Record-Setting Terahertz Transmitters

Relatively cheap chip hits 1.1 THz, could make terahertz scanners and other devices practical

4 min read
Record-Setting Terahertz Transmitters


Image: Michael Feiginov/TU Darmstadt
Tiny Transmitter: TU Darmstadt's resonant tunneling diode transmitter beams out radiation at 1.11 terahertz. The Diode is the squiggle at the base of the "V". Click on image to enlarge.

25 January 2012—Researchers in Germany and Japan have developed tiny transmitter chips that produce the highest-frequency signals at room temperature—1.111 terahertz—of any source driven by a resonant-tunneling diode (RTD), a type of electronic quantum device. The relatively cheap transmitter chip might make it easier to use terahertz devices. Researchers have been working toward developing technologies that could potentially help to foil bomb plots. These terahertz devices would be able to see through a person’s clothing and chemically identify concealed objects from a distance.

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A Circuit to Boost Battery Life

Digital low-dropout voltage regulators will save time, money, and power

11 min read
Image of a battery held sideways by pliers on each side.
Edmon de Haro

YOU'VE PROBABLY PLAYED hundreds, maybe thousands, of videos on your smartphone. But have you ever thought about what happens when you press “play”?

The instant you touch that little triangle, many things happen at once. In microseconds, idle compute cores on your phone's processor spring to life. As they do so, their voltages and clock frequencies shoot up to ensure that the video decompresses and displays without delay. Meanwhile, other cores, running tasks in the background, throttle down. Charge surges into the active cores' millions of transistors and slows to a trickle in the newly idled ones.

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