Commodity Exchange Offered to Nanomaterials Market

While a commodity exchange for nanomaterials is being offered, does the market really want one?

1 min read
Commodity Exchange Offered to Nanomaterials Market

I first heard of the patent-pending project calling itself the Integrated Nano-Science Commodity Exchange (INSCXTM) earlier this year. It appears that INSCX intends to develop a global commodity exchange for nanomaterials.

In February of this year the project announced its formal agreement with AssuredNanoTM to “coordinate the global accreditation of supply onto the market platform which is scheduled to launch in the UK early 2011.”

My reaction to the prospect of a nanomaterials commodity exchange was mixed. My initial thoughts were what nanomaterials can we really place in the category of a commodity? How will this be different than the various stock indexes that were established around so-called nanotech companies, like Toyota?

The blog Frogheart has posted the first of a three-part interview with Charles McGovern, the Chief Executive Officer of INSCX, that aims at answering some of these and many more informed questions.

While it becomes clear through the interview that establishing a commodity exchange could help both buyers and sellers in maintaining both pricing structures and conformity in product quality, it shouldn’t be forgotten that commodity exchanges are also built around speculation and whether the future prices of a commodity come in above or below a spot price. 

Ultimately the success or failure of the commodity exchange will depend largely on whether the buyers and sellers of these nanomaterials really find it beneficial to their business to support it.

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Two Startups Are Bringing Fiber to the Processor

Avicena’s blue microLEDs are the dark horse in a race with Ayar Labs’ laser-based system

5 min read
Diffuse blue light shines from a patterned surface through a ring. A blue cable leads away from it.

Avicena’s microLED chiplets could one day link all the CPUs in a computer cluster together.


If a CPU in Seoul sends a byte of data to a processor in Prague, the information covers most of the distance as light, zipping along with no resistance. But put both those processors on the same motherboard, and they’ll need to communicate over energy-sapping copper, which slow the communication speeds possible within computers. Two Silicon Valley startups, Avicena and Ayar Labs, are doing something about that longstanding limit. If they succeed in their attempts to finally bring optical fiber all the way to the processor, it might not just accelerate computing—it might also remake it.

Both companies are developing fiber-connected chiplets, small chips meant to share a high-bandwidth connection with CPUs and other data-hungry silicon in a shared package. They are each ramping up production in 2023, though it may be a couple of years before we see a computer on the market with either product.

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