Nanotech's Contribution to the CES 2010 Show

Nanotech's representation at Consumer Electronics Show still takes the form of materials rather than devices enabled by it

1 min read
Nanotech's Contribution to the CES 2010 Show

I have to hand it to IEEE Spectrum. Its new website format has allowed me to easily follow all the coverage from the CES 2010 show this year by just clicking on the subchannel “Consumer Electronics” and finding everything in one place.

But to find how nanotechnology might be enabling any of these gizmos one has to dig a little deeper, so it wasn’t clear what kind of role nanotech was playing at the CES show this year.

And then I found this article in which Nanosys, once touted as the IP king of nanotech with its 500 patents, was sending its CEO to CES show to demonstrate how their nanomaterials can give LED lights a more vivid color with the same amount of energy.

Unfortunately from the article it didn’t appear as though Nanosys was demonstrating any LED device enabled by the nanomaterial; instead they just demonstrated the nanomaterial. It would seem Nanosys plans to sell the material to companies that make LED devices following the business model of being a material supplier rather than a device manufacturer.

With this in mind, the article goes on to predict that we should see some devices equipped with nano-enabled LEDs some time this year. Question is, will the nanomaterials actually be from Nanosys?

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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.


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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