Light innovators win Nobel

Lezette Engelbrecht
By Lezette Engelbrecht, ITWeb online features editor
Johannesburg, 08 Oct 2009

Light innovators win Nobel

The 2009 Nobel prize in physics has been awarded to some of those whose work with light laid the foundations of the modern digital age, reports New Scientist.

The first half of the prize went to Charles Kao, formerly vice-chancellor of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who in the 1960s made it possible for the world to talk via the light inside optical fibres.

The second half was awarded to Willard Boyle and George Smith at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, New Jersey, for the invention of the charge-coupled device image sensor chip - a crucial component in today's digital cameras.

Body computing to reform healthcare

Data sharing, patient empowerment, new technologies and healthcare information systems will see a research and development renaissance and infusion of necessary venture capital as entrepreneurs race to develop new approaches to connected medicine, writes San Francisco Chronicle.

Body computing is an emerging set of technologies that combine the power of the Internet, modern electronics, wireless communications, medicine, hardware and software engineering.

Dr Leslie Saxon, head of cardiology at the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine, is leading a group of researchers, software engineers, doctors and venture capitalists to explore the future of connected medicine and body computing in a conference being held on 8 and 9 October.

Tracking emerging memory

Driven by several factors, new approaches to memory are starting to materialise as alternative memory start-ups try different routes to a market they have high hopes for, states EDN.

Over the last several years, a slew of start-ups as well as some major semiconductor companies have been trying to figure out what comes next in the memory business. That's because current memory technology - particularly Nand flash - is reaching its scaling limit. The common wisdom is that Nand can't scale below 20 nanometers, according to Jim Handy, analyst at Objective Analysis.

The jury is still out this time around. Companies are examining a variety of approaches, including phase-change memory, resistive RAM, and magnetic RAM.