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Blog Review – Monday, February 15, 2016

Monday, February 15th, 2016

Research converts contact lens to computer screens; What to see at Embedded World 2016; Remembering Professor Marvin Minsky; How fast is fast and will the IoT protect us?

The possibilities for wearable technology, where a polymer film coating can turn a contact lens into a computer screen are covered by Andrew Spence Nanontechnology University of South Australia’s Future Industries Institute. The lens can be used as a sensor to measure blood glucose levels to a pair of glasses acting as a computer screen.

If you are preparing your Embedded World 2016, Nuremberg, schedule, Philippe Bressy, ARM offers an overview of what will be at his favourite event. He covers the company’s offerings for IoT and connectivity, single board computing, software productivity, automotive and from ARM’s partners to be seen on the ARM booth (Hall 5, stand 338), as well as some of the technical conference’s sessions and classes.

Other temptations can be found at the Xilinx booth at Embedded World (Hall 1, stand 205). Steve Leibson, Xilinx explains how visitors can win a Digilent ARTY Dev Kit based on an Artix-7 A35T -1LI FPGA, with Xilinx Vivado HLx Design Edition.

Showing more of what can be done with the mbed IoT Device Platform, Liam Dillon, ARM, writes about the reference system for SoC design for IoT endpoints, and its latest proof-of-concept platform, Beetle.

How fast is fast, muses Richard Mitchell, Ansys. He focuses on the Ansys 17.0 and its increased speeds for structural analysis simulations and flags up a webinar about Ansys Mechanical using HPC on March 3.

If the IoT is going to be omnipresent, proposes Valerie C, Dassault, can we be sure that it can protect us and asks, what lies ahead.

A pioneer of artificial intelligence, Professor Marvin Minsky as died at the age of 88. Rambus fellow, Dr David G Stork, remembers the man, his career and his legacy on this field of technology.

I do enjoy Whiteboard Wednesdays, and Corrie Callenback, Cadence, has picked a great topic for this one – Sachin Dhingra’s look at automotive Ethernet.

Another thing I particularly enjoy is a party, and Hélène Thibiéroz, Synopsys reminds us that it is 35 years since HSPICE was introduced. (Note to other party-goers: fireworks to celebrate are nice, but cake is better!)

Caroline Hayes, European Editor

Research Review – March 25, 2014

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Dimension shift; solar efficiency soars; Sensors and measuring look positive; nanowires make their mark

A new semiconductor allows 3D crystals for study; fullerene-free organic photovoltaic
(OPV) multi-layer stacks boost efficiency; Berlin’s AMA Association – sensing good things in industry exports; nanoscale fingerprints defy fraud. By Caroline Hayes, Senior Editor.

Fullerene-free organic photovoltaic (OPV) multi-layer stacks have been developed by imec and claim a record conversion efficiency of 8.4%, making OPV cells a promising alternative to donor-fullerene organic solar cells.
The research team proposes a three-layer stack of two fullerene-free acceptors and a donor, arranged as discrete heterojunctions. As well as exciton dissociation at the central donor-acceptor interface, the excitons generated in the outer acceptor layer are transferred to the central acceptor, and dissociated at the donor interface, resulting in a quantum efficiency above 75% between 400 and 720nm. With an open-circuit voltage close to 1V, the 8.4 conversion efficiency figure is achieved.

Research conducted by the German-based AMA Association for Sensors and Measurement (AMA), among its members, showed a positive view of 2013 and optimistic hopes for 2014.
The annual revenue of the sensor industry shows a growth of 3%, compared with the previous year. The survey also showed the generally small and medium-sized enterprises invest 10% of their revenue in research and development.
Members’ export quota stabilized at 40% overall, with exports to other European countries rising by 3% to 25%, with the export quota to countries outside Europe dropping by 2% to 17%.
The sensor and measuring industry is investing and has augmented investments last year by an additional three percent. For the current business year 2014, AMA members reckon with an increase in investments of eight percent. This development also affects a growing demand for personnel, which rose by two percent last year.
The AMA members predict a growth in revenue of 7% for this year and a slight rise in the export quota. It also reports that sensor and measuring technology is investing heavily in research and development and counting with a further increase in personnel.

A series of fingerprint patterns with various number densities of dye-coated AgNWs.Anti-counterfeit, nanoscale fingerprints generated by randomly distributed nanowires have resulted in unique barcodes that would impractical to attempt to replicate or counterfeit.
Jangbae Kim, Je Moon Yun, Jongwook Jung Jin-Baek Kim from KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology), and Hyunjoon Song and Hyotcherl Ihee from KAIST and IBS (Institute for Basic Science) Center for Nanomaterials and Chemical Reactions, report that the silver nanowires coated with fluorescent dyes, cast onto the surface of transparent PET film, produce non-repeatable patterns characterized by the random location of the nanowires and their fluorescent colors. These unique barcodes makes counterfeiting such a pattern impractical and expensive; the cost of replicating it would be higher than the value of the typical target item being protected. The patterns can be authenticate, using an optical microscope.

Nano-beam electron diffraction pattern of rhenium disulfide with a zoom-in insert image reveals a quasi-hexagonal reflection pattern.Paving the way for 2D electronic applications with a 3D material, the discovery of a new semiconductor, rhenium disulfide by Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry, could also make it possible to study 2D physics with 3D crystals, created using rhenium disulfide.
Rhenium disulfide, unlike molybdenum disulfide and other dichalcogenides, behaves electronically as if it were a 2D monolayer even as a 3D bulk material. Junqiao Wu, a physicist with Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division, explained that its photoluminescence intensity increases while its Raman spectrum is unchanged, even with an increasing numbers of layers, ideal for probing 2D excitonic and lattice physics, without preparing large area, single crystal monolayers.

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