Imec is expanding into new territory with its latest computer chip technology research projects. The Belgian design organization focuses on improving microprocessors, but it has increasingly partnered with companies outside the traditional computing industry.
Imec is now working to speed the process of detecting cancer with an image sensor by using chips that work in parallel.
Researchers also have developed a "hyperspectral" image sensor that captures as many as 150 precisely chosen colors, which could be used to judge the precise freshness of fruit being sent to grocery stores.
Imec also wants to give contact lenses the ability to autofocus by enabling them to detect where the wearer is trying to focus and letting in light through only the appropriate part of the lens.
In addition, the research center plans to add a thin, transparent film on top of solar panels, which would enable them to convert sunlight more efficiently into electrical power.
Imec also is working on solid-state batteries that last longer and hold more energy; phones, laptops, electric cars, and solar power would benefit from the improvement in energy storage.
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