How We’ll Put a Carbon Nanotube Computer in Your Hand

Circuits built from carbon nanotubes will give silicon real competition

16 min read
How We’ll Put a Carbon Nanotube Computer in Your Hand
Illustration: Eddie Guy

The silicon semiconductor industry has chugged along for more than 50 years. Like a steamroller, it has trundled over bumps and holes, while defying repeated warnings that it was running out of fuel or was about to be overtaken by flashier competitors.

So we technologists are understandably reluctant to speculate about the end of silicon. And yet, speculate we must. After decades of steady improvements to the efficiency and speed of our computer chips, brought about by physically shrinking the dimensions of silicon transistors, we’ve reached a point where the massive effort to miniaturize those switches ekes out only very modest gains in performance. The steamroller still rolls, but it’s slowing down, and the maintenance and upkeep on it are fast becoming unsustainable.

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Video Friday: Guitar Bot

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

3 min read
Closeup of a robotic arm strumming an acoustic guitar

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your friends at IEEE Spectrum robotics. We’ll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months; here's what we have so far (send us your events!):

ICRA 2022: 23–27 May 2022, Philadelphia
ERF 2022: 28–30 June 2022, Rotterdam, Germany
CLAWAR 2022: 12–14 September 2022, Açores, Portugal

Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today's videos.

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Dress Smart: This T-Shirt Senses Breathing Problems

Prototype garment provides wireless, real-time monitoring of a wearer’s respiratory patterns

2 min read
Close up of a person wearing dark long sleeved shirt. Multiple blue sensors and wires cover it.

This new smart T-shirt has thin antennas incorporated in the cloth, which detect deformations in the antennas as the user breathes in and out.

Université Laval

This article is part of our exclusive IEEE Journal Watch series in partnership with IEEE Xplore.

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Design for Functional Safety & Reliability with new FMEDA Database

Component Reliability Database drives efficiency and accuracy in FMEDA results

1 min read
Design for Functional Safety & Reliability with new FMEDA Database

Failure Modes, Effects, and Diagnostics Analysis (FMEDA) is popular for predicting safety and reliability during design. FMEDA results, however, are only as good as the failure rate data used in the calculations. A new component reliability database (CRD) improves accuracy, reduces engineering, identifies unforeseen failure modes, and enables better decision-making.