean (design engineer) and Bruce Constantine (engineer/ entrepreneur) have spent the last two years developing a precision coffee brewer dubbed Espro Press. The product is similar to classical french presses, however Espro Press features a two-stage micro-filter that reportedly preserves coffee flavors and prevents sediments or muddiness in the coffee.  Read More
L & A Design Group has designed an iconic pedestrian bridge projected for Wuxi Xidong Cent...
China's L & A Design Group has created plans for an iconic pedestrian bridge projected for Wuxi Xidong Central Park, in Jiangsu, China. The bridge will connect the north and south foreshores of the park, and includes a man-made island in its design. The island will offer pedestrians commanding waterfront views and the opportunity to relax and enjoy the surrounding gardens or tea room facilities.  Read More
Kahuna Creations Snow Stick
Kahuna Creations is bringing standup paddleboarding to every type of terrain the Earth has to offer. The sport originated as a water sport, and thanks to Kahuna's Big Stick, came on land a few years ago. Now it's turned into a winter sport thanks to the all new Snow Stick. Snow SUP!  Read More
OnLive has released a new app that allows users to play current-gen console and PC games o...
Tablets and smartphones may now be cemented as a solid platform for games, but there's still a big difference between the mostly casual games available in the Apple and Android markets and the titles aimed squarely at the hardcore gaming crowd. A large part of the issue is the hardware, since even the iPad 2 can barely hold a candle to the processing power of the Xbox 360 or PS3; and that's without even bringing up the capabilities of a modern gaming rig. The video game service, OnLive, however has found a way to bridge the two with its new app that delivers console and PC titles to portable devices and, more importantly, makes them playable.  Read More
The Top 10 things you CAN'T have for Christmas 2011
With Christmas fast approaching it means it's time for our annual look back at some of the technology that caught our eye and had us wishing our fortunes didn't match that of the Greek economy. While not all of the items on this list can be had for an extremely large wad of cash, those that are available for purchase will only find their way down the chimneys of those with a lottery winning or ultra-wealthy - and ultra-generous - family member or friend. Still, Christmas is a time for miracles so it is in that spirit that Gizmag presents its 2010 top 10 list of things you can't have for Christmas this year.  Read More
Confederate Motorcycles X132 Hellcat
Birmingham UK may be the birthplace of many an historic motorcycle marque but Birmingham Alabama is where we'll find Confederate Motorcycles, builder of exclusive "heirloom" machines for the rich and famous. These aren't custom choppers; not the Bondo-filled multi-lacquered fantasy machines of reality TV fame. These are properly engineered and prototyped limited-production models that in the past have sported prices tags of well over $100K. This time, with the X132 Hellcat, Confederate has created a machine that could almost be thought "affordable" whilst still retaining its obsession with detail and stunning design.  Read More
NASA's Kepler mission has detected the most Earth-like planet yet - Kepler 22b (Image: Art...
The ongoing search for Earth-like worlds has taken another promising step. On December 5, NASA announced the discovery of the planet most likely so far to sustain life outside of the Solar System. The exoplanet, given the undramatic name of Kepler 22b, was found by NASA's Kepler spacecraft as part of its mission to seek out Earth-type planets in our galaxy. Though Kepler 22b is not the first such planet to be detected in recent years, it is the first one orbiting a star similar to our Sun and at a distance where it is capable of possessing liquid water, which most scientists regard as essential for life to exist. Though this is a significant milestone, the question remains, how good a candidate for a second Earth is Kepler 22b? Could there be life there or is it a planetary blind alley?  Read More
The Price Check by Amazon App is creating a storm in the retail industry
Online retailing leader Amazon is to make a compelling offer this coming Saturday – use their smartphone app to compare prices, and they'll effectively pay you $5 to walk out of the store. It is an historic move in the evolution of retail sales. As smart phone penetration heads for ubiquity, the price comparison app might go mainstream quite quickly from here. For the customer, it means getting accurate comparison information before a purchase. For the shopping app provider it means an opportunity to make a bid on a customer's patronage at the time- and point-of-sale, inside a competitor's bricks and mortar, at the same time as creating a marketing intelligence tool par excellence. A bold move indeed.  Read More
Scientists have created one of the smallest electronic circuits ever, and it has led to a ...
