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Physicists create world's smallest switch at molecular level

12/14, 9:00pm

Less than one-half nemometer in size.

A team of physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have created in their laboratory what they believe to be the world's smallest molecular switch. In their experiment, the team was able to build a switch with an inner diameter of less than half a nanometer, making it making it the smallest atomic switching unit realized to date. It moves a single proton to one of four positions or states at speeds of up to 500 changes in state per second.

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Scientists develop 'nanogenerators' that could power iPods

03/29, 8:00pm

Uses body's own movement to generate electricity

A team of scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta have developed chips that can use normal body movements to generate sufficient power to run LCD displays and diodes or transmit a radio signal, according to a report in the UK's Telegraph newspaper. Their goal is to create a method by which the body's own movement could power implantable medical devices, or the portable electronics people carry with them, such as iPods.

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Nanochip tech promises 100GB chips in 2009

01/23, 1:35pm

Nanochip 100GB Chips

A new form of nanotechnology could result in ultra-high density flash memory in less than two years, its inventor Nanochip has revealed. Instead of a traditional technique used in the NAND memory found in many portable devices, the new process would write and help read data using microscopic cantilevers with raised tips that are less than 10 nanometers across; by pressing a grid of these tips against the actual storage, each bit of data can be held in a space just 15 square nanometers versus the 65 nanometers of most current flash memory. A typical chip die would have many such tips and could write data far faster than current technology, the company says.

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Stanford tech offers 10X jump in battery life

12/19, 4:05pm

Stanford Nanowire Battery

A new nanotechnology development should produce a major increase in the power available from lithium-ion battery technology, according to a report from Stanford University. While current batteries are limited to holding a relatively small amount of lithium by the need to use carbon for the anode that supplies the battery's current, the new technique developed by assistant professor Yi Cui instead uses a nest of silicon nanowires to hold the lithium. This allows far more lithium to fit into the battery while avoiding the swelling damage that occurs if larger silicon patterns are used.

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IBM optics promise many-core super CPU

12/06, 11:40am

IBM Optical Breakthrough

IBM's Silicon Photonics research group today published news of what it believes is a major breakthrough in increasing processor performance with multi-core processors. Instead of relying on typical copper wire connections between cores, the New York state-based firm has developed a unit it refers to as an electro-optic modulator. The device uses nanotechnology and a small laser to convert electrical signals into pulses of directed light that mimic the binary code of a processor. This hardware is 100 to 1,000 times smaller than the links used to join multiple cores today and could all but eliminate the large gaps between cores that limit their overall size, according to IBM.

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