Engineering interns working on an engineering school’s “K24 engine” project.
(Credit: MIT)The idea behind the project was to use the MIT Engineering Laboratory’s new K24-based manufacturing technology to improve the efficiency of a high-tech manufacturing process.
But the technology can be used for a variety of other projects, too.
It was only recently that MIT made public the company’s plans for its K24 research, including an application for the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to fund the effort.
The K24 is the “ultimate” microcontroller, which MIT’s engineers describe as the most powerful microprocessor in the world.
Its software is so powerful, it can handle data rates of up to 1 terabit per second.
It’s also incredibly easy to use.
It’s capable of running simulations of a variety, including real-world manufacturing processes.
And, it’s so powerful that it can operate at 1,000 times its original speed.
The team behind the work, led by MIT PhD student Jason E. Levine, said that the K24 could power the next-generation of advanced manufacturing processes like “superconducting metal deposition” and “sensors for smart metal surfaces.”
The research, dubbed the “K12,” was recently released online and can be viewed on the MIT’s website and its YouTube channel.
The MIT project has some interesting engineering implications for other industries, as well.
As the MIT team detailed in a press release, the K12 is “a potential future platform for sensor fabrication.”
This is a process for creating devices that respond to changes in physical and chemical properties of materials, like in the case of a metal surface.
The device would have sensors that would detect the change in temperature or pressure caused by a changing chemical or physical state, allowing the sensors to measure the change to the surface, or its surroundings.
For the future, the technology could be used in a variety in products, from wearable electronics to robotics, according to the press release.
The project was funded by DARPA, which has also been a big supporter of the MIT research.
“As part of the ongoing efforts to build a fully scalable manufacturing system, DARPA has committed to supporting MIT’s ‘K12’ initiative,” DARPA spokesperson David McKeon said in a statement.
“MIT’s research will provide the foundation for future efforts to advance advanced manufacturing systems using a microcontroller platform.”
While the K14 research has a few unique advantages, there are a few drawbacks to this technology.
For one, it has a finite number of devices.
That means it’s unlikely to be commercially viable anytime soon, and it’s not yet clear when the project will be done.
Additionally, it requires the creation of a new manufacturing process, which could take a while to develop and test.
And because the K20-based system is also an industrial design, it could take years to get to market.
So, how does the K-12 stack up against other high-end microcontrollers in terms of speed and reliability?
It’s a mixed bag, according a recent report by the ITU’s Institute for Advanced Industrial Research (IaIIR).
The report, “Industrial Control System for Mobile Electronics,” estimates that the current K24 system is able to perform about 10 times faster than the IaI IR’s latest, K24S system, but that the next generation system, due in 2021, should be able to beat the current system’s performance.
While the system does boast a few advantages, it also has a number of weaknesses.
The system has to be designed to meet specific manufacturing requirements and, in some cases, the device itself can’t operate in parallel with other components.
Furthermore, while the K18-based chip is an industrial-scale prototype, it won’t be commercially available for a long time, according the report.
“The K-18 is not a replacement for the K28,” Ia IIR president Jean-Pierre Gaudet said in the statement.
“This new design is a stepping stone to a new and exciting era in the industrial control system.”
The K12 and K14 have already demonstrated the potential of their manufacturing systems, but they’re also going to be the main players in the manufacturing world for a while yet.