2018-07-12 - Nº 167
Esta é a Newsletter Nº 167 que se apresenta com o mesmo formato que as anteriores. Se gostar da Newsletter partilhe-a!
Todas as Newsletters encontram-se indexadas no link.
Esta Newsletter tem os seguintes tópicos:
Faz hoje anos que nascia, em 1854, George Eastman. Este inventor e industrial norte-americano foi um fabricante pioneiro de materiais fotográficos, incluindo laminados (patenteado pela primeira vez a 14 de Outubro de 1884) e a câmara Kodak (patenteada a 4 de Setembro de 1888). Ele fundou a Eastman-Kodak Company, que durante anos manteve um monopólio virtual na indústria de câmaras e filmes. A introdução da primeira câmara Kodak (uma palavra cunhada, 1888, que se tornou uma marca registada) ajudou a promover a fotografia amadora em larga escala.
Faz igualmente hoje anos que nascia, em 1895, Buckminster Fuller. Este inventor, educador, autor, filósofo, engenheiro e arquitecto norte-americano que desenvolveu a cúpula geodésica. Esta grande cúpula pode ser colocada directamente no solo como uma estrutura completa. Não há limite para o tamanho para o qual ele pode ser construído e reter resistência estrutural suficiente. Fuller também inventou uma ampla gama de outras máquinas de mudança de paradigma e sistemas estruturais. Ele estava especialmente interessado em projectos de alta resistência ao peso, com um máximo de utilidade para o mínimo de material. Os seus projectos e filosofia de engenharia são parte da fundação da estética contemporânea de design de alta tecnologia. Ele detinha mais de 2000 patentes.
Faz também anos hoje que nascia, em 1913, Willis Lamb. Este físico norte-americano e vencedor em comum, com Polykarp Kusch, do Prémio Nobel de Física em 1955 "por suas descobertas sobre a estrutura fina do espectro de hidrogénio". O seu trabalho experimental estimulou refinamentos nas teorias quânticas dos fenómenos electromagnéticos.
Por fim, faz anos hoje que nascia, em 1928, Elias James Corey. Este químico orgânico norte-americano, vencedor do Prémio Nobel de Química em 1990 "pelo seu desenvolvimento da teoria e metodologia da síntese orgânica". Ele é conhecido principalmente pelo seu trabalho em análises assistidas por computador de problemas de síntese. Usando a "análise retro-sintética", uma molécula alvo pode ser dividida por etapas reversíveis em compostos mais simples e prontamente disponíveis, o que é muito auxiliado pelo uso de computadores. Corey sintetizou mais de 100 substâncias pela primeira vez, incluindo terpenos (hidrocarbonetos de óleo vegetal) e ginkolide B (um extracto da árvore ginko usado para controlar a asma).
Nesta semana que passou ficámos a saber que a Lockheed Martin criou uma cúpula de titânio impressa em 3-D para tanques de combustível de satélites. O veiculo de 1,16 metros de diâmetro completou as rodadas finais de testes de qualidade este mês, finalizando um programa de desenvolvimento de vários anos para criar tanques gigantes de alta pressão que transportam combustível a bordo de satélites.
Também esta semana, a OPENER, Inc., pioneira em veículos aéreos para viagens de consumidores, revelou hoje o BlackFly; a primeira aeronave ultra-leve de descolagem e aterragem vertical de asa fixa totalmente elétrica ultraleve (VTOL). O BlackFly é um Veículo Aéreo Pessoal (PAV) de assento único projectado e construído para um novo mundo de transporte tridimensional. BlackFly é simples de dominar e não requer licenciamento formal (nos EUA) ou habilidades especiais para operar com segurança. Embora o BlackFly tenha recursos anfíbios completos, ele é projectado principalmente para operar facilmente a partir de pequenas áreas relvadas e percorrer distâncias de até 40 quilómetros a uma velocidade de 100 km/h (restrição dos EUA).
Na Newsletter desta semana apresentamos diversos projetos de maker. É apresentada a revista newelectronics de 10 de Julho de 2018.
João Alves ([email protected])
O conteúdo da Newsletter encontra-se sob a licença Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Novidades da Semana
"Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) has embraced a 3-D printed titanium dome for satellite fuel tanks so big you can't even put your arms around it. The 46-inch- (1.16-meter-) diameter vessel completed final rounds of quality testing this month, ending a multi-year development program to create giant, high-pressure tanks that carry fuel on board satellites. The titanium tank consists of three parts welded together: two 3-D printed domes that serve as caps, plus a variable-length, traditionally-manufactured titanium cylinder that forms the body. "Our largest 3-D printed parts to date show we're committed to a future where we produce satellites twice as fast and at half the cost," said Rick Ambrose, Lockheed Martin Space executive vice president. "And we're pushing forward for even better results. For example, we shaved off 87 percent of the schedule to build the domes, reducing the total delivery timeline from two years to three months."" [...]
