Hardware

Schematic of a transistor made of carbon nanotubes and molybdenum disulfide (Image courtesy Sujay Desai/UC Berkeley)

An article published in the journal “Science” describes the creation of a new type of transistor with a working gate of one nanometer, a billionth of a meter, the smallest ever made. A team led by Ali Javey of the USA’s Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) used carbon nanotubes and molybdenum disulfide as materials to create this transistor instead of silicon.

Octobot (Image courtesy Lori Sanders/Harvard University)

An article published in the journal “Nature” describes the creation of an Octobot, a robot with the appearance of an octopus produced using soft materials. A Harvard University team put together various disciplines combining mechanical engineering and microfluidics to create with a 3D printer and other production methods a small prototype equipped with an autonomous programming.

IBM chip with artificial neurons (Image courtesy IBM Research. All rights reserved)

An article published in the journal “Nature Nanotechnology” describes the creation by IBM of artificial neurons using phase change materials to record and process data. The company created a chip that contains the devices that constitute the “heart” of these neurons on a chip and there may be even millions of them. The aim is to mimic biological neurons to achieve progress in the development of neuromorphic techniques to be applied for example to cognitive computing.

Masayoshi Son in 2008

The Japanese telecommunications holding SoftBank Group Corp. has reached an agreement to buy the British microprocessors company ARM Holdings Plc for 24.3 billion pounds, equivalent to about $32 billion or 29 billion Euros that will be paid in cash. The offer was announced yesterday and after some hours came the confirmation that it was accepted.

Some ASICs (Image NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Joy Ng)

NASA has developed a series of microchips designed to be used on space probes. That’s the family of ASICs, consisting of chips designed to be small and at the same time resistant to the radiation present in the space and in particular in certain regions. They were used in the Juno space probe that on July 4 entered the orbit of Jupiter, a planet with a very powerful electromagnetic field.