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LEON: the space chip that Europe built

Just like home computers, the sophisticated capabilities of today's space missions are made possible by the power of their processor chips. ESA's coming Alphasat telecom satellite, the Proba-V microsatellite, the Earth-monitoring Sentinel family and the BepiColombo mission to Mercury are among the first missions to use an advanced 32-bit microprocessor - engineered and built in Europe. 
All of them incorporate the new LEON2-FT chip, commercially known as the AT697. Engineered to operate within spacecraft computers, this microprocessor is manufactured by Atmel in France but originally designed by ESA.

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Title: Geometry-dependent Casimir forces on a silicon chip
Authors: J. Zou, Z. Marcet, A. W. Rodriguez, M. T. H. Reid, A. P. McCauley, I. I. Kravchenko, T. Lu, Y. Bao, S. G. Johnson, H. B. Chan

We report measurements of the Casimir force gradient between two parallel silicon beams with near-square cross sections at separations down to \sim 260 nm. Both the force-sensing element and the actuator that controls the distance are integrated on the same substrate, with no need for manual alignment. Taking residual electrostatic forces into consideration, the measured Casimir force gradient agrees with the theoretical calculation based on the exact geometry. This scheme opens the possibility of tailoring the Casimir force using lithographically defined components of non-conventional shapes.

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Printed photonic crystal mirrors shrink on-chip lasers down to size

Electrical engineers at The University of Texas at Arlington and at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have devised a new laser for on-chip optical connections that could give computers a huge boost in speed and energy efficiency.
The team published its findings on July 22, 2012 in Nature Photonics.
At just 2 micrometers in height - smaller than the width of a human hair - the surface-emitting laser's vastly lower profile could make it cheaper and easier for manufacturers to integrate high-speed optical data connections into the microprocessors powering the next generation of computers.

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Memristors
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Memristors' current carves protected channels

A circuit component touted as the "missing link" of electronics is starting to give up the secrets of how it works.
Memristors resist the passage of electric current, "remembering" how much current passed previously.

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Field Programmable Gate Array
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An ultra-fast computer chip that is 20 times faster than the ones found in the current desktop computers has been created by scientists.
Modern PCs have a processor with two, four or sometimes 16 cores to carry out tasks. But the central processing unit (CPU) developed by the researchers effectively had 1,000 cores on a single chip, Daily Mail reported Tuesday.

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Mistakes in silicon chips to help boost computer power

Silicon chips that are allowed to make mistakes could help ensure computers continue to get more powerful, say US researchers.
As components shrink, chip makers struggle to get more performance out of them while meeting power needs.
Research suggests relaxing the rules governing how they work and when they work correctly could mean they use less power but get a performance boost.
Special software is also needed to cope with the error-laden chips.

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The fundamental building blocks of all computing devices could be about to undergo a dramatic change that would allow faster, more efficient machines.

Researchers at computer firm Hewlett Packard (HP) have shown off working devices built using memristors - often described as electronics' missing link. These tiny devices were proposed 40 years ago but only fabricated in 2008. HP says it has now shown that they can be used to crunch data, meaning they could be used to build advanced chips. That means they could begin to replace transistors - the tiny switches used to build today's chips. And, crucially, the unique properties of memristors would allow future chips to both store and process data in the same device.

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Faster, cheaper chips from space technology

Our world is full of integrated semiconductor circuits, commonly known as microchips. Today you find them in computers, cars, mobile phones and in almost every electrical device. Technology from ESA's XMM-Newton space telescope will make these chips much smaller, faster and cheaper.
The circuits are etched into todays microchips by ultraviolet light.
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'Wet' computing systems to boost processing power

A new kind of information processing technology inspired by chemical processes in living systems is being developed by researchers at the University of Southampton.
Dr Maurits de Planque and Dr Klaus-Peter Zauner at the University's School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) are working on a project which has just received 1.8 million euros from the European Union's Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) Proactive Initiatives, which recognises ground-breaking work which has already demonstrated important potential.
The researchers, Dr de Planque, a biochemist, and Dr Zauner, a computer scientist, will adapt brain processes to a 'wet' information processing scenario by setting up chemicals in a tube which behave like the transistors in a computer chip

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Intel Shows 48-core x86 Processor as Single-chip Cloud Computer

Intel unveiled a completely new processor design today the company is dubbing the "Single-chip Cloud Computer" (but was previously codenamed Bangalore).  Justin Rattner, the company's CTO, discussed the new product at a press event in Santa Clara and revealed some interesting information about the goals and design of the new CPU.
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