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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 Transistor at 75

The past, present, and future of the modern world’s most important invention

2 min read
A photo of a birthday cake with 75 written on it.
Lisa Sheehan

Seventy-five years is a long time. It’s so long that most of us don’t remember a time before the transistor, and long enough for many engineers to have devoted entire careers to its use and development. In honor of this most important of technological achievements, this issue’s package of articles explores the transistor’s historical journey and potential future.

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