A team of scientists from Montreal’s McGill University have successfully formed a circuit between two wires which were separated by a gap of only 15 nanometers – that’s about the width of 150 atoms. It is reportedly “the first time that anyone has studied how the wires in an electronic circuit interact with one another when packed so tightly together.” Along with being one of the smallest electronic circuits ever created, it has also led to a discovery that may have big implications for the world of computing.  Read More
Oerlikon Graziano has come up with an innovative a range of transmissions, including a mec...
In a move that should see the humble agricultural equipment of the future both cleaner and more efficient, Oerlikon Graziano - a supplier to the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini - has come up with an innovative a range of transmissions, including a mechanical continuously variable transmission (CVT) for small tractors. Released at Agritechnica in Germany last month, these new drive-trains are claimed to provide higher road speeds and be easier to operate so that the equipment can get to its work site much quicker without the need for a float or trailer.  Read More
 
This Electronic Drum machine shirt is designed to let you bring a drum machine with you wh...
You never know when you'll be walking down the street and want to bust out a few sweet beats. This Electronic Drum machine lets you bring a drum machine with you wherever you go, and create and layer beats on the fly. The shirt has nine different drum kits built-in, including Rock drums, Techno Punk drums, Classic Jazz drums, and Scratchy drums. Drums can be played and looped by tapping the drum pads and controls on the front of the shirt, and loops can be recorded up to three minutes in length. You can mix-and-match drums from different kits in the same loops, and even play all seven at once if you're feeling really adventurous.  Read More
A few short months after being successfully funded by the Kickstarter crowd-sourcing porta...
After attracting more than three times its funding target on the Kickstarter crowd-sourcing portal, the TriggerTrap universal camera trigger is now speeding towards production. The battery-operated, pocket-sized device has five built-in trigger modes - including firing the flash or shutter release in response to light or sound input - and is compatible with a growing list of camera models. It has a touch-sensitive user interface and an LCD display to help take the guesswork out of choosing settings, and can control hundreds of different cameras via wired or IR trigger systems. It has also been built to allow (if not actively encourage) hacking.  Read More
The Cloud is design at its cleverest
There's a bit of controversy surrounding MVRDV's design for a luxury residential environment in South Korea. Some people are concerned about the resemblance of MVRD's “Cloud” to the 9/11 twin towers explosions. Whether it is a 9-11 lookalike is immaterial because it's meant to be a cloud, and it's an ingenious reinvention of the skyscraper using glass and sky and light and sun to create a unique and compelling environment, with many material advantages to the community.  Read More
The Optrix HD lets you mount your iPhone to your helmet or sports vehicle
Shooting video while you're riding a motorcycle, steering a jet ski, or skiing down the slopes of your favorite mountain isn't exactly easy, especially if you're trying to shoot that video with your smartphone. Optrix is aiming to make that process a little simpler by creating the Optrix HD, a rugged water-proof case for the iPhone and iPod touch that can be mounted on your helmet, bike, or anything else to shoot video while you're literally on the move.  Read More
Timberland's new Radler Trail Camp foldable shoe
Along with better mouse traps, the search for ever-lighter hiking shoes will likely always be with us. At 9oz (255g) each, the Radler Trail Camp hikers are Timberland's latest tilt at this quest - and when you add water repellent properties and the ability to fold up for storage, you just may have a piece of outdoor gear as essential as the cork screw or pocket knife. At the very least, insurance for cold, wet feet could be only a couple of zippers away.  Read More
CompBullets are claimed to go faster than regular bullets, due to vents that have been mac...
Competition shooters like their bullets to fly as fast (and thus straight) as possible, and they try to keep recoil to a minimum. Italian ammunition-maker CompBullet produces a series of bullets of the same name, which are claimed to both go faster than normal ammo, and produce less recoil. The secret? The bullets have go-faster holes in them.  Read More
Thrustcycle has unveiled a new version of its self-balancing inline-wheeled prototype elec...
