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Data storage of tomorrow: Ferroelectricity on the nanoscale

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TechAndComputer (July 10, 2012) — Promising news for those who relish the prospects of a one-inch chip storing multiple terabytes of data, some clarity has been brought to the here-to-fore confusing physics of ferroelectric nanomaterials. A multi-institutional team of researchers, led by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has provided the first atomic-scale insights into the ferroelectric properties of nanocrystals. This information will be critical for development of the next generation of nonvolatile data storage devices.

Working with the world's most powerful transmission electron microscope, the researchers mapped the ferroelectric structural...

New advanced electronics? Unprecedented subatomic details of exotic ferroelectric nanomaterials

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TechAndComputer (July 8, 2012) — As scientists learn to manipulate little-understood nanoscale materials, they are laying the foundation for a future of more compact, efficient, and innovative devices. In research to be published online July 8 in the journal Nature Materials, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and other collaborating institutions describe one such advance -- a technique revealing...

Videogamers no better at talking while driving

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TechAndComputer (June 13, 2012) — No matter how much time you've spent training your brain to multitask by playing "Call of Duty," you're probably no better at talking on the phone while driving than anybody else.

A study by the Visual Cognition Laboratory at Duke University wanted to see whether gamers who have spent hours in front of a screen simultaneously watching the map, scanning doorways for bad guys and listening to the chatter of their fellow gamers could answer...

Slashing energy needs for next-generation memory

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TechAndComputer (June 7, 2012) — Researchers from Rice University and UCLA unveiled a new data-encoding scheme this week that slashes more than 30 percent of the energy needed to write data onto new memory cards that use "phase-change memory" (PCM) -- a competitor to flash memory that has big backing from industry heavyweights.

The breakthrough was presented at the IEEE/ACM Design Automation Conference (DAC) in San Francisco by researchers from Rice University's Adaptive...

New materials could slash energy costs for carbon dioxide capture

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TechAndComputer (May 30, 2012) — A detailed analysis of more than 4 million absorbent minerals has determined that new materials could help electricity producers slash as much as 30 percent of the "parasitic energy" costs associated with removing carbon dioxide from power plant emissions.

The research by scientists at Rice University, the University of California, Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) was...