HUMAN EAR INSPIRES UNIVERSAL RADIO
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Joined: Jun 2010
29-06-2010, 01:13 AM
TV, radio, GPS, cell phones, wireless Internet, and other electronics all use different radio waves to receive and send information. Now scientists at MIT have created a tiny chip capable of receiving any radio signal, based on the human ear.
The new universal radio could lead to better reception and a new class of electronics that can pick up any radio frequency.
"The human ear is a very good spectrum analyzer," said Rahul Sarpeshkar, a professor at MIT who co-authored the paper in the June issue of the IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits. "We copied some of the tricks the ear does, and mapped those onto electronics."
The unique architecture of the human ear allows it to detect a wide range of sounds. A spiral with membranes, fluids, and cilia with different mechanical properties help the ear to separate out each frequency, from 100 hertz up to 10,000 hertz, and transmit that information to the brain.
To detect electromagnetic waves instead of pressure waves the MIT scientists used circuits, in place of cilia. Starting on the outside edge of the 1.5-mm by 3-mm-chip are tiny squares, each one important for processing a different radio-frequency signal
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