Researchers from Singapore’s Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) of A*STAR and Quebec’s IREQ (Hydro-Québec’s research institute) have synthesized a new material that they say could more than double the energy capacity of lithium-ion batteries, allowing for longer-lasting rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles and mobile devices.
The new material for battery cathodes (the + battery pole) in based on a “lithium orthosilicate-related” compound, Li2MnSiO4, combining lithium, manganese, silicon and oxygen, which the researchers found superior to conventional phosphate-based cathodes. They report an high initial charging capacity of 335 mAh/g (milliAmpere-hours per gram) in the journal Nano Energy.
“IBN researchers have successfully achieved simultaneous control of the phase purity and nanostructure of Li2MnSiO4 for the first time,” said Professor Jackie Y. Ying, IBN Executive Director. “This novel synthetic approach would allow us to move closer to attaining the ultrahigh theoretical capacity of silicate-based cathodes for battery applications.”
Moore’s law which is the observation that transistor density doubles every year, later amended to every couple of years, has slowed down dramatically in the past few years. Scaling Silicon transistors down has become increasingly difficult and expensive and at around 7nm it will prove to be downright impossible.
Digital computing which is what the entire world has relied on for the past several decades is based on one basic concept, on or off. The zeroes and ones in binary simply indicate if a signal is present or not. The fundamental flaw with Silicon transistors is that at the 7nm point the transistors sit so close to each other that an effect called quantum tunneling occurs. This effect unfortunately means that the transistor cannot reliably be turned off and for the most part will stay on.
What this means is that your binary code is not binary any more because it’s all made up of ones and no zeroes. Which in turn breaks the fundamental rule of digital computing. So the physical limitations of Silicon are very real and in fact insurmountable. One alternative is to find a material which can physically scale down past Silicon or can achieve faster switching speeds. The other is to rely on something other than electricity to achieve/read on or off states such as light.
The first option is more straight forward. Which is why the semiconductor industry has been researching alternative materials that are not only capable of scaling down past Silicon but can also be manufactured using similar techniques. There are dozens of different Silicon alternatives out there. Unfortunately each one has one or more significant challenges ahead of it.
However there’s one very promising short-term Silicon alternative that will most likely supersede Silicon for a few years. It’s a III-V semiconductor based on two compounds and four different elements. Indium gallium arsenide ( InGaAs ) and indium phosphide (InP). Imec, a research center tasked with finding the next thing after silicon, has already managed to fabricate FinFET transistors using InGaAs and InP on a 300mm 22nm Silicon wafer a year and a half ago. Imec is funded by Intel, IBM, TSMC, Samsung, Hynix and every other major semiconductor player with a fab that you can think of.
Samsung Electronics Starts Mass Producing The Industry’s First 128GB Universal Flash Storage, Almost Certainly Galaxy S6-Bound
These differences result in performance improvements across the board for UFS 2.0. Compared to eMMC 5.0, they are 1.4x faster at sequential reading, 1.66x at sequential writing, 2.71x at random reading (19000 Input Output Per Second vs 7000 IOPS), and 1.07 at random writing. The difference is even more staggering compared to MicroSD cards: sequential read and write speeds are more than tripled, while random read and write IOPS are multiplied by factors larger than 10.
The promise is that with UFS 2.0, consumers will be able to run multiple applications in the background, download and upload big files, and play massive games or UHD videos simultaneously, without any compromise on performance. That explains why Samsung will likely forego its MicroSD slot in the Galaxy S6 in favor of an embedded UFS 2.0 solution.
Daydreaming can be good for you and actually boost the brain, researchers have found.
They say that while we daydream, the brain is actually more effective.
They believe that when we daydream, it is freed up to process tasks more effectively.
The team’s findings also offer a very specific explanation for the two-day cycling between mania and depression observed in certain bipolar cases: it is a result of the dopamine oscillator running on a 48-hour cycle.
This work is groundbreaking not only because of its discovery of a novel dopamine-based rhythm generator, but also because of its links to psychopathology.
