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18th Century Pigment to Revolutionize Chip Design?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the paint-me-green-and-call-me-cooler dept.

100

Scarlet X writes "Researchers at the University of Washington have discovered a possible nonvolatile magnetic semiconductor and are investigating its use for 'spintronics,' an emerging technology that is concerned with manipulating and controlling the charge, flow and magnetism of electrons. The possibilities for the material 'cobalt green,' a paint developed by American Revolution era artists, as a spintronics material is exciting. Should the magnetic properties of the paint at room-temperature prove able to reliably control the wild spinning of excited electrons in a processor, not only could the size of processors reduce substantially, but the constant limiting factor, how to keep things cool, could disappear."

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100 comments

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15864399)

fp

Room temperature != operational temperature. (5, Insightful)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 7 years ago | (#15864411)

While I'm sure spintronics circuits would have their own way of performing calculations, I can't imagine energy wouldn't be expended in the process.

If energy is expended, then the temperature of the component will rise. If the temperature rises, it'll be likely to require cooling. (Especially as more energy gets expended with designs capable of higher computation loads.)

Re:Room temperature != operational temperature. (4, Interesting)

business_kid (973043) | more than 7 years ago | (#15864439)

I read that differently. The processor would stay much the same, but the net effect of the spintronics stuff would be to reduce (I thought) dissapation in existing circuits. Power calculations have the frequency component in them, so switching losses could theoretically be reduced greatly. If it allowed miniturisation, and it seems to offer promise there, the capacitive element of power consumption would also be reduced. All we need is a major cpu manufacturer to take a gamble on it and plug a few billion into research, hiring me :-)).

Can we now paint our own CPUs? (1)

torrija (993870) | more than 7 years ago | (#15864441)

we only need a brush and some "special" paint.

Re:Can we now paint our own CPUs? (3, Informative)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#15864485)

You would need a pretty small brush to make them work fast enough to be really useful.
Someone like Chinese micro-painter Jin Yin Hua [bbc.co.uk] who has painted an image of a giant panda on a single human hair could really do it justice.

However for simpler curcuits it could be good to do.

I personally would prefer to put this ink into an inkjet printer and get better results.

Re:Can we now paint our own CPUs? (1)

I Like Pudding (323363) | more than 7 years ago | (#15868283)

I wonder how many angels that guy could paint dancing on the head of a pin

Re:Room temperature != operational temperature. (3, Informative)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#15864444)

Hummm. AsI am not a EE or physics, I am curious. In your statement, you imply that the simple use of electricty (i.e. work) generates heat. My understanding is that heat is not part of the work, but due to the inefficiencies of the process. The more efficient, the less heat. For example, a regular light bulb (fairly inefficient as it generates lots of heat) vs. the LED (very efficient and with little heat). Or is my physics off base?

Re:Room temperature != operational temperature. (3, Informative)

xael (993871) | more than 7 years ago | (#15864457)

You are correct; simply because energy is expended does not mean it's lost in the form of heat. The idea of this paint is that it's magnetic properties control the electrons and, in theory, stops them pumping into things. When they are stopped from bumping into things they won't lose energy - in much the same way that a super-conductor works.

Re:Room temperature != operational temperature. (5, Informative)

UnHolier than ever (803328) | more than 7 years ago | (#15864471)

When energy is used to do work (i.e. lighting a room), then yes, the heat generated is due to an inefficient process, but that doesn't mean that it is possible to have a 100% efficient process. Actually, the second (?) law of thermodynamics states that a 100% efficient process is only possible at absolute zero. On the other hand, a processor produces no work, i.e. there are no moving parts, it doesn't produce light, it doesn't make sound or an electric current. The only thing it does is move electrons around, i.e. changes its entropy. You need energy to do that, but it's not work: the total (useful) energy emitted by the processor is zero, and all energy used goes off as heat. There is a theoretical limit to the amount of energy needed to flip a bit, spintronic might approach that limit better than electronics, but wil not break it, and this energy will still be emitted as heat.

Re:Room temperature != operational temperature. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15864596)

can you explain why there are no moving parts when the only thing it does is move electrons around?

Re:Room temperature != operational temperature. (1)

UnHolier than ever (803328) | more than 7 years ago | (#15864697)

Ok, strictly speaking there are moving parts, but there is no overall movement. At the end of the calculation, the processor does not shoot the result to another room. This is equivalent to a car on neutral: the gears rotate, it creates a lot of heat and noise, but at the end of the day, the car has not moved, so if you consider the efficient use of a car to be movement from point A to point B, then on neutral a car is 0% efficient.

Re:Room temperature != operational temperature. (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 7 years ago | (#15871066)

Sounds more like a car trip to Grandma's and back. You move, but you end up back where you started. Useful work was done though (at least Grandma thinks so).

Work equals the force applied times the distance the object moved in that direction. If your force changes then you can very well end up with everything where it started yet you've done work.

Re:Room temperature != operational temperature. (3, Informative)

crgrace (220738) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865129)

A processor does do significant work. For example, the electrons in the channels of the transistors move against some finite resistance, phonons are released as electrons fall from the conduction band into the valence band, etc. It only doesn't produce light because there is a momentum change (hence the phonon) when the electrons do so. In direct bandgap semiconductors, light is released, hence LEDs and semiconductor lasers. The reason there is heat in any processor is the fact that unless there is some resistance somewhere, the clock rate could be infinite since it would imply that any capacitance could be charged up in zero time.

violation of high school science. (1)

morethanapapercert (749527) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865502)

Your description of work appears to conflict with what I was taught in High School. It further seems to conflict with itself.

