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Earth Day 2018: Research Efforts from IEEE that Help Cultivate a Sustainable Environment

Prior to 1970, April 22 was just another day of the year. People would look at their calendars and go "Meh.", proceeding with their ordinary day-to-day routines. The unrelenting cycle of wasteful consumption would pass unabated, because no one had the time or resources to care. As society reached a turning point however, with the spontaneous rise of globalization, people began to realize the need for moderating man-made efforts due to their detrimental effects on the environment. This realization, over time, was under-girded by advances in science, drawing arguments incisive enough to spur significant change and action. To increase effectiveness and to spread awareness, a particular day was chosen to demonstrate support for these environmental protection efforts. This special day, which was started by the U.S., is now celebrated in more than 192 countries and is called Earth Day. ”省エネは大切だ。”
IEEE does its share through its research efforts centered towards improving energy eff…
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Probable Methods in Evolving Self-Generating Artificial Intelligence through Innovative Leaps in ASIC Design

It was early 2017 when Google implemented automatic programming, the concept of programs creating other programs to perform a specific task, into their Artificial Intelligence (AI). Automated algorithm design (AutoML or automatic machine learning) could generate code with performance numbers drastically higher than their man-made counterparts. Google applied the code to image identification and the accuracy of detection reached record values. This paved the way for the rise of TensorFlow and tensor processing units, ASICs specifically tailored for machine learning applications.
The technology is still fresh from the oven and there is much room for change and further development. Google's A.I. - the progenitor of the superior optimized neural network, could have added an additional imprint with instructions for reiterative self-replication. This does not benefit the machine learning application, as it would simply saturate memory without another part of code to counteract the loop…

Cornerstone Power Management Integrated Circuit Reaches 100% Efficiency

After decades of intensive research, a group of lackadaisical engineers have successfully designed a PMIC that does not consume any circuit current whatsoever. They claim that it works for all semiconductor processes and is backward compatible with any test and verification procedure. The design's patent is still underway, so they could only reveal so much about their ground-breaking invention.
John Balding, William Chuckly, and Walter Bratteen - the 3 ingenious minds responsible for the innovation, admitted it was an exhilarating moment when they made the breakthrough. "We *hic* don't really know how we came up with the schematic. *hic* It just flowed right in our minds as we drank this Whiskey you gave us earlier this evening. *hic* Sorry, who are you again?" William triumphantly said as I interviewed him at a bar in celebration of their achievement.
The PMIC boasts an absolute figure of 0 uA current consumption, 0 Watts power consumption, 0 Watts switching loss, …

Should Material Scientists Care About the Bandgap Curvature Problem?

When designing a reference voltage, the bandgap curvature problem is considered as it affects the structure of the circuit and the number of components that come into play. It sets the bar on the reference voltage's temperature coefficient, i.e. its stability over varying temperatures. But why should material scientists be concerned with a problem that solely concerns the analog IC designer?

The Bandgap Curvature Problem The bandgap curvature problem may sound unfamiliar to the uninitiated in CMOS design, but its premise is simple. Due to the absence of a device that exhibits a linearly decreasing voltage drop with rising  temperature, commonly known as the "complementary-to-absolute-temperature" or CTAT component, engineers have settled with the voltage drop of a diode, which is non-linear. Ergo, the summation of the CTAT and PTAT (proportional-to-absolute-temperature) has an offset. This offset is the bandgap curvature problem, and leads to inaccuracies in the referenc…

Perspectives on Net Neutrality

“The principle that governments should mandate ISPs to treat all data on the Internet the same, and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication.” 
This is the formal definition given to network neutrality. But not all people may look at it the same way. People from diverse backgrounds could disagree on whether it is congenial to the consumer or to the internet service provider. Differing opinions may arise from differing ways net neutrality is understood. In this article, I provide my own interpretations and perspectives on the matter. 
The debate is whether net neutrality should be rescinded by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the governing body for America’s telecommunication services. People argue that net neutrality is keeping greedy corporations at bay from exploiting and abusing the internet service they provide. A common cited example would be the throttle of traffic fr…

Why Commitment to Excellence Always Pays Off

Some may roll their eyes over this no-brainer concept, but it is so crucial to everyday success that I think it's worth its own article. “Commitment” and “Excellence” are two big words that weigh heavily in meaning when used together. They’re impact too powerful and impelling to the point that advertisers overuse them in their hackneyed slogans. In fact, such abuse can lead to the phrase’s gradual debasement and loss of meaning. The exacting discipline obfuscated by superficial marketing goals aimed at the gullible consumer. But what does it mean to be committed to excellence? Many may argue that the answer is subjective, so I lay out my perspective for the reader and I to be on common ground in the succeeding paragraphs.
To start with, I detest making commitments that I know I can’t see to fruition. And it’s not just because of the disappointment from unmet expectations, but from inauspicious consequences that arise thereupon. I know too well the bitter taste of being let down, …

Why Companies should have Contingency Plans for Unanticipated Game-Changers in Technology

This topic came to mind as I was ruminating on the future of semiconductor technology. Being involved in the verification phase of IC development, one could not help but wonder if silicon would remain the preponderating backbone of mobile/small-scale electronic devices. What if a material with properties that transcend GaN and SiC arrived in the playing field? What would happen to the plethora of entrenched protocols and procedures, IP building blocks, or - in a more drastic case - standard measurement methodologies that many engineers and technicians have grown accustomed to?

Expenses involved in migration would certainly imbalance the finances of any company, perhaps dealing a fatal blow to smaller enterprises (fabless ones maybe?). Having to throw away a fossilized habit or routine is, from common sense, never a walk in the park. There are accompanying challenges that must be overcome to make a smooth transition toward recovery.

Thus, why not cogitate on mitigation measures that a…