Articles about silicon

Silicon can now reconfigure itself with just a jolt of electricity

Scientists have demonstrated a method of corralling micron-sized silicon particles to allow the construction and reconfiguration of new hardware, which has the potential to revolutionize chip design. The research points to a vaguely terrifying future of self-assembling and self-reconfiguring systems using a class of material …
Richard Speed, 4 May 2018
photonic chip

Boffins unwrap bargain-basement processor that talks light and current

Christmas is a time of miracles, to paraphrase Hans Gruber, and US researchers claim to have pulled off one in silicon photonics: they say they've mainlined super-fast optic communications into a RISC CPU using cheap, bog-standard manufacturing techniques. Chips using light to shunt data around a processor and to and from its …
Iain Thomson, 24 Dec 2015
Qualcomm Snapdragon 820

Qualcomm sheds last veil from Snapdragon 820

After letting the world in on glimpses of its Snapdragon 820 processor for a few months, Qualcomm has finally taken the lamp out of the basket. The company will have high hopes for the chip: troubles in China, being jilted by Samsung, and talk of overheating in its Snapdragon 810 chips left it with disappointing revenue and …
"Typical E-scrapping dismantling operation. 100,000 such migrant workers labor in Guiyu breaking down imported computers in hundreds of small operations like this one in a four village area surrounding the Lianjiang River."

Au oh, there's gold in them thar server farms, so lead the way

All these servers that we pack into the data centres have a limited life span, they're made of metal, metals even, and scrap metal has a value. So, what's the stuff that's in there and how much is it worth? As metal that is, once it's done its job of pumping the electrons around? Not a lot when you consider what they cost to …
Tim Worstall, 3 Sep 2015
This is graphene-based film on an electronic component with high heat intensity. Pic credit: Johan Liu / Chamers University of Technology

Cool-headed boffins overcome sticky issue: Graphene-based film could turn heat down

A graphene-based film could help to cool down overheating microelectronic devices, scientists have claimed in a new study. Researchers at Chalmers University, led by professor Johan Liu, have developed the 20 micrometre-thick film, which apparently has a thermal conductivity capacity of 1,600 W/mK – four times that of copper …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Jul 2015
CN72/73xx Block Diagram

Cavium adds 4/16 core SoCs

Cavium is filling out a scale gap in its Octeon III system-on-a-chip (SoC) range with he four-to-sixteen core CN72xx and CN73xx variants that are pin-compatible with the rest of the range. The MIPS64-based SoCs are low-power network processors pitched between the one-to-four core CN71xx and the 24-48 CN78xx range. The chips …
Quantum Dot demo

Incomprehensible boffins bring quantum computers a step closer

The long-awaited arrival of quantum computers could be one step closer, as boffins from Oz have for the first time encoded quantum information in silicon. Unlike conventional computers, which store data on transistors and hard drives, quantum computers encode data in states of microscopic objects called qubits. The arrival of …
Kat Hall, 14 Apr 2015
Broadcom BCM88770

Broadcom targets terabit switch markets with fat StrataDNX chipset

Broadcom wants a bigger footprint in the router and switch market with the next iteration of its top-line silicon, the StrataDNX line. While conceding that merchant silicon isn't going to push Cisco or Juniper Networks out of the network core where the biggest traffic flows exist, Broadcom reckons the ability to support beyond …
3D flexible silicon structures

Boffins erect semi-hard 3D silicon: Pop-up micro-machines breakthrough

Pic Researchers have found a way to make tiny 3D structures out of silicon that "pop up" into shape when glued to an elastic substrate, paving the way to new forms of electronics. The minute shapes mimic complex mechanisms in biology – such as the internal structure of teeth and networks of veins and brain cells – and could be …
Iain Thomson, 10 Jan 2015
Xpliant chip

Xpliant targets white-label Ethernet switch vendors with shiny new silicon

Ethernet silicon vendor Xpliant – currently being digested by Cavium in an acquisition due to conclude in 2015 – is hoping to knock Broadcom out of its spot at the heart of the Ethernet switch market. The upstart, launched in 2011, says it'll have sample silicon in Q4 2014 for an architecture designed to combine speed and …
IBM 'through-silicon via' stacked chips

Calxeda co-founder unleashs 48-core ARM SoC

Computex ARM vendor Cavium has revealed 48-core silicon it reckons will pitch it into high-end data centre and server apps. Cavium has hired Larry Wikelius, co-founder of failed ARM server silicon vendor Calxeda, and his former colleague Gopal Hegde (who played a part in creating Cisco's UCS servers). Both are insistent that now is the …
Supercap power density

Boffins hide supercapacitors on silicon chips

Scientists at Vanderbilt University have created a silicon-based supercapacitor they say could scale all the way from grid-level storage down to consumer electronics. The reason they're trumpeting it as a breakthrough is that silicon, while abundant and with well-established fabrication techniques, doesn't work well in …
The Register breaking news

Dialog Bluetooth chip boasts battery life of four YEARS

Dialog's latest Bluetooth chip is only 2.5mm square and half a millimetre thick, but boasts an embedded processor from ARM and a battery life of more than four years from a button cell. Anyone considering a smart wristwatch or fitness-monitoring wristband will be pleased to hear that Dialog Semiconductor has created a really …
Bill Ray, 28 May 2013
The Register breaking news

Boffins build substrate for 'peel and stick' solar cells

A team of scientists from Stanford University has developed a "peel and stick" solar cell to demonstrate a new flexible substrate with the potential to be used by the wider electronics industry. Thin-film solar cells can be printed on an increasing variety of rigid surfaces but the team noted that it might be possible to …
Iain Thomson, 24 Dec 2012

Silicon nanowires: The Next Big Thing™ in chip design

CPTF 2012 The next step in transistor architecture will likely be silicon nanowires – extremely thin silicon wires that will form the transistor's chanel, surrounded on all sides by a wrap-around silicon oxide, high-K metal gate. "It's the ultimate fully-depleted device," the director of IBM's Semiconductor Research & Development Center …
Rik Myslewski, 16 Mar 2012
The Register breaking news

Tiny transistor stays where it's put

The team that earlier this year characterized a four-atom wire that obeys Ohm’s Law has now demonstrated a repeatable single-atom transistor. While single atoms have been observed acting like transistors in the past, the ‘device’ demonstrated by the UNSW, University of Melbourne and Purdue team is exceptional in that it has …
graph up

Disk fab floods rinse $1bn off Intel's Q4 revenue

Chip maker Intel has slashed its final quarter outlook, admitting it will fall short of the company's previous forecast due to a hard drive supply shortage - sparked by flooding in Thai disk factories. The vendor said it now expects to bank Q4 revenue of about $13.7bn (£8.7bn), compared to an earlier prediction of $14.7bn for …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Dec 2011
The Register breaking news

Scientists probe Earth's core, make mystifying discovery

Scientists carrying out extreme boffinry into the makeup of the Earth's liquid core have announced that they are very puzzled to find it is not made of what they had thought it was. The great bulk of the liquid outer core of the planet, of course, is made of molten iron. That's just as well for us and all life on Earth, as the …
Lewis Page, 24 Nov 2011

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