David Kirkpatrick

September 3, 2010

Graphene transistors hit 300 GHz

Via KurzweilAI.net — Great news, but as always I’d love to see a market-ready application come out of this research in the near future. Blogging about nanotech breakthroughs is all well and good, but it is excellent when I get the chance to blog about a real-world application of said breakthroughs.

From the link:

High-speed graphene transistors achieve world-record 300 GHz

September 3, 2010 by Editor

UCLA researchers have fabricated the fastest  graphene transistor to date, using a new fabrication process with a  nanowire as a self-aligned gate.

Self-aligned gates are a key element in modern transistors, which are semiconductor devices used to amplify and switch electronic signals.  Gates are used to switch the transistor between various states, and self-aligned gates were developed to deal with problems of misalignment encountered because of the shrinking scale of electronics.

“This new strategy overcomes two limitations previously encountered in graphene transistors,” professor of chemistry and biochemistry Xiangfeng Duan said. “First, it doesn’t produce any appreciable defects in the graphene during fabrication, so the high carrier mobility is retained. Second, by using a self-aligned approach with a nanowire as the gate, the group was able to overcome alignment difficulties previously encountered and fabricate very short-channel devices with unprecedented performance.”

These advances allowed the team to demonstrate the highest speed graphene transistors to date, with a cutoff frequency up to 300 GHz — comparable to the very best transistors from high-electron mobility materials such gallium arsenide or indium phosphide.

Graphene, a one-atom-thick layer of graphitic carbon, has great potential to make electronic devices such as radios, computers and phones faster and smaller. With the highest known carrier mobility — the speed at which electronic information is transmitted by a material — graphene is a good candidate for high-speed radio-frequency electronics. High-speed radio-frequency electronics may also find wide applications in microwave communication, imaging and radar technologies.

Funding for this research came from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

More info: UCLA news

August 11, 2010

Improving displays

And display improvements are increasingly important given the rapid evolution in types of consumer electronics — e-readers, smartphones, more complex touch screens, tablet/pad computers, et.al. — and the different types of high-performance displays needed to maximize these technologies.

The release:

Better displays ahead

IMAGE: This is a prototype of the vertical stack multi-color electrowetting display device is shown in the photograph. Arrays of ~1,000-2,000 pixels were constructed with pixel sizes of 200 × 600…

Click here for more information.

This release is also available in Chinese.College Park, MD (August 10, 2010) — Sleek design and ease of use are just two of the main reasons consumers are increasingly attracted to tablets and e-readers. And these devices are only going to get better — display technology improvements are on the way.

Several e-reader products on the market today use electrophoretic displays, in which each pixel consists of microscopic capsules that contain black and white particles moving in opposite directions under the influence of an electric field. A serious drawback to this technology is that the screen image is closer to black-on-gray than black-on-white. Also, the slow switching speed (~1 second) due to the limited velocity of the particles prevents integration of other highly desirable features such as touch commands, animation, and video.

Researchers at the University of Cincinnati Nanoelectronics Laboratory are actively pursuing an alternative approach for low-power displays. Their assessment of the future of display technologies appears in the American Institute of Physics’ Applied Physics Letters.

“Our approach is based on the concept of vertically stacking electrowetting devices,” explains professor Andrew J. Steckl, director of the NanoLab at UC’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “The electric field controls the ‘wetting’ properties on a fluoropolymer surface, which results in rapid manipulation of liquid on a micrometer scale. Electrowetting displays can operate in both reflective and transmissive modes, broadening their range of display applications. And now, improvements of the hydrophobic insulator material and the working liquids enable EW operation at fairly low driving voltages (~15V).”

Steckl and Dr. Han You, a research associate in the NanoLab, have demonstrated that the vertical stack electrowetting structure can produce multi-color e-paper devices, with the potential for higher resolution than the conventional side-by-side pixel approach. Furthermore, their device has switching speeds that enable video content displays.

What does all of this mean for the consumer? Essentially, tablets and e-readers are about to become capable of even more and look even better doing it. Compared to other technologies, electrowetting reflective display screens boast many advantages. The electrowetting displays are very thin, have a switching speed capable of video display, a wide viewing angle and, just as important, Steckl says, they aren’t power hogs.

###

The article, “Three-Color Electrowetting Display Device for Electronic Paper” by Han You and Andrew J. Steckl will appear in the journal Applied Physics Lettershttp://apl.aip.org/applab/v97/i2/p023514_s1

Image Caption: A prototype of the vertical stack multi-color electrowetting display device is shown in the photograph. Arrays of ~1,000-2,000 pixels were constructed with pixel sizes of 200 × 600 and 300 × 900 µm.

