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IEEE Spectrum

Issue 1 • January 2012

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  • IEEE Spectrum - Front cover

    Publication Year: 2012, Page(s): c1
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  • Table of contents

    Publication Year: 2012, Page(s):1 - 3
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  • A planet like our own [Back Story]

    Publication Year: 2012, Page(s): 4
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  • Contributors

    Publication Year: 2012, Page(s): 6
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  • Taking innovation for granted

    Publication Year: 2012, Page(s): 8
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  • Helicopters go electric

    Publication Year: 2012, Page(s):11 - 12
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  • Metamaterials make for a broadband breakthrough

    Publication Year: 2012, Page(s):13 - 14
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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  • Electronic cotton

    Publication Year: 2012, Page(s):16 - 18
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  • A flat transistor comeback?

    Publication Year: 2012, Page(s):18 - 21
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  • Review: Adobe's Creative Cloud and Touch Apps [Tools & Toys]

    Publication Year: 2012, Page(s):22 - 23
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  • Not your parents' Scrabble [Tools & Toys]

    Publication Year: 2012, Page(s): 24
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  • Beyond Oil [Books]

    Publication Year: 2012, Page(s): 25
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  • Game worthy [Profile]

    Publication Year: 2012, Page(s): 26
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  • Visual ubiquity [Reflections]

    Publication Year: 2012, Page(s): 27
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  • Top tech 2012

    Publication Year: 2012, Page(s):28 - 29
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    predict the next century and you can fantasize; predict the coming decade and you can wax enthusiastic. But if you??re looking at just the next 12 months, you??d better keep your feet on the ground. That??s what we??ve done in this year??s tech survey: In choosing our subjects, we considered mainly the likelihood of their figuring prominently in the coming year??s tech headlines, not whether we th... View full abstract»

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  • Good-bye, wheelchair

    Publication Year: 2012, Page(s):30 - 32
    Cited by:  Papers (18)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (1801 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    In a warehouse that looks like a cross between a mad inventor's garage and a climbing gym, a pair of mechanical legs hangs from the ceiling on ropes. With the quiet whir of four motors, one in each hip and knee, the legs take a step, then another and another. This is an exoskeleton walking suit, and it is taking the hundreds of thousands of steps that regulators demand to prove that it's no mere t... View full abstract»

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  • ICs grow up

    Publication Year: 2012, Page(s):33 - 35
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (845 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    The integrated circuit could use a lift. Almost 50 years after Gordon Moore forecast the path toward faster, cheaper chips, we've miniaturized electronic components so much that we're increasingly colliding with fundamental physical limitations. The days of simple transistor scaling are long behind us - the latest, greatest chips are a hodgepodge of materials and design tweaks. These chips also le... View full abstract»

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  • Plug-ins proliferate

    Publication Year: 2012, Page(s):36 - 37
    Cited by:  Papers (5)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (728 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    Do you own a plug-in car? Do you even know anybody who does? Probably not. But that might very well change this year. Electric cars aren't new, of course. Mitsubishi's all-electric i-MiEV has been available in several countries since 2010. The US $35 200 Nissan Leaf, another pure electric vehicle, has been selling in Japan and the United States for more than a year. The Chevy Volt is also availabl... View full abstract»

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  • A redo from Redmond?

    Publication Year: 2012, Page(s): 38
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (590 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    The first time Microsoft was caught off guard, Bill Gates managed to turn things around by sending the entire company his famous e-mail, "The Internet Tidal Wave." The current challenge- the drift away from PCs in favor of mobile devices'may well be greater. The move began in 2007, with the introduction of Apple's iPhone, and it was kicked into high gear with the advent of the iPad in 2010 and an ... View full abstract»

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  • LEDs for less

    Publication Year: 2012, Page(s):39 - 40
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (470 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    In 2012, there will finally be a first-rate LED bulb you can afford. In any case, this year you will for the first time be able to afford an LED bulb that's clearly superior to a CFL. It will give off a nice warm glow, work with your dimmer switch, use energy frugally and when you finally replace it after 15 years, you can just throw it in the dustbin. By then, you'll struggle to recollect what th... View full abstract»

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  • Future vision

    Publication Year: 2012, Page(s): 41
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (905 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    When light hits Barbara Campbell's eyes, it triggers no response in her retinas, and no signals flash up her optic nerves to her brain. A genetic disease killed off her retinas' photoreceptor cells, leaving her completely blind by her 30s. But where her body failed her, technology rescued her. In 2009, at the age of 56, Campbell had an array of electrodes implanted in each eye, and she now makes h... View full abstract»

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  • In search of alien worlds

    Publication Year: 2012, Page(s):42 - 44
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    In order to hunt a key component for planets like our own, astronomer Francesco Pepe will use the fiber to feed star light into a new detector-the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher-North (HARPS-N), an ultraprecise spectrograph that is being assembled nearby, not far from a field of grazing horses. In the coming months, Pepe, an astronomer, and his colleagues will take apart the go-cart... View full abstract»

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  • A battery as big as the grid

    Publication Year: 2012, Page(s):45 - 46
    Cited by:  Papers (4)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (951 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    Sometime this quar ter, a shovel will sink into the dry desert soil of a Mexicali industrial park, breaking ground for the construction of an unprecedented energystorage facility. Once completed, its batteries will be able to feed a full gigawatt into the grid for 4 to 6 hours. View full abstract»

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  • An extremely fine line

    Publication Year: 2012, Page(s):47 - 50
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (2088 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    Moore's Law needs a hero. This year, we'll see if the chip business's designated savior-extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography- is really up to the task. After decades of bringing us the incredible shrinking transistor, chipmakers are now hard up against the limits of their printing technique: Trying to use today's ultraviolet lasers to print the next generation of circuits would be like trying to ... View full abstract»

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  • Fantastic 4G

    Publication Year: 2012, Page(s):51 - 53
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    It's 5:00 in the afternoon. Do you know how much data your smartphone apps are sucking out of the ether? It's probably at least 10 megabytes per hour, and it may be as much as 115 MB/h, according to a recent study by the British firm Virgin Media Business. In other words, depending on what you're using it for, your phone or tablet might be consuming'or more likely struggling but failing to consume... View full abstract»

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IEEE Spectrum Magazine, the flagship publication of the IEEE, explores the development, applications and implications of new technologies.

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Editor-in-Chief
Susan Hassler
IEEE Spectrum Magazine