Nanotechnology Powers New Microchip

Researchers at Stanford University have found a new ultra-low power source for transmitting data via microchips. The development could bring about a new generation of computers.

What's the Latest Development?

Using nanoscale light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, computer engineers at Princeton have found a way to transmit information via microchips using much less electricity that current methods, which typically rely on lasers. "Nanophotonics is key to the technology. In the heart of their device, the engineers have inserted little islands of the light-emitting material indium arsenide, which, when pulsed with electricity, produce light." The new device was first announced in the journal Nature Communications. 

What's the Big Idea?

Computer engineers have worried that the growth of computer power is limited by the increasing amounts of electricity needed to transmit ever-larger amounts of data. When too much electricity is used, chips simply overheat and shut down. But Princeton's new LED-powered microchips are 2,000 times as efficient as other devices currently in use, says Jelena Vuckovic, who led the research team. By using very little electricity, the development may help sustain Moore's Law, which has predicted the exponential growth of computer power. 

Photo credit:

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

Too much sleep results in cognitive decline, researchers find

We know the dangers of too little sleep. Now for the other side of the story.

Photo: Vladislav Muslakvo / Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Western University researchers found that sleeping over eight hours per night results in cognitive decline.
  • Oversleepers suffer similar difficulties on certain cognitive tests as those who sleep under seven hours.
  • Not all the news is bad: One night of oversleeping results in a cognitive boost.
Keep reading Show less

Compelling speakers do these 4 things every single time

The ability to speak clearly, succinctly, and powerfully is easier than you think

Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee rally at the Anaheim Convention Center on September 8, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Barbara Davidson/Getty Images)
Personal Growth

The ability to communicate effectively can make or break a person's assessment of your intelligence, competence, and authenticity.

Keep reading Show less