In a ground-breaking development, researchers from Tsinghua University in Beijing have introduced an innovative type of flexible memory, known as FlexRAM, that challenges conventional notions of memory technology. This liquid-based memory holds promising implications for the future, with potential applications ranging from pliable robots to versatile implantable electronics and even advanced brain-machine interfaces. How does the integration of a gallium-based liquid metal in Ecoflex make FlexRAM a transformative development in flexible memory technology, how does the size scalability of liquid memory droplets impact the sensitivity and responsiveness of FlexRAM, and what challenges and opportunities does this present for its practical implementation?
Top Stories This Week
- Liquid Metal RAM Breakthrough Brings Us Closer To Flexible Electronics
- EU Set To Reject Amazon iRobot Buy
- China Buys Record Levels Of Microchip Kit In Race To Beat Biden Sanctions
- Google Settles AI Chip Patent Lawsuit With Singular
- Apple To Be First To Get Access To TSMC’s First 2-Nanometer Chips
- Rise In Cybercrime Attacks Against Industrial IoT Sparks Alarm
- British Spy Agency Releases Previously Secret Images Of Colossus Computer
- Ambient Light Sensors Can Reveal Your Device Activity. How Big A Threat Is It?
- New Wearable Sensor Accurately Tracks Tiny Changes In The Breath Process
- Wearable Device Monitors Tumour Size And Displays It In An App
- FOSDEM 2024 Schedule – Open-Source Embedded, Mobile, IoT, Robotics, RISC-V, Etc..
Hardware Business News
EU Set To Reject Amazon iRobot Buy
The European Union is poised to reject Amazon’s ambitious $1.7 billion acquisition of iRobot, the manufacturer of Roomba automated vacuum cleaners, citing significant competition concerns. Despite receiving clearance from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority last June, Amazon failed to present viable remedies to address the EU’s apprehensions before the recent deadline. How does the EU’s rejection of Amazon’s bid for iRobot align with the Digital Markets Act, what potential consequences might consumers face, considering Amazon’s dominant position in the e-commerce sector, and how could this impact the availability and diversity of robot vacuum cleaners in the European market?
China Buys Record Levels Of Microchip Kit In Race To Beat Biden Sanctions
In a strategic move to overcome international sanctions and bolster its semiconductor industry, China has set a record by importing $10.6 billion worth of semiconductor equipment in the final quarter of the previous year. As China races against potential sanctions, concerns are raised about the geopolitical implications and the impact on global semiconductor dynamics. How might China’s substantial investment in semiconductor equipment impact the global balance of power in the semiconductor industry, how might this influence the dynamics of global trade and collaboration in the tech industry, particularly in semiconductor manufacturing equipment, and how can international regulatory bodies and alliances tighten export controls and address loopholes to ensure responsible technology transfer and safeguard national security interests?
Google Settles AI Chip Patent Lawsuit With Singular
Recently, Alphabet’s Google reached a settlement in a patent infringement lawsuit concerning the chips powering its artificial intelligence technology. The settlement comes on the same day scheduled for closing arguments in the trial brought by Singular Computing, a lawsuit seeking $1.67 billion in damages over Google’s alleged misuse of computer-processing innovations. With the settlement, how might the resolution impact future legal battles involving patent infringement in the rapidly evolving field of artificial intelligence, how can companies ensure ethical and transparent collaboration when exchanging technological innovations, and what measures should be in place to protect intellectual property rights in such partnerships?
Apple To Be First To Get Access To TSMC’s First 2-Nanometer Chips
Apple is poised to make significant strides in chip technology as it becomes the inaugural recipient of chips produced using TSMC’s cutting-edge 2-nanometer process, according to insider reports. The move comes as part of TSMC’s ongoing efforts to advance semiconductor technology, with production of the 2nm chips expected to commence in the latter half of 2025. How might Apple’s access to TSMC’s 2-nanometer chips impact the performance and capabilities of upcoming Apple devices, what challenges and opportunities does the transition to TSMC’s 2nm process present for Apple, and what broader implications does this collaboration with TSMC have for the future of chip manufacturing?
