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Apr 13, 2021

Researchers report breakthrough that enables practical semiconductor spintronics

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

It may be possible in the future to use information technology where electron spin is used to store, process and transfer information in quantum computers. It has long been the goal of scientists to be able to use spin-based quantum information technology at room temperature. A team of researchers from Sweden, Finland and Japan have now constructed a semiconductor component in which information can be efficiently exchanged between electron spin and light at room temperature and above. The new method is described in an article published in Nature Photonics.

It is well known that electrons have a negative charge; they also have another property called spin. This may prove instrumental in the advance of . To put it simply, we can imagine the electron rotating around its own axis, similar to the way in which the Earth rotates around its own axis. Spintronics—a promising candidate for future information technology—uses this quantum property of electrons to store, process and transfer information. This brings important benefits, such as higher speed and lower energy consumption than traditional electronics.

Developments in spintronics in recent decades have been based on the use of metals, and these have been highly significant for the possibility of storing large amounts of data. There would, however, be several advantages in using spintronics based on semiconductors, in the same way that semiconductors form the backbone of today’s electronics and photonics.

Apr 11, 2021

Ingenuity Mars Helicopter failed high-speed spin test causing reschedule of the first flight

Posted by in categories: computing, space

On April 10, 2021 NASA announced Ingenuity Mars Helicopter failed high-speed spin test causing reschedule of the first flight to no earlier than April 14. NASA explained that during a high-speed spin test of the rotors on Friday, the command sequence controlling the test ended early due to a “watchdog” timer expiration. This occurred as it was trying to transition the flight computer from ‘Pre-Flight’ to ‘Flight’ mode. The helicopter is safe and healthy and communicated its full telemetry set to Earth. The watchdog timer oversees the command sequence and alerts the system to any potential issues. It helps the system stay safe by not proceeding if an issue is observed and worked as planned. Ingenuity team is reviewing telemetry to diagnose and understand the issue. Following that, they will reschedule the full-speed test.

Credit: nasa.gov, NASA/JPL-Caltech, NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU

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Apr 11, 2021

Will brain-computer interfaces transform human lives?“ data-reactroot=”

Posted by in categories: computing, Elon Musk, neuroscience

Elon Musk’s brain-chip Neuralink company is working on technology that could improve the lives of those with paralysis.

Apr 11, 2021

Light Forms Crystal-Like Structure On Computer Chip

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

Circa 2014 essentially this could make endless computer chips from light.


Princeton researchers have managed to cause light to behave like a crystal within a specialized computer chip, according to a recent paper. This is the first time anyone has accomplished this effect in a lab.

Here’s why it’s so hard: Atoms can easily form solids, liquids, and gasses, because when they come into contact they push and pull on each other. That push and pull forms the underlying structure of all matter. Light particles, or photons, do not typically interact with one another, according to Dr. Andrew Houck, a professor of electrical engineering at Princeton and an author on the study. The trick of this research was forcing them to do just that.

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Apr 11, 2021

Highlights of the day: Chinese phone vendors developing own 5G chips

Posted by in categories: computing, mobile phones

MediaTek and Qualcomm may be the dominant players in the 5G smartphone SoC sector, but Chinese phone vendors Oppo and Xiaomi are mounting a challenge by developing their own chips. Shortages plaguing the semidoncutor industry are sending firms scrambling for supply. NOR flash chipmakers say that more of their clients are now willing to strike long-term supply contracts. For backend firms, demand from MCU clients remains robust.

Unisoc, Oppo, Xiaomi gearing up for new 5G mobile chips roll-outs: Oppo and Xiaomi will introduce their in-house-developed sub-6GHz 5G chip solutions between late 2021 and early 2022, joining fabless chipmaker Unisoc in competing against chip vendors such as Qualcomm and MediaTek, according to industry sources in Taiwan.

NOR flash chipmakers see more customers eager for long-term deals: Taiwan-based