Breakthrough solution for small low power IoT radios

February 16, 2017

ROHM, imec, a research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies, and Holst Centre (set up by imec and TNO) have presented an all-digital phase-locked loop (ADPLL) for Internet of Things (IoT) radio transceivers at the 2017 International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco (US). Whereas a PLL is traditionally one of the major power consumers in a radio and can take up to 30% of the radio area, this…


New battery could run longer than a decade

February 10, 2017

A new flow battery which stores energy in organic molecules dissolved in neutral pH water has been introduced from the researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). The new chemistry allows for a non-toxic, non-corrosive battery with an exceptionally long lifetime and offers the potential to significantly decrease the costs of production. The research, published in ACS Energy Letters, was led by Michael…


3D printing produces gas turbine blades

February 6, 2017

Siemens has run a successful test of power generation gas turbine blades produced wholly by metal-based 3D printing by UK-based Materials Solutions, which it bought last year. Siemens said on Monday it was the first to test such blades under full-load engine conditions at 13,000 revolutions per minutes and temperatures above 1,250°C (2,282°F). It called the test a “breakthrough”. 3D printing, also called additive manufacturing, involves making a three-dimensional object…


Probing the properties of all-solid lithium batteries

February 2, 2017

Recent research has explored the possibility of all-solid-state batteries, in which the liquid (and potentially flammable) electrolyte would be replaced by a solid electrolyte, which could enhance the batteries’ energy density and safety. Now, for the first time, a team at MIT has probed the mechanical properties of a sulfide-based solid electrolyte material, to determine its mechanical performance when incorporated into batteries. The new findings were published this week in…


Observing cathode particles inside lithium-ion batteries

February 1, 2017

Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have been able to observe what exactly happens inside a cathode particle as lithium-ion batteries are charged and discharged, using advanced imaging techniques. In a research project led by Berkeley Lab materials chemist Guoying Chen, the researchers uncovered important insights into reactions in cathode materials, including the discovery of particle cracking as the cathode is charged, which can…


TI extends flight time and battery life of quadcopters and drones

January 18, 2017

Texas Instruments has introduced two circuit-based subsystem reference designs that will help manufacturers add flight time and extend battery life to quadcopters and other non-military consumer and industrial drones used to deliver packages, provide surveillance or communicate and assist at long distances. “Flight time continues to be a top design challenge for recreational quadcopters and professional drones, especially those being used by companies for beyond visual line-of-sight operation. Delivery companies want…


MacBook Pro complaints to be fixed in Apple’s next laptop

January 18, 2017

Last fall, after a long wait, Apple released redesigned laptops. Although the laptops were well received, some Apple users complained about some decisions — especially certain limitations that affect pro users, like the lack of a 32GB RAM option. Now it seems as if Apple is poised to correct many of the biggest complaints about the new MacBook Pro with new models expected to launch in 2017, according to a…


Battery with inbuilt ‘fire extinguisher’ developed

January 17, 2017

Researchers have designed a lithium-ion battery that contains a fire-extinguishing material, which is released if the battery gets too hot. Flame retardant triphenyl phosphate (TPP) sits inside a shell within the electrolyte fluid. The shell melts when the temperature reaches 150°C (302°F), releasing the chemical compound. In tests, battery fires were extinguished in 0.4 seconds. Lithium-ion batteries power many devices but are a known fire hazard. The Stanford University research…


2017 NASA spacewalk completed successfully

January 16, 2017

At 12:20pm EST, Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough and Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet concluded their spacewalk. During the nearly six hour spacewalk, the two NASA astronauts successfully installed three new adapter plates and hooked up electrical connections for three of the six new lithium-ion batteries on the International Space Station. The new lithium-ion batteries and adapter plates replace the nickel-hydrogen batteries currently used on the station to store electrical energy…


CES 2017: Bendable battery for IoT wearables

January 13, 2017

Batteries are bulky and rigid components that can’t easily be modified or eliminated. So when product developers design a new device, the battery is often the limiting factor in determining size, shape, and flexibility. But this year at CES in Las Vegas, Panasonic is showing off a new type of lithium-ion battery that could change that. The razor-thin silver wafer can be twisted or bent 1,000 times and still maintain…