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Archive for the ‘computing’ category

Jul 20, 2021

Quantum Milestone: We Can Now Detect and Correct Quantum Errors in Real Time

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

Researchers at Honeywell Quantum Solutions have taken a significant step toward demonstrating the viability of large-scale quantum computing on its trapped-ion quantum computing technology.

The Honeywell team can now perform quantum error correction (QEC), which are protocols necessary to detect and correct errors in real time on a quantum computer. They demonstrated the ability to “protect” quantum information (prevent a quantum computation from being quickly corrupted by imperfections and noise) on the System Model H1. This is an important first in the quantum computing industry. Currently, most demonstrations of quantum error correction involve correcting errors or “noise” after the procedure has finished running, a technique known as post-processing.

In a paper published this week on arXiv, researchers detailed how they created a single logical qubit (a series of entangled physical qubits) and applied multiple rounds of quantum error correction. This logical qubit is protected from two main types of errors that occur in a quantum computer: bit flips and phase flips.

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Jul 20, 2021

Scientists Warn of “Bleak Cyborg Future” From Brain-Computer Interfaces

Posted by in categories: biological, computing, cyborgs, law, neuroscience

Researchers warn of the potential social, ethical, and legal consequences of technologies interacting heavily with human brains.

Surpassing the biological limitations of the brain and using one’s mind to interact with and control external electronic devices may sound like the distant cyborg future, but it could come sooner than we think.

Researchers from Imperial College London conducted a review of modern commercial brain-computer interface (BCI) devices, and they discuss the primary technological limitations and humanitarian concerns of these devices in APL Bioengineering, from AIP Publishing.

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Jul 20, 2021

Can Consciousness Be Explained by Quantum Physics?

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

One of the most important open questions in science is how our consciousness is established. In the 1990s, long before winning the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics for his prediction of black holes, physicist Roger Penrose teamed up with anaesthesiologist Stuart Hameroff to propose an ambitious answer.

They claimed that the brain’s neuronal system forms an intricate network and that the consciousness this produces should obey the rules of quantum mechanics – the theory that determines how tiny particles like electrons move around. This, they argue, could explain the mysterious complexity of human consciousness.

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Jul 20, 2021

Engineers develop practical way to make artificial skin

Posted by in categories: chemistry, computing, cyborgs, wearables

Chemical engineer Zhenan Bao and her team of researchers at Stanford have spent nearly two decades trying to develop skin-like integrated circuits that can be stretched, folded, bent and twisted — working all the while — and then snap back without fail, every time. Such circuits presage a day of wearable and implantable products, but one hurdle has always stood in the way.

Namely, “How does one produce a completely new technology in quantities great enough to make commercialization possible?” Bao said. Bao and team think they have a solution. In a new study, the group describes how they have printed stretchable-yet-durable integrated circuits on rubbery, skin-like materials, using the same equipment designed to make solid silicon chips — an accomplishment that could ease the transition to commercialization by switching foundries that today make rigid circuits to producing stretchable ones.


Stanford researchers show how to print dense transistor arrays on skin-like materials to create stretchable circuits that flex with the body to perform applications yet to be imagined.

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Jul 20, 2021

Chip Manufacturer GlobalFoundries Sets Significant Plant Expansion in U.S.

Posted by in category: computing

Investments will boost U.S. chip manufacturing amid a crippling global shortage of semiconductors that has damaged sales of consumer goods.

Jul 19, 2021

Cheap, sustainable, readily available plasma tech could replace rare iridium

Posted by in categories: chemistry, computing, mobile phones, sustainability, transportation

A team led by a researcher from the University of Sydney has developed a low-cost, sustainable, and readily available technology that can dim the screens of electronic devices, anti-reflection automobile mirrors, and smart architectural windows at a fraction of the cost of current technology.

It would replace one of the world’s scarcest—yet highly ubiquitous in use—modern materials: indium. A rare chemical element, that it is widely used in devices such as smartphones and computers, windscreen glass and self-dimming windows.

Although small amounts are used to manufacture smart screens, indium is expensive as it is hard to source; it naturally occurs only in small deposits. Industrial indium is often made as a byproduct of zinc mining, which means a shortage could occur if demand for optoelectronic devices—such as LCDs and touch panels—ramps up.

Jul 19, 2021

Researchers Warn of Linux Cryptojacking Attackers Operating from Romania

Posted by in category: computing

Researchers have discovered that cybercriminals operating from Romania are performing Linux cryptojacking attacks.

Jul 19, 2021

Chip Shortage Reaches Smartphone Makers

Posted by in categories: computing, mobile phones, transportation

SEOUL—The smartphone industry is showing battle scars from the world-wide chip crunch.

Shipments are slowing and customers are seeing their first significant price increases in years. Some companies have had to scale back production and delay new releases. All this has halted what had been a strong start to the year.

Smartphone makers, for much of the year, avoided the parts disruptions faced in the auto, personal computer and home-appliance industries. Phone manufacturers purchase key parts roughly a half a year in advance, but now those stockpiles have shrunk.

Jul 19, 2021

Taiwan semiconductor company plans to build U.S. factory to meet sustained chip demand

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, mobile phones

TAIPEI —Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) signalled on Thursday plans to build new factories in the United States and Japan, riding on a pandemic-led surge in demand for chips that power smartphones, laptops and cars.

TSMC, which posted record quarterly sales and forecast higher revenue for the current quarter, said it will expand production capacity in China and does not rule out the possibility of a “second phase” expansion at its $12 billion factory in Arizona.

The world’s largest contract chipmaker and a major Apple supplier also said it is currently reviewing a plan to set up a speciality technology wafer fabrication plant, or fab, in Japan.

Jul 17, 2021

NASA revives ailing Hubble Space Telescope with switch to backup computer

Posted by in categories: computing, space

Hubble is back!


The Hubble Space Telescope has powered on once again! NASA was able to successfully switch to a backup computer on the observatory on Friday (July 16) following weeks of computer problems.

On June 13, Hubble shut down after a payload computer from the 1980s that handles the telescope’s science instruments suffered a glitch. Now, over a month since Hubble ran into issues, which the Hubble team thinks were caused by the spacecraft’s Power Control Unit (PCU), NASA switched to backup hardware and was able to switch the scope back on.

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