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Semiconductor miniaturisation 'supported by implantable neural sensing chip'

Semiconductor miniaturisation has been supported by the development of a new energy-efficient sensing chip, a technology resource has noted.
New prosthetics and brain machine interfaces have benefitted from the miniaturisation of electronic components including semiconductors and university researchers have aided this progress by developing an energy-efficient sensing chip.

Electrical engineers at the University of Washington have developed an implantable neural sensing chip that contains a microprocessor powered by a commercial radio-frequency reader, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology s Technology Review noted.

The reader doubles as a data-collection device which can read information from radio-frequency identification tags. This removes the requirement of other wireless medical devices which rely on inductive coupling that needs a nearby power source.

Current implantable devices require multiple components that are large compared to the transistors on the microcontroller, Brian Otis, professor of electrical engineering at the University of Washington, explained.

"You can have millions of transistors on a chip that s less than a cubic millimetre in volume, but the problem is with the extra parts," he stated.

Development of semiconductor mass production at 28 nanometres was recently announced by Samsung, which would allow a larger number of transistors to be fitted on to an integrated circuit of the same size.
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