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Efficiency: The First Fuel

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    The rise of energy-efficient microcontrollers

    By Majeed Ahmad | January 2, 2017

    The humble microcontroller — also the workhorse of embedded design — has long been battling the dilemma of how to raise the performance bar while conserving energy. A new generation of MCUs is finally turning a corner on energy-efficiency challenges while offering greater processing horsepower for high-end embedded designs.

    Case in point is ST Micro’s STM32H743 microcontroller that boasts the ARM® Cortex®-M7 core running at 400MHz.

    The Battery Chronicles

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      How to profit from ‘The Year of The Battery’

      December 30, 2016

      Battery manufacturers – and would-be competitors – are experimenting with all manner of alternatives these days – from nanotechnology to Prussian Blue dye (used to color fabric, paints, etc.) to make cheaper, more powerful, longer lasting storage devices.

      The same forces are attracting massive investments in lithium battery technology, a market which is expected to grow from $17.5 billion in 2013 to $76.4 billion in 2020.

      The Battery Chronicles

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        Supercapacitor battery charges in seconds, lasts a week

        December 30, 2016

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        Breakthroughs in battery technology are becoming increasingly common these days, a manifestation of years of multi-billion dollar R&D investments focused on advanced materials science in hot pursuit of a compact, renewable energy sources by the world’s automobile and electronics makers.

        The latest advance is a battery that charges in seconds and holds a charge for a week, a University of Central Florida development that could one day replace lithium-ion batteries.The new battery is highly flexible and measures a fraction of the size of a lithium-ion battery.

        The Battery Chronicles

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          Toyota’s on track with new lithium battery technology

          December 29, 2016

          History of lithium superionic conductors – PhysOrg

          Toyota and the Tokyo Institute of Technology and High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK) have reported a major advance in battery technology, in the form of new lithium-based superionic, solid-state, conductor materials.

          Toyota’s technology will allow the company to test various materials and battery structures, which is expected to be the basis of an improved electric vehicle in the next several years.

          The Energy Imperative

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            How to hack a good life despite endless power cuts

            December 28, 2016

            Living without electricity in today’s technological world is hard to imagine. But it’s becoming increasingly common, with regular communications and computer outages raising havoc with businesses and individuals, not to mention disrupting urban and rural transport systems.

            Like in the summer of 2016 when tens of thousands of Delta Airline passengers around the world were stranded for days by an Atlanta power outage that caused a global computer failure, halting all flights.

            Innovation

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              Polymer researchers make super-capacitor breakthrough

              supercapacitors at work

              Researchers in the UK have reported a breakthrough in super-capacitor development with the potential to revolutionize the recharging cycle for battery operated devices. The development, by Augmented Optics Ltd., is based on polymers used to make soft contact lenses. Very high energy density super-capacitors could make it possible to recharge mobile phones, laptops or other mobile devices in just a few seconds.

              Innovation

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                MIT printing technique enables flexible circuit stamping

                Functional features at nanoscale dimensions.

                An alternative to photolithography?

                An alternative to photolithography?

                To create electronic devices like those in today’s mobile phones requires complex chemical and physical processes, not unlike those used to capture and develop images with film-based cameras.

                Smart devices start with a series of etched circuit images projected onto a silicon photolithic surface that is then sucessively submerged in a series of chemical, metal, and acid ‘developer’ baths that take away layers of extraneous metal and silicon – and everything that isn’t, say, a microprocessor.

                Entrepreneurship

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                  How tech’s lack of empathy is demonizing Silicon Valley

                  A scene from the HBO series Silicon Valley

                  A scene from the HBO series ‘Silicon Valley’

                  Silicon Valley is in danger of becoming the next ‘Wall Street,’ the villainous epicenter of America’s heartless financial industry – a magnet for ambitious bankers bound for greed and glory.

                  So concludes Om Malik, the highly respected founder and former senior writer for GigaOM, now a partner in the San Francisco venture capital firm True Ventures, writing in this week’s The New Yorker.