8 Stories

Scientists Build Computer Out of Atom-Thick Material

It's an important step forward in nanotube development

(Newser) - A team of Stanford scientists has built a working computer out of carbon nanotubes, a nigh-impossible feat that could herald silicon's eventual replacement. Granted, the device (which is named "Cedric," the BBC notes) isn't terribly useful, containing as many transistors as the earliest 1950s computers. But... More »

Breast Implants Save Stabbing Victim

Silicone takes the hit

(Newser) - What a boob. Hefty silicone breast implants saved a Russian woman's life after she was stabbed by her husband. Her large, "size 4" implants—obtained at the request of her hubby—stopped the knife from entering her heart, doctors told Pravda . Moscow surgeons repaired the wound. (Unfortunately, not... More »

Sahara Holds Key to Powering Half the World

'Solar Breeder Project' would extract silica from desert sand

(Newser) - Scientists in Japan and Algeria have a plan they say could provide half the world’s electricity needs by 2050, and it all starts with the Sahara desert. Factories built around the desert could isolate the silica from sand to make photovoltaic solar panels; the panels could power solar plants;... More »

Compound May Be 'Next Silicon': Scientists

(Newser) - Stanford physicists have discovered a chemical compound that could replace silicon and transform the computing industry, the San Jose Mercury News reports. Jet-black bismuth telluride has a unique ability, researchers discovered: Electrons can travel across it without resistance, losing no energy. So far the material can only carry small currents,... More »

World's Smallest Transistor Sets Path to Better Chips

Newfound material could replace silicon

(Newser) - Scientists in England have created the world’s smallest transistor, the BBC reports. At 1 atom thick and 10 atoms wide, it could be the key to creating microchips beyond the power of silicon. The transistor is made of graphene, a single layer of graphite and an excellent conductor of... More »

New Electronics Can Stretch, Fold

Bendable circuits perform as well as rigid circuitry

(Newser) - New research showing that it’s possible to make stretchable, bendable complex electrical circuits could open the door to wearable computers and to health-monitoring systems that can be implanted, Technology Review reports. Previous bendable circuitry was too slow for complex computing, but the new circuits, of ultra-thin silicon on plastic... More »

Silicon Could Convert Waste Heat Into Power

New nanowires add to chip tech's bag of tricks

(Newser) - Silicon could turn heat into electricity for cheaper than current technologies based on other materials, reports Technology Review. Researchers made nanowires out of silicon so that it would conduct electricity, but not heat. Normal silicon conducts both very well. The specially-made wires, however, convert heat applied at one end to... More »

IBM Scrapes Silicon Scraps

Water-based abrasion technique avoids chemicals; recycles silicon for solar panels

(Newser) - IBM has developed an eco-friendly way of recycling silicon for eco-friendly solar panels. Semiconductor chipmakers often sell used silicon too thin for computing to solar panel manufacturers. Until now, they’ve used abrasive chemicals or a spray of glass beads to erase circuits from the chips. IBM plans to share... More »

8 Stories