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Comment: Re:I disagree (Score 1) 388

by MattskEE (#47484441) Attached to: Verizon's Accidental Mea Culpa

How does settlement usually work for unbalanced connections? My thought is that since the Verizon customers request data from Netflix servers, and Level 3 delivers that data to the Verizon network, then if anybody paid settlement it should be Verizon.

But since this is an everybody-wins situation (Netflix pays level 3, Customers pay Verizon, all customers are happy when the pipes run smoothly) then settlement free peering makes sense.

Comment: Re:user error (Score 1) 706

by MattskEE (#47459927) Attached to: People Who Claim To Worry About Climate Change Don't Cut Energy Use

I don't believe we can change global climate.

Not with that attitude you can't!

But seriously, we are the most powerful race on the planet, we use over 30 billion barrels of oil per year (over 1.2 trillion gallons). Nobody knows exactly how much oil there is, but as a rough estimate from a layman it seems likely that we could estimate that in less than a thousand years we'll have probably burnt over a million years worth of natural carbon storage, i.e. it is being released over a thousand times faster than it was stored.

To me that it as least suggestive that we as a species could have an effect on atmospheric CO2 concentration and through that global climate and ocean acidity.

Comment: Re:Why are we saving a law? (Score 1) 183

by MattskEE (#47307147) Attached to: How Vacuum Tubes, New Technology Might Save Moore's Law

Moore's Law has never been a law and nobody treats it as one.

It started off as an observation which happened to basically be correct. Then it became more of a roadmap, with industry using it to set technology targets and allocating R&D resources so that they can continue following Moore's "Law".

Comment: Re:That would be handy for radio astronomy too (Score 1) 183

by MattskEE (#47307057) Attached to: How Vacuum Tubes, New Technology Might Save Moore's Law

Yeah the graphene comparison is spurious, except that it's a wider audience article and graphene has been getting inexplicably large amounts of press recently.
A fair point, but I still don't excuse them for being part of the graphene press problem instead of the solution.

As for the other comparisons: what's the maximum speed of a MOSFET? You can get silicon BJTs into the hundreds of GHz, but I'm not sure about MOSFETS
Maximum published speed I've seen for a Si N-MOSFET is around 450GHz at 32nm, not sure of the best reference but here is a non-peer-reviewed one I quickly dug up: obviously as this is silicon the voltages are extremely low so it can't do much in the way of power but people have made circuits in the 100GHz range

And as for advantages over Group III-V transistors: it works with silicon which is less faffy to work with than GaAs for example.
GaAs is still in play because it's the most mature III-V technology and is capable but application space is being taken over by Si, GaN, and InP so it's not IMHO a great point of comparison. The nice thing about vacuum electronics is that it doesn't require a III-V material which may make for easier integration with CMOS, though there are groups working on III-V CMOS integration. And I don't think there's that much advantage to it being on Silicon, most wafer fab tools can handle a variety of wafer types, the processes are not so different, plus GaN-on-silicon is being produced though it still isn't quite as good as GaN-on-SiC for example.

The full article doesn't actually make a bunch of wild-ass claims and is pretty good. They're not making lots of OMG YOAR NEXT COMPUTAR SI TEH VALVES!!11 claims.
The description of the technology is well-written. But I can make any technology look good by simply not comparing it against the best of its competitors, and outright mis-reporting the capabilities of the technologies I do compare it to. Just because they're not as bad as,many "2D" device papers out there doesn't mean they should get a pass for being deliberately misleading.

Comment: Re:That would be handy for radio astronomy too (Score 1) 183

by MattskEE (#47306795) Attached to: How Vacuum Tubes, New Technology Might Save Moore's Law

1 atmosphere of helium needs to be sealed from air, but mechanically is simpler because of the lower pressure difference.

That's not how partial pressures work at all. It only matters about the relative pressure of each individual gas if you don't want it leaking in. If you want to keep out nitrogen and oxygen it makes no difference if the package has 1atm of helium only or a vacuum.

Comment: Re:That would be handy for radio astronomy too (Score 4, Interesting) 183

by MattskEE (#47304395) Attached to: How Vacuum Tubes, New Technology Might Save Moore's Law

I just noticed another disingenuous aspect to their claim - they say that because this operates at "atmospheric" pressure it will be more reliable than vacuum tubes of yore.