The second law of thermodynamics states "There is no process that, operating in cycle, produces no other effect than the subtraction of a positive amount of heat from a reservoir and the production of an equal amount of work." (copied from wikipedia ahref=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_of_thermod ynamicsrel=url2html-29159 [slashdot.org] http://en.wikipedia.org/w iki/Laws_of_thermodynamics>

First you state that a processor does not produce work because there are no moving parts, but then you go on to say that some parts (namely the electrons) do move.

I was taught in High School that energy is the potential to do something, work is what happens when that potential becomes realized. The classic example of a rock on a cliff or the more modern example of a charged capacitor are both full of energy. As soon as the rock falls or the cap discharges, work is accomplished. By that reckoning, a magnetic force flipping a bit is accomplishing work as is a transistor or NAND gate when electrons flow through it.

It is the third law that states that 100% efficiency can only be achieved at Absolute Zero, however this is often misunderstood to mean that if we could somehow freeze a system down to 0Kelvin we would have a perfectly efficient machine. As far as i know, any system at 0K is incapable of doing any work. Since the electrons cease their orbit and the nucleus ceases to even vibrate at 0K no movement and hence no work is possible. Further, even if it were possible to somehow perform work with a 0K system, we would not receive any benefit from the efficiencies of that system. It would take more energy, courtesy of the second law, to cool that system down to 0K than we would save by using that system. Finally, thanks to the first law, all that energy we extracted out of the system, along with all the energy used to do that has to go somewhere and it will almost certainly go there in the form of heat. My H.S. science teacher put it this way: "to make your fridge cold, first you take out all the heat inside the box. But! The machine which removes that heat can't be perfect, so it makes heat too, which you also have to remove, generating still more heat in the process. The net result is that all the stuff in the fridge and all the stuff in the room, when added up and averaged, end up warmer than when you started."

Re:violation of high school science. (1)

Kouroth (911586) | more than 7 years ago | (#15867838)

I don't think electrons stop spinning at 0K, just individual atoms stop vibrating. I could be wrong though. I think the idea is that at 0K a semiconductor looses no (little) energy because electrons can flow though the metal along a set path that no longer varies. Heat due to minute friction caused by impact or gaps between the atoms is no longer generated because the most efficient path no longer changes. Electrons can flow unhindered through the metal.

Re:violation of high school science. (1)

UnHolier than ever (803328) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869381)

Ok, my definition of work might be a little arbitrary. You are right that electrons move around, however I call this a loss because that is not the point of a processor. The point of the processor is to arrange information represented by the position of the electrons. To go on with your analogy of a rock downhill, if you build a machine to bring rocks down which consists of a hill, then this machine is pretty efficient. However, if you build a computer out of rocks, where up the hill means one and down the hill means zero, then it's very inefficient because the gravitational energy is lost: you could have achieved the same result by using a much smaller amount of energy.
You're right about the 0K point, although the electrons won't stop spinning (but this is a field in itself). However, a process aribtrarily close can be arbitrarily efficient, even though the amount of energy extracted gets smaller. At 0K you get 100% of zero, but at (0+epsilon)K you can get 100% of something. Anyway, I am not suggesting that we cool processors to 0K: a different process would be needed.

"Laws" of sh*ttydynamics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15866707)

Actually, the second (?) law of thermodynamics states that a 100% efficient process is only possible at absolute zero.


You're thinking of the 3rd.


Paraphrasing the "Laws" of Thermodynamics [wikipedia.org] , one could say that:


0th: [Stuff] tends to flow downhill.
1st: You can't make more [Stuff], or get rid of what's all ready there, but you can play around with it.
2nd: [Stuff] tends to spread out, generally making a mess, in cases where you do decide to play around with it.
3rd: When [Stuff] finally gets to the bottom of the hill, it tends to stop flowing.

absolete zero == no process (1)

Blu-Ray (906616) | more than 7 years ago | (#15868256)

"a 100% efficient process is only possible at absolute zero." at 0 Kelvin there is NO process, everything halts..

Re:Room temperature != operational temperature. (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865343)

Or is my physics off base?

Completely and utterly. Basically, most energy that is used in most processes, ends up as heat. The difference being that you would use up more energy in the less efficient process for your needs, than in the more efficient one. But even the energy that goes into the desired process enentually ends up as heat.
You're example with the light bulb is the same. Say you want so many lux from a regular light bulb, you need a certain amount of energy. If you want the same light from an LED, you will need to use less energy.

But if you power an LED with the same power you power the bulb with, then it will release alot more light, but that light will heat the surfaces it hits, unless you release it off into space.

Because most applications don't release huge amounts of power as electromagnetic radiation though, the energy consumption is directly related to the heat production.