Back in August, we heard about a self-balancing prototype vehicle known as the Thrustcycle SRT. Utilizing a flywheel-based gyroscopic stabilizing system, the electric vehicle was able to remain upright on its three inline wheels, even when standing still. The flywheel also served as a kinetic energy recovery system, helping to extend the vehicle’s range by storing energy that would otherwise be lost when braking. Now, four months later, Thrustcycle Enterprises has contacted us with information about the latest version of the EV, and provided some video of it being driven around ... and getting the crap kicked out of it.  Read More
Universal Age Estimator software can be used to serve up unsolicited advertising to partic...
Estimating another person's age comes naturally to most people. Some find it more challenging than others, but it's an ability we usually don't give much thought to. For computers, however, it's not all that easy. There have been many attempts at age estimation software, but the one offered recently by a group of researchers from Singapore seems unique. It relies on widely available and inherently diverse web resources, and can therefore be used across all ethnicities.  Read More
The winning Sou Fujimoto concept features a tower that in essence is a '21st Century Oasis...
Japanese architecture firm Sou Fujimoto has won the Taiwan Tower International Competition with its green architecture design that features a floating forest. The competition is part of a larger urban plan in Taichung, Taiwan as a part of a new development for the "Gateway City." Architects were given the task of designing a tower that would be located at the southern tip of Taichung Gateway Park, with a minimum height of 300 meters (984 ft).  Read More
Scientists are developing a method of treating wood with fungus, so that violin-makers cou...
Earlier this week, we brought you the story of a radiologist and two violin-makers, who used computed tomography (CT) imaging to create a copy of a 1704 Stradivarius violin. The instrument that they produced was almost an exact replica of the original, as far as the shape, thickness and volume of its wooden parts was concerned. As one of our readers pointed out, however, much of the tonal quality of Stradivari's instruments was likely due to the microstructure and resonance characteristics of the wood of which they were made, caused by the growing conditions at the time. Well, it turns out that someone is working on reproducing that aspect of the violins, too.  Read More

The Mantis Stand from flatscreen arms
There's no shortage of iPad stands on the market, but those looking for something a little bit more flexible and robust might be interested in the solid aluminum Mantis Stand from U.K.-based flatscreen arms. Like a praying mantis, the Mantis Stand clasps its prey (well, your iPad) in a vise-like grasp. Rather less like a praying mantis, the stand's x-shaped head swivels and tilts for portrait or landscape viewing from almost any angle. But the similarities and non-similarities to the praying mantis do not end there.  Read More
The Macro Cell Lens Band captures detailed macro images
The cameras on most smart phones tend to be rather simple affairs so it's not surprising that savvy inventors have dreamed up numerous add-on attachments such as mini-microscopes and wide/telephoto adapters. They do tend to be rather elaborate and brand-specific, however, not to mention somewhat pricey. Not this one though - the Macro Cell Lens Band is a simple close-up photography solution that has two definite pluses - it works on any camera equipped phone and it's very inexpensive.  Read More
The Abyss Board - decent, clean, safe fun
The watersports world has been a little spoiled in the last week with news of the Zapata Flyboard breaking - but even though that one's going to be very tough to top, we thought the Abyss Board was pretty unique and fun in its own right. Towed quite slowly behind a boat, this simple device lets you steer yourself around under the water. With separate control of right and left side wings, you can dive, rise, bank, carve and barrel roll your way through the water. As you're underwater the whole time, you don't need to be going fast to get quite a motion thrill - so in a way the Abyss Board is a reasonably eco-friendly rush. I tell you what though, I wouldn't want either of my brothers at the boat throttle while I was playing with this thing - and they wouldn't want me driving either!  Read More
The Norte Photoblocker is a functional beer cooler surrounded by four sensors that can det...
