Loser: Still Waiting For Nanotube Memory Chip

Nantero’s alternative to flash memory has reached its sell-by date

5 min read
illustration of chip inside an hourglass
Illustration: Bryan Christie Design

Back in October 2001, a Woburn, Mass., start-up called Nantero said it was going to supplant flash memory chips. Business journalists took note: flash memory was then a US $7.8 billion market, and it was growing fast. Even more alluring, Nantero’s technology, based on carbon nanotubes, seemed to be the opening salvo in the nano­technology revolution those journalists had been promising their readers for years.

Nantero called its prospective product the NRAM, the N standing for “Nanotube-based/Nonvolatile.” The company’s publicity people painted a picture of a computer freed from its last moving part—the hard drive—and thus capable of booting up instantly and surviving hard knocks.

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Stretchable Artificial Nerves Help Restore Motion in Mice

New neuroprosthetic approach is more flexible and less power-hungry than other designs

2 min read
illustration of a paralysed mouse and a moving mouse

A paralyzed mouse with a spinal cord injury or motor neuron disease (left) and a mouse that

has recovered voluntary motor function by using stretchable artificial nerves (right).

Stanford University

Conventional neuroprosthetic devices that aim to help patients bypass nerve damage are often rigid and power-hungry. Now scientists have developed stretchable artificial nerves that helped paralyzed mice run on a treadmill and kick a ball while consuming less than one-hundredth of the power of a typical microprocessor. The scientists suggest these artificial nerves may one day find use in the human body.

To help restore movement to patients who have suffered nerve damage from injuries or diseases, scientists are researching neuroprosthetic devices that can help relay signals from the brain to muscles or nerves. However, these systems often face a number of critical limitations, says study co-senior author Tae-Woo Lee, a materials scientist at Seoul National University.

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Xiaomi Builds a Humanoid Robot for Some Reason

CyberOne is a new biped from China, but why does it exist?

3 min read
A black and white humanoid robot lies face down on dirt after appearing to have just fallen

Xiaomi, a large Chinese consumer electronics manufacturer, has introduced a full size bipedal humanoid robot called CyberOne. It’s 177 centimeters in height and weighs 52 kilograms, and it comes with 21 degrees of freedom, with “a curved OLED module to display real-time interactive information.” Nifty! So, uh, its actual purpose is... what exactly?

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Accelerate Time to Market with Calibre nmLVS Recon Technology: A New Paradigm for Circuit Verification

Improve LVS circuit verification productivity in early-stage SoC integration and reduce time to market

1 min read
Accelerate Time to Market with Calibre nmLVS Recon Technology: A New Paradigm for Circuit Verification

One thing is clear…tapeouts are getting harder, and taking longer. As part of a growing suite of innovative early-stage design verification technologies, the Calibre nmLVS Recon tool enables design teams to rapidly examine dirty and immature designs to find and fix high-impact circuit errors earlier and faster, leading to an overall reduction in tapeout schedules and time to market.

Learn more in this technical paper.