David Kirkpatrick

July 3, 2008

Solar moratorium news, nanowire memory and tiny, tiny computer chips

From KurzweilAI.net — the US government comes to its senses on the solar moratorium, breakthroughs in nanowire memory, and computer chips heading toward smaller than 10 nanometers.

U.S. Lifts Moratorium on New Solar Projects
New York Times, July 3, 2008

Under increasing public pressure over its decision to temporarily halt all new solar development on public land, the Bureau of Land Management said Wednesday that it was lifting the freeze, barely a month after it was put into effect.

See also: Citing Need for Assessments, U.S. Freezes Solar Energy Projects

 
Read Original Article>>

 

New Nanowire-Based Memory Could Beef Up Information Storage
PhysOrg.com, July 2, 2008

University of Pennsylvania researchers have created a type of nanowire-based information storage device that is capable of storing three bit values rather than the usual two.

This ability could lead to a new generation of high-capacity information storage for electronic devices.

The phase changes are achieved by subjecting the nanowires to pulsed electric fields. This process heats the nanowires, altering the core and shell structure from crystalline (ordered) to amorphous (disordered). These two states correspond to two different electrical resistances.

The third value corresponds to the case where the core is amorphous while the shell is crystalline (or visa versa), resulting in an intermediate resistance.

Creating information storage from nanowires can be done via “bottom-up” approaches, using the natural tendency of tiny structures to self-assemble into larger structures, so they may be able to break free of the limitations faced by traditional “top-down” methods, such as patterning a circuit onto a silicon wafer by depositing a nanowire thin film.

 
Read Original Article>>

 

Intel’s Gelsinger Sees Clear Path To 10nm Chips
ChannelWeb, June 30, 2008

Intel sees a “clear way” to manufacturing chips under 10 nanometers, according to Pat Gelsinger, VP of Intel’s Digital Enterprise Group.

The next die shrink milestone will be the 32nm process, set to kick off next year, followed by 14nm a few years after that and then sub-10nm, he said.

 
Read Original Article>>

June 30, 2008

The US can’t change administrations fast enough

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:10 pm

This is just one more bit of governing overreach from the failed Bush 43 regime.

Two excerpts from the link:

Faced with a surge in the number of proposed solar power plants, the federal government has placed a moratorium on new solar projects on public land until it studies their environmental impact, which is expected to take about two years.

The Bureau of Land Management says an extensive environmental study is needed to determine how large solar plants might affect millions of acres it oversees in six Western states — Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.

But the decision to freeze new solar proposals temporarily, reached late last month, has caused widespread concern in the alternative-energy industry, as fledgling solar companies must wait to see if they can realize their hopes of harnessing power from swaths of sun-baked public land, just as the demand for viable alternative energy is accelerating.

“It doesn’t make any sense,” said Holly Gordon, vice president for legislative and regulatory affairs for Ausra, a solar thermal energy company in Palo Alto, Calif. “The Bureau of Land Management land has some of the best solar resources in the world. This could completely stunt the growth of the industry.”

And:

While proponents of solar energy agree on the need for a sweeping environmental study, many believe that the freeze is unwarranted. Some, like Ms. Gordon, whose company has two pending proposals for solar plants on public land, say small solar energy businesses could suffer if they are forced to turn to more expensive private land for development.

The industry is already concerned over the fate of federal solar investment tax credits, which are set to expire at the end of the year unless Congress renews them. The moratorium, combined with an end to tax credits, would deal a double blow to an industry that, solar advocates say, has experienced significant growth without major environmental problems.

“The problem is that this is a very young industry, and the majority of us that are involved are young, struggling, hungry companies,” said Lee Wallach of Solel, a solar power company based in California that has filed numerous applications to build on public land and was considering filing more in the next two years. “This is a setback.”