Re:Room temperature != operational temperature. (1)

UnHolier than ever (803328) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865495)

This is true. The fact that all the energy produced by a light bulb ends up as heat is widely known, but not widely understood. In particular, this means that during winter, turning off the light does not save energy. The 60W that come off your light bulb all goes as heat, whether directly or when they hit a dark surface. This heat stays inside your house (except the small amount of light going out the window), so basically each 60W bulb means you can use 60W less on heating to keep the house at the same temperature.

Re:Room temperature != operational temperature. (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865613)

Now I feel like an idiot, because when I was in grade school I thought my teachers were wasting their time turning off the lights in class during hot weather because the fluorescents were about 75% more efficient than incandescents and therefore didn't produce enough heat to matter. Turns out they were right!

Re:Room temperature != operational temperature. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15868721)

That's only true if you heat your house the least efficient way, with electricity. Even a heat pump run on electricity beats a light bulb.

Re:Room temperature != operational temperature. (4, Insightful)

Patrik_AKA_RedX (624423) | more than 7 years ago | (#15864454)

Yes, but suppose 1GHz of computation on a classic device produces 1W of waste and on a spintronic device produces 0.1W then you'll be able to build a processor that can run a lot faster with the same heat output.
Spintronics is just another tech that might be better than classic electronics. It might end up filling a niche or perhaps a larger part of what is currently done with electronics. But noone (except the people from marketing) is going to garantee that this will be the next revolution.

Re:Room temperature != operational temperature. (3, Interesting)

headkase (533448) | more than 7 years ago | (#15864458)

I'm still waiting for my diamond processor [opentechsupport.net] that runs at a nice 300 Ghz. And it would probably be an eight core cpu by the time it graduates from lab to mass produced consumer item.

Re:Room temperature != operational temperature. (3, Informative)

aXis100 (690904) | more than 7 years ago | (#15864555)

Due to the design of semiconductor transistors, they have on (conducting - high amps, low volts) and off (non conducting - low amps, high volts) states. These discrete states have very low losses (power = volts x amps).

Unfortunately, during the transistion there are nanoseconds where it is in the partially conducting state. Both the current and voltage are at intermediate values, and the power dissipation rises. The more often they switch, the more often these losses occur, which is why CPU heat is dependant on the operating frequency.

Spintronics may use a fundamentally differnt signalling mechanism which doesnt involve these transition losses.

Re:Room temperature != operational temperature. (0)

Relic of the Future (118669) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865954)

Close. In CMOS logic (which is used in all popular consumer CPUs), each logic gate has two sides, the so called "pull up network" (PUN) made of P-type transistors and the "pull down network" (PDN) made of N-type transistors (it's where the C in CMOS comes from: composite, meaning both P and N type). When the inputs to the gate should make it go high, the PUN's transistors are active--i.e. conductive--the PDN's are inactive--i.e. nonconductive--and current flows from the high-voltage rail, through the PUN, and charges the output.

When the inputs to the gate should make it go low, the opposite is true, the PUN is inactive and nonconductive, the PDN is active and conductive, and current drains back out of the output, through the PDN, and out the low-voltage rail.

The problem is that, as the inputs are transitioning between high and low voltages, BOTH transistor networks are (partially) conductive. This allows current to flow directly from the high-voltage rail to the low-voltage rail, with minimal resistance.

This is where most of the energy expended in a modern CPU is lost from. The static loses (charging and discharging the outputs) are laughably small compared to this dynamic loss.

Re:Room temperature != operational temperature. (2, Informative)

calidoscope (312571) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866510)

(it's where the C in CMOS comes from: composite, meaning both P and N type)


C stands for complemtary - originally used to describe a PNP and NPN on the output of an amplifier (the output sections of logic devices are indeed amplifiers).

The problem is that, as the inputs are transitioning between high and low voltages, BOTH transistor networks are (partially) conductive. This allows current to flow directly from the high-voltage rail to the low-voltage rail, with minimal resistance.


Normally called contention or shoot-through.

Re:Room temperature != operational temperature. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15866571)

... (it's where the C in CMOS comes from: composite, meaning both P and N type)....

No, it's: complementary metal-oxide semiconductor. (See details here, e.g. [wikipedia.org] )

All transitors have both P and N regions (often PNP or NPN).

Re:Room temperature != operational temperature. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15870429)

Actually, you're still wrong, but closer than the original poster. There is a current when both are partially active (usually called the crossbar current), but its typically less than 10% of the total power usage. The main power usage is in charging and discharging the voltage at the gate of the next transistor in the chain, which can be modeled as a capacitor. When everything is standing still, there isn't much reason for the charge to leak away, so very little current is needed to hold it at the proper voltage, but a signifigant amount of current is necissary whenever you want to change the state. And since the number of times you're charging/discharging the next gate is directly related to the operating frequency, the frequency is one of the major terms in power usage.

Re:Room temperature != operational temperature. (2, Interesting)

packeteer (566398) | more than 7 years ago | (#15864574)

It is possible to process information with absolutly 0 energy expended. If you use a certain transistor to do a calculation and then do the same calculation in reverse it requires 0 energy and produces 0 heat. It is a perfectly efficient process. This is called reversible logic.

http://www.research.ibm.com/journal/rd/176/ibmrd17 06G.pdf [ibm.com]

This idea is over 40 years old and is well understood science. This is not science fiction and many of the technical aspects of how to engineer a system like this have been worked out but obviously not all just yet.

