Items tagged with Power

Yesterday, Lockheed Martin made major headlines across the Internet with claims that it was developing a new compact fusion reactor that could be deployed within the next decade. This is a bold claim -- researchers have been able to create fusion in a lab for decades, but the problem isn't creating fusion -- it's creating a sustained fusion reactor that generates more power than it consumes. "Our compact fusion concept combines several alternative magnetic confinement approaches, taking the best parts of each, and offers a 90 percent size reduction over previous concepts,” said Tom McGuire, compact fusion lead for the Skunk Works’ Revolutionary Technology Programs. “The smaller... Read more...
Battery life has long been the bane of the mobile market, hamstringing laptops, tablets, and smartphones even as processors, graphics, and storage have increased in both performance and efficiency. Apple is reportedly tackling this problem head-on as it looks to other forms of power for its impending smartwatch device. The New York Times has found that Apple is exploring options including solar power, inductive charging, and kinetic charging. The outlet spoke to Tony Fadell (he of iPod and Nest fame) who said that Apple has experimented with solar power on its devices for years (and still does), with limited success due to those devices rarely spending time in sunlight. That wouldn’t necessarily... Read more...
Rosewill is showing off a number of new products at CES this year including cases, keyboards, portable power banks, headphones, and kitchen appliances. In all, Rosewill is showing off over 50 new products during CES 2014. The new LEGACY Case Series was among the new products we saw. This new line of cases is built with aluminum alloy and steel interiors. Rosewill also showed us their follow-up to their best-selling BLACKHAWK mid-tower case, the BLACKHAWK II ($99.99, targeted for Q2). Other additions to the lineup include the RISE ($119.99, targeted for Q2) and STEALTH ($69.99, targeted for Q2) cases.   Rosewill's latest cases (left), Blackhawk II (right)   Stealth (left), Rise (right)... Read more...
Despite having risen to popularity only a few years ago, it's become increasingly clear that electric vehicles are the future. Versus gas-powered vehicles, electric ones are safer on the environment (this is oft-debated, however), are generally cleaner, and are also less-expensive to refuel. Who wouldn't love to rid the need to hit-up a gas station? That latter point does lead us to one downside of electric vehicles: The need to find charging stations. The risk of running out of power while on-the-road and being nowhere near a charge station is real, and it requires close attention to your power use and also advanced planning. The risk is greatly minimized with gas-powered... Read more...
As expected, IDF13’s day two keynote was mostly about Bay Trail and Intel’s continued push into thinner, lighter, and smaller, mobile devices. The keynote was handled by a trio of execs, Douglas Fisher, Vice President and General Manager of Intel’s Software and Services Group. Herman Eul, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of the Communication group. And Kirk Skaugen, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the PC Client Group. Douglas talked about how Intel is optimizing services to expand the ecosystems surrounding mobile devices, Herman ran some fun demos featuring Intel-powered devices. And Kirk talked about the constant evolution of the PC and demoed... Read more...
I think it's safe to say that a generally agreed-upon thing in tech is that cords suck. You might have way too many of them to deal with, or you might be tired of plugging one in the wrong way all the time (I'm looking at you, USB). It's for these reasons that wireless power is an interesting topic, and while there have been some solutions released and other more advanced ones talked about, there hasn't been a solid design win up to this point that people have gone nuts over. Ossia, with its upcoming Cota, is looking to change that. Until just this week, Ossia was a total unknown, having preferred to keep out of the limelight no doubt to keep its product as competitive as possible. Using the... Read more...
Ten years after a major blackout affected at least 50 million people in the northeastern US and some parts of Canada, physicists in Israel and the United States are calling attention to the fact that it could happen again, and that its affects next time could be even worse. The studies have revolved around spatial networks and their inherent flaw of relying too heavily on central points, or nodes. On the surface, creating a power grid based on geography makes complete sense - at least if you believe neatness and order is the best way to do things. Here, though, spatial networks rely on a number of critical nodes, and if one of those happens to fail, it'll lead to a blackout. According to these... Read more...
