Silicon Snack: Food Preparation – Taste the Future
graphic of place setting with computer chip
May 1, 2017

Household kitchens have been revolutionized by chips (we’re talking the non-edible kind). Some of us may bask in fond memories of “low-tech” cooking like toasting marshmallows over an open fire, but these days, high-tech innovations can take your cooking to new levels. Appliances from the microwave oven to the electric food mixer, bread maker, and rice cooker enable us to create old and new favorites in a fraction of the time. Silicon has transformed culinary art and science in ways we now take for granted. But brace yourselves, because that’s just the appetizer. Let’s take a look at what else is cooking.

Smart Appliances

Companies such as General Electric and Samsung are offering smart appliances, devices that use communications technology to save time and simplify accessibility. These appliances can be controlled by your smartphone, from pre-heating your oven or checking your refrigerator’s inventory to remotely turning on your dish washing machine (okay, that happens long after food preparation, but it’s still cool). Your phone becomes even more valuable with access to recipe apps that can send temperature and time information straight to your oven, activate your ice-maker, or even receive texts advising that your water filter needs changing.

High-Tech Shopping and More

From shopping and food prep to even our eating utensils, technology has us covered. For example, Amazon Dash is a wifi-connected button that allows you to order your favorite products directly from your Amazon account. Just one tap and your coffee and cookies are on their way. The smart wifi-enabled Crock-Pot® allows you to adjust cooking settings or even turn the appliance off from wherever you are, using the WEMO app from your smart device. The HAPIfork is a smart fork that tracks eating habits and even offers a dashboard to analyze meal-time performance such as how quickly you eat. Meanwhile, the GeniCan has a barcode reader to help with your shopping list: swipe your packaging as you throw away an item and it’s added to a list on the GeniApp on your smartphone. None of this would be possible without some kind of silicon device somewhere in the process.

Advanced Cooking Techniques

Cooking itself is undergoing a revolution. NXP Semiconductors is partnering with a number of companies to create new ways of cooking with RF (radio frequency) technology, moving on from convection ovens and microwaves. Working with Wayv Technologies, the two companies have created the world’s first portable, battery-operated RF-cooking appliance powered by RF transistors and enabling meals on-the-go – handy for traveling, disaster relief, or military field operations. NXP has also partnered with Goji Food Solutions to create a solid-state RF-based cooking technology. It uses a high-power, solid-state amplifier and proprietary closed-feedback system to control the frequency, amplitude, and phase of radio waves, enabling shorter cooking times while improving cooking uniformity and quality.

Savoring Technology

This fusion of technology and culinary practice is enough to make your head spin, so you might just want to kick back and relax with a nice glass of wine – aerated by iFAVINE’s smart decanter with a digital screen showing the name of the wine, vintage, and aeration progress bar, plus an app for controlling the device and gathering information about different winemakers. Cheers!


graphic of household appliances and smart phone

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Editorial Note: The use of any company, product, or trade names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by Lam Research Corp. or its subsidiaries.