Re:Room temperature != operational temperature. (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865370)

I think you misunderstood the meaning of the statement 'the need to keep things cool'. Or, at least, I'll assume Scarlet X knew what he was talking about. Currently most 'spintronics' in the R&D lab need to be cryogenically cooled (like superconductors). Thus, their off-state temperature needs to be dropped way low (think liquid nitrogen or less), so that when operating their total temp range stays within the regime where the proper properties exist. By room temperature, it would mean no supercooled temperature bias, and operation within normal 'room temp' limits. (10-50C temp rise, etc.)

although, with the other posts in this thread, spintronics is usually associated with lower heat production than current transistor-based technologies. I think this is related to the fact that it's typically performed with cooled superconductors, which will naturally have very low (near zero) electrical resistance. Not sure if that would apply with the green paint at room temp, though. Also, maybe fundamental to spin flipping is a reduced Joule heating effect. Not sure.

Here's a UK group looking into room temp spintronics. The page has a somewhat watered down description of what's going on:
Spin@RT [leeds.ac.uk]

Re:Room temperature != operational temperature. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15866484)

I fore one, welcome our new fashionable cobalt-green clad overlords at any room temperature.

Prior Art? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15864435)

It definitely brings a new twist to the term "Prior Art"!

In this case it wouldn't apply, but given the subject mateer it had to be said.

Re:Prior Art? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#15864952)

There is some precedent. The dye used to produce blue LEDs was originally discovered on the wall paintings of an Aztec temple, if I remember correctly.

Cobalt green availability (5, Informative)

moorhens (564268) | more than 7 years ago | (#15864447)

As a watercolour pigment, cobalt green is increasingly hard to find. Winsor&Newton no longer stock, nor DalerRowney. The only remaining major supplier seems to be Schminke. It's a really useful colour for making lively blacks, but the point of mentioning here is that these paintmakers all cite poison/health/product liability issues as reasons for its withdrawal. Best not kiss your circuit board any more than you should lick your brush tips.

Re:Cobalt green availability (5, Informative)

Patrik_AKA_RedX (624423) | more than 7 years ago | (#15864469)

If you know what materials are used in electronics, you wouldn't come near it with any part of your mounth. Only recently lead was banned from solder. And that's just one of the many unhealthy elements used in electronics. Most components are just toxic sand.

The world is unhealthy... (1)

Flying pig (925874) | more than 7 years ago | (#15864589)

It's funny that we keep trying to eliminate just about everything unpleasant from our immediate environment when the world is full of bacteria laden soil and water, rocks containing toxic heavy metals and radioactive gases, and background radiation. Agreed, our present longevity (at least in the developed world) is largely due to working out what not to eat, breathe, drink and rub on ourselves, but the principal driver of lead free solder seems to have been our unwillingness or inability to teach people to dispose of things properly. It's utterly bizarre that we worry about a few grammes of lead in solder but drive around in cars containing huge lead filled batteries, all of which are of course disposed of responsibly, aren't they? We pay for expensive granite kitchen worktops that contain, among other things, uranium. We eat "low sodium" salt that contains radioactive potassium. Rather than banning everything in sight, perhaps we need to have a basic toxicology course in all art training of the "don't lick the paintbrush, idiots" variety.

Re:The world is unhealthy... (1)

DarkSarin (651985) | more than 7 years ago | (#15864930)

Wait: low sodium salts!?

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

What's next? Low hydrogen water? Or maybe fat-free bacon? (actually I think that they already have that--bacon is fat!)

This world is for no good.

Re:The world is unhealthy... (1)

lisaparratt (752068) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865140)

Maybe where you live - here in the UK, bacon is principally meat, with a thin edging of fat. I'm told our bacon is similar to what's called Canadian Bacon in the US, whereas American Bacon is similar to what we call Streaky Bacon. Streaky Bacon is rarely eaten anymore due to being horrendously fattening, unhealthy, and simply not as tasty as good back.

Re:The world is unhealthy... (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865831)

Streaky Bacon is rarely eaten anymore due to being horrendously fattening,
Likely.
unhealthy,
Arguable.
and simply not as tasty as good back.
That's your opinion!

Disclaimer: I've only eaten turkey "bacon" in the past month.

Re:The world is unhealthy... (1)

lisaparratt (752068) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865979)

A small caveat: I purchase good quality smoked bacon, manufactured locally, from a proper butchers, so it'll be rather different from the pumped full of water rubbish you buy from a supermarket. If I had the space and a smoke house, I'd cure and smoke it myself.

Curing and smoking bacon isn't difficult... (1)

cr0sh (43134) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869241)

Actually, salt curing a pork belly isn't that difficult, nor does it take long or much room. Basically, you use a lot of salt and other spices (and sugars), rub it all over/around the belly in a large plastic bag, and let it sit in your fridge for a few days. After that, it is cured, and you can slice it and cook it as you like.


