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  • University of Cambridge chip moves data in 3D through magnetic spin

    University of Cambridge chip moves data in 3D

    Chips that have 3D elements to them are very much real. Moving data in 3D hasn’t been truly viable until now, however, which makes an experimental chip from the University of Cambridge that much more special. By sandwiching a layer of ruthenium atoms between cobalt and platinum, researchers found that they can move data up and down an otherwise silicon-based design through spintronics; the magnetic field manipulation sends information across the ruthenium to its destination. The layering is precise enough to create a “staircase” that moves data one step at a time. There’s no word on if and when the technique might be applied to real-world circuitry, but the advantages in density are almost self-evident: the university suggests higher-capacity storage, while processors could also be stacked vertically instead of consuming an ever larger 2D footprint. As long as the 3D chip technology escapes the lab, computing power could take a big step forward. Or rather, upward.

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    Source: University of Cambridge

  • IRL: Skooba Cable Stable, Kanex mySpot and the HTC One X+
    Welcome to IRL, an ongoing feature where we talk about the gadgets, apps and toys we’re using in real life and take a second look at products that already got the formal review treatment.

    We’ve got some practical considerations on our minds this week. Sensible things, like managing a mess of cables or getting online from hotel rooms. We’ve found some products that serve us well on both fronts, but there’s still at least one conundrum we can’t quite resolve: is it better to get a cheapie One X or a slightly faster One X+? We’ll hash that one out after the break — and you can do the same in the comments.

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  • Windows Phone 7.8 hands-on: cosmetically yours

    Windows Phone 78 handson cosmetically yours

    There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth when Microsoft declared that fairly fresh (and costly) Windows Phone 7 devices like the Nokia Lumia 900 would never taste its latest WP8 wares. To assuage hurt feelings and keep legacy phone owners within throwing distance of the latest devices like the Nokia Lumia 920 or HTC’s 8X, Redmond introduced Windows Phone 7.8 (version 7.10.8858), which started arriving via Zune on January 31st. It was likely hoping that the upgrade would tide legacy owners over until their contracts expired or boredom set in, at which point they’d get a new device packing WP8 — including not-too-costly models like the $249 (contract-free) Lumia 620. So the question is, will the 7.8 bone thrown at WP7 handset owners prevent them from looking at the greener Android or iOS grass across the fence? We’ve got a Lumia 610 here that was otherwise collecting dust, so head after the break to find out our thoughts.

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