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NC State gurus create harder, better, faster, stronger 'smart sensors'

Darren Murph

The year is 1974. Skywalker lives, and a tradition is born. The year is 1983. The odds are ridiculous. The final score leads to an unpremeditated running around the court that'll live forever in history. Fast forward to 2010, and NC State is hanging onto advancements in science while the blued neighbors in Durham and Chapel-Hill are celebrating back-to-back titles. Regardless of all that, we're still pretty proud of Dr. Jay Narayan and company, who have just uncovered a new "smart sensor" that will allow for "faster response times from military applications." Essentially, the team has taken a sensor material called vanadium oxide and integrated it with a silicon chip, forcing the sensor to become a part of the computer chip itself. The new approach leads to intelligent sensors that can "sense, manipulate and respond to information" in a much faster manner than before, providing soldiers with weapons and analyzing tools that can react more hastily to incoming ammunition or other, um, pertinent information. It's no banner hanging ceremony, but we'll take what we can get.

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