ABOUT APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS

Applied Physics Letters, published by the American Institute of Physics, features concise, up-to-date reports on significant new findings in applied physics. Emphasizing rapid dissemination of key data and new physical insights, Applied Physics Letters offers prompt publication of new experimental and theoretical papers bearing on applications of physics phenomena to all branches of science, engineering, and modern technology. Content is published online daily, collected into weekly online and printed issues (52 issues per year). See: http://apl.aip.org/

ABOUT AIP

The American Institute of Physics is a federation of 10 physical science societies representing more than 135,000 scientists, engineers, and educators and is one of the world’s largest publishers of scientific information in the physical sciences. Offering partnership solutions for scientific societies and for similar organizations in science and engineering, AIP is a leader in the field of electronic publishing of scholarly journals. AIP publishes 12 journals (some of which are the most highly cited in their respective fields), two magazines, including its flagship publication Physics Today; and the AIP Conference Proceedings series. Its online publishing platform Scitation hosts nearly two million articles from more than 185 scholarly journals and other publications of 28 learned society publishers.

July 13, 2010

No, we don’t need another IT acronym

Filed under: Business, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 10:35 am

This bit of linguistic and businessspeak stupidity comes courtesy of Computerworld‘s editor-in-chief:

The consumerization of IT is becoming a landslide, big enough to have its own acronym — I nominate “CoIT.” But I’m not sure many enterprises are all that aware of it.

He’s clearly out of his depth as an editor because that job entails making certain every word, sentence and graph in the publication is easily understood by the target audience. It does not entail creating unnecessary, and quite inelegant to boot, acronyms to add to the overflowing alphabet soup bowl that’s already out there and too firmly entrenched to do anything about.

It’s a shame because the article linked in the opening sentence is actually pretty good and covers an important topic — the use of consumer electronics in the business world. The story is almost fatally marred by the author’s repeated use of his made-up acronym. I can only assume he hopes the acronym catches on for personal satisfaction, because really it’s just too hard to come up with a few two or three word iterations on the phrase “consumerization of IT.”

June 14, 2010

Electronics recommendation — Proscan LCD HDTV

Filed under: et.al., Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:33 pm

If you’re in the market for an LCD HDTV don’t overlook Proscan’s models. Proscan doesn’t have the brand recognition of a lot of LCDs out there, but they are a great value for the price point. My household has been using a Proscan LCD as the primary television since last fall and the TV has been great. No problems, great picture, more than adequate sound when I don’t feel like firing the entire home theater system up, and being an LCD it’s not an insane electricity hog.

For more information and specs here’s a 32-inch model for $420.00 , a 40-inch model for $450.00 and a 55-inch model for $1070.00 at Amazon.

For price and performance in an LCD HDTV, make Proscan part of the comparison process.

February 18, 2010

Nanotech and power storage

Filed under: Business, Science, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:25 pm

Via KurzweilAI.net –Increasing power storage efficiency is a very necessary element to upping the personal electronics ante. We truly are starting to get up against various roadblocks with different areas of tech, be it battery life, processing speed, memory or something else. I always enjoy reading and blogging about nanotechnology pushing the consumer electronics envelope.

Intel lab explores nanoscale power storage
EE Times, Feb. 17, 2010

Intel researchers are exploring nanoscale materials that could be used to create ultracapacitors with a greater energy density than today’s lithium ion batteries.

If successful, the new materials could be mass-produced to power systems for applications including mobile devices,energy sensing, interconnects for plug-in electric vehicles, and smart grid storage units.
Read Original Article>>

September 29, 2008

TiVo for the PC

Digital video recorders are one piece of tech I honestly thought I didn’t really need or want. I finally ended up with TiVo several years ago because it just came with my latest set-top box.

I Couldn’t Live Without It Now. No joking, it’s one of the few products that the hype is less than the impact of its utility. The marketing is absolutely correct.

Here’s a release on the lastest from TiVo and Nero.

The release:

Nero and TiVo Deliver the Ultimate DVR Experience on the PC

Nero LiquidTV | TiVo PC Brings Digital Entertainment Freedom to Consumers with the Award Winning TiVo® Service

KARLSBAD, Germany & ALVISO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nero, creators of liquid media technology, and TiVo Inc. (NASDAQ:TIVO), the creator of and a leader in television services for digital video recorders (DVRs), announced today the unveiling of Nero LiquidTV | TiVo PC. This new offering revolutionizes the way consumers experience television by offering an enhanced TiVo DVR experience directly from the PC.

In recent years the amount of digital entertainment content available to average consumers has exploded, said Bruce McGregor, senior analyst, Digital Home Services for Current Analysis. Consumers have increasingly conformed to using mobile devices and the PC as sources of video entertainment; as a result they are looking for ways to port their favorite television content onto multiple mobile formats. There is an emerging opportunity for a PC-based DVR service that offers easy access to television content on a wide variety of devices.

