Anew toy has been produced containing a
groundbreaking technology — NanoMuscles. Named
“Ojarumaru Man,” it is
currently available in
O-Man is a talking,
moving toy modeled
after a famous Japanese
anime character. The
NanoMuscle motor inside
of O-Man replaces a
electric motor, gearbox,
and slip clutch to reduce
both complexity and cost.
A NanoMuscle utilizes
a stacked array of shape
memory alloy (SMA)
wires to build up the total
force it can apply to a load. SMA contracts when a small
current is passed through it and relaxes when the current
is removed, allowing it to be stretched back to its original
The energy density of SMA is over 4,000 times that of
its electromechanical counterpart, which makes it of great
interest to the price-sensitive consumer marketplace.
NanoMuscle, Inc., is a leader in the next generation
motor market, manufacturing numerous SMA-based
devices. They even have development kits for sale on their
All That Jazz
Under contract with Magnolia Broadband, chip
fabricator Jazz Semiconductor of Newport Beach,
CA is ready to ramp production on a clever new
formulation of silicon and germanium, surprisingly
named “SiGe.” With a current-gain cut-off frequency
above 200 GHz, the SiGe process will be used in
Magnolia's DiversityPlus chipset — a new scheme to
improve cell phone reception by adding a second
antenna input and incorporating a clever algorithm to
extract weak signals.
By using SiGe, power consumption is greatly
reduced without sacrificing computing throughput.
This is yet another example of how traditional analog
functions are moving into the domain of digital signal
Also, with over 200,000,000 cell phones in use
worldwide, there is intense pressure on developers to
increase performance while decreasing cost.
Circle #100 on the Reader Service Card.