If you want to smoke it after curing it, once again, you don't need a lot of space - you can make a simple smoker out of old charcoal grille (Weber or similar round grill) and a (get a clean one that has only been used for food or feed storage - DO NOT USE ONE THAT HAS BEEN USED FOR CHEMICAL STORAGE) 55 gallon drum (stainless if you can find and afford it). Chop the legs down on the grille (leave enough room for air circulation. Put it on the ground and lay some bricks/blocks around it to support the drum. Cut the drum in "half" (actually, cut the bottom off one-third of the way up - this is your "lid", the rest is the "body"). The bottom half of the drum become the "lid", the upper half becomes the "body". Weld some handles onto the body and lid (you can weld, right?), and weld a guide flange or series of guide plates around the upper edge of the body so you can sit the cover back on. Poke (burn) a few holes in the bottom (top?) of the lid to let out excess smoke, and fix some eyehooks on the underside (bolt them on). Get some stainless steel skewers or long hooks and bend them to shape to hook the belly(s) on, then hook these to the underside of the "lid". Get your charcoal going, add your soaked wood chips (apple, cherry, or hickory are best for pork - or combine for flavor - whatever you use, don't use green wood or woods high in resin like pine unless you like bitterness), set the body down on the bricks and put the lid (with hanging bellies) on top. Keep your temperature at about 150-200 degrees and "run it" for a few hours (more or less depending on taste).


Wait for the neighbors to come...


Note that this won't kill (all) the bacteria - if you run it hotter, you will cook your meat more, but the idea here is to get flavor, because you are going to be frying this stuff later anyhow. Once you are done smoking your belly(s), let them cool back down, then put them back in the fridge for a couple day. After that, cut, cook, serve and enjoy! Alternatively, if you aren't handy, don't have the time, or don't feel like being a redneck, you can buy smokers that are basically the same kind of design as mentioned above - just be prepared to spend some money. Also note that you can smoke other meats and poultry this way as well - smoked turkey for Thanksgiving is a wonderful alternative to the oven (up the temperature a bit and cook it longer - you may want to also "pre-cook" the bird in the oven as well). BTW - only do this if you have your own backyard - this doesn't work out well at an apartment complex or on a balcony...

Re:Curing and smoking bacon isn't difficult... (1)

lisaparratt (752068) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869846)

You've not seen my fridge :) UK fridges tend to be fairly small, and with two housemates, the fridge is quickly filled up with just day to day foods, let alone having a side of pork in a ziploc in the bottom :(

As for the smoking, I'd prefer to do a cold smoke. I would build a smoke house in the garden, but unfortunately we're renting, so that doesn't make too much sense.

Re:Curing and smoking bacon isn't difficult... (1)

cr0sh (43134) | more than 7 years ago | (#15871360)

Oh, ok - American fridges tend to be large monolithic structures (and when you get into Sub-Zero land, they seem to engulf the entire kitchen). A side of pork is fairly large - maybe you could do a half-side of a smaller pig (maybe something 15-20cm on a side)?


I agree with you on the cold smoke, but it is more difficult to "roll your own" smoker for that. It can be done similar to the method I described, but you would separate out the smoke generator from the smoking container with some corrugated metal ducting. It would really be redneck then (man, I am just thinking what it would look like, and realizing it would be like something from a junkyard).

If you are renting a place that has an outdoor area, and it is "yours" (that is, it isn't a common area), talk to your landlord, and find out if you can set up such a system. The nice thing about what I described is that it is very easy to set up and break down, and isn't too large (one or two 40 or 55 gallon drums aren't very big). Put it on a wheeled base, and you can easily move it out of the way. Might be difficult to move if you move places, unless you have a small pickup.

One thing I forgot to note - smokers (of any sort) eventually turn into ugly, nasty things, from the condensation of the creosote out of the smoke on the cooler surfaces. This stuff is ugly, gooey, nasty, and can be a bear to clean. Since you know about cold vs hot smoking, though, I can almost assume you know this...

I think you're right... (1)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 7 years ago | (#15867206)

Having had some of your bacon (and being an American).

Your bacon (and Canadian/back bacon) is just a slice of ham.

Honestly, it can't hold a candle to American bacon. Back bacon is barely as tasty as a regular slice of ham, and American bacon is far more tasty.

As to American bacon being horrendeously fattening, well, fattening is a function of calories. If your food has calories in it, it's fattening too. And if american bacon has more calories than your bacon, perhaps you could eat a smaller portion.

Re:I think you're right... (1)

lisaparratt (752068) | more than 7 years ago | (#15867399)

You've obviously had bad bacon, since the stuff I eat is nothing like a slice of ham.

hmm.. Interesting thesis.. (1)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869706)

The idea that someone's idea of foreign bacon could be colored (coloured?) by them getting hold of a bad example of it. Quite a novel idea. Did you think of this idea before making your post about your views of American bacon?

As an additional note, I think it's quite possible that your equivalence between streaky bacon and American bacon might be flawed. I have had what I though was American bacon outside the US before and disliked it. I wonder now if I really had streaky bacon instead.

The reason I didn't like the bacon I was served is because it was smoke cured instead of sugar cured. American bacon gets much of its flavor from the way the sugar water it is cured in interacts with the fat that comes off as you cook it. When you smoke cure it, none of this happens and it tastes a lot different. It tastes inferior in my opinion, but that is a matter of taste.

Perhaps the streaky bacon is smoke cured instead of sugar bacon and so you can't really judge American bacon from streaky bacon flavor?

