Dispatches from the Nanotechnology Frontier

Reports coming from the ISO nanotechnology standards meeting in Seattle

1 min read

Addressing the Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) issues surrounding nanotechnology has become critical for the future development of nanotechnologies across a number of application fields.

 

But in order to address these issues it is necessary to set standards for nomenclature, experimentation and microscopy, just to name a few.

 

This week out in Seattle, WA, a meeting of the ISO TC 229 (nanotechnologies) group is on going and its aim is to establish standards in these areas.

 

This ISO group is nothing new, it's been around a while. So to be honest, I am not sure where this meeting stands in its progress towards developing standards.

 

But we do have a new insight into the process as Skip Rung, President and Executive Director of the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI), is sending back dispatches from the meetings to Nanotech-Now.

 

Based on his first dispatch I expect that it will be some time before we have anything approaching a comprehensive set of standards for nanotechnologies. But I'll be reading the posts, just in case.

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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.

Avicena

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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