"OPENER, Inc., a pioneer of aero vehicles for consumer travel, today revealed BlackFly; the world’s first ultralight all-electric fixed-wing vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft. BlackFly is a single-seat Personal Aerial Vehicle (PAV) designed and built for a new world of three-dimensional transportation. BlackFly is simple to master and requires no formal licensing (in USA) or special skills to operate safely. Though BlackFly has full amphibious capabilities, it is primarily designed to easily operate from small grassy areas and travel distances of up to 25 miles at a speed of 62 mph (USA restriction). “OPENER is re-energizing the art of flight with a safe and affordable flying vehicle that can free its operators from the everyday restrictions of ground transportation,” said Marcus Leng, CEO. “We will offer competitive pricing in an endeavor to democratize three-dimensional personal transportation." [...]
"Today at its Imec Technology Forum USA in San Francisco, imec, the world-leading research and innovation hub in nano-electronics and digital technology, announced that it has demonstrated ultra-low power, high-bandwidth optical transceivers through hybrid integration of Silicon Photonics and FinFET CMOS technologies. With a dynamic power consumption of only 230fJ/bit and a footprint of just 0.025mm2, the 40Gb/s non-return-to-zero optical transceivers mark an important milestone in realizing ultra-dense, multi-Tb/s optical I/O solutions for next-generation high-performance computing applications. The exponentially growing demand for I/O bandwidth in datacenter switches and high-performance computing nodes is driving the need for tight co-integration of optical interconnects with advanced CMOS logic, covering a wide range of interconnect distances (1m-500m+). In the presented work, a differential FinFET driver was co-designed with a Silicon Photonics ring modulator, and achieved 40Gb/s NRZ optical modulation at 154fJ/bit dynamic power consumption. The receiver included a FinFET trans-impedance amplifier (TIA) optimized for operation with a Ge waveguide photodiode, enabling 40Gb/s NRZ photodetection with an estimated sensitivity of -10dBm at 75fJ/bit power consumption. High-quality data transmission and reception was also demonstrated in a loop-back experiment at 1330nm wavelength over standard single mode fiber (SMF) with 2dB link margin." [...]
"U.S. chipmaker Analog Devices Inc said on Tuesday it had partnered with Baidu Inc to advance development of the Chinese search engine giant’s autonomous driving technologies. Analog Devices and Baidu will jointly develop sensing and navigation applications such as radar and lidar for Project Apollo. After years of internal development, Baidu last year decided to open its autonomous driving technology to third-parties to accelerate development and help it compete with U.S. firms Tesla and Google. Analog Devices said the collaboration will also focus on providing solutions aimed at “intelligent connectivity important for the future of smart traffic”. Earlier in the day, car maker BMW signed an agreement to join Baidu’s Apollo as a board member. " [...]
"Kenya is set to use Alphabet Inc’s system of balloons to help bring the Internet to some of the East Africa nation’s rural communities, according to a report by Reuters. Known as Project Loon, the technology was developed by Alphabet’s X, the company’s innovation lab. The project which began as a Google project in 2013 – launches balloons into the stratosphere that are designed to act like floating mobile phone towers. They operate high enough so that they don’t interfere with power lines, aeroplanes or wildlife, which of course is abundant in Kenya. Joe Mucheru, Kenya’s Information, Communication and Technology minister, told Reuters that Loon’s representatives were “holding talks” with local telecom operators on the deployment of Loon’s balloons. “The Loon team are still working out contracts,” Mucheru told the news service." [...]
"3.0.0 is the latest major revision of CircuitPython and features new support for the SAMD51 (aka M4) and preliminary support for the nRF52 BLE chipset. It also features better memory utilization so more can be loaded in the same amount of space. General release We believe this release is stable and relatively bug free. So, please try this before trying 2.x. If you find issues please file an issue. Changes since Release Candidate 1 Update frozen crickit library." [...]
