Building on the work of Japanese researchers, Scott Chambers and other scientists at Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL) think they have a better semiconducting material that one day will lead to faster computing speeds and better data storage. Understanding why the material is better requires an understanding of spintronics—the exploitation of an electron's spin for carrying information. Today's computers use an electron's charge for storing and processing information, which is limited by speed and storage density. Conversely, magnetic storage relies on properties created by an electron's spin. Harnessing the spin creates the possibility of creating new signal processing that could increase speed and data storage densities. What makes Chamber's work on semiconducting materials important is the material's magnetic properties. "Our material has superior magnetic strength," says Chambers. "It's an improvement of nearly a factor of five," he adds. One key to the new material, made from titanium, oxygen, and cobalt, is the technique PNNL scientists use for making it. The method uses atomic beams generated in a vacuum and then directed onto a crystalline surface of strontium titanium where the atoms condense and form a thin film. The magnetic properties were tested and validated by IBM's Almaden Research Center in San Jose, CA. PNNL has turned in an invention report and is pursuing a patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. For more information, call (888) 375-7665 or send e-mail to email@example.com.
Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones used to fare quite well in the repairability department, but last year's flagship S5 model took a tumble, scoring a meh-inducing 5/10. Will the newly redesigned S6 lead us back into star-studded territory, or will we sink further into the depths of a repairability black hole?
In 2003, the world contained just over 500 million Internet-connected devices. By 2010, this figure had risen to 12.5 billion connected objects, almost six devices per individual with access to the Internet. Now, as we move into 2015, the number of connected 'things' is expected to reach 25 billion, ultimately edging toward 50 billion by the end of the decade.
NASA engineer Brian Trease studied abroad in Japan as a high school student and used to fold fast-food wrappers into cranes using origami techniques he learned in library books. Inspired by this, he began to imagine that origami could be applied to building spacecraft components, particularly solar panels that could one day send solar power from space to be used on earth.
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