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Archive for the ‘computing’ category

Apr 21, 2018

Researchers illuminate the path to a new era of microelectronics

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, nanotechnology

A new microchip technology capable of optically transferring data could solve a severe bottleneck in current devices by speeding data transfer and reducing energy consumption by orders of magnitude, according to an article published in the April 19, 2018 issue of Nature.

Researchers from Boston University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California Berkeley and University of Colorado Boulder have developed a method to fabricate silicon chips that can communicate with light and are no more expensive than current technology. The result is the culmination of a several-year-long project funded by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency that was a close collaboration between teams led by Associate Professor Vladimir Stojanovic of UC Berkeley, Professor Rajeev Ram of MIT, and Assistant Professor Milos Popovic from Boston University and previously CU Boulder. They collaborated with a semiconductor research team at the Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the State University of New York at Albany.

The electrical signaling bottleneck between current microelectronic chips has left light communication as one of the only options left for further technological progress. The traditional method of data transfer-electrical wires-has a limit on how fast and how far it can transfer data. It also uses a lot of power and generates heat. With the relentless demand for higher performance and lower power in electronics, these limits have been reached. But with this new development, that bottleneck can be solved.

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Apr 17, 2018

Quantum physicists just smashed the entanglement record, paving the way for faster quantum computers

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

The breakthrough could revolutionise the future of quantum computing.

Science.

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Apr 14, 2018

How quantum computing could wreak havoc on cryptocurrency

Posted by in categories: computing, cryptocurrencies, quantum physics

Quantum computing is promising to be one of the biggest technological revolutions of the modern era.

By harnessing the power of quantum mechanics, machines will be able to achieve data processing of speed and complexity unattainable with current computers. Traditional computers are based on a binary model on a system of switches that can be either on or off, represented with a 1 or a 0.

Quantum computers are different in that their switches can be in both the on and off positions at the same time, called ‘superpositions.’ This ability to be in two simultaneous states is what makes quantum computers faster. Much faster.

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Apr 13, 2018

The World’s Tiniest Computer Is Smaller Than A Grain Of Salt

Posted by in category: computing

Take a microscopic look at the world’s tiniest computer, which is smaller than a grain of salt. (via Seeker)

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Apr 13, 2018

Researchers find combination for small data storage and tinier computers

Posted by in categories: computing, materials

It may sound like a futuristic device out of a spy novel, a computer the size of a pinhead, but according to new research from the University of New Hampshire, it might be a reality sooner than once thought. Researchers have discovered that using an easily made combination of materials might be the way to offer a more stable environment for smaller and safer data storage, ultimately leading to miniature computers.

“We’re really optimistic about the possibilities,” said Jiadong Zang, assistant professor of physics. “There is a push in the computer industry toward smaller and more powerful , yet current combinations of materials can create volatile situations, where data can be lost once the device is turned off. Our research points to this new combination as a much safer option. We’re excited that our findings might have the potential to change the landscape of information technology.”

In their study, recently published in the journal Science Advances, the researchers outline their proposed combination which would allow for a more stable perpendicular anisotropic energy (PMA), the key driving component in a computer’s RAM (random-access memory) or . The material would be made up of ultrathin films, known as Fe monolayers, grown on top of non-magnetic substances, in this case X nitride substrate, where X could be boron, gallium, aluminum or indium. According to the research, this combination showed anisotropic energy would increase by fifty times, from 1 meV to 50 meV, allowing for larger amounts of data to be stored in smaller environments. There is a provisional patent pending which has been filed by UNHInnovation, which advocates for, manages, and promotes UNH’s intellectual property.

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Apr 12, 2018

Making custom qubits

Posted by in categories: computing, particle physics, quantum physics

For the first time, we’ve made a molecule by pressing two atoms together to make them bond on command. This could help build better qubits for quantum computers.

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Apr 11, 2018

Why the fuss about nurdles?

Posted by in categories: computing, transportation

Nurdles. The name sounds inoffensive, cuddly even… However, nurdles are anything but. “Nurdle” is the colloquial name for “pre-production plastic pellets” (which is in itself rather a mouthful); these are the raw material of the plastic industry – the building blocks for plastic bottles, plastic bags, drinking straws, car components, computer keyboards – in fact almost anything you can think of that’s made of plastic.

However, nurdles are also covering our beaches. I found that out for myself when Fauna & Flora International (FFI) first started researching this issue in 2009. Having read about them I went looking on my local beach, and was shocked to find so many nurdles in the strandline and trapped in washed-up seaweed. I had never noticed them before, but they had clearly been accumulating for some time.

While pictures of the tide of larger plastics in the ocean are front page news, the issue of nurdle pollution has received much less attention. Recent storms, however, have resulted in higher levels of nurdles being reported from a range of sites around UK coasts, highlighting the numbers of nurdles that are in our waterways, seas and sediments – a level of pollution which we can only see when they are flushed out and onto the beach. The Great Nurdle Hunt (an initiative of our partner Fidra) has mapped nurdle finds from around the UK and Europe, which has identified a number of nurdle hotspots in key industrial estuaries. However, this problem isn’t unique to Europe; nurdles are reported worldwide, but only hit the headlines when there are significant local spills from containers lost at sea, as recently occurred in South Africa. However, such one-off events aren’t the only source of nurdle pollution.

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Apr 11, 2018

Energy injustice? Cost, availability of energy-efficient lightbulbs vary with poverty levels

Posted by in category: computing

Energy-efficient lightbulbs are more expensive and less available in high-poverty urban areas than in more affluent locations, according to a new University of Michigan study conducted in Wayne County.

U-M researchers explored disparities in the availability and price of energy-efficient bulbs by surveying 130 stores across Michigan’s most populous county.

They found that the cost to upgrade from a conventional incandescent bulb to a highly efficient light-emitting diode, or LED, was twice as high in the highest-poverty areas. At the same time, the price for less-efficient incandescent and halogen lamps (IHLs) decreased as the poverty level increased.

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Apr 10, 2018

Contact Lens Kinda Makes You Cyborgy

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

This one’s kinda hard to swallow so take a deep breath, open your minds, and pretend it’s 2100. I CONTACT is essentially a mouse fitted to your eyeball. The lens is inserted like any other normal contact lens except it’s laced with sensors to track eye movement, relaying that position to a receiver connected to your computer. Theoretically that should give you full control over a mouse cursor. I’d imagine holding a blink correlates to mouse clicks.

The idea was originally created for people with disabilities but anyone could use it. Those of us too lazy to use a mouse now have a free hand to do whatever it is people do when they sit at the computer for endless hours. I love the idea but there is a caveat. How is the lens powered? Perhaps in the future, electrical power can be harnessed from the human body, just not in a Matrix creepy-like way.

Designers: eun-gyeong gwon & eun-jae lee.

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Apr 10, 2018

This is the COOLEST! Everything that’s Orbiting the Earth Right Now

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, satellites

Okay, if you’ve got some spare time, check out this amazing website called Stuff in Space. It’s a simulation of every satellite (alive or dead), space station, and large piece of space junk orbiting the Earth right now.

You can zoom in and out, rotate the Earth and its satellites around. Pick any one object and discover more information about it. Or just leave it running and watch all the objects buzz around in real time. Humans have been busy launching a lot of stuff, and it’s only going to increase.

The simulation was made by James Yoder, an incoming Electrical and Computer Engineering freshman at the University of Texas at Austin, and it’s based on data supplied by Space Track, which is a service of the Joint Space Operations Center. They have a bunch of handy data feeds and APIs that you can use track orbital objects, but I’ve never seen anything as creative as this.

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