Expressway To Your Skull

PlayStation 3’s ability to blast data between chips is one of the secrets to a mind-bending gaming experience

12 min read
Photo-illustration of gamer.
Photo-illustration: Smalldog Imageworks; Player photo: Vincent Ricardel/Getty Images

If you believe the prerelease hype, Sony’s PlayStation 3 is the machine that is going to change the way we experience games. This past May, gamers got a taste of some much-awaited PS3 titles during the E3 conference in Los Angeles. In Resistance: Fall of Man, a first-person shooter set in a devastated England overrun by creepy creatures, bullets zip and thunk with stunning clarity, and blood sprays with gruesome realism. In Heavenly Sword, tables and bodies fly as in a martial arts movie while you face enemy squads controlled by artificial intelligence algorithms. And in Gran Turismo HD, a dozen racing cars speed and skid through the streets of Tokyo or on a dusty rally circuit that has the Grand Canyon as a backdrop.

Sony Corp., in Tokyo, has a lot staked on the success of the PS3—hundreds of millions of dollars, at least, and maybe even its future as the preeminent maker of consumer electronics. “Gamers are expecting a great deal from the PS3, because Sony has promised a lot,” says Brian O’Rourke, an analyst at market research firm In-Stat, in Scottsdale, Ariz. “More realism, good online experience, new and innovative games are probably the primary expectations from gamers.” The console, after one big delay, is supposed to go on sale in Japan on 11 November, and in the United States and Europe on 17 November.

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Superlattices Could Make Bulky Capacitors Obsolete

Researchers hope artificial antiferroelectric capacitors could help miniaturize electronics further

3 min read
A grid of arrows pointing in different directions

In artificial antiferroelectric structures, electric dipoles are normally arranged in ways that lead to zero electric polarization.

Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology/Science Advances

One roadblock to shrinking present-day electronics is the relatively large size of their capacitors. Now scientists have developed new "superlattices" that might help build capacitors as small as one-hundredth the size of conventional ones.

Whereas batteries store energy in chemical form, capacitors store energy in an electric field. Batteries typically possess greater energy densities than capacitors—they can store more energy for their weight. However, capacitors usually have greater power densities than batteries—they charge and discharge more quickly. This makes capacitors useful for applications involving pulses of power.

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No More Invasive Surgery—This Pacemaker Dissolves Instead

Temporary pacemakers are often vital but dangerous to remove when their jobs are done

3 min read
Animated gif of a device with a coil on one end dissolving between days 1 and 60.

The transient pacemaker, developed at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., harmlessly dissolves in the patient's body over time.

Northwestern University

After having cardiovascular surgery, many patients require a temporary pacemaker to help stabilize their heart rate. The device consists of a pulse generator, one or more insulated wires, and an electrode at the end of each wire.

The pulse generator—a metal case that contains electronic circuitry with a small computer and a battery—regulates the impulses sent to the heart. The wire is connected to the pulse generator on one end while the electrode is placed inside one of the heart’s chambers.

But there are several issues with temporary pacemakers: The generator limits the patient’s mobility, and the wires must be surgically removed, which can cause complications such as infection, dislodgment, torn or damaged tissues, bleeding, and blood clots.

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Free On-Demand Webinars on Data Acquisition Boards and Their Applications

Explore the basics of digitizers, pulse detection, peer-to-peer streaming, and more

1 min read

Dive into the world of digitizers and explore how they can benefit your application. Explore the basics of digitizers, pulse detection, peer-to-peer streaming, and more. Whether you are a scientist, engineer, student or if you want to know more about Teledyne SP Devices deep knowledge base there is something for everyone. Register now for these free webinars!