Tag Archives: Informatief/educatief

A New Class of Magnetic Material

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A team of scientists from the University of York , the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) Germany , and Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands , have developed a new class of magnetic material which flips magnetic state when zapped by an ultra fast laser pulse.  This should pave the way to mass storage devices with improved performance and power efficiency compared to current day technology.   The new material demonstrates the use of a synthetic ferrimagnet comprising a sandwich...

WiFi Routers Vulnerable to Infection

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Researchers at the University of Liverpool have demonstrated that WiFi networks can be infected with a virus that can move through densely populated areas as efficiently as the common cold spreads between humans.   The team designed and simulated an attack by a virus, called Chameleon, and found that not only could it spread quickly between homes and businesses, but it was able to avoid detection and identify the points at which WiFi access is least protected by encryption and passwords....

Study suggests Wind Farms can Tame Hurricanes

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Professor Mark Z. Jacobson of the civil and environmental engineering department at Stanford University has been developing an environmental model to study the effects of climate, air pollution, weather and energy. In recent developments the model has been used to simulate hurricane development and also to calculate theoretical power extraction from global wind currents.   He asked the question: What would happen if a hurricane encountered a large array of offshore wind turbines? Would...

SatNav Antenna Fixes your Position to 1 cm

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A new multi-band satellite antenna developed by Imec in collaboration with Septentrio was announced at the Mobile World Conference held recently in Barcelona , Spain . The antenna is a multi-band design capable of simultaneously receiving GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou and GALILEO satellite signals. The resulting receiver is capable of resolving its location to within 1 cm.   The antenna is paired with Septentrio’s credit card-sized AsteRx-m receiver, a dual frequency GNSS (Global Navigation...

Heptagon announce 3D Array Camera

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Heptagon Micro Optics Pte. Ltd. ( Singapore ) has announced that their 2 by 2 3D imaging system for use in smartphones, phablet and tablet computers is now ready for mass production. The TrueD H2 array camera is said to be the first in a series of 3D imaging and depth-sensing cameras that Heptagon will be introducing to the market.   Heptagon’s manufacturing processes enable the system aperture; stray light control and infrared cut filter to be integrated onto a single glass wafer. The...

Music to your Ears

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With sensors and chips getting ever smaller the Dash in-ear totally wireless ear-buds proposed on Kickstarter plans to cram a useful collection of devices directly into your ear.   As well as piping music using Bluetooth 4.0 the Dash will have 4 GB of internal storage for tunes. Music can be controlled via an App or by swiping the exposed surface of the buds. Microphones in the buds will use bone-conduction to pick up voice for making calls. Also included are an ambient mic, 5-field...

A Free-Swimming Chip

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A research team from National Taiwan University, National Taipei University of Technology and Chang Gung University have described how they developed a free-swimming remote-controlled bare die at the IEEE International Solid-State circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco. The 21.2 mm square die made by TSMC using a 0.35 µm process, is able to travel at 0.3 mm/s submerged in a liquid. A similar device was presented at the ISSCC in 2012, which used Lorentz forces for...

Gummy Electrolyte may make Safer Lithium Ion Batteries

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A paper published in Advanced Energy Materials describes a novel electrolyte material which could potentially make Lithium Ion batteries a lot safer. Lithium Ion cells are popular because they offer good energy density and low mass but they can also pose a fire hazard if they are maltreated. The UK ’s CAA recently raised concerns about the growing number of battery-powered consumer electronics on-board passenger aircraft.   The acidic liquid or gel electrolyte in the battery can leak and...

IBM Chip uses Graphene FETs

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In a paper published in Nature Communications researchers at IBM describe how they have built a silicon-based receiver chip incorporating GFETs or Graphene Field Effect Transistors  (the purple structure in the photo) into the circuit. The multi-stage receiver integrated circuit consists of 3 graphene transistors, 4 inductors, 2 capacitors, and 2 resistors.   “This is the first time that someone has shown graphene devices and circuits to perform modern wireless communication...

Nixies get a 21st Century Makeover

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Tyler Nehowig, an Electrical Engineering graduate from the University of Minnesota has launched a Kickstarter project to fund his smart Nixie tube design idea. He has mounted a single Nixie tube together with all its control and driver hardware onto a small PCB. The resulting module has connectors along the board edges to make it sideways stackable so it’s a simple job to expand the display as necessary.  A nice 21st Century touch is the RGB LED shining up through the tube base to give...

New RFID Antenna System Eliminates Dead Spots

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A group of researchers at the Univ. of Cambridge have published a study in the IEEE journal Transactions on Antennas and Propagation which describes how a novel antenna system used with standard RFID tags is able to eliminate coverage dead spots.   In a trial using RFID tags distributed in a 20 x 15 m office environment they showed a standard tag reader system reached just 50 % detection rate while their distributed antenna system (DAS) improved the success rate to near...

Battery Recharging… One Lump or Two?

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A research team at Virginia Tech has produced a low-cost rechargeable battery that runs on sugar. They are not the first in the field to develop a sugar battery but the energy density of their design shows an order of magnitude improvement over existing sugar-based battery technology.   The findings from Y.H. Percival Zhang, an associate professor of biological systems engineering in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Engineering , were published in the...

Hello World… It’s been a long time

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There were scenes of jubilation at the European Space Agency mission control in Darmstadt , Germany when they received a ‘Hello World’ message from the Rosetta space probe on Monday, confirming that it was awake after two and a half years of hibernation. The mission launched back in 2004 is now approaching the final stage of its decade-long mission to rendezvous with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. If all goes to plan, Rosetta will reach 67P in the coming months and position itself in orbit...

A Contactless Contact Lens

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Google have unveiled an example of smart, wearable technology that could in future prove a life-saver for diabetes sufferers. They have succeeded in integrating a tiny glucose sensor and associated circuitry into a soft plastic contact lens.   With the incidents of diabetes growing in the population it is becoming a major problem for health authorities worldwide. To get a reliable blood-glucose reading today’s diabetics regularly suffer the inconvenience of testing a pin prick of blood...

A Lens for Magnetic Fields

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Contactless charging of mobile devices is more convenient than fiddling around with power adapters, plugs and cables but the transmit and receive coils need to be in close physical contact otherwise power transfer losses become significant. A team of researchers in Duke's Pratt School of Engineering working with the Toyota Research Institute of North America have succeeded in creating an array of hollow cubes which act as a lens for low-frequency magnetic fields.   The lens is made...