The Tek Pulse: The latest and greatest engineering and science posts


Informative, innovative and interesting articles from our favorite blog


  1. Silver nanowires demonstrate unexpected self-healing mechanism, January 23, 2015, EurekAlert – New research may open the doors for a more cost-effective material to be used in touchscreens, plasma displays and flexible electronics. Researchers at Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering have recently gained a better understanding of the mechanical properties of silver nanowires, the potential alternative. The researchers examined the material’s cyclic loading, which must be understood before realizing the potential uses for silver nanowires in electronics. They discovered that some of the materials in silver nanowires could actually self-heal their defects upon cyclic loads, indicating that silver nanowires can withstand cyclic loads for long periods of time, a requirement for flexible electronics. This is an important discovery toward the implementation of silver nanowires in electronics but more research must be done to understand this unique material. For the full story visit EurekAlert.
  1. New algorithm resolves Wi-Fi interference problems, Cecilia Carron, January 23, 2015, PHYS.ORG – A new algorithm can improve the quality of any wireless network by up to seven times. The algorithm, created by a PhD student at a Swiss technical institute, automatically selects the best frequency band according to the usage of neighboring networks and organizes the passage of digital data through a router in real time. Currently wireless networks borrow the same frequency bands and create caps, while other routes remain open. This new algorithm simply allows for better distribution, by telling data which route to follow. The system will reduce cuts in service and increase communication and downloading speeds. For the full article visit PHYS.ORG
  1. New microprocessor claims 10x energy improvement thanks to subthreshold voltage operation, Joel Hruska, January 26, 2015, ExtremeTech – A new chip has been designed for subthreshold voltage operation which could be critical in the long-term evolution of the wearables market, Internet of Things (IoT) and for embedded computing designs in general. The company, Ambiq Micro, claims to have developed a new method for designing circuits, which they call Subthreshold Power Optimized Technology (SPOT). Ambiq asserts that their design and implementation can produce incredible power efficiency and far more embedded performance than currently available. For more information visit ExtremeTech.
  1. Improvements in transistors will make flexible plastic computers a reality, January 26, 2015, PHYS.ORG – Researchers have made improvements in the manufacturing of photoactive organic field-effect transistors.  These devices incorporate organic semi-conductors, amplify weak electronic signals and emit or receive light. They were developed to make flexible, paper-thin computer screens and produce low-cost, large-area printable and/or flexible electronic devices. Flexible displays in which all of the device components consist of plastic have already been developed and will be on the market in the near term. However, more work needs to be done before we see similar memory devices or flexible all-plastic computing devices. For the full article check out PHYS.ORG.
  1. And lastly, the most popular Tektronix download of the week goes toUsing Area-based Templates for Pass/Fail Waveform Testing. Our latest application note explains how to specify the test tolerance when using TBS1000B Series Oscilloscopes to compare a measured waveform against a “known good” waveform to generate a pass/fail result. The application note also explains how to use the flexible new “area-based” alternative offered on the TBS1000B. Download your copy today!

Do you have a great article, blog or idea that you’d like to see featured in our series? Please be sure to share in the comments below. Stay tuned next week for another installment of The Tek Pulse, featuring more trending articles from the engineering, technology and science worlds.



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