Articles about Electronics

CES 2017 roundup: The good, the bad, and the frankly bonkers

Pics It's that time of year again, when over 100,000 people cram into the Las Vegas Convention Center to show off the latest in consumer electronics gizmos, make deals, and exchange interesting viruses to get the inevitable conference cough. This year's CE has been about par for the course – dull keynotes, some interesting gadgets …
Iain Thomson, 7 Jan 2017

Low-power transistors hint at alternative to battery bonfires

Since 1965, transistors have followed a path predicted by Gordon Moore, becoming more densely packed year after year. The result has been a steady improvement in CPU performance. Batteries, however, haven't advanced at the same pace. As Fred Schlachter, a physicist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, put it in a 2013 …
Thomas Claburn, 25 Oct 2016
Still from Stand By Me movie. Pie eating contest

Swiss firm still wants to eat up Pi flogger Premier Farnell

Swiss components distributor Dätwyler is still interesting in acquiring mega electronics distie Premier Farnell, despite their last offer being trumped by a later (and larger) one from Avnet. In its bolshy take on the first half of this year's finances, Datwyler boasted that its net revenue was increasing - though only when …
Speed

Ames boffins mix metals to boost electron velocity

A platinum-tin “topological metal” discovered by the Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory could cut energy needed in computing applications, by moving electrons around faster. A topological quantum material – a class of stuff that includes superconductors – has a characteristic that's handy for electronics: electrons travel …
D-Wave chip

Complex chips and crash-proof computer pioneer Edward McCluskey dies

Edward McCluskey, professor at Stanford University and pioneer of complex chips and crash-proof computers, has passed away at the age of 86. McCluskey died on 13 February, according to last week's Stanford News. He developed the first algorithm for designing combinational circuits as a doctoral student at MIT – something he …
Kat Hall, 29 Feb 2016
Tilted nanomagnets image from UC Berkeley

Boffins turned off by silicon switch to TILTING MAGNETS

Solid state memory is already a viable technology at a decent scale, but it's hard to make it small enough to replace hard drives. However, researchers at the University of California Berkeley are taking a different angle: they would like to shrink high density storage to a size that puts it onto ICs. Their aim is twofold: to …

WOODEN computer chips reveal humanity's cyber elf future

Boffins have developed a biodegradable semiconductor chip made almost entirely of wood in an effort to alleviate the environmental burden of electronic devices. Technicians from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture Forest Products Laboratory (FPL), have demonstrated the …
The four designs under consideration for the ethical 'Fairphone'

European Parliament mulls law on use of blood metal in tech

MEPs will vote whether or not to make electronics manufacturers find out where the minerals in their products come from. The proposed law is part of an effort to clamp down on so-called conflict minerals. Militant groups in areas such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo often use the sale of tin, tungsten, tantalum and …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Apr 2015
Nano heat mapping at UCLA

Boffins turn nano-wires into their OWN thermometers

We know that electronic components get hot, but understanding the fine detail of heat in a circuit feature measuring nanometers is difficult. Infrared imaging relies on wavelengths that are bigger than the features involved, leading to low resolution. Touching a spot with a (tiny) thermometer is high resolution, but its …
RadioShack

Spavined RadioShack to file for bankruptcy next month – report

Ailing electronics retailer RadioShack is teetering ever closer to insolvency, reports claim, with a potential bankruptcy filing to come as soon as next month. Although RadioShack has not said that it plans to file for bankruptcy, the Wall Street Journal reports that Salus Capital Partners has already offered it $500m in …
Neil McAllister, 16 Jan 2015
Mamod steam traction engine

Ghosts of Christmas Past: The long-ago geek gifts that made us what we are

Product Roundup It's fairly well accepted that events and things from our past help to make us the twisted, misanthropic people we are today. Or perhaps that's just Team Register. It being the season of festive excess, we wondered if there were perhaps some geeky gifts that, as a kid, helped you explore science, tech, and similar areas, and …
Nigel Whitfield, 25 Dec 2014
Spin

In a spin: Samsung accuses LG exec of washing machine SABOTAGE

LG's top home appliances exec Jo Seong-jin has been accused of vandalising Samsung washing machines at two stores in Germany during the IFA shindig in Berlin earlier this week. Samsung has reported the matter to Seoul prosecutors to probe the allegations, according to Reuters. The competing South Korean electronic giants came …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Sep 2014
Stanford U's ant-sized radio

Boffins: Behold the SILICON CHEAPNESS of our tiny, radio-signal-munching IoT sensor

Electronics boffins at Stanford University are putting their mark on the Internet of Things by way of a tiny radio-plus-computer that uses scavenged radio signals for its power. Instead of shrinking discrete components and patching them together, the Stanford team set out to create a single silicon component that integrates …
Caltech's phased array chip

Projector on a smartphone? There's a chip for that

Caltech researchers have demonstrated a chip they hope will one day let smartphones act as projectors. Instead of the light sources, image and lenses needed for a traditional projector, the Caltech chip uses an optical phased array (OPA) to create a projected image from a single laser diode – along the way eliminating the need …
Circuit on artificial eye

Circuits so flexible they'd wrap around your hair

This could be the ultimate in “wearable computing”: while CES visitors are excited about Intel's earbuds, Swiss scientists have created a circuit so flexible it can wrap around a human hair. The first test of the circuit, created by researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETZ), was to embed it into …
channel_teaser_exit

Japan's unwanted IT workers dumped in 'forcing-out rooms'

Some of Japan’s biggest technology companies send certain employees to “boredom" or "forcing-out" rooms where they’re forced to undertake menial tasks designed to make them quit. A New York Times report detailed the experience of 51-year-old Sony employee Shusaku Tani who refused to take early retirement after his position at …
Phil Muncaster, 21 Aug 2013
sony distorted logo

Sony investor wants to break up firm, re-invest in hardware biz

Sony’s biggest shareholder wants to break up the firm, spinning off its highly profitable entertainment division to generate more cash to plough into its misfiring hardware biz. Activist investor Daniel Loeb and his hedge fund Third Point has a 6.5 per cent stake in the venerable electronics giant, amounting to a whopping $1. …
Phil Muncaster, 15 May 2013
The Register breaking news

Boffins explain LED inefficiencies

One of the problems with using LED-based lamps to replace incandescent or fluorescent lamps is that they're expensive: not only do they need more electronics than the alternatives, LED efficiency is capped by a fall in light output at higher current. To answer the so-what question: getting rid of the “droop effect” allows LEDs …

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