SuVolta takes wraps off battery-friendly chip technology

Silicon Valley start-up SuVolta is giving the electronics industry a peek under the hood at its new technology that it claims will drastically boost the energy efficiency of microchips.

That’s something chip designers are focusing more and more on as people increasingly rely on smartphones and tablets that chew up battery charges.

SuVolta says it can halve the amount of power used by chips without affecting their performance, and it is debuting the details of its technology to scientists at the 2011 International Electron Devices Meeting on Wednesday in Washington, DC.

The company says its “Deeply Depleted Channel” technology reduces voltage variability in transistors, drastically cutting the amount of energy that turns into heat and is wasted as microchips crunch data.

Backed by venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, SuVolta has already licensed the new technology to Fujitsu Semiconductor. Fujitsu has been testing it at in one of its fabs and will present the technical paper jointly with SuVolta.

Congress plans Facebook “hackathon” to boost engagement with public

Top legislators on both sides of the aisle in the U.S. House of Representatives said on Thursday they will work with Facebook engineers and independent developers to make it easier for the public to engage with lawmakers and follow the legislative process.

The first-ever Congressional Facebook Developer Hackathon will take place Dec. 7 at the Capitol, bringing together lawmakers, academics and developers to find ways to make Congress more transparent and accessible.

A hackathon, a term coined by computer programmers over a decade ago, generally refers to a meeting where new programs and applications are collaboratively developed.

Chipmakers most creative, drugmakers least?

Chipmakers including Intel and Qualcomm make up the world’s most innovative industry, according to a new analysis of patents by Thomson Reuters that is equally notable for some of the companies it does not include.

Thomson Reuters has just released its “Top 100 Global Innovators” list, which it compiled by scrutinizing patent data around the world using a peer-review methodology it developed.

“We tried to take an objective look at technology innovation and apply a composite measure not just of volumes, but also of influence in terms of citations of later published patents, in terms of globalization of patenting,” says Bob Stembridge, the lead analyst behind the study.

from Breakingviews:

Necessity is mother of invention at Microsoft

Microsoft CEO speaks of economic reset in LondonMicrosoft has adopted a tough mantra for an age of austerity, arguing that innovation must take a back seat to cost-cutting and productivity gains when it comes to selling technology.

"Things have come down. I see them staying down and slowly growing," Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's chief executive, said today in a speech to British business leaders.

But does Microsoft's "New Efficiency" slogan describe the future of the technology industry?  Or just the software giant's own subdued outlook?

Google Labs speeds up new product releases

Google wants to put its products in people’s hands sooner, even if they’re not fully baked.

The company unveiled a pair of interesting new products on Monday that promise new ways to search for photographs online and to view graphical representations of information over specific periods of time.

The products, dubbed Image Search and Google News Timeline, are still not 100 percent polished and are limited in their capabilities – and that’s exactly the idea, says Google.