Archive for the ‘computing’ category

Oct 29, 2020

Researchers break magnetic memory speed record

Posted by in categories: computing, particle physics

Spintronic devices are attractive alternatives to conventional computer chips, providing digital information storage that is highly energy efficient and also relatively easy to manufacture on a large scale. However, these devices, which rely on magnetic memory, are still hindered by their relatively slow speeds, compared to conventional electronic chips.

In a paper published in the journal Nature Electronics, an international team of researchers has reported a new technique for magnetization switching—the process used to “write” information into magnetic memory—that is nearly 100 times faster than state-of-the-art spintronic devices. The advance could lead to the development of ultrafast magnetic memory for computer chips that would retain data even when there is no power.

In the study, the researchers report using extremely short, 6-picosecond to switch the magnetization of a thin film in a magnetic device with great energy efficiency. A picosecond is one-trillionth of a second.

Oct 29, 2020

A New Way to Plug a Human Brain Into a Computer: via Veins

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, neuroscience

Article. I guess having implants directly on the brain isn’t the only way to have a brain to machine interface. The scientists involved in the study found an alternative by picking up signals through the blood vessels.

It’s not as information packed as a direct brain connection, but it’s not as invasive.

I think it would be a good alternative or even complementary to direct brain implants. Interesting. 😃

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Oct 28, 2020

In a first, researchers extract secret key used to encrypt Intel CPU code

Posted by in categories: computing, encryption

Hackers can now reverse engineer updates or write their own custom firmware.

Oct 28, 2020

Watch the AMD RX 6000 Big Navi announcement live here today

Posted by in category: computing

Dr. Lisa Su is set to unveil the first Big Navi GPUs today at 12pm ET (9am PT, 4pm UK).

Oct 27, 2020

This Whiter-Than-White Paint Is Like the Opposite of Vantablack

Posted by in categories: computing, cosmology

CREATING ARTIFICIAL SKIES IN UNDERGROUND HABITATS ON MARS & MERCURY. This will be an interesting subject for much deliberation in the future: how to best create artificial skies in sealed habitats. Metamaterial vantablack is a surface so perfectly dark that if you stood in a room where the ceiling, walls and floor were covered with it, you would feel like you were floating in black space. Disneyland must get off its butt and create a big room like this. Now a new paint (not quite the opposite of vantablack as it claims) has been invented, which will reflect back nearly 100% of light hitting it, an interesting way to augment existing lighting in a building by painting the ceiling with the stuff.

And here is something which I told you before: if the human eye stares at a totally uniform color, with no discernable features it doesn’t know where to focus, and psychologically can see this as a kind of “sky.” Since there is nothing to focus on, the eye assumes it is the far away sky and focusses to infinity or goes into its least-energetic focusing mode, as in looking at a blank sky.

View a large computer screen with a totally uniform color, through a tube which blocks the edge of the screen from view. You already see this effect with this small experiment.

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Oct 26, 2020

In New Milestone, Physicists Store And Transport Light Using Quantum Memory

Posted by in categories: computing, internet, mapping, particle physics, quantum physics, security

We stored the light by putting it in a suitcase so to speak, only that in our case the suitcase was made of a cloud of cold atoms,” says physicist Patrick Windpassinger from Mainz University in Germany. “We moved this suitcase over a short distance and then took the light out again.

The storage and transfer of information is a fundamental part of any computing system, and quantum computing systems are no different – if we’re going to benefit from the speed and security of quantum computers and a quantum internet, then we need to figure out how to shift quantum data around.

One of the ways scientists are approaching this is through optical quantum memory, or using light to store data as maps of particle states, and a new study reports on what researchers are calling a milestone in the field: the successful storage and transfer of light using quantum memory.