One more note is that what you get in the US as Canadian bacon isn't the same as what you get in Canada as back bacon. What you get in Canada as back bacon is what you talk about as English bacon. What you get in the US is even more like just a piece of ham than back bacon is. The US version of Canadian bacon is basically just a thick circle cut of ham. It's usually perfectly circular (like on an Egg McMuffin) and thus doesn't have the fat on the borders. To be honest, it's a very boring cut of meat.

I just thought I'd mention that, because it seems like there's more than just two types of bacon (streaky and back) and I think I found another.

Re:The world is unhealthy... (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 7 years ago | (#15867941)

actually, that's a fallacy that eating fat is fattening. A lazy U.S. person sitting on their keister all day eating too much fat, now that's fattening. Especially combined with too much sugar intake.

Re:The world is unhealthy... (1)

DarkSarin (651985) | more than 7 years ago | (#15868379)

I like "American Bacon", and I consistently forget that this is an international forum.

But, my point remains: why would i want low-fat "American Bacon"? That is an object that really does contain more fat than meat.

As I recall, however, when I was in Portugal, the bacon there was more like what I got here than what you describe coming from England. Of course, "Canadian" Bacon has its place, and is very tasty in its own right.

Re:The world is unhealthy... (1)

Frumious Wombat (845680) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865216)

Yep, Low-sodium salts. Salts are just ion-paired complexes, and table-salt can be converted to low-sodium by replacing the sodium chloride with potassium chloride. Theoretically, better for your heart, and you won't worry about the banana jokes at lunch. (I seem to remember somewhere during my schooling a lot of kidding of people at lunch, concerning whether they peeled their bananas in three or four strips. Allegedly Chimps consistently peel theirs in three sections.

From Oak-Ridge National Labs, (http://www.orau.org/PTP/collection/consumer%20pro ducts/lowsodiumsalt.htm/ [orau.org] a suitable discussion of low-sodium salt.

Re:The world is unhealthy... (1)

cswiger2005 (905744) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865518)

Heh...although if you ask a chemist, potassium chloride is just as much a salt as sodium chloride is; but a doctor might want you to eat the former rather the latter if you have hypertension, high blood pressure and so forth.

As for low-hydogren water, you can get that by adding a little baking soda or similar to normal water. Another candidate might be peroxide, H2O2.

Re:The world is unhealthy... (1)

sacremon (244448) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865786)

On the other hand, potassium chloride is also part of the 'lethal injection' method of execution used in many US States. It is an axiom of toxicology that everything is toxic, it is just a matter of dose.

Re:The world is unhealthy... (1)

DarkSarin (651985) | more than 7 years ago | (#15868400)

Can you drink H2O2? Isn't it poisonous?

As for other salts than table salt--maybe. I've had some 'low-sodium' salts that were just plain nasty. Others, I'm sure, are much tastier. In order for salt to do what I want, it has to have the right flavor. I cook a fair bit, so I don't mind the artisian salts that are available--they mostly have a neat flavor, but I won't touch a salt that doesn't taste good.

Re:The world is unhealthy... (1)

cswiger2005 (905744) | more than 7 years ago | (#15868826)

> Can you drink H2O2? Isn't it poisonous?

Not really-- according to Wikipedia, the FDA has approved low concentrations of H2O2 as being "food grade" safe, and it can be found in mouthwash and so forth. You wouldn't want to drink a lot of it or at full strength concentration because it is a bleaching agent & oxidizer.

> As for other salts than table salt--maybe. I've had some 'low-sodium' salts that were just plain nasty.

Agreed, I'd rather use a small amount of real salt rather than a larger amount of some low-sodium replacement.

Re:The world is unhealthy... (1)

biobogonics (513416) | more than 7 years ago | (#15867214)

It's utterly bizarre that we worry about a few grammes of lead in solder but drive around in cars containing huge lead filled batteries, all of which are of course disposed of responsibly, aren't they? We pay for expensive granite kitchen worktops that contain, among other things, uranium. We eat "low sodium" salt that contains radioactive potassium. Rather than banning everything in sight, perhaps we need to have a basic toxicology course in all art training of the "don't lick the paintbrush, idiots" variety.

Like radium salts on watch dials of yore?

[flame on]

Why can't people at least learn enough science to understand the saying "The dose makes the poison"?

[flame off]

Re:Cobalt green availability (1)

technococcus (990913) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865301)

And lead wasn't even really "banned" so much as "suggested not to be used any longer". If you want ROHS compliance, you have to use lead-free solder, but some places don't really require that (yet). I worked at a place that made their own motor coils and soldered the ends and they are still in the process of transitioning to ROHS-compliant materials to this day.

arsine (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865773)

Had a tour of a place making gallium-arsenide semiconductors. The basement storage area with dozens of tanks fo arsine was a spooky. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arsine [wikipedia.org]

I guess ... (3, Funny)

surajbarkale (877769) | more than 7 years ago | (#15864450)

Sven Rinman is spinning in his grave :)

Damn... (2, Funny)

pookemon (909195) | more than 7 years ago | (#15864452)

but the constant limiting factor, how to keep things cool, could disappear

I guess I'll have to buy a heater...

Re:Damn... (1)

DextroShadow (957200) | more than 7 years ago | (#15864503)

Intel has got a sale going or something like that...