But these vacuum FETs are filled with 1 atmosphere of helium, so the partial pressure difference with the outside world for all other gases will still be the same as though it was operating with a full vacuum, and this device would require the same long-term hermetic packaging as a vacuum tube. It relies on helium to extend the mean free path of the electrons, though to be fair as dimensions are scaled down further from the current 100nm to say 20nm perhaps neither helium nor vacuum would be required. Still it seems to be a very misleading claim.

Comment: Re:That would be handy for radio astronomy too (Score 1) 183

by MattskEE (#47304369) Attached to: How Vacuum Tubes, New Technology Might Save Moore's Law

Vacuum micro/nano-electronics are interesting for RF/mm-wave applications as the transport can be ballistic which could theoretically enable ultra-high-frequencies with scaling of the size.

I haven't yet found a paper for the 460GHz claim in the IEEE Spectrum article so I'm not sure exactly which figure of merit they have picked for that claim, but rest assured that their comparisons to other transistor technologies are highly flawed.

InP devices for example already operate up to 1THz power gain cutoff frequencies and have for some years. Simple circuits including amplifiers have been demonstrated in the 600GHz range with both InP HBTs and HEMTs. Even silicon certainly operates in the multi-hundred-GHz range, not the 40GHz which is for some reason cited in the article. Using graphene as a point of comparison is somewhat laughable as graphene has yet to demonstrate any truly practical advantage over group-IV or III-V transistor technologies, and has never been close to beating other leading device technologies on clock speed despite heavy press coverage.

Comment: Re:The world... (Score 1) 236

by MattskEE (#47233409) Attached to: Are the Glory Days of Analog Engineering Over?

Even though shot noise comes about due to the quantized nature of electrons flowing over a barrier it is not treated at the circuit level as a quantized phenomenon, just as a white noise source like thermal noise.

This is unlike "telegraph" or "popcorn" noise which appears at the circuit level as a definitively quantized noise source.

Comment: Re:Lead is mentioned some 16 times (Score 2) 93

by MattskEE (#47133287) Attached to: How LEDs Are Made

The lead frames are not typically made with any lead, it is just a case of easily confused homonyms.

In "lead frames", "lead" refers to the metal pins coming out of the packages, which are connected to the LED die. It not typically made with any lead content (Pb, element 82) due to RoHS restrictions. It could be made of tin-plated copper, or various alloys of tin, copper, and silver. Older ones would likely have been Pb-plated copper.

Comment: Re:Good. (Score 1) 157

by MattskEE (#46849821) Attached to: Lucasfilm Announces Break With <em>Star Wars</em> Expanded Universe

Yup, I stopped reading the expanded universe during the New Jedi Order series. It's been many years since I read a NJO series book but it seemed like they were all filled with war and unhappiness. Bad stuff happened in other books too but it didn't seem hopeless and the other books/trilogies/series generally had a happy ending of some sort.

Comment: Re:And so this is Costco's fault? (Score 2) 440

by MattskEE (#46618149) Attached to: Million Jars of Peanut Butter Dumped In New Mexico Landfill

A bit of salt makes most foods taste better (in the opinion of most people) and adding salt is in no way a scam.

I personally have a strong taste preference for the natural style peanut butters which have just peanuts and salt, but I have been disappointed whenever I have tried an unsalted nut butter.

Comment: Re:RFID? (Score 1) 130

by MattskEE (#46401919) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Automatically Logging Non-Computerized Equipment Use?

At my uni some labs rely on a RFID badge system for charging for the access, others rely on a logsheet. Access is basically always restricted to authorized users by RFID badge.

The logsheet works well if a lab has proper oversight, most labs I've seen that run like this have a fully booked reservation calendar anyway so they know pretty well who is using it at any time. People who don't show up for reserved time or don't log time properly get in trouble and may have access restricted or revoked if the problem continues.

No matter the system you basically need to have "boots on the ground", i.e. somebody in charge of the equipment who is in the lab pretty regularly and makes sure that people show up for their reservations, makes sure they stay logged in with their swipe card or fill out the logbook properly, and makes sure they use the equipment properly and safely.

This is mainly a people problem, not a technical problem.

"The pyramid is opening!" "Which one?" "The one with the ever-widening hole in it!" -- The Firesign Theatre