Tag Archives: hardware

Probing tech’s soft underbelly

By | April 27, 2020

On any given day in Kevin Fu’s laboratory at the College of Engineering research investigators might use an antenna to fool the lab’s sensor into giving a false temperature readings or a laser light beam to inject false voice commands in a voice-controlled assistant from a distance of 300 feet. Unlike many cybersecurity troubleshooters, Fu is not looking… Read More »

Engineering students improve data center efficiency

By | April 8, 2020

Two U-M computer science and engineering students have distinguished themselves with their work on ways to speed up and improve data center efficiency. Computer science undergraduate Nathan Brown competed in the Association for Computing Machinery’s (ACM) Student Research Competition and took first place among undergraduates. His project provides a means to speed up software applications by reading future… Read More »

Putting hardware accelerators to work with automatic code translation

By | April 3, 2020

Most programs in use today have to be completely rewritten at a very low level to reap the benefits of hardware acceleration. This system demonstrates how to make that translation automatic. A new technique developed by researchers at U-M could enable broader adoption of post-Moore’s Law computing components through automatic code translation. The system, called AutomataSynth, allows software… Read More »

Securely self-manage UM-owned devices

U-M faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to use computers and devices that are managed by a central U-M IT service provider, but in some circumstances, faculty and staff may need to self-manage a UM-owned device: Computers and other devices purchased with research grant funds to meet very specific research needs. Developers needing specific operating systems or software… Read More »

Taking transistor arrays into the third dimension

By | November 21, 2019

Silicon integrated circuits, which are used in computer processors, are approaching the maximum feasible density of transistors on a single chip—at least, in two-dimensional arrays. Now, a team of engineers at U-M have stacked a second layer of transistors directly atop a state-of-the-art silicon chip. They propose that their design could remove the need for a second chip… Read More »

U-M researchers hack devices with laser “Light Commands”

By | November 7, 2019

A team of researchers including Kevin Fu and Daniel Genkin, U-M professors of electrical engineering and computer science, have found a way to take over Google Home, Amazon’s Alexa, or Apple’s Siri devices from hundreds of feet away by shining laser pointers, and even flashlights, at the devices’ microphones. “We’ve shown that hijacking voice assistants only requires line-of-sight… Read More »

Blaauw, Sylvester are 2019 Distinguished University Innovators

By | October 4, 2019

Pioneering computer technology that is spurring innovation and disruption across industries has earned David Blaauw and Dennis Sylvester, professors of electrical engineering and computer science, this year’s Distinguished University Innovator Award. The pair will receive the award Oct. 22 at Celebrate Invention, an annual event that recognizes entrepreneurship and inventions from U-M researchers. Blaauw and Sylvester have worked… Read More »

First programmable memristor computer aims to bring AI processing down from the cloud

By | July 23, 2019

The first programmable memristor computer—not just a memristor array operated through an external computer—has been developed at U-M. It could lead to the processing of artificial intelligence directly on small, energy-constrained devices such as smartphones and sensors. A smartphone AI processor would mean that voice commands would no longer have to be sent to the cloud for interpretation,… Read More »

Flint ITS plans for new interactive tech in building expansion

By | June 4, 2019

Flint Information Technology Services, in coordination with an AV consultant from the project architectural firm Harley Ellis Devereaux, is pleased to announce plans to incorporate new, interactive technologies into the new wing of the Murchie Science Building. The additions will enable active learning in classrooms and support group collaboration in work breakout areas. Previous classroom technology models on… Read More »

Unhackable: New chip stops attacks before they start

By | May 6, 2019

A new computer processor architecture developed at U-M could usher in a future where computers proactively defend against threats, rendering the current electronic security model of bugs and patches obsolete. Called MORPHEUS, the chip blocks potential attacks by encrypting and randomly reshuffling key bits of its own code and data 20 times per second—infinitely faster than a human… Read More »

Encrypt your devices and data

Turn on device encryption to help secure personal and institutional data at home and at work. Encryption protects against unauthorized access to data if your device is lost or stolen. Encryption is: Required for any personal device you use to access U-M data classified as High. https://www.safecomputing.umich.edu/protect-the-u/safely-use-sensitive-data/classification-levels Recommended for any device you use to access or store U-M… Read More »

Your hard drive may be listening

By | March 7, 2019

If you are already nervous about computer attacks, here’s some unwelcome news: there are many ways in which our technology is vulnerable based on physics, rather than on software. At the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in mid-February, U-M computer scientist Kevin Fu and his colleagues reported a scary find: your computer hard drive could—without… Read More »

Reminder: Secure your devices if you use them for U-M work

If you use your personal devices—smartphone, laptop, tablet, and so on—for work, you are responsible for appropriately managing and securing them, as well as for meeting the obligations described in Security of Personally Owned Devices that Access or Maintain Sensitive Institutional Data (SPG 601.33). Your unit may have additional restrictions beyond those found in the SPG. Check with… Read More »

Running an LED in reverse could cool future computers

By | February 18, 2019

In a finding that runs counter to a common assumption in physics, researchers at U-M ran a light emitting diode (LED) with electrodes reversed in order to cool another device mere nanometers away. The approach could lead to new solid-state cooling technology for future microprocessors. “We have demonstrated a second method for using photons to cool devices,” said… Read More »

Bridging the “last centimeter barrier” in electronic communications

By | January 2, 2019

Michigan Engineering researchers are addressing a performance bottleneck that currently exists in the information transfer between electronic chips located a few centimeters apart in a computing system. Led by electrical engineering professor Pinaki Mazumder, their work – dubbed the “last centimeter barrier” – will enable a new generation of electronic systems with ultra high speed data transfers. Electronic chips… Read More »

New device mimics brain-like computing

By | December 20, 2018

A new electronic device developed at U-M can directly model the behaviors of a synapse, which is a connection between two neurons. “Neuroscientists have argued that competition and cooperation behaviors among synapses are very important. Our new memristive devices allow us to implement a faithful model of these behaviors in a solid-state system,” said Wei Lu, U-M professor… Read More »