• Black silicon: vastly more light-sensitive, good for solar cells etc

    Put this stuff on your “tech to watch” list along with magnetic batteries, liquid lenses, and all this stuff. This “black silicon” was ordinary until it was blasted by an incredibly high-powered laser. It’s kind of like a superhero origin story, only in this case he ends up covered in microscopic spikes that (I’m guessing) multiply the surface area exposable… Read More

  • The future of Moore's law: IBM's chief technologist weighs in

    Trouble ahead, captain! Before ten years is out, our pattern of reducing the size of semiconductors (for example, the move to 45nm from 65nm with Penryn) every two years or so is going to hit a brick wall. In a few more shrinks, we’ll be approaching 10nm, at which point quantum mechanics begin to take over and reality gets all wobbly. So what’s next? IBM’s chief technologist… Read More

  • Interesting: 3D chips with microscopic water cooling

    Chips these days are pretty much flat. And I’m not talking about tortilla chips. They call those silicon things wafers for a reason: all those little gates and channels are lying flat in a single layer. Chipmakers know that you can stack chips on top of each other and multiply your computing power due to the decreased distance the signal has to travel (I’m kind of at the edge of… Read More

  • Wall-climbing attack droids on their way

    The non-profit group SRI International is designing a wall-climbing robot to be unveil it at the International Conference of Robotics and Automation. Popular Mechanics has a video of it climbing on a lot of common building materials. The robot uses electro-adhesion to stick to the wall — is the same technology robots are already using to pick up silicon wafers on assembly lines. If… Read More