Apple is certainly no stranger to dealing with counterfeit goods. In fact, entire counterfeit Apple stores have emerged in certain parts of Asia. It's easy to be a cynic and suggest that Apple simply overcharges for certain first-party accessories and cables, but then there's a story like this to bring it all into focus. Apple is currently investigating a situation where an individual was electrocuted (and subsequently died) when answering a plugged-in iPhone. It's unclear if the charger they were using was a spoof, but Apple's not taking any chances. The USB Power Adapter Takeback Program has just launched to address the issue. Here's a bit from Apple: "Recent reports have suggested that some... Read more...
While it's obvious that innovation is on the fast-track when looking at consumer electronics as a whole, one has to wonder how long it'll take for the USB port to do more than it does. Perhaps that time has come. Texas Instruments has issued a new single-chip DockPort solution that enables DisplayPort, USB and power over a single cable. Talk about high efficiency. The HD3SS2521 delivers audio/video (A/V), USB data and power over a single cable between a notebook, ultrabook or tablet PC and a docking station or dongle.  The HD3SS2521 enables system designers to create smaller, more affordable docking stations that connect and synchronize computers with LCD monitors, dongles, keyboard/mouse,... Read more...
If you've done any shopping for a tablet lately, you’ve probably realized that they are not one-size-fits-all devices. While one person may use his tablet for business meetings and presentations, another may use it for watching movies and playing games. Some people prefer a smaller, 7-inch model while others want a larger 10-inch screen. Then there’s the choice of OS with Apple’s iOS, Android, and Windows all competing for a slice of the pie. Regardless of how you use your tablet, though, there are plenty of tablet accessories that can add to the enjoyment and functionality of your device. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular ones, some of which... Read more...
If you've done any shopping for a tablet lately, you’ve probably realized that they are not one-size-fits-all devices. While one person may use his tablet for business meetings and presentations, another may use it for watching movies and playing games. Some people prefer a smaller, 7-inch model while others want a larger 10-inch screen. Then there’s the choice of OS with Apple’s iOS, Android, and Windows all competing for a slice of the pie. Regardless of how you use your tablet, though, there are plenty of tablet accessories that can add to the enjoyment and functionality of your device. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular and useful... Read more...
Google is officially a technology empire, as it expands its domain into an ever-increasing number of markets. The latest area that Google is toying with is renewable energy, as the company has acquired Makani Power, a company that Google has apparently been investing in since 2007. To be more specific, the wing of Google that bought Makani Power is the somewhat mysterious Google X lab (birthplace of Google Glass), which is Google’s moonshot think tank and makes the acquisition all the more intriguing. Makani Power makes autonomous unmanned wind turbine aircraft that are tethered to a terrestrial source--in other words, kite power. The company has just recently been making successful flights... Read more...
In the midst of Google's Android growth, Chrome explosion, Chromebook entries and Fiber roll-outs, it's actually easy to forget that Google does other things as well. There's search, Glass, and energy. Yes, energy. Google has been dabbling in energy for some time now, which makes sense given the tremendous amount of power that it uses worldwide. This week, the company announced an expansion of options for companies to buy renewable energy. To date, Google has committed more than $1 billion to renewable energy project investments, signed agreements to procure wind power near our data centers, and installed solar panels at our corporate headquarters. To go along with that, Google is expanding its... Read more...
In the world of consumer technology, innovation is moving ahead at a breakneck pace. But there's one area in particular that's struggling mightily: batteries. We just can't seem to keep up with power demands, and as newer and faster gizmos come out, it's requiring an awful lot of energy to keep them lit and online through all hours of the day. So, if we can't make batteries any better, stronger or longer-lasting in the short term, how about making them recharge 1000 times faster? That's the idea put forth by a new project out of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. These new microbatteries are said to "out-power even the best supercapacitors and could drive new applications in radio... Read more...
You might not hear about it on the evening news, but there's a quiet war being waged in the consumer electronics universe. The issue at stake? Wireless power. It's one of those concepts that everyone realizes will be at the heart of the next-generation product, but we've seen so many lackluster attempts over the years that it's tough to get truly excited about yet another one. But, of course, an alliance on such a thing could change everything -- focusing the efforts of many intelligent companies in order to produce a technology that's actually worth paying attention to. The Power Matters Alliance has just announced some serious growth, expanding 50% in just 30 days. It's an ecosystem and standard... Read more...
In the race for "smaller, faster, better," memory chip makers probably have it the toughest. They're already dealing with immensely small objects, but as software evolves, we're sure in need of lots more of the stuff to keep our app addiction on course. One of the troubles, however, is power consumption. Most consumers probably don't realize just how much energy is sucked out of their laptop, tablet and phone by nature of RAM being in there, and that's one of the things that Toshiba is looking to address with its latest introduction. The company this week announced the development of an innovative low-power technology for embedded SRAM for application in smart phones and other mobile products.... Read more...
We spent some time with representatives from Intel at the Consumer Electronics show and saw a couple of interesting demos in action. In addition to announcing that 7W Ivy Bridge-based processors are coming down the pipeline, Intel was touting the low power characteristics and efficiency of its current Clover Trail Atom processors, which are featured in a number of Windows 8 tablets. Intel is on a mission to rebut the notion that ARM-based processors are more power efficient than Intel’s. In one demo, Intel had wired up a number of sensors to the batteries on a quartet of tablets to monitor power consumption in real-time. Two of the tablets (a Samsung ATIV and Dell XPS 10) were built... Read more...
Wireless power feels like one of those technologies that really should have taken off by now, but it just hasn't. And it's really tough to pin down exactly why that's the case. Every year about this time, usually during the CES before-and-after period, we start to hear rumblings all over again. Now, Texas Instruments is announcing that it has joined the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP). TI will continue to develop new bqTESLA wireless power receiver and transmitter integrated circuits that comply with existing and future versions of the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) Qi standard, and also create products that support the A4WP magnetic resonance specification. Organized in April, A4WP is a... Read more...
Intel's Itanium has spent the past year in an unwelcome spotlight. The war between HP and Oracle over whether or not the latter had an obligation to support HP servers after publicly promising to do so dragged Intel's Itanium roadmap into the limelight. Ultimately, the judge found that Oracle had to live up to its contractual obligations and concluded that the case was brought for personal reasons, but the damage to HP was done. Disclosures that came to light during the trial indicated that HP had paid Intel a sizeable sum of money to continue developing Itanium past the point when Intel would've otherwise canceled the project. There's nothing unusual about paying a company to build a processor,... Read more...
Corsair is one of the few companies in the PC enthusiast space that has been able to expand their product offerings, while also maintaining or even bolstering their solid reputation in the community. All too often, a company will attempt to build upon some initial success by entering a new market with a “me too” or re-badged product and end up losing credibility with enthusiasts along the way. Corsair seems to take a different approach, however. Instead of simply re-branding a product just to quickly gain a presence in a new or fledgling market, Corsair, more often than not, seems to bide their time to customize or design a product (or product family) to specifically cater to... Read more...
Corsair’s attention to detail and understanding of the enthusiast community has allowed the company to evolve from a memory manufacturer into a well-regarded supplier of cases, cooling hardware, input devices, PC audio, power supplies, gaming accessories and storage devices. Their latest product, the Corsair AX1200i Digital ATX Power Supply, takes things a step further and blazes a trail by adding some innovative and useful features not found in any competing products. The Corsair AX1200i Digital ATX Power Supply’s name hints at this PSU’s 1200 watt rating, but beyond its monstrous power output, the AX1200i is also highly efficient and sports a Digital Signal Processor (DSP)... Read more...
What if there was a power-efficient GPU with brains as powerful as a power-sucking desktop chip? We may be on the brink of finding out. ARM has this week submitted the Mali-T604 GPU for full profile OpenCL conformance, and if all plays out, this thing could really knock some socks off in the months ahead. According to the company, it's the first first GPU Intellectual Property (IP) supplier to submit conformance for Full Profile OpenCL, "bringing desktop GPU computing features to the mobile, embedded and smart-TV markets." It doesn't take a huge imagination to see how this could positively impact our lives going forward. Even compact applications could finally tap into high-grade graphics --... Read more...
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