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Welcome to the IEEE Future Directions Tech Blog.

Turning gold into … gold

In previous posts dealing with eWaste I pointed out the figures on the huge (and growing) volumes involved and how much value is hidden in eWaste. In just one day of "decommissioned" smart phones there are 127kg of gold, 1361kg of silver, 90kg of palladium and 63,500kg of copper. This means …

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A new type of display

eInk was the third type of alternative display technology that won the mass market, after the CRT and the LCDs (in all their nuances, including OLEDs). It found a niche in the eReader for its very low power consumption. Colour versions have been available but they didn’t really succeeded because of …

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On the path to 5G

Yesterday I was at the EIT Digital-IEEE joint workshop, where we had the participation of academia, industry and research institute from several Countries each and all with a strong interest in fostering innovation of the whole ecosystem that is aggregating around the future communications and information infrastructures (telecoms and data networks alike), …

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Supercapacitor tram

The first tram powered by supercapacitors has rolled out of production line in China, in the province of Hunan. The tram has no need for a connection to a power line, it is catenary free, its supercapacitors get recharged during the stops on the way. A 30” stop is enough to fully …

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Thought controlled exoskeleton

It is now a few years that different teams of scientists have been working on exoskeletons, both in Europe and in the US, with the aim of helping paralysed people, usually after having suffered from a stroke, something that according to worldwide statistics affects one in six people during their lifetime. One of …

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Transparent graphene to peer into our brains

The progress in the understanding of our brain, both at the morphological and physiological/functional level, is tied to the availability of ever more sophisticated tools and these are based on both hard (material) and soft (ICT) technologies. This is why the news coming from the University of Wisconsin-Madison is so interesting. A team of …

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Leveraging on cellphones decommissioning

"decommissioning" is a strong word, used in relation to the management of nuclear waste, so I agree it looks like overshooting when associated with cellphones.  Yet, as I mentioned in previous posts connected to the joint KICs project on eWaste management, the dangers deriving from a mismanagement of the cellphones end of life …

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Trading size for cost

Although mostly unnoticed, batteries have made significant progress over the last 20 years. We don’t perceive this because our use of electronics has increased much more and hence we keep feeling a shortage of battery capacity (electronics has also become much more energy savvy, but at the same time the …

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They just did what is impossible to do: 1nm gate

The elementary components of transistors have kept shrinking, now they have reached 10nm. These are the “gates” a junction point between two layers of material that separates them and makes the switching between conductive and insulating. Based on theoretical and experimental studies it is impossible to have gates smaller than …

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