"Decrease automotive 3D HMI design costs with Microchip’s new gesture controller Car manufacturers are increasingly seeking ways to reduce driver distraction through implementing functional safety technology in vehicles. Many Human Machine Interface (HMI) designers are turning to gesture recognition as a solution to improve driver and vehicle safety without sacrificing interior design, adding features that allow drivers to easily control everything from switching on lights to answering phone calls while focusing on the road. Microchip Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MCHP) today announced a new three-dimensional (3D) gesture recognition controller that offers the lowest system cost in the automotive industry, providing a durable single-chip solution for advanced automotive HMI designs. The MGC3140 joins Microchip’s family of easy-to-use 3D gesture controllers as the first qualified for automotive use. Suited for a range for applications that limit driver distraction and add convenience to vehicles, Microchip’s new capacitive technology-based air gesture controller is ideal for navigating infotainment systems, sun shade operation, interior lighting and other applications. The technology also supports the opening of foot-activated rear liftgates and any other features a manufacturer wishes to incorporate with a simple gesture action." [...]
New High- and Very-High-Performance STM32 Value Lines from STMicroelectronics Boost Real-Time IoT-Device Innovation
"The latest additions to the STM32* family, the STM32F7x0 and H7x0 Value Line microcontrollers (MCU) from STMicroelectronics, give extra flexibility to create affordable performance-oriented systems including real-time IoT devices, without compromising features or cyber protection. New High- and Very-High-Performance STM32 Value Lines from STMicroelectronics Boost Real-Time IoT-Device Innovation These new lines trim embedded Flash to the essential, still allowing secure boot, sensitive code and real-time routines to run safely on-chip, leveraging access times over 25 times faster than for external Flash (for cache miss). If needed, applications can scale-up either by adding off-chip serial or parallel (up to 32-bit) memories and leveraging the MCUs’ broad external interfaces and eXecute in Place (XiP) capability, or by porting to other pin-to-pin compatible STM32F7 or STM32H7 MCU lines, with up to 2Mbyte Flash and up to 1Mbyte RAM, supported by the same ecosystem with the same easy-to-use tools. The Value Lines retain powerful STM32F7 and H7 features, such as the state-of-the-art peripherals, hardware accelerators, and the real-time architecture with ultra-fast internal buses, short interrupt latency, and fast (~1ms) boot-up. The MCUs are also energy efficient, with flexible power modes, gated power domains, and on-chip power management that simplify design and reduce BOM cost. With execution performance up to 2020 CoreMark® at the heart of a secure and power-efficient architecture, the new Value Line devices are the entry point to IoT innovation in medical, industrial, and consumer applications." [...]
"Intel has paid out a $100,000 bug bounty for new processor vulnerabilities that are related to Spectre variant one (CVE-2017-5753). The new Spectre-class variants are tracked as Spectre 1.1 (CVE-2018-3693) and Spectre 1.2, of which Spectre 1.1 described as a bounds-check bypass store attack has been considered as more dangerous. Earlier this year, Google Project Zero researchers disclosed details of Variants 1 and 2 (CVE-2017-5753 and CVE-2017-5715), known as Spectre, and Variant 3 (CVE-2017-5754), known as Meltdown. Spectre flaws take advantage of speculative execution, an optimization technique used by modern CPUs, to potentially expose sensitive data through a side channel by observing the system. Speculative execution is a core component of modern processors design that speculatively executes instructions based on assumptions that are considered likely to be true. If the assumptions come out to be valid, the execution continues, otherwise discarded." [...]
"In Nantes, a world first is taking shape: the construction of a house by robot 3D printer. This 95m2 house will include 5 rooms, rounded walls, windows and doors… a set of complex architectural forms, achieved by means of a revolutionary technology, on a site provided by Nantes Métropole Habitat. This innovative project is led by a consortium of scientists, manufacturers, and public and socio-economic actors. The aim: to quickly build affordable, adaptable, and energy efficient housing. AN ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY This innovative system makes it possible to build the walls of a house by 3D printing, on the construction site itself and in just a few days. The advanced technology consists of depositing 3 layers of materials using a polyarticulated industrial robot: two layers of expansive foam serve as formwork for a third layer of concrete." [...]
"For the first time ever, scientists using NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have found the source of a high-energy neutrino from outside our galaxy. This neutrino traveled 3.7 billion years at almost the speed of light before being detected on Earth. This is farther than any other neutrino whose origin scientists can identify. High-energy neutrinos are hard-to-catch particles that scientists think are created by the most powerful events in the cosmos, such as galaxy mergers and material falling onto supermassive black holes. They travel at speeds just shy of the speed of light and rarely interact with other matter, allowing them to travel unimpeded across distances of billions of light-years. Artist visual of a supermassive black hole in a distant galaxy The discovery of a high-energy neutrino on September 22, 2017, sent astronomers on a chase to locate its source—a supermassive black hole in a distant galaxy." [...]