Hardware Engineering News
Rise In Cybercrime Attacks Against Industrial IoT Sparks Alarm
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is experiencing accelerated adoption across industries, accompanied by an alarming surge in cyber threats. According to Jim Wallace, Sales Manager at Balluff Australia and member of Open IIoT, cybercrime against businesses in Australia has doubled in recent years, with one in five businesses falling victim in 2023. As IIoT networks become lucrative targets for hackers, the need for a dedicated security framework is paramount. How can businesses strike a balance between fostering innovation and ensuring the security of their industrial processes, what role does a specialized security framework play in achieving this equilibrium, and how can organizations cultivate a culture of cybersecurity awareness among employees?
British Spy Agency Releases Previously Secret Images Of Colossus Computer
Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), known for its penchant for secrecy, has unveiled never-before-seen images of Colossus, the world’s inaugural digital electronic computer, to commemorate its 80th anniversary. Colossus played a pivotal role during World War II, breaking German codes and providing real-time intelligence to the Allies. The release of these images sheds new light on the historical significance of Colossus, which was shrouded in secrecy until the 1980s. How has the historical perception of Colossus shifted since its revelation in the 1980s, what impact has it had on our understanding of the history of computers and computer sciences, and how did the secrecy surrounding Colossus impact the individuals involved?
Ambient Light Sensors Can Reveal Your Device Activity. How Big A Threat Is It?
The widespread incorporation of ambient light sensors in modern handheld devices, TVs, and monitors, designed to enhance user experience, has unveiled a potential privacy threat. Recent research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) demonstrates that under specific conditions, website operators and app developers can exploit these sensors to observe private user actions, challenging the assumption of user privacy. The proof-of-concept attack, while currently limited by environmental factors, raises concerns about the evolving landscape of sensor-based privacy risks. How has the research from MIT exposed the potential misuse of these sensors, what are the specific conditions that render users vulnerable to privacy breaches, and what steps can device manufacturers take to mitigate the privacy risks associated with these sensors?
Hardware R&D News
New Wearable Sensor Accurately Tracks Tiny Changes In The Breath Process
Scientists at The University of Manchester have introduced a ground-breaking wearable sensor designed to precisely monitor breath, capturing even the slightest variations in the inhaling and exhaling processes. Utilizing a 2D material called hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN), this sensor exhibits heightened sensitivity and accuracy, making it a promising tool for advancing respiratory health and disease monitoring. How does the newly developed wearable sensor, based on hexagonal boron nitride, differ from previous designs, what makes it significantly more sensitive and accurate in tracking breath patterns, and what specific respiratory conditions or diseases could benefit most from this technology?
Wearable Device Monitors Tumour Size And Displays It In An App
Researchers at National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan have developed a revolutionary wearable device described as a “smart, flexible sticker” that clings to the skin and monitors the size of tumours just beneath the skin’s surface. The soft and stretchy plastic sticker, infused with spindle-shaped particles, undergoes electrical changes as the tumour grows, allowing for real-time tracking of its development. How does the “smart, flexible sticker” utilize spindle-shaped particles and changes in electrical properties to accurately monitor the size of tumours beneath the skin, what advantages does this present for real-time cancer treatment tracking, and what are the challenges associated with redesigning the device to make it universally applicable for tumours inside the body?
Open-Source Hardware News
FOSDEM 2024 Schedule – Open-Source Embedded, Mobile, IoT, Robotics, RISC-V, Etc..
FOSDEM, the Free and Open Source Software Developers’ European Meeting, is set to host its 2024 event on February 3-4 in Brussels, bringing together thousands of developers to discuss the latest in open-source software and hardware projects. With an impressive line-up featuring 880 speakers, 818 events, and 66 tracks, the conference promises to delve into diverse topics ranging from embedded systems, mobile technologies, and open hardware to energy ecosystems, RISC-V, and more. What exhibits can engineers expect to see, what role will Linux and RISC-V play, and how will the show demonstrate advances in the open source field?