Toggle light / dark theme

Efficient electrocatalysts, which are needed for the production of green hydrogen, for example, are hidden in materials composed of five or more elements. A team from Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) and the University of Copenhagen has developed an efficient method for identifying promising candidates in the myriad of possible materials. To this end, the researchers combined experiments and simulation.

They published their report in the journal Advanced Energy Materials (“Unravelling Composition–Activity–Stability Trends in High Entropy Alloy Electrocatalysts by Using a Data-Guided Combinatorial Synthesis Strategy and Computational Modeling”).

A view of the sputtering machine used to produce the material library counters. (Image: Christian Nielinger)

Last year, Germany spent $53 billion on defense. This year, TSMC is spending $44 billion on chip factories. (In 2019, TSMC only spent $14.9 billion, so they are spending insane amounts of money trying to fix the chip shortage.) Pretty much everyone in the chip business is also dramatically increasing their spending as well.

TSMC investment will “put a ceiling” on Samsung, Intel’s foundry plans.

An enormous asteroid more massive than two Empire State Buildings is heading our way, but unlike the so-called planet-killer comet in the recent movie “Don’t Look Up,” this space rock will zoom harmlessly past Earth.

The stony asteroid, known as (7482) 1994 PC1, will pass at its closest on Jan. 18 at 4:51 p.m. EST (2151 GMT), traveling at 43,754 mph (70,415 km/h) and hurtling past Earth at a distance of 0.01324 astronomical units — 1.2 million miles (nearly 2 million kilometers), according to NASA JPL-Caltech’s Solar System Dynamics (SSD).

Similar projects in Denmark have used recaptured heat from smaller structures, such as supermarkets, to supply a nearby building or two. The Facebook project scales the technology to a level not yet reached in the world by producing up to 25 MW per hour of usable heat.

“Facebook opened their new data center in Odense,” said Denmark’s Minister of Climate, Energy, and Utilities, Dan Jørgensen, on Instagram. “It’s based on renewable energy only (from their own wind farm) and feeds their surplus heat into the district heating system. Good news for the transition to green energy!”

As a nation, Denmark has set a goal to eliminate the use of coal by 2030. The heat recovery project supports Odense’s even more aggressive goal to phase out coal (which 30 percent of the city still depends on for heat) by 2023 — a modern feat for a city that just celebrated its 1,031st anniversary. Facebook’s data center is estimated to reduce Odense’s demand for coal by up to 25 percent.

Quantum computing is finally making its presence felt among companies around the world. Over the last few years, companies have shown interest in quantum computing but often couldn’t make definitive decisions on using the technology, as there was not enough research on its practical applications beyond the theoretical.

Nevertheless, 2021 has been a remarkable year for the quantum computing industry. Not only has there been more research on the potential use cases for the technology, but investments in quantum computing have shot up globally to boot.

While the US and China continue to compete with each other for supremacy in this evolving branch of computing, other countries and organizations around the world have slowly been playing catch up as well. And now, 2022 is expected to be the year whereby companies can start seeing quantum computing breakthroughs that could result in practical uses.

UEI “Extreme Low-Power” chip for Bluetooth, voice remote controls with energy-harvesting in order to provide lifetime battery life.

Most people probably don’t mind changing batteries in remote controls every so often, but it contributes to e-waste especially if you’re not using rechargeable batteries, and I always find it’s pain as I don’t usually have stock, or don’t feel like waiting for several hours to recharge the batteries.

Universal Electronics Inc, or UEI for shorts, claims to have a solution with a family of QuickSet-certified chips using “Extreme Low-Power”, energy-harvesting and “high-performance technology” that would provide lifetime battery life to Bluetooth, voice remote controls. The main goal is “to help transition the world towards a more sustainable future, by reducing primary battery waste throughout the life of the product, which in turn reduces the cumulative CO2 footprint”.

The notion that some computational problems in math and computer science can be hard should come as no surprise. There is, in fact, an entire class of problems deemed impossible to solve algorithmically. Just below this class lie slightly “easier” problems that are less well-understood—and may be impossible, too.

David Gamarnik, professor of operations research at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society, is focusing his attention on the latter, less-studied category of problems, which are more relevant to the everyday world because they involve —an integral feature of natural systems. He and his colleagues have developed a potent tool for analyzing these problems called the overlap gap property (or OGP). Gamarnik described the new methodology in a recent paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

A team of researchers at the Institute of Computer Science and Random Systems has built a non-software-based virus detection system using a Raspberry Pi, an H-field probe and an oscilloscope to detect electromagnetic wave signatures of multiple types of viruses. The team presented its system and test results at last month’s ACM Machinery’s Annual Computer Security Applications Conference and published a paper describing their system on ACM’s Research Article page.

The idea behind the new system is that running software generates electromagnetic waves. And each piece of software generates its own unique wave patterns due to the way the software executes its code. The researchers took advantage of this knowledge and began using an H-field probe to capture wave patterns of known computer viruses running on various devices and viewed the results on an oscilloscope. They saw oscilloscope patterns that were unique to individual viruses as they were running. The researchers used that information to program a Raspberry Pi to identify data from the other two devices to recognize known virus wave patterns, using the system as a virus detector. To determine if a virus is running on a computer, IoT device or smartphone, a user places the H-field probe close enough to the device to read the electromagnetic waves that are generated. The Raspberry Pi then reports on whether it found any viruses, and if so, which ones.

Fittingbox’s Frame Removal uses diminished reality to help people pick out new eyeglasses — but the tech’s potential extends far beyond the bridge of your nose.

French company Fittingbox has just unveiled an app that uses a technology called “diminished reality” — the opposite of augmented reality (AR).

The app is designed to help shoppers pick out new eyeglasses, but the tech’s potential extends far beyond the bridge of your nose.

The challenge: Many eyeglass sellers now let you try on specs virtually — just pick a pair off a website, look into the camera on your phone or computer, and thanks to the magic of augmented reality (AR), you can see what the frames look like on your face.

Carbon-based organic micropollutants in water can be removed by treatment with high-intensity pulses of light in a procedure developed and demonstrated by researchers at KAUST.

This photodegradation process was already known to be feasible, but its use was limited by the long times it required. Luca Fortunato, Thomas Anthopoulos and colleagues have demonstrated that this photodegradation treatment can be dramatically accelerated with high-intensity pulses generated from a xenon flash lamp.

“An interesting aspect of this work is that we combined the expertise and technologies of two different fields,” says Fortunato. He explains that the collaboration between the two different research departments—KAUST’s Solar Center and Water Desalination and Reuse Center—allowed the team to adopt a pulsed light system that was previously used to process semiconductor materials for transistors and solar cells.