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Tech Watch keeps an eye out on the latest developments in fundamental technology--the science and the building blocks that could eventually find their way into your electronics design projects. Learn about significant strides in R&D and investment of resources in domains that can impact the electronics industry.
  • Overcoming exciton 'traps' to boost solar cell efficiency (23/09/14)
    Researchers at MIT and Harvard University found a way of rendering excitons immune to exciton traps, where they are prone to getting stuck, causing them to release their energy as wasted light.

  • Polymer devices improve solar-cell efficiency (22/09/14)
    Researchers identified a new polymer—a type of large molecule that forms plastics and other familiar materials—that improved the efficiency of solar cells.

  • New material boosts Li-ion battery capacity (18/09/14)
    Researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute successfully designed a new material that addresses the inherent limitations of lithium-ion batteries.

  • World's first 3D-printed car drives off (18/09/14)
    Made from carbon-fibre infused plastic pellets and fuelled by a battery, the world's first 3D-printed car – the Strati – took to the road for the first time since it was assembled live in front of an audience.

  • Ant-sized, battery-less radios to link smart devices (16/09/14)
    Designed to compute, execute and relay commands, Stanford engineers built a tiny wireless chip that costs pennies to fabricate, connecting smart gadgets envisioned in the "Internet of Things."

  • GaAs to replace silicon in future IC designs (15/09/14)
    Gallium arsenide not only integrates optical circuitry capabilities but also improves electrical transistor performance, which, in turn, will enable innovative IC architectures.

  • Academic-industrial team up spawns flexible graphene display (12/09/14)
    The Cambridge Graphene Centre, with its graphene expertise, partnered with Plastic Logic, with its extensive capabilities in transistor and display processing, to develop a graphene-based flexible display.

  • Optical circuit touts low energy consumption (09/09/14)
    Optical circuits control light the way an electrical circuit controls the flow of electricity. Compared to electrical circuits, optical systems show superior speed, energy-efficiency, and stability.

  • Simulations for error-free transparent oxide layers (09/09/14)
    Fraunhofer researchers found ways of identifying and removing these errors in touchscreens and solar cells that rely on special oxide layers.

  • Light detector sees through objects (08/09/14)
    Using the special properties of graphene, a two-dimensional form of carbon that is only one atom thick, a prototype detector is able to see an extraordinarily broad band of wavelengths.

  • Fortify your smart home's defence (03/09/14)
    Botnets are posing a threat to the security of smart homes, in which Internet-controlled electric roller shutters, HVAC and locking systems could all be used for hacker attacks.

  • Quantum tech finds promise in photonic circuits (01/09/14)
    The researchers have developed a kind of single-photon cannon integrated on an optical chip. The optical chip consists of an extremely small photonic crystal that is 10µ wide and 160nm thick.

  • Oscillator gains new life for quantum computers (01/09/14)
    RIKEN Centre for Emergent Matter Science researchers demonstrated that the parametric phase-locked oscillator (PPLO) could enjoy a revival as a core component of quantum computers.

  • Novel tech boosts switching speed of magnetic memory (01/09/14)
    A*STAR IHPC researchers have come up with techniques to improve STT-MRAM memory by identifying design options for achieving faster switching speeds, and hence faster data write times.

  • Old tyres find new life in Li-ion batteries (29/08/14)
    By modifying the microstructural characteristics of carbon black, a substance recovered from discarded tyres, ORNL researchers are developing a better anode for lithium-ion batteries.

  • Desktop PCB factory builds working circuits in minutes (18/08/14)
    BotFactory's desktop PCB factory, dubbed Squink, can print a circuit on a variety of materials, populate it with ICs and other components, and "solder" them in place with conductive adhesives.

  • MIT takes mighty strides in power electronics (14/08/14)
    The institution has worked on several interrelated technologies that feature size reductions and efficiency improvements in converters for applications including giant server farms, and handheld devices.

  • Researchers bet on nanowires for racetrack memory (14/08/14)
    UC Davis researchers seek to apply memory performance boost with complex oxides since they exhibit the similar phenomena that metallic materials in IBM's work do when configured as a racetrack memory.

  • Spintronics promises better electronic devices (13/08/14)
    It is believed that spin-based technologies have the potential to outperform the charge-based technology of semiconductors for the storage and process of information.

  • LCD screens get colour boost from quantum dots (12/08/14)
    3M scientists developed a colourful approach that enables richer colours in liquid crystal displays--by combining quantum dots that produce blue, red, and green light.

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