R_Colin_Johnson

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R. Colin Johnson has been a technology editor on EE Times since 1986. He's the author of "Cognizers--Neural Networks and Machines that Think" and is a contributing on Geeknet.


R_Colin_Johnson

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  • 07.28.2016
  • LEDs will inherit the world
  • LED TV's make white with RGB pixels, but these devices are still being developed so in the end could have any number of tiers. I suggested to them that they make them cone-like so a complete spectrum of light was emitted, but they ignored me like I hadn't spoken. Since I was in Taiwan and their English was not very good, I'm not sure if it was a translation problem, or that cones would not work for some reason. In any case, they gave the same 3-to-5 year timeline that so many scientists give when you ask them how long to commercialization ;-)
  • 07.19.2016
  • Wireless networking will cover the world
  • Nokia had its long-term futuristic hat on when they thought up this one, although all the pieces are falling into place to make it a reality in the not too far off future. How long would you predict?
  • 12.28.2010
  • Automotive MEMS hits record high
  • The main advantage of MEMs oscillators for rear-view camera is their robustness, especially with vibration, according to iSuppli.
  • 12.23.2010
  • IBM 'racetrack' memory enters home stretch
  • Racetrack memories work like a shift register--only with magnetic domains on a nanowire doing the shifting. The cool thing about the physics, is that no matter which way current pulses the nanowire--up or down--the imparted momentum pushes all the existing domains on the nanowire along in the same direction. The domains appear to be "pushed" along the wire, but of course is just the spins of the atoms that are moving--like the "wave" at the ballpark, where everyone stays in their seat, but just stands up at the right moment, thereby presenting the illusion of a moving wave. Likewise, magnetic domains are shifted around the nanowire loop even though the atoms stay fixed in place. Racetrack memories have been an intense research area for IBM Fellow Parkin since before 2007 when I first discovered his work. Since then, he has perfected most of the necessary components--read-head/write-head/shifter--and is now entering the "process integration" step, in which IBM will attempt to fabricate all the separate components on a single CMOS chip.
  • 12.15.2010
  • 10 technologies to watch in 2011
  • NFC was originally on the list, but since it is already a solved problem, even though it is rolling out in the U.S. in 2011, we decided that other less familiar technologies would be better fits in our forward looking list.
  • 12.21.2010
  • Thermoelectrics could harvest car's heat
  • Yes, I agree regarding LEDs. Today a lot of effort is being put into keeping solid-state lighting cool, since am LED's lifetime is drastically shorted by overheating. Using thermoelectrics could cool LED arrays and recycle the energy to lower your electricity bill too!
  • 12.21.2010
  • Thermoelectrics could harvest car's heat
  • For automotive applications, the researchers said the thermoelectric material would recover the heat before the exhaust enters the catalytic converter, which usually have temperature sensors inside. Of course, temperature would have to be monitored by the control electronics to make sure the thermoelectric do not cooled the catalytic converter below its optimal operating temperature.
  • 12.20.2010
  • Rare earth scarcity gauged by DoE
  • Anyone concerned about rare earth scarcity should read this 172 page report, which is very comprehensive. The Critical Materials Strategy includes predictions about just how scarce each of the rare earths will become, for how long and with what specific results for business. In 2011, the report promises an even more comprehensive analysis of specific steps that need to be taken in order to insure an uninterrupted supply chain going forward.
  • 12.16.2010
  • Spintronics aims for atomic memories
  • NIST has been demonstrating how to store quantum information on atoms and last week Duke University and the University of Wisconsin showed how lasers could be focused with MEMS micro-mirrors to read and write them in their gaseous state: http://bit.ly/NextGenLog-h8ti However, this University of Utah researcher takes the next step--holding out the promise of being able to store quantum information on solid-state atoms that can be read and written electrically, opening the door to quantum computers fabricated on chips just like conventional computers.