This new data suggests that when the ultradian arousal oscillator goes awry, sleep becomes disturbed and mania will be induced in bipolar patients; oscillator imbalance may likely also be associated with schizophrenic episodes in schizophrenic subjects.
The findings have potentially strong implications for the treatment of bipolar disease and other mental illnesses linked to dopamine dysregulation.
Your high score is about to be trounced. Google has developed artificial intelligence software capable of learning to play video games just by watching them.
Google DeepMind, a London-based subsidiary, has trained an AI gamer to play 49 different video games from an Atari 2600, beating a professional human player’s top score in 23 of them. The software isn’t told the rules of the game – instead it uses an algorithm called a deep neural network to examine the state of the game and figure out which actions produce the highest total score.
“It really is the first algorithm that can match human performance across a wide range of challenging tasks,” says DeepMind co-founder Demis Hassabis.
Deep neural networks are often used for image recognition problems, but DeepMind combined theirs with another technique called reinforcement learning, which rewards the system for taking certain actions, just as a human player is rewarded with a higher score when playing a video game correctly.
This month, he published a summary of the technique he believes will allow doctors to transplant a head onto a new body (Surgical Neurology International, doi.org/2c7). It involves cooling the recipient’s head and the donor body to extend the time their cells can survive without oxygen. The tissue around the neck is dissected and the major blood vessels are linked using tiny tubes, before the spinal cords of each person are cut. Cleanly severing the cords is key, says Canavero.
The recipient’s head is then moved onto the donor body and the two ends of the spinal cord – which resemble two densely packed bundles of spaghetti – are fused together. To achieve this, Canavero intends to flush the area with a chemical called polyethylene glycol, and follow up with several hours of injections of the same stuff. Just like hot water makes dry spaghetti stick together, polyethylene glycol encourages the fat in cell membranes to mesh.
Next, the muscles and blood supply would be sutured and the recipient kept in a coma for three or four weeks to prevent movement. Implanted electrodes would provide regular electrical stimulation to the spinal cord, because research suggests this can strengthen new nerve connections.
When the recipient wakes up, Canavero predicts they would be able to move and feel their face and would speak with the same voice. He says that physiotherapy would enable the person to walk within a year. Several people have already volunteered to get a new body, he says.
The trickiest part will be getting the spinal cords to fuse. Polyethylene glycol has been shown to prompt the growth of spinal cord nerves in animals, and Canavero intends to use brain-dead organ donors to test the technique. However, others are sceptical that this would be enough. “There is no evidence that the connectivity of cord and brain would lead to useful sentient or motor function following head transplantation,” says Richard Borgens, director of the Center for Paralysis Research at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.
If polyethylene glycol doesn’t work, there are other options Canavero could try. Injecting stem cells or olfactory ensheathing cells – self-regenerating cells that connect the lining of the nose to the brain – into the spinal cord, or creating a bridge over the spinal gap using stomach membranes have shown promise in helping people walk again after spinal injury. Although unproven, Canavero says the chemical approach is the simplest and least invasive.
But what about the prospect of the immune system rejecting the alien tissue? Robert White’s monkey died because its head was rejected by its new body. William Mathews, chairman of the AANOS, says he doesn’t think this would be a major problem today. He says that because we can use drugs to manage the acceptance of large amounts of tissue, such as a leg or a combined heart and lung transplant, the immune response to a head transplant should be manageable. “The system we have for preventing immune rejection and the principles behind it are well established.”
Canavero isn’t alone in his quest to investigate head transplants. Xiao-Ping Ren of Harbin Medical University in China recently showed that it is possible to perform a basic head transplant in a mouse (CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics, doi.org/2d5). Ren will attempt to replicate Canavero’s protocol in the next few months in mice, and monkeys.
While the number of years of life lost to air pollution is higher in China – a previous study estimated 500 million people were collectively losing 2.5 billion years – China has started to do something about it, says Apte. In 2013, the country’s State Council announced a raft of measures to cut pollution, such as requiring industries to replace outdated technology and record and publish the pollution they produce. “China is ahead of India in terms of formulating local and national-level policies to tackle pollution,” says Apte.
