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PlayStation 4 And Xbox 720 Could See A Release By November - Ubergizmo

PlayStation 4 And Xbox 720 Could See A Release By November - Ubergizmo | Video Games and Science. | Scoop.it
The Inquisitr PlayStation 4 And Xbox 720 Could See A Release By November Ubergizmo When Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag was announced, it was also revealed that the game would be arriving on next-gen consoles, presumably the PlayStation 4 and the...
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Josh C.'s comment, March 13, 2013 9:37 AM
I know we have all heard of this and how they're coming out soon. I just like to have a general idea of when things are coming out so I can save up!
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Nanoscale Device Makes Light Travel Infinitely Fast

Nanoscale Device Makes Light Travel Infinitely Fast | Video Games and Science. | Scoop.it

Within a nanometer-scale device, visible light travels infinitely fast—by one measure—a team of physicists and engineers reports. The gizmo won't lead to instantaneous communication—the famous speed limit of Albert Einstein's theory of relativity remains in force—but it could have a variety of uses, including serving as an element in a type of optical circuitry.

 

"The demonstration of such a thing is definitely very interesting and possibly useful," says Wenshan Cai, an electrical engineer at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, who was not involved in the work.

 

In empty space, light always travels at 300,000,000 meters per second. In a material such as glass, it travels slower. The ratio of light's speed in the vacuum to its speed in a material defines the material's "index of refraction," which is typically greater than one. However, scientists have begun to manipulate the interactions of light and matter to tune the index of refraction in weird ways, such as making it negative, which leads to an unusual bending of light.

 

Now, Albert Polman, a physicist at the FOM Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics in Amsterdam; Nader Engheta, an electrical engineer at the University of Pennsylvania; and colleagues have pulled off a particularly odd feat. They've developed a tiny device in which the index of refraction for visible light is zero—so that light waves of a particular wavelength move infinitely fast.

 

The device consists of a rectangular bar of insulating silicon dioxide 85 nanometers thick and 2000 nanometers long surrounded by conducing silver, which light generally doesn't penetrate. The result is a light-conveying chamber called a waveguide. Researchers fashioned different devices in which the width of the silicon dioxide ranged from 120 to 400 nanometers.

 

Light behaves differently in such a waveguide, because the electromagnetic fields must obey certain "boundary conditions" on the sides of the device. Short-wavelength light bounces back and forth between the ends of the guide, and the peaks and troughs of the counter-propagating light waves overlap to create a pattern of bright and dark bands much like the pressure patterns with a ringing organ pipe. Above a "cutoff" wavelength, light doesn't flow at all.

 

Right at the cutoff wavelength, things get interesting. Instead of producing a banded pattern, the whole waveguide lights up. That means that instead of acting as waves with equally spaced peaks, or "phase fronts," the wave behaves as if its peaks are moving infinitely fast and are everywhere at once. So the light oscillates in synchrony along the length of the waveguide.

Engheta and company had previously created an index of refraction of zero for longer-wavelength radiation called microwaves. Repeating the feat for visible light was harder, as the new widget is too small to contain a light source. Instead, the researchers shot in a beam of electrons to generate light of all wavelengths within the waveguide and measured the light leaking out of it. The amount of light shining out at a particular wavelength depends on whether the electron beam enters at a point where there should be a dark or a bright spot for that wavelength. So by scanning the beam along the waveguide and monitoring the output, researchers traced the light pattern at each wavelength. "It is nanofabrication and characterization at its best," says Che Ting Chan, a physicist at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

 

So how does an everywhere-at-once light wave not violate relativity? Light has two speeds, Engheta explains. The "phase velocity" describes how fast waves of a given wavelength move, and the "group velocity" describes how fast the light conveys energy or information. Only the group velocity must stay below the speed of light in a vacuum, Engheta says, and inside the waveguide, it does.

The device could hav

e various uses, Engheta says. Because the light leaking out of the waveguide is all in synch, the waveguide might be bent to form an antenna that emits light wave with sculpted phase fronts, he says. It might also make a conduit for a hoped-for type of nanoscale optical circuitry, he says.

 

An array of such waveguides might even make a bulk material with zero index of refraction. But fabricating that array would be very challenging, Cai says: "In theory it's easy; experimentally it's very hard."


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Josh C.'s insight:

I keep myslef hopeful of the future of this world. This is one of the ways that I can keep track of that. The new things we can do are amazing compared to just one decade ago!

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Electronic chips heal themselves after destructive laser blast

Electronic chips heal themselves after destructive laser blast | Video Games and Science. | Scoop.it

It was incredible the first time the system kicked in and healed itself. It felt like we were witnessing the next step in the evolution of integrated circuits," says Ali Hajimiri, professor of electrical engineering at Caltech. "We had literally just blasted half the amplifier and vaporized many of its components, such as transistors, and it was able to recover to nearly its ideal performance."

 

Imagine if the chips in your phone or computer could fix themselves almost instantly from problems such as battery power loss and transistor failure. 

It might sound like the stuff of science fiction, but a team of engineers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), for the first time ever, has developed just such self-healing integrated chips. The team demonstrated this self-healing capability in tiny power amplifiers. The amplifiers are so small that 76 of the chips—including everything they need to self-heal—could fit on a single penny. 

 

In perhaps the most dramatic of their experiments, the team destroyed various parts of their chips by zapping them multiple times with a high-power laser, and then observed as the chips automatically developed a work-around in less than a second.

 

Until now, even a single fault has often rendered an integrated-circuit chip completely useless. The engineers wanted to give integrated-circuit chips a healing ability akin to that of our own immune system—something capable of detecting and quickly responding to any number of possible assaults in order to keep the larger system working optimally.

 

The power amplifier they devised employs a multitude of robust, on-chip sensors that monitor temperature, current, voltage, and power. The information from those sensors feeds into a custom-made application-specific integrated-circuit (ASIC) unit on the same chip, a central processor that acts as the “brain” of the system. The brain analyzes the amplifier’s overall performance and determines if it needs to adjust any of the system’s actuators—the changeable parts of the chip.

 

Interestingly, the chip’s brain does not operate based on algorithms that know how to respond to every possible scenario. Instead, it draws conclusions based on the aggregate response of the sensors.

“You tell the chip the results you want and let it figure out how to produce those results,” says Steven Bowers, a graduate student in Hajimiri’s lab and lead author of the new paper. “The challenge is that there are more than 100,000 transistors on each chip. We don’t know all of the different things that might go wrong, and we don’t need to.

 

World of possibilities: The team chose to demonstrate this self-healing capability first in a power amplifier for millimeter-wave frequencies. Such high-frequency integrated chips are at the cutting edge of research and are useful for next-generation communications, imaging, sensing, and radar applications.

 

By showing that the self-healing capability works well in such an advanced system, the researchers hope to show that the self-healing approach can be extended to virtually any other electronic system.

 

“Bringing this type of electronic immune system to integrated-circuit chips opens up a world of possibilities,” says Hajimiri. “It is truly a shift in the way we view circuits and their ability to operate independently. They can now both diagnose and fix their own problems without any human intervention, moving one step closer to indestructible circuits.”

 

 


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Josh C.'s comment, March 13, 2013 9:38 AM
Regenerating technology... we truly are going to have Halo be our future. Which would be awesome!