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Oct 25, 2020

Neural Dust: Millimeter-Sized Brain Stimulators

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, Elon Musk, engineering, neuroscience

“In a breakthrough study published on February 19th in Nature Biomedical Engineering, researchers connected neural dust implants reduced to 1.7 cubic millimeters to rat sciatic nerves. The implanted device, called the StimDust system, consisted of very few components, which will be scaled down for future applications. A piezoceramic ultrasonic transducer generated power allowing for wireless communication and stimulation. A capacitor stored any excess energy generated from ultrasonic beams. Bipolar stimulating electrodes directly interfaced with the nerve while a cuff attached to a small circuit-board allowed the device to adhere physically to the nerve. These components were sufficient to generate or record nerve-impulses. In anesthetized rodents, they elicited muscular contractions with the StimDust system.”

While Neuralink, Elon Musk’s startup-venture focused on creating a brain-computer interface, garners lots of coverage in the biotechnology space, other bioelectronics ventures continue innovating in this space.

iota Biosciences, a spin-off company from UC Berkley formed in 2017, made news two years ago by securing $15 million in Series A funding and again last year announcing a partnership with Astellas Pharma Inc. Bolstered by studies in rodents, iota Biosciences advances towards their vision. In a press release on their partnership, founders Jose Carmena and Michel Maharbiz commented:

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Oct 25, 2020

Elon Musk’s Neuralink is neuroscience theater

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, Elon Musk, neuroscience

Rock-climb without fear. Play a symphony in your head. See radar with superhuman vision. Discover the nature of consciousness. Cure blindness, paralysis, deafness, and mental illness. Those are just a few of the applications that Elon Musk and employees at his four-year-old neuroscience company Neuralink believe electronic brain-computer interfaces will one day bring about.

None of these advances are close at hand, and some are unlikely to ever come about. But in a “product update” streamed over YouTube on Friday, Musk, also the founder of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, joined staffers wearing black masks to discuss the company’s work toward an affordable, reliable brain implant that Musk believes billions of consumers will clamor for in the future.

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Oct 25, 2020

Optical Computing: Solving Problems at the Speed of Light

Posted by in categories: computing, internet, quantum physics

Optical computing, which uses photons instead of electrons, has been one of the great promises of this field for decades.

According to Moore’s law —actually more like a forecast, formulated in 1965 by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore— the number of transistors in a microprocessor doubles about every two years, boosting the power of the chips without increasing their energy consumption. For half a century, Moore’s prescient vision has presided over the spectacular progress made in the world of computing. However, by 2015, the engineer himself predicted that we are reaching a saturation point in current technology. Today, quantum computing holds out hope for a new technological leap, but there is another option on which many are pinning their hopes: optical computing, which replaces electronics (electrons) with light (photons).

The end of Moore’s law is a natural consequence of physics: to pack more transistors into the same space they have to be shrunk down, which increases their speed while simultaneously reducing their energy consumption. The miniaturisation of silicon transistors has succeeded in breaking the 7-nanometre barrier, which used to be considered the limit, but this reduction cannot continue indefinitely. And although more powerful systems can always be obtained by increasing the number of transistors, in doing so the processing speed will decrease and the heat of the chips will rise.

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Oct 25, 2020

Extreme events in quantum cascade lasers

Posted by in categories: biological, climatology, computing, neuroscience, quantum physics

Extreme events occur in many observable contexts. Nature is a prolific source: rogue water waves surging high above the swell, monsoon rains, wildfire, etc. From climate science to optics, physicists have classified the characteristics of extreme events, extending the notion to their respective domains of expertise. For instance, extreme events can take place in telecommunication data streams. In fiber-optic communications where a vast number of spatio-temporal fluctuations can occur in transoceanic systems, a sudden surge is an extreme event that must be suppressed, as it can potentially alter components associated with the physical layer or disrupt the transmission of private messages.

Recently, extreme events have been observed in quantum cascade lasers, as reported by researchers from Télécom Paris (France) in collaboration with UC Los Angeles (USA) and TU Darmstad (Germany). The giant pulses that characterize these extreme events can contribute the sudden, sharp bursts necessary for communication in neuromorphic systems inspired by the brain’s powerful computational abilities. Based on a quantum cascade laser (QCL) emitting mid-infrared light, the researchers developed a basic optical neuron system operating 10,000× faster than biological neurons. Their report is published in Advanced Photonics.

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