The US government is hoping that installing particulate monitors on the roof of its New Delhi embassy will encourage the Indian government to act. It claims this worked in Beijing, where the US has been measuring air quality since 2008. The move is part of a plan to install monitors in several countries, starting with India, Vietnam and Mongolia.
Before the operation, Aszmann’s patients had to prepare their bodies and brains. First he transplanted leg muscle into their arms to boost the signal from the remaining nerve fibres. Three months later, after the nerves had grown into the new muscle, the men started training their brains.
First they practised activating the muscle using an armband of sensors that picked up on the electrical activity. Then they moved on to controlling a virtual arm. Finally, Aszmann amputated their hands, and replaced them with a standard prosthesis under the control of the muscle and sensors.
“I was impressed and first struck with the surgical innovation,” says Dustin Tyler of the Louis Stokes Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. “There’s something very personal about having a hand; most people will go to great lengths to recover one, even if it’s not very functional. It’s interesting that people are opting for this.”
While Aszmann’s approach uses a grafted muscle to relay signals from the brain to a prosthesis, others are taking a more direct route, reading brain waves directly and using them to control the hand. A team at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has used a brain implant to allow a paralysed woman to control a robotic arm using her thoughts alone.
The new system, LTE-H or HetNet as it is called, fundamentally combines link instead of how the current LTE-A which uses carrier as core technology for merging of 4G and 5G. Therefore the new system permits users to tap into both the LTE network and Wi-Fi connecting up to staggering top speed of 600Mbps; combination of 150Mbps of broadband LTE and 450Mbps GiGa WiFi speed.
It goes straight in controlling the Wi-Fi connection from the LTE station. This is a more efficient alternative compared to the software based combination transmission of LTE-Wi-Fi. These stations will also monitor the signal strength between the users’ mobile terminals and Wi-Fi AP to guarantees a seamless connection.
The technology will be piloted in Korea, offering Gigabit connection speed at hotspots across the country as early as first half of 2016.
While it just started mass producing the 14nm FinFET chipsets, and showcasing the 10nm FinFET semiconductor technology at the Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco this week, Samsung has outdone itself again by confirming that the Korean company has all the backbone to create chipsets to be as small as 5nm.
According to Samsung’s Kinam Kim, who confirmed “There are no fundamental difficulties until 5nm’. Furthermore, the Korean company has begun finding ways to shrink things even further to an insane 3.25nm level.
But before 3.25nm, the question was already raised by many in the conference as to what material will Samsung use to fabricate these chipsets? Intel has hinted during the same conference that silicon is not a viable option for chipsets below 7nm. Apparently, Intel itself has plan to use Indium Gallium Arsenide (InGaAs) to make chipsets with transistor size of 7nm and below.
But Samsung remained mum, holding on to their trade secret.
What we know is Samsung has already planned in using the 14nm FinFET technology based Exynos 7 processor for all of its upcoming smartphones and tablets; for example the Galaxy S6, which will take full advantage of the company’s first 14nm chipsets.
Samsung had been heavily investing in its semiconductor business to try competing with Qualcomm and Intel.
The startup has recently unveiled a new battery technology that they claim will be able to fully recharge in just a minute. What this means is that while you will still run out of juice, thankfully plugging it into a charger for a minute should have you all good to go in no time. However the company admits that the trade off is that the overall capacity will be smaller, but like we said, it makes up for it with faster charging times.
The technology was sort of an accidental discovery as the original research was meant for nanotechnology in use for Alzheimer’s disease. It seems that researchers discovered a certain peptide molecule with a high capacitance, which basically allows them to absorb a charge faster than others, thus leading to the faster charging times.
At the moment StoreDot is said to be in talks with smartphone manufacturers and they expect to land deals with at least one or two of them by the end of the year, and hopefully by Christmas 2016, we can expect to see the technology in some of these phones.
Magic Leap REVEALED: $542m startup shows off its augmented reality glasses for the first time (although it currently needs a trolley full of parts to work)
Magic Leap’s system is one of the most highly-anticipated virtual reality glasses in development, and up until recently, one of the most secretive.