How many times have you been going about your usual business of cheating on your spouse, being an idiot around your boss, or drunkenly harassing fellow party-goers when some wildly irresponsible person tags you in a photo and posts it online? What's that? "Never," you say? Well congratulations on being an alright human being then. You can feel good about the fact that you don't need the Norte Photoblocker to ruin any potentially damaging photos of your night out as they're being taken.  Read More
The 2012 Lotus Exige S is headed to the United States, although only as a track model
Having previously been forced to get rid of the Elise and Exige from its U.S. lineup because of the expiration of a smart-airbag exemption coupled with Toyota ceasing production of the 1.8-liter engine found in previous models, the 2012 Lotus Exige S is set to make it stateside - although only as a track model. The vehicle is already available in European markets, and comes sporting a Lotus Evora S-derived 3.5-liter supercharged V-6 engine producing 345 hp, and weighing in some 300 pounds (136 kg) more than its predecessor.  Read More
A German court has ruled in favor of Motorola in its lawsuit against Apple related to GPRS...
Last Friday, a German court found Apple in violation of a Motorola Mobility patent, ruling that Apple’s iPhone and 3G model iPads infringe on cellular communications patents owned by Motorola Mobility that relate to General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) data packet transfer technology. Although the court in Manheim, Germany granted Motorola’s requests for damages and an injunction banning the importation of iPhones and 3G iPads into Germany, because the ruling relates to the importation of new device shipments, Apple has said it already has sufficient existing inventory to ensure German shoppers will be able to purchase said devices in the all-important lead up to Christmas.  Read More
'Blue Ocean' by Grieb & Benzinger
We have covered luxury watches many times on Gizmag and it's often a little problematic. The marketing spiel from the manufacturers is always in that strange flowery language that's designed to appeal to those for whom the primary concern is not cost. However, every now and then along comes a series of watches that seem to truly justify their price tag in terms of provenance, style and sheer craftsmanship. The extraordinary "Blue Ocean" and the Platinum Collection from which it comes is just such a line.  Read More
The Mitsubishi EMIRAI concept automotive interface
Sneak peeks at future technology often come with a curious mixture of excitement (it's new!) and frustration (you have to wait ten years) and so it is with Mitsubishi's innovative EMIRAI automotive interface concept. While the system steers clear of the hands-free personal transportation envisioned in futuristic films such as Minority Report, it does explore interacting with your ride in some very compelling ways. From the looks of it, getting around by car will be a lot more interesting in a decade or so ... to say the least.  Read More
NAO Next Gen by Aldebaran Robotics
Remember NAO, the robot that stole the show at the recent Robotville event? Well, NAO's already impressive set of abilities have just been extended with Aldebaran Robotics releasing a new version of its cute little humanoid robot. Around two thousand NAOs are used for research and education purposes all around the world but now that the NAO Next Gen is ready, the founder and chairman of Aldebaran Robotics, Bruno Maisonnier, hopes to see it become useful to humans in a more direct sense. It's new abilities are to make it even more versatile and, among other things, prepare it for working with autistic children and the elderly.  Read More
Brabus 800 Coupe - world's fastest and most powerful luxury coupe
German speed merchant Brabus has unveiled its latest performance vehicle - the Brabus 800 Coupe. Based on the Mercedes-Benz CL600, the 800 make-over takes the already impressive 5.5 liter V12 previously developed for the SV12 R Biturbo 800 to an eye-popping 788 hp (588kW) with 1047 ft.lbs (1420Nm) of torque.  Read More

The Card Radio, designed by Chris McNicholl
Card Radio was conceived as an environmentally friendly piece of consumer electronics, presumably with the mass market in mind. Its entire housing is made from recyclable, though not recycled, cardboard. Despite its low cost and eco-credentials, Card Radio aims not to sacrifice elegance, harkening back to the 1960s aesthetic that designer Chris McNicholl claims as its influence.  Read More
Hitachi GST has announced the availability of two new 4TB HDD storage solutions
Just when you thought that you still had loads of room on the 1TB of storage in your PC or Mac, another holiday season comes around and tempts you to capture all the antics at the office party in multi-megapixel clarity, or record high definition movies of loved ones as they excitedly rip through reams and reams of wrapping paper. Suddenly your monster hard drive starts to look somewhat elf-like. Hitachi GST (Global Storage Technologies) has unveiled two new hard disk storage solutions of gargantuan capacity that may well help to alleviate some of those storage woes. Both center around the same 4TB Deskstar 5K4000 HDD - with one being prepped for internal use, and the other given a nice outer jacket and USB 3.0 connectivity.  Read More
A Google software engineer built a house designed specifically for hosting LAN parties
Anyone who has a attended a LAN party - where people connect their computers on one network in one location to play multiplayer games together - can tell you that they can be both very fun but also kind of a hassle. Playing games with your friends all in the same room: fun. Having to organize all your friends to each haul their usually-oversized gaming rigs to one person's house, ensuring they all have the same software, and inevitably dealing with one or more people having trouble connecting: not fun. With that in mind, it makes sense that one Google employee decided to bypass all that inconvenience and just build a house specifically for LAN parties, complete with multiple networked computers and TVs connected to game consoles.  Read More
Coby Electronics has revealed that five new Android 4.0 tablets will launch at the 2012 Co...