Ciência e Tecnologia
"Transistors are tiny switches that form the bedrock of modern computing—billions of them route electrical signals around inside a smartphone, for instance. Quantum computers will need analogous hardware to manipulate quantum information. But the design constraints for this new technology are stringent, and today’s most advanced processors can’t be repurposed as quantum devices. That’s because quantum information carriers, dubbed qubits, have to follow different rules laid out by quantum physics. Scientists can use many kinds of quantum particles as qubits, even the photons that make up light. Photons have added appeal because they can swiftly shuttle information over long distances and they are compatible with fabricated chips." [...]
"Team of researchers maps out the ferroelectric, ferromagnetic and photoelectric properties of Ca3Mn2O7, potentially opening the door for applications of hybrid improper ferroelectrics. In ferroelectric materials the crystal structure distorts, giving rise to a spontaneously formed polarization and electric field. Because of this unique property, ferroelectrics can be found in anything from ultrasound machines and diesel fuel injectors to computer memory. Ferroelectric materials are behind some of the most advanced technology available today. Findings that ferroelectricity can be observed in materials that exhibit other spontaneous transitions, like ferromagnetism, have given rise to a new class of these materials, known as hybrid improper ferroelectrics. The properties of this type of material, however, are still far from being fully understood." [...]
"UC’s Nanoworld Laboratories collaborates with the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Army and NASA to investigate new uses for carbon nanotubes in military uniforms and fabric that can double as batteries. Engineers with the University of Cincinnati are leveraging a partnership with Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to create clothing that can charge your cell phone. Move over, Iron Man. What makes this possible are the unique properties of carbon nanotubes: a large surface area that is strong, conductive and heat-resistant. UC’s College of Engineering and Applied Science has a five-year agreement with the Air Force Research Laboratory to conduct research that can enhance military technology applications. UC professor Vesselin Shanov co-directs UC’s Nanoworld Laboratories with research partner and UC professor Mark Schulz." [...]
"A Danish-developed X-ray microscope reveals novel dynamics in the material barium titanate, which is used in, e.g., phones, cars, and computers. Very few people have heard of barium titanate, BaTIO3, even though it is used in a wide variety of products from our everyday lives—cars, mobile phones, computers, ultrasound scanners, and for energy conversion. It is a so-called ferroelectric material, whose special properties are used in, for example, capacitors, which can store a large quantity of electrical energy. Ferroelectrics are therefore a popular choice of material in many contexts. The dynamics and the surface of barium titanate have already been described in detail, but until now the internal structure of the material has been unknown. A new so-called Dark Field X-ray microscope has now made it possible to explore this." [...]
"In a new study, researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have determined that electrons in some oxides can experience an “unconventional slowing down” of their response to a light pulse. The researchers describe the behavior as lasting about a millionth of a second, which is still a million times slower than traditional electronic recovery times. “We’ve discovered that electrons can be very slow to return to their homes after being kicked out from the ‘ordered states.’” — Haidan Wen, Argonne physicist and co-author “It’s as if the electron is spending two years or more dithering between states when normally it could make up its mind in a minute,” said Anand Bhattacharya, an Argonne materials scientist and co-author of the study, published May 4, in Nature Communications. In a crystal, all the atoms form a periodic structure called a lattice, where the atoms are arranged in a repetitive pattern in three dimensions. The properties of electrons living in this space typically obey the same periodicity. But below a temperature of about minus 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the electrons in the study material, lanthanum strontium ferrite, find it more energetically advantageous to cooperate with the lattice and magnetism on the iron atoms, to form a new periodic structure called a magnetically driven, charge-ordered state." [...]
"LMU physicists have characterized in detail the optical response of semiconducting tungsten diselenide bilayer crystals and explained their distinctive spectral signatures. Owing to their intriguing physical properties, ultrathin 2D materials have become a major focus of research in nanoscience. One of the most fascinating sub-group of these materials are the semiconducting transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs), whose optical characteristics have the potential for novel technological applications. The mechanisms underlying their optical responses are, however, complex and puzzling. LMU physicists led by Professor Alexander Högele have now carried out a detailed investigation of atomically thin samples of the TMD tungsten diselenide (WSe2) with cryogenic optical spectroscopy. The results reveal the role of lattice vibrations in the photoluminescence of 2D WSe2 bilayers." [...]
