New & Cool Gadgets And Electronics

New phase-change material lights the way to all-optical, super-fast computing

British researchers have created a new material that could allow for the creation of all-optical computers — computers that are orders of magnitude faster and power efficient than today’s hot, sweaty electronic beasts. This isn’t some crazy, hard-to-fabricate material like graphene, either — we’re talking about a special breed of chalcogenide glass. You’d be forgiven for […]

The world’s most advanced particle accelerator is just 12 inches long and sits on a lab bench in the US

“Go big or go home” might be the unofficial motto of the United States — but in the case of the world’s newest and most advanced particle accelerator, that’s certainly not the case. The new plasma wakefield accelerator, constructed at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in California, is just 12 inches long — or about […]

DARPA’s new autonomous quadcopter is powered by a brain-like neuromorphic chip

We might forgive a high-tech billionaire for making premature claims about the capabilities of autonomous vehicles. After all, keeping one between the relevant navigational beacons is piece of cake for special purpose algorithms running on digital hardware. The trouble is that those last few percentage points of occupant or bystander safety seem to get them […]

Princeton creates a custom 3D printer that prints quantum dot LEDs from scratch

When you think of 3D printing, something like the MakerBot probably comes to mind — just another contraption that can build physical objects out of plastic, or sometimes metal if you’re lucky. However, many scientists are interested in utilizing the tenets of 3D printing and additive manufacturing to construct small electronic devices completely from scratch, […]

An interview with Zoltan Istvan, leader of the Transhumanist Party and 2016 presidential contender

ExtremeTech has never been particularly interested in politics. That being said, as the focus of politics and politicians inexorably shifts towards technology, we might just jump in the water for a dip. Many might imagine that concerns of a more socio-political nature — like who is able to accrue what particular powers or possessions, and from […]

Everspin teams up with GlobalFoundries to build commercial MRAM

As research into high-end next-generation memory heats up, we’ve seen a number of technologies  move from the drawing board to the functional prototype or limited commercial stage. The chip designer Everspin, which focuses on MRAM (magnetoresistive random access memory) is the latest company to announce a manufacturing push — it’s signed an agreement with GlobalFoundries […]

Cree launches new, cheaper, plastic ‘4Flow’ 60W and 40W equivalent LED bulbs

At long last, Cree is capitalizing on the phase-out of incandescent bulbs by releasing a new low-price ($8) LED bulb that, near as dammit, has the same silhouette as the standard A19 incandescent bulb that you bought at Walmart last week. This new Cree bulb doesn’t just look different, however — this is a brand-new third-generation design that replaces […]

Robot hand uses static electricity to pick up almost anything – with no moving parts

Hands are complicated contraptions expertly shaped through uncountable generations of evolution to pick stuff up. It should come as no surprise then that creating similar graspers for robots has proven difficult. A firm called Grabit is approaching the problem from a different angle. Its new gripper technology (also called Grabit) doesn’t rely on applying mechanical force […]

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