IBM, Sony, Toshiba research slated for Albany nanotech complex
IBM, Sony Corporation and Toshiba have announced the commencement of a new, five-year phase of their joint technology development alliance. As part of this broad semiconductor research and development collaboration, the three companies will work together on fundamental research, related to advanced process technologies at 32 nanometers and beyond. The agreement will help enable the three companies to more rapidly investigate, identify and commercialise new technologies for consumer and other applications.
HP joins rival camp, Pioneer launches Blu-ray drive
Technology giant HP has decided to support the high-definition (HD) DVD group. Previously, HP had exclusively backed the rival Blu-ray Disc technology promoted by Sony, and the Silicon Valley company is also a key member of the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA). Talks between the two industry camps to unify the disc format broke down last year and the BDA and HD DVD groups are now battling for supremacy in the emerging market. After HP requested that the BDA adopt two different types of user software, known as iHD and Mandatory Managed Copy (MMC), the Sony-led consortium only adopted MMC. In contrast, the HD DVD disc format already uses both types of software. As a result, HP decided to join its former rival, while continuing with its role in the BDA. Meanwhile, the Japanese electronics firm Pioneer says that it will begin shipping Blu-ray drives for personal computers in the current quarter.
European group studies device packaging
A European research-and-development initiative, Encaps (enabling chip and package level photonics solutions) has been formed to develop cost-effective packaging methods for next-generation optoelectronic products. The consortium consists of 22 partners representing industries, universities, reliability laboratories and research centers engaged in photonics research. The project will explore materials such as silicone, getters, liquid crystal polymers and encapsulants for optical chip-scale packages, combined with collective chip and optics assembly and sealing processes at wafer and package levels.
European group focuses on VECSELs
A group of European research institutions and companies has launched Nano-Photonics Materials and Technologies for Multicolor High-Power Sources, a common initiative to develop semiconductor thin-disk layers. The aim of the project is to foster material and systems research on optically-pumped semiconductor vertical external cavity surface-emitting lasers using advances in semiconductor material, micro-optics, and miniaturized system design and packaging. The three-year project is supported by the European Commission and coordinated by the Optoelectronics Research Centre. Its $4.6 million budget will support field trials, demonstrations and R&D.
New look for optical microscopy
Scientists have known for many years that the electronic structure of an atom can be modified by placing it close to a boundary. Now, Vahid Sandoghdar and colleagues at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, the Zuse Institute in Berlin, and the University of Potsdam, also in Germany, have exploited this phenomenon to perform high-resolution microscopy. The new technique relies on measuring how the intrinsic properties of the gold nanoantenna - such as its resonance frequency and line width - change when it is placed close to a sample.
Accurate nanopatterning paves way to ''black silicon''
Innos, the UK nanoscale technology R&D company, and the Nanoscale Systems Integration Group (NSI, based in the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton), have revealed how it is possible to accurately pattern silicon wafers using e-beam direct write, with accuracies of a few tens of nanometres. The project development work for biomimetic optical nanostructures attempts to mimic the nanostructured arrays seen on the cornea of certain night-flying moths. By using this type of nanostructure, researchers hope to create silicon surfaces that do not reflect light which would be important for applications such as solar cells, said the scientists.