Could an SRAM Hourglass Save RFID Chips Just in Time?

New batteryless clock technology could enable a leap forward in chip security

3 min read
Image: Getty Images
Image: Getty Images

Illustration of data dematerializing.Data Dematerializes: Data (like this picture of the Tardis) stored in an RFID chip's SRAM decays. The TARDIS technology uses that decay as a clock that tells when the chip last received power.Images: Kevin Fu

6 August 2012—A new technology to be unveiled later this week at the USENIX Security Symposium creates a short-duration “clock” on batteryless radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips, rendering their cryptographic systems much less vulnerable to attack, the researchers say. 


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The Ultimate Transistor Timeline

The transistor’s amazing evolution from point contacts to quantum tunnels

1 min read
A chart showing the timeline of when a transistor was invented and when it was commercialized.
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Even as the initial sales receipts for the first transistors to hit the market were being tallied up in 1948, the next generation of transistors had already been invented (see “The First Transistor and How it Worked.”) Since then, engineers have reinvented the transistor over and over again, raiding condensed-matter physics for anything that might offer even the possibility of turning a small signal into a larger one.

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