The scramble to take the new flavor of Google's Android operating system for a test drive has been pretty intense since the source code was released in the middle of last month. The first commercial hardware products running on Ice Cream Sandwich, though, will not hit the shelves until early in the new year. One of the first to break cover was Acer's Iconia A200 tablet, which is now going to have some company. New York's Coby Electronics will be launching five new Android 4.0 tablets at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this coming January.  Read More
Shadows from set geometry are accurately depicted on added objects
For more than twenty years, the software program Photoshop has been the industry standard for seamlessly manipulating images, especially the removal of unwanted items like blemishes, wires and telephone poles. When it comes to adding something to a photo, however, the process is still rather involved. Now, a team from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), led by PhD candidate Kevin Karsch, is presenting a new algorithm at Siggraph Asia 2011 that promises to radically simplify the procedure of believably incorporating new or "synthetic" objects in still shots and the results are quite impressive.  Read More
Teijin Senior Managing Director Norio Kamei (left) and GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky shake...
Carbon fiber is nothing new to the automotive industry. Race teams and exotic automakers have been using it to decrease weight and boost performance for years. However, due to the great expense of production, carbon fiber hasn't yet extended past these top-end applications. With a new partnership, GM seeks to bring the advantages of carbon fiber to mainstream automobiles.  Read More
Former graduate student Nirav Dave (left) and PhD student Myron King (right) were part of ...
Although we may think of smartphones as being like tiny desktop computers, they do have at least one key difference – in order to save battery power, many of their functions are hardwired into highly-efficient dedicated processors, instead of taking the form of software. Because smartphones perform so many functions, however, not all of them can be hardwired. As a result, designers of mobile devices must decide which functions will be handled by software, and which by hardware. Computer scientists from MIT have recently devised a system that should make those designers’ jobs a lot easier – if they’re willing to adopt it.  Read More
Kisai Rogue Touch Pocket Watch
The pocket watch was the standard portable time-keeping option for around 400 hundreds before being replaced in the 20th century by the more convenient wrist-worn variety. So could the pocket watch return to its former glory? Way-out watchmaker Tokyoflash seems to think so, having combined the classic pocket watch with its futuristic Kisai Rogue unit to create the touchscreen-equipped Kisai Rogue Touch Pocket Watch.  Read More
The LUXURY MIG 675 is a 70-mph hydrogen-powered motor boat
If money is no object to you, but environmental concerns are, then LUXURY’s MIG 675 might be your kind of boat. The 22 x 8-foot (6.7 x 2.5-meter) cruiser seats three, has a top speed of 70 mph (113 km/h), and produces emissions consisting of nothing but water vapor – this sucker is hydrogen-powered. It's where that hydrogen reportedly comes from, however, that may really raise a few eyebrows.  Read More
A diagram of a three-dimensional indium-gallium-arsenide transistor (Image: Peter Ye, Purd...
Starting next year, computers will be available with three-dimensional transistors – these will incorporate vertical components, unlike the flat chips that we’re used to seeing. This structure will allow them to have shorter gates, which are the components that allow the transistors to switch the electrical current on and off, and to direct its flow. The shorter the gate, the faster the computer can operate. While the new 3D transistors will have a gate length of 22 nanometers, as opposed to the present length of about 45, the use of silicon as a construction material limits how much shorter they could ultimately get. That’s why scientists from Purdue and Harvard universities have created prototype 3D transistors made out of indium-gallium-arsenide – the same compound recently used in a record-breaking solar cell.  Read More

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