Now, for the first time, the company has revealed details about its augmented reality glasses – although it appears the technology still needs a full trolley of parts to work.
The 3D system operates by shining images on the retina, creating an augmented reality which combines fictional characters with the real world.
Too good to be true? The beauty therapy chocolate to ‘smooth wrinkles, increase blood flow and help skin look radiant’
- ‘Visible effects in three weeks’ from eating one bar a day of Esthechoc
- Product is only 38 calories per bar with a cocoa content of 72 per cent
- But a 7.5g bar is equivalent to just one square from a 45g Dairy Milk
- Esthechoc created from research originating at Cambridge University
Nano drones mend arteries: Microscopic particles that seek out and repair damage could be future of treatment for heart disease and strokes
Scientists have carried out successful tests of the nanoparticles in mice and hope soon to conduct the first patient trials.
Each tiny particle – made from a plastic-like material – is 1,000 times smaller than the tip of a human hair.
The nanoparticles are designed to latch on to atherosclerotic plaques – hard deposits made from accumulated fat, cholesterol and calcium that build up on the walls of arteries and are prone to rupture, producing dangerous clots.
Once they reach their target, the ‘drones’ release a drug derived from a natural protein that repairs inflammation damage in the body.
In the tests, artery damage in laboratory mice was significantly repaired after five weeks of treatment and plaques were stabilised, making it less likely for fragments to break off and clog blood vessels.
Scientists have for the first time mapped out the molecular ‘switches’ that can turn on or silence individual genes in the DNA in more than 100 types of human cells.
The groundbreaking accomplishment that reveals the complexity of genetic information and the challenges of interpreting it.
Researchers unveiled the map of the ‘epigenome’ in the journal Nature, alongside nearly two dozen related papers.
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering have developed a novel paper-like material for lithium-ion batteries.
It has the potential to boost by several times the specific energy, or amount of energy that can be delivered per unit weight of the battery.
This paper-like material is composed of sponge-like silicon nanofibers more than 100 times thinner than human hair. It could be used in batteries for electric vehicles and personal electronics
The problem is that spark plugs can only ignite the fuel at one end of the chamber, says Chuni Ghosh, CEO of New Jersey-based Princeton Optronics, the firm that developed the new ignition system.
In Ghosh’s engine, a laser ignites the fuel in the middle of the chamber instead, burning more of the fuel and improving combustion efficiency by 27 per cent. Laser ignition could boost the fuel efficiency of a car from 40 kilometres per litre up to around 50, for example. The more complete burn also emits fewer polluting by-products such as nitrogen dioxide.
Lasers are also better at keeping up with the thousands of cycles a minute at which a car engine runs. They can be tuned more precisely than spark plugs so that they fire at the optimal instant for ignition. They can even be fired multiple times during the same cycle into different parts of the cylinder to maximise fuel burn.
The engine was presented for the first time at the ARPA-e energy innovation summit last week in Washington DC. The idea itself is not new, but Princeton Optronics is the first to show that it works in a real engine, with the heat and extreme forces that thousands of revolutions per minute produce. Toyota toyed with a similar system in 2011, but never tested it in these conditions.
- Scaun gaming MWE Lab Emperor 1510 – 33.204,88 RON
- A ‘breakthrough’ in rechargeable batteries for electronic devices and electric vehicles
- Intel Abandoning Silicon With 7nm and Beyond – Silicon Alternatives Coming By 2020
- Samsung Electronics Starts Mass Producing The Industry’s First 128GB Universal Flash Storage, Almost Certainly Galaxy S6-Bound
- Daydreaming is GOOD for you as it can boost your brainpower
- Regular meals and an early bedtime can prevent mental illnes
- Google DeepMind AI outplays humans at video games
- First human head transplant could happen in two years
- Indians lose billions of life years to air pollution
- Men have hands amputated and replaced with bionic ones
- Brain makes decisions with same method used to break WW2 Enigma code
- KT, Samsung And Qualcomm Will Demonstrate 600Mbps LTE-H Technology
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