With Nero LiquidTV | TiVo PC, consumers can watch and pause live TV on their desktop, record their favorite shows directly to their hard drive, transfer shows between computers throughout the home, or enjoy their favorite shows on-the-go by exporting them to iPod®, PlayStation® Portable (PSP®), or burning them to DVD. Now the TiVo experience can be enjoyed on the PC, including TiVo features like WishList® searches, Season Pass® recordings, TiVo KidZone, and TiVo Suggestions.

For more than a decade, the worlds largest mobile and consumer electronics brands have trusted Nero for technology leadership and category creation, said Udo Eberlein, CEO, Nero AG. Now, with Nero LiquidTV | TiVo PC, we are providing a next-generation DVR application that integrates the renowned TiVo service with the PC. This solution is truly a platform on which our vision for liquid media where content can be easily accessed anytime, anywhere, and on any device — will become a reality.

Nero LiquidTV | TiVo PC is designed for ease of use. No technical expertise is required to install the software on any PC with the Windows XP or Windows Vista operating system. The full retail solution comes complete with everything that the consumer needs to share the TV experience throughout their digital home: a TiVo PC remote; a TV tuner card to allow television signals to be received by the PC; and an IR Blaster to create a wireless, infrared connection between the cable or satellite box and the PC. It also comes with a one-year subscription to the award-winning TiVo service, which automatically finds and digitally records a users favorite shows.

Nero has done a superb job of bringing the TiVo experience to the PC, and have done so in a way that lives up to the rich TiVo legacy, said Tom Rogers, CEO and President, TiVo. To be able to extend the features of TiVo to a new platform without compromising the integrity of what has made TiVo such a revolutionary product is a significant achievement, one we know both new and old fans of TiVo will love.

Nero LiquidTV | TiVo PC with one year of TiVo service will be available in the U.S., Canada and Mexico in October 2008 with a suggested retail price of $199 USD for a retail box or $99 USD for a downloadable software-only version. TiVo service subscription renewal is on an annual basis at $99 a year. The retail box, containing a tuner card, TiVo remote control and IR blaster, will be available at participating retailers in the U.S. and Canada. The software-only version will be available for download to the U.S. Canada and Mexico online at www.nero.com.

About Nero

Nero, the creator of liquid media technology, enables liquid content creation and distribution anytime, anywhere, and on any device. The company provides consumers with the freedom to simply enjoy their music, photos, and videos, regardless of hardware or file format, by taking a unique platform neutral, standards-based approach to solution development. More than 300 million units of Neros trusted software solutions are used in the home, on the go, and professionally. Nero also provides strategic partners with cutting-edge applications, codecs, tools, software development kits, and programming interfaces for use with a variety of the latest platforms and devices. Products are available globally through hardware manufacturers, international partners, retailers, and directly through the Nero Online Shop at www.nero.com.

Headquartered in Karlsbad, Germany, Nero maintains regional offices in: Karlsbad, Germany; Glendale, Calif., USA; Yokohama, Japan; and development centers in Karlsbad, Germany and Hangzhou, China.

About TiVo

Founded in 1997, TiVo (Nasdaq:TIVO) pioneered a brand new category of products with the development of the first commercially available digital video recorder (DVR). Sold through leading consumer electronic retailers and TiVo.com, TiVo has developed a brand which resonates boldly with consumers as providing a superior television experience. Through agreements with leading satellite and cable providers, TiVo also integrates its DVR service features into the set-top boxes of mass distributors. TiVo’s DVR functionality and ease of use, with such features as Season Pass(TM) recordings and WishList(R) searches and TiVo KidZone, have elevated its popularity among consumers and have created a whole new way for viewers to watch television. With a continued investment in its patented technologies, TiVo is revolutionizing the way consumers watch and access home entertainment. Rapidly becoming the focal point of the digital living room, TiVo’s DVR is at the center of experiencing new forms of content on the TV, such as broadband delivered video, music, and photos. With innovative features, such as TiVoToGo(TM) transfers and online scheduling, TiVo is expanding the notion of consumers experiencing “TiVo, TV your way.(R)” The TiVo(R)service is also at the forefront of providing innovative marketing solutions for the television industry, including a unique platform for advertisers and audience research measurement.

Nero® is a trademark of Nero AG and its subsidiaries. Any other product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. © 2008 Nero. All rights reserved.

TiVo, “TiVo, TV your way.” Season Pass, WishList, TiVoToGo, and the TiVo Logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of TiVo Inc.’s subsidiaries worldwide. (C) 2008 TiVo Inc. All rights reserved

Here’s the PhysOrg.com take on this story.