Researchers in federal, academic and corporate laboratories
continue to push the envelope of scientific developments. Discovery
leads to technologies that lead to the products that drive our
economy and shape our lives. This month's review shows advancements
across a variety of technology sectors.
MIT spinout startup, OmniGuide Communications, created a
revolutionary optic cable that can carry light of higher intensity
and a broader bandwidth, transmitting up to 1,000 times more data
than fiber optics. The cable could be used in miniaturized
IBM created a simple quantum computer that can solve in one step
what conventional computers can do only after taking several steps.
University of California researchers and Hewlett-Packard are
collaborating on a molecular computer. Lucent and Oxford University
built a minuscule motor out of DNA.
Sage Electronics of Faribault, Minn., is developing a commercial
product for home and office windows that uses five thin coatings of
ceramics to control light. Applying an electrical current to the
material causes the window to tint -- the higher the voltage, the
darker the tint.
Bell labs has developed software code that delivers complex
geometry over the web in one-twelfth the time as current MPEG-4
technology. Code sends big, rough details first followed by finer
details until a 3-D image is complete.
SRI International spinoff, Polyfuel, developed a miniature fuel
cell similar to ones that power cars and trucks. The device uses a
cartridge of concentrated methanol the size of a AA battery with no
need for plug-in AC chargers. Due out next year and expecting sales
of 1 million fuel cells per month, the tiny cells will operate a
cell phone for two weeks.
PicoDyne licensed technology from New Mexico's Microelectronics
Research Center to build a chip that uses 50 to 100 times less power
than current chips. Chips will be used in cell phones, laptops, PDAs
and digital hearing aids.
Elisar Software of Albuquerque has developed software that
prevents copying without permission and allows for online tracking
after sale. The software works with images, music, text and video
and can be used with standard viewers such as Adobe Acrobat.
Researchers at universities in Ontario and Alberta are exploring
applications for the proteins that keep insects from freezing. In
addition to keeping winter fruit and crops from freezing, the
proteins could help preserve transplant organs longer. …