Chipmakers Push Memory Into the Third Dimension

Samsung, Micron, and SK Hynix bet that transistor redesigns and chip stacking will make memory smaller and faster

4 min read
Chipmakers Push Memory Into the Third Dimension
Illustration: Eddie Guy

A 3-D revolution is slowly making its way across the chip industry. Intel set it off in 2011 when it debuted logic chips bearing transistors that pop out of the plane of the chip. This year, memory makers are joining the game with two innovations of their own.

If you upgrade your smartphone in 2014, chances are you won’t see either of these technologies inside it. They will appear first in high-performance (and high-margin) processors and solid-state drives. But analysts say it’s only a matter of time before these 3-D memories migrate to consumer gadgets. And that could mean big gains in speed and storage space.

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Engineers Are Working on a Solar Microgrid To Outlast Lunar Nights

Future lunar bases will need power for mining and astronaut survival

4 min read
A rendering of a lunar base. In the foreground are rows of solar panels and behind them are two astronauts standing in front of a glass dome with plants inside.
P. Carril/ESA

The next time humans land on the moon on the moon, they intend to stay awhile. For the Artemis program program, NASA and its collaborators want to build a sustained presence on the moon, which includes setting up a base at which astronauts can live and work.

One of the crucial elements for a functioning lunar base is a power supply. Sandia National Laboratories, a research and development lab that specializes in building microgrids for military bases, is teaming up with NASA to design one that will work on the moon.

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Trilobite-Inspired Camera Boasts Huge Depth of Field

New camera relies on "metalenses" that could be fabricated using a standard CMOS foundry

3 min read
Black and white image showing different white box shapes in rows

Scanning electron microscope image of the titanium oxide nanopillars that make up the metalens. The scale is 500 nanometers (nm).

NIST

Inspired by the eyes of extinct trilobites, researchers have created a miniature camera with a record-setting depth of field—the distance over which a camera can produce sharp images in single photo. Their new study reveals that with the aid of artificial intelligence, their device can simultaneously image objects as near as 3 centimeters and as far away as 1.7 kilometers.

Five hundred million years ago, the oceans teemed with horseshoe-crab-like trilobites. Among the most successful of all early animals, these armored invertebrates lived on Earth for roughly 270 million years before going extinct.

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Distinguishing weak signals from noise is a challenging task in data acquisition. In this webinar, we will explain challenges and explore solutions. Register now!
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