"Glass has been a part of society for thousands of years, so it is easy for this material to become invisible and overlooked, but a Penn State materials scientist has laid out a plan to map the glass genome and advance the future of glass. The effort is part of the Materials Genome Initiative, which is trying to double the speed of developing new materials. John Mauro, professor of materials science and engineering at Penn State, is building a set of predictive modeling tools combining knowledge from glass physics and chemistry, to map the building blocks and properties of glass, much like efforts to understand the human genome. His team is already building a strong foundation for understanding glass composition, structure and property relationships in industrially relevant systems. He reports his results in a recent issue of Current Opinion in Solid State and Materials Science. "The idea of decoding the glass genome is that we embrace all of these different modeling approaches, from basic physics through empirical modeling and machine learning," Mauro said." [...]
"In 2010, the Nobel Prize in Physics went to the discoverers of graphene. A single layer of carbon atoms, graphene possesses properties that are ideal for a host of applications. Among researchers, graphene has been the hottest material for a decade. In 2017 alone, more than 30,000 research papers on graphene were published worldwide. Now, two researchers from the University of Kansas, Professor Hui Zhao and graduate student Samuel Lane, both of the Department of Physics & Astronomy, have connected a graphene layer with two other atomic layers (molybdenum diselenide and tungsten disulfide) thereby extending the lifetime of excited electrons in graphene by several hundred times. The finding will be published on Nano Futures, a newly launched and highly selective journal." [...]
"A team led by the University of California San Diego has developed a chip that can detect a type of genetic mutation known as a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and wirelessly send the results in real time to a smartphone, computer, or other electronic device. The chip is at least 1,000 times more sensitive at detecting an SNP than current technology. The advance, published July 9 in Advanced Materials, could lead to cheaper, faster and portable biosensors for early detection of genetic markers for diseases such as cancer. An SNP is the change in a single nucleotide base (A, C, G or T) in the DNA sequence. It is the most common type of genetic mutation. While most SNPs have no discernible effect on health, some are associated with increased risk of developing pathological conditions such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, neurodegenerative disorders, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases." [...]
"The struggle to keep drinks cold during the summer is a lesson in classical phase transitions. To study phase transitions, apply heat to a substance and watch how its properties change. Add heat to water and at the so-called “critical point,” watch as it transforms into a gas (steam). Remove heat from water and watch it turn into a solid (ice). Now, imagine that you’ve cooled everything down to very low temperatures — so low that all thermal effects vanish. Welcome to the quantum realm, where pressure and magnetic fields cause new phases to emerge in a phenomenon called quantum phase transitions (QPT)." [...]
"Despite the rise of solid-state drives, magnetic storage devices such as conventional hard drives and magnetic tapes are still very common. But as our data-storage needs are increasing at a rate of almost 15 million gigabytes per day, scientists are turning to alternative storage devices. One of these are single-atom magnets: storage devices consisting of individual atoms stuck (“adsorbed”) on a surface, each atom able to store a single bit of data that can be written and read using quantum mechanics. And because atoms are tiny enough to be packed together densely, single-atom storage devices promise enormous data capacities. But although they are no longer science fiction, single-atom magnets are still in basic research, with many fundamental obstacles to be overcome before they can be implemented into commercial devices. EPFL has been at the forefront of the field, overcoming the issue of magnetic remanence, and showing that single-atom magnets can be used to read and write data." [...]
"New noninvasive technique for precisely controlling brain circuits could one day help treat neurological conditions. In the maze of our brains, there are various pathways by which neural signals travel. These pathways can go awry in patients with neurological and psychiatric diseases and disorders, including epilepsy, Parkinson's, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Researchers have developed new therapeutic strategies to more precisely target neural pathways involved in these conditions, but they often require surgery. The latest findings from the laboratory of Mikhail Shapiro, assistant professor of chemical engineering and an affiliated faculty member of the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience at Caltech, are now showing how scientists and doctors might, in the future, selectively turn neural circuits on and off—without the need for surgery. The new study, featured in the July 9 online edition of Nature Biomedical Engineering, demonstrates how the method—which involves a trio of therapies: ultrasound waves, gene therapy, and synthetic drugs—can be used to specifically alter memory formation in mice." [...]
"Optical pressure measurements possible in solid state and in solution / Molecular ruby for use in materials sciences or catalysis Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and at the Université de Montréal in Canada have developed a molecular system capable of very precise optical pressure measurements. The gemstone ruby served as the source of inspiration. However, the system developed by the team headed by Professor Katja Heinze at the JGU Institute of Inorganic Chemistry and Analytical Chemistry and Professor Christian Reber at the Université de Montréal is a water-soluble molecule, not an insoluble solid. Like the gemstone ruby, this molecule contains the element chromium that gives it its red color, which is why it has also been dubbed molecular ruby. This molecular ruby can be used to measure pressure both in the solid state as the gemstone ruby and furthermore in solution thanks to its solubility. Th