Could, Should, Would... (1)

Ansur (906028) | more than 7 years ago | (#15864502)

Should the magnetic properties of the paint at room-temperature prove {...}, not only could the size of processors reduce substantially, but the constant limiting factor, how to keep things cool, could disappear.
Lots of assumptions here. Will we ever see this outside a laboratory?

Free Tibet (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15864508)




  • Free Tibet !!



room temperature, rather than dunked in liquid He (1)

Hittite Creosote (535397) | more than 7 years ago | (#15864524)

They're stressing room temperature as most materials that are spintronic only work when they're really, really cold.

Spintronics (5, Informative)

kf6auf (719514) | more than 7 years ago | (#15864542)

So a bit about spintronics, or spin-based electronics: conventional semiconductor gates are prone to electron tunneling and require energy to maintain their state. Spintronics utilizes quantum mechanical effects in an effort to decrease the tunneling current through magnetoresistance and stores information in the polarization of a magnet so that it does not consume energy to do nothing more than remember from one nanosecond to the next.

This research has been going on for a long time - you may have heard of it here [slashdot.org] and it's likely going to take a while before we see it since it still needs to be perfected and then economical and make its way into industry. As far as I can tell by reading the UWNews article, all they did was discover that an old pigment can work. Not that it isn't cool, but it's not really likely to advance science significantly, especially because a previous article in PRL [google.com] which was published in 2004 mentions this effect.

Re:Spintronics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15864606)

I thought the whitehouse was in charge of spintronics.

Re:Spintronics (1)

venir (971650) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866267)

I think the real breakthrough here is that using this pigment allows the same process at more reasonable temperatures as opposed to only cryogenic -200C temps. This would indicate a big step forward into actually making this a viable technology.

American Era artists? (3, Informative)

Intosi (6741) | more than 7 years ago | (#15864545)

Shameless copy from wikipedia [wikipedia.org] :

Cobalt green is a translucent green pigment made by mixing cobalt(II) oxide and zinc oxide and heating. It was invented by Swedish chemist Sven Rinmann in 1780. Although it is stable and can be safely mixed with other pigments, it is rarely used because it is a weak pigment for its cost.

While the timeframe is correct, the sentence in the posting (to me) suggests it's an american invention...

Sorry for the slightly off-topic, non-american-centric post. Now please continue enjoying your duplicates^H^H^H^H^Hexiting new stories and comments ;).

Re:American Era artists? (-1, Offtopic)

Burb (620144) | more than 7 years ago | (#15864551)

Moreove, the use of the phrase "American Revolution" somehow reminds me that, in the eyes of the British government of the time, the guys who revolted against the British were terrorists. Yeah, I know, it's not a happy thought, but I'm feeling a bit down this morning. Yes, it is off-topic.

Re:American Era artists? (0, Offtopic)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 7 years ago | (#15864600)

>the guys who revolted against the British were terrorists
And keep that in mind when dealing with current day terrorists of various factions. As a rule, they are people with a grudge who have run out of options. Because they want something different to us, we demonize them to allow us to continue our mantra of 'we are right'.
That said, whilst I understand their reasons and motivations, anyone that hurts innocent civilians because of a grudge with a nation or govt requires locking up (After due process etc).
FX: Sits back awaiting a tirade of 'you love terrorists therefor you hate America, democracy, apple pie etc although I'm hoping the /. IQ is above that.

Re:American Era artists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15865058)

"in the eyes of the British government of the time, the guys who revolted against the British were terrorists."

Translation: you''re stupid.

Hint: words have meanings.

Re:American Era artists? (1)

Brickwall (985910) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866819)

Er, how do you figure that American revolutionaries were terrorists? Did they wage war against British civilians? No. Did they fail to dress in military uniform? No. Did they respect the rules of engagement by tending to the wounded, and treating captured prisoners of war humanely? Yes.

They were at war with Britain, yes, but they were not terrorists.

FWIW, I'm Canadian with British and American grandparents, so I've no axe to grind here.

Re:American Era artists? (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 7 years ago | (#15871081)

Well....

To the standards of the time they used quite a few dishonorable techniques. They shot from cover, ambushed, kidnapped. Darn Yanks wouldn't stand up and fight on on the field of battle (consistently). Also they quite frequently didn't dress in uniform. Farmers are like that.

Re:American Era artists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15864815)

It's easy enough to make it an American invention. Steven Colbert showed me how.

Re:American Era artists? (2, Interesting)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865271)

Not only that, but it wasn't used as an art pigment until significantly later... so no, American painters during the Revolutionary era were NOT using it [handprint.com] .

The first modern cobalt paints date from cobalt green (PG19), discovered around 1780 by the Swedishchemist Sven Rinmann, but not used as an artists' color until around 1835.

Re:American Era artists? (1)

TaGirl_Keri (627106) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866882)

I noticed that too. dammmmmed Yanks think they invented everything, Richard Pearse > Wright bros :P. They're sounding more like the old USSR everyday

Article clearly by a non-tech (2, Insightful)

Grab (126025) | more than 7 years ago | (#15864586)

I love the line "Imagine that random access memory is accessible immediately". What a prat.

Lesson to all journalists: if you don't know enough to say anything on a subject, don't try to say anything yourself - just report what other people say and you'll be fine. Try to add your own tag-lines, and you'll end up saying something stupid like this.

Grab.

