‘Non-Desirable’ Design Applied On Transistors; Could Function For Years Without Batteries
Engineers at the University of Cambridge recently developed a form of transistor that could function for months, or even years, without a battery by feeding energy from its environment. This form of scavenging for energy is akin to the principle of a computer on sleep mode.
A typical characteristic among transistors is that a tiny leakage of electrical current seep out from it. This leakage, known as a near-off-state current, is being harnessed by the transistor to fuel its operation.
'Non-Desirable' Characteristic Avoided By Engineers
This marks the first time that this small dissipated energy has been effectively captured and used to function a certain device, said Science Daily. The innovation opens up doorways on how to design the Internet of Things, a proposed advancement of the Internet in which everyday objects has network connectivity, allowing them to send and receive data.
The design for the new transistor is based on a unique geometry which uses a "non-desirable" characteristics, which is basically the point of contact between the metal and semiconducting parts of a transistor known as the Schottky barrier. The transistor can be created at low temperatures and is applicable in any material, from glass and plastic to polyester and paper.
"We're challenging conventional perception of how a transistor should be," said Professor Arokia Nathan of Cambridge's Department of Engineering, the paper's co-author. "We've found that these Schottky barriers, which most engineers try to avoid, actually have the ideal characteristics for the type of ultra low power applications we're looking at, such as wearable or implantable electronics for health monitoring."
New Transistor Makes Totally Autonomous Electronics A Possibility
This design solves one of the main concerns of creating transistors at very small sizes. The previous problem mainly revolves around how a miniature transistor's electrodes start influencing one another because of how proximal they are, explained Cam.
Through this new design, however, the Cambridge researchers were able to take advantage of the Schottky barriers and kept the electrodes independent from one another. The design also gives the transistor a high level of gain, or put simply, it amplifies the transistor's signal. The transistor's operating power is less than a volt, with the device consuming only below a billionth of a watt to function.
"This is an ingenious transistor concept," said Professor Gehan Amaratunga, Head of the Electronics, Power, and Energy Conversion Group at Cambridge's Engineering Department. "This type of ultra-low power operation is a prerequisite for many of the new ubiquitous electronics applications, where what matters is the function -- in essence 'intelligence' -- without the demand for speed."
The professor went on to add that the transistor takes us a step closer in creating a totally autonomous electronics. Amaratunga compared the transistor's energy-harvesting method around its environment similar as to how bacteria in biology thrives.
Top 3 Tech Trends That Will Rock The World In 2017
Smart home services are exploding this year as the Internet of Things becomes more popular and innovative. What other top tech trends this year could get even hotter?
Intel To Make Shopping A Breeze With $100 Million IoT Investment
Intel has invested $100 million in its plan to drastically improve the retail industry through robotics and the Internet of Things.
How 2016 Became The Year Of The Hack? Here Are Most Memorable Internet Moments For 2016
Based on critics, 2016 is considered as the year of the hack. Here are the most memorable moments happened on 2016 that is why it considered as the most hacked year.
Amazon Go: Is The Futuristic Store Feasible For The Present?
Amazon is again leading the pack in a race towards a more efficient and more tech-centered future. Its latest project, Amazon Go, is a grocery store without cashiers and checkout lines.
Internet Outrage: IoT Devices To Blame For Last Friday's Mass Attack
It turns out that the Internet-of-things was to blame for giving access to hackers to terrorize the internet highway last Friday.
MORE IN ITECHPOST
Foolproof Ways to Get New Customers for Your Small Business
Growing your small business is all about attracting a steady stream of customers. Whether you run an e-commerce site or a coffee shop, the right lead generation techniques will keep you on your feet. However, customer acquisition can feel overwhelming when you're first starting out.
How Do Personal Emergency Response Systems Work?
Personal emergency response systems, known as PERS for short, are systems that help people to raise the alarm and get immediate help when a medical or personal emergency occurs. They are ideal for older people and anyone with a mobility issue or an injury or illness that can cause falls.
The 9 Most Popular (And Fun) Internet Games of 2019
Are you bored of board games? What are the most popular internet games from this year? These nine are popular for a reason. Check 'em out!
Why your Company Needs a Comprehensive ERP Solution Like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central
Statista predicts that the whole ERP market's revenue will exceed $85 million in 2021. By that time, resource planning systems will be used by both SMEs and large businesses. Moreover, even today, it's pretty difficult to find a firm without at least basic ERP products that help to plan, organize, automate, and improve ongoing processes.