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In Your Pocket: Smartcards

The worldwide boom in smartcard deployment is accelerating their evolution

18 min read
In Your Pocket: Smartcards

Take a look in your wallet and what do you find? In all likelihood, bills and coins. A variety of credit cards. A driver's license. A transit pass. A voter registration card. A library card. A video rental card. Insurance cards. Frequent flyer and car rental cards. A telephone charge card.

By the end of the century, all of these documents might be replaced by just two or three smartcards. Because they can store and protect relatively large amounts of data, smartcards are being used in a number of ways around the world, replacing a wallet's contents bit by bit. Stored-value cards were in place last year in Atlanta, Ga., at Olympic venues standing in for coins and bills. A health card identifying the holder's insurance provider and account number has been issued to every citizen of Germany, and plans are in place to add such medical information as the name of the holder's doctor, blood type, allergic reactions, medications, next of kin, and instructions in case of emergency. Smart social security cards in Spain interface with a kiosk system that can provide updated information on benefits and eligibility, as well as pertinent job opportunities.

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Video Friday: Humanoid Soccer

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

4 min read
Humans and human-sized humanoid robots stand together on an indoor soccer field at the beginning of a game

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your friends at IEEE Spectrum robotics. We also post a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months. Please send us your events for inclusion.

CoRL 2022: 14–18 December 2022, AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
ICRA 2023: 29 May–2 June 2023, LONDON

Enjoy today’s videos!

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Array of devices on a chip

This analog electrochemical memory (ECRAM) array provides a prototype for artificial synapses in AI training.

IBM research

How far away could be an artificial brain? Perhaps a very long way still, but a working analogue to the essential element of the brain’s networks, the synapse, appears closer at hand now.

That’s because a device that draws inspiration from batteries now appears surprisingly well suited to run artificial neural networks. Called electrochemical RAM (ECRAM), it is giving traditional transistor-based AI an unexpected run for its money—and is quickly moving toward the head of the pack in the race to develop the perfect artificial synapse. Researchers recently reported a string of advances at this week’s IEEE International Electron Device Meeting (IEDM 2022) and elsewhere, including ECRAM devices that use less energy, hold memory longer, and take up less space.

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Get the Rohde & Schwarz EMI White Paper

Learn how to measure and reduce common mode electromagnetic interference (EMI) in electric drive installations

1 min read
Rohde & Schwarz

Nowadays, electric machines are often driven by power electronic converters. Even though the use of converters brings with it a variety of advantages, common mode (CM) signals are a frequent problem in many installations. Common mode voltages induced by the converter drive common mode currents damage the motor bearings over time and significantly reduce the lifetime of the drive.

Download this free whitepaper now!

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