Re:Article clearly by a non-tech (1)

theonetruekeebler (60888) | more than 7 years ago | (#15864653)

It was even worse than that. Quoth TFA:
Imagine that random access memory is accessible immediately, like turning on room lights
I stopped reading at that point -- the second sentence of the first paragraph. If it took as long to energize RAM as it did to turn on room lights, computing would still be a matter of turning on the room lights so you could see your slide rule.

Uh huh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15864693)

"...not only could the size of processors reduce substantially, but the constant limiting factor, how to keep things cool, could disappear."

Oh yeah, I'm sure it could eliminate HOT processors.

And Nuclear energy will give us power too cheap to meter.

I heard that somewhere, several decades ago, and I'm still waiting.

manipulate and/or control the charge? (1)

tenco (773732) | more than 7 years ago | (#15864739)

Seems to be the real breakthrough! ... uhm, or lacks the slashdot-crew a person who actually knows *sth* about physics?

Re:manipulate and/or control the charge? (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865075)

What does Sonic The Hedgehog have to do with this article, or physics?

Cobalt green is ... (4, Funny)

deek (22697) | more than 7 years ago | (#15864786)

Cobalt green is people!

Next thing they'll be breeding us like cattle for electronics. ;)

Re:Cobalt green is ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15866971)

No way. Cobolt Green is obviously robots!

"Spintronics" (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 7 years ago | (#15864835)

I am sure lots of research funding will get approved for this - the politicians will be all over this one.

Maybe the pigment was left behind by ... (2, Funny)

master_p (608214) | more than 7 years ago | (#15864847)

...them [wikipedia.org] .

Can I have a hurrah for these [wikipedia.org] ?

Cobalt Green was not developed by artists (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15864866)

but by chemists, Artists didnt even like it


The preparation of zinc oxide at the end of the eighteenth century made the development of cobalt green, also known as zinc green, possible.
The Swedish chemist, Rinmann is credited with developing a process for making a compound of cobalt and zinc in 1780 that he published with the Stockholm Academy of Sciences. Arthur Herbert Church published Rinmann's process in his book, The Chemistry of Paints and Painting. According to Church, cobalt green was made with the compounds of oxides of zinc and cobalt by mixing them "with an alkaline carbonate" and then exposing the mixture to strong heat. After washing the sediment that resulted, the pigment was ready to grind. The pigment was always bluish-green in spite of the ability to widely vary the proportion of zinc to cobalt oxides in production. The compound that is formed is chemically joined.

Cobalt green was a semi-transparent, moderately bright green. Most sources cited considered it to be absolutely permanent as most pigments produced at high temperatures are. However, tests made in 1847 and published in 1910 showed a browning of the color in full-strength and a fading of it when mixed with lead white. The colormaker, Blockx, added that the date of the tests bears certainty that the green was made by Rinmann's process,

Artists did not favor cobalt green although it could safely be mixed with all other pigments and was a fast drier in oil. The poor tinting strength and high cost of cobalt green kept it in limited use. Field called it, "chemically good and artistically bad"


history of cobalt green [webexhibits.org]

The Joy of Spintronics (4, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865069)

We'll take our Cobalt Green, and a little Titanium White, and just paint some happy little resistors here in the corner.. they'll live right here right across the board from their little friends the capacitors beneath the happy clouds.

Goodnight Bob Ross, wherever you are!

Re:The Joy of Spintronics (1)

version2 (569804) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865632)

Hehe, as an oil painter and a geek...I find this more than amusing!

Re:The Joy of Spintronics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15868466)

Bah! It's not a real Bob Ross painting unless they use Vandyke brown!

Re:The Joy of Spintronics (1)

mgburr (993834) | more than 7 years ago | (#15871037)

So does that mean the new "Green Inside" Logo would have to be a little tree living by the happy brook??? Ew that deffinately turns the meaning green inside a little different. ;-)

Re:The Joy of Spintronics (1)

Kuroji (990107) | more than 7 years ago | (#15871629)

Artists did not favor cobalt green although it could safely be mixed with all other pigments and was a fast drier in oil. The poor tinting strength and high cost of cobalt green kept it in limited use. Field called it, "chemically good and artistically bad"


We don't make mistakes, just happy little accidents...

Spintronics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15865836)

I would like to imagine a beowulf cluster of these but I don't know how.

No, I just don't know how.

What is it with oldschool pigments... (1)

Almahtar (991773) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865837)

Uranium used to be used only as a weak dye for porcelain.

obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15866325)

Cobalt Green is us!

Not Excited Yet (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#15867394)

Nothing seems to live up to its initial hype. There are certainly a couple undiscovered gottcha's in here somewhere.

Germanium (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15869415)

Doesn't germanium bias at like .5 volts? Silicon bias' at .7 volts. That should help with heat, etc.

Great but... (3, Funny)

Phraghg (984220) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869707)

Can you overclock it?

Secrets of Ancient Art revealed... (1)

happy_place (632005) | more than 7 years ago | (#15870842)

Clearly, this is what the founding fathers (of art) meant to communicate in secret and cryptic paintings... now we'd best get Intel cracking on the DaVinci code... --Ray

Transportation possibility? (1)

andrewman327 (635952) | more than 7 years ago | (#15874984)

Is there a way that this could be used to help the development of MagLev trains?
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