Summarizing 2016: Energy matters

December 19, 2016 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Summarizing 2016: Energy matters
The end of the year is approaching rapidly. Time to take a look at the articles that have attracted the most attention from our readers over the past year. Nearly all of them originated from the realm of science. Remarkably, developments related to energy and energy efficiency generated the highest interest among our readers. A clear hint that energy issues are increasingly dominating developer’s agenda. Here are the movers and shakers among our news pieces, in reverse order.

10. The car of the future: a personal butler

The appearance of connected vehicles, automated forms of driving and the ‘smart home’ has a strong impact on the way we drive and what we do during the time we are on the go. Also the digital visionaries meeting at re:publica 2016 in Berlin are discussing this topic. Automotive supplier Bosch contributes his vision on how these factors could be reflected in the car’s functionalities and the way it interacts with its occupants.

9. MIT spinoff to release high-capacity lithium metal battery

Spun-out from the MIT in 2012, startup SolidEnergy Systems (Woburn, MA) has developed advanced electrolyte materials which it combines to produce lithium metal batteries with twice the energy density of today's lithium ion batteries, while being safe and long-lasting.

8. Optical mic 'hears' wider sound spectrum

Founded in 2012 as a spin-out company by the Vienna University of Technology and the Knowles Corporation, startup Xarion Laser Acoustics GmbH (Vienna, Austria) is bringing a membrane-free optical microphone with unprecedented sound resolution.

7.First CMOS-based circulator chip promises wireless communication breakthrough

Full-duplex radio ICs that can be implemented in nanoscale CMOS to enable simultaneous transmission and reception at the same frequency in a wireless radio were first invented last year by Columbia Engineering researchers. That system required two antennas, one for the transmitter and one for the receiver. Now the team, led by Electrical Engineering Associate Professor Harish Krishnaswamy, has developed a breakthrough technology that needs only one antenna, thus enabling an even smaller overall system.

6.Swiss researchers on the way to petahertz electronics

Is there a limit to the switching speed of electronic components? Researchers from the ETH Zurich university have investigated how fast electrons can be controlled by means of electric fields. Their findings are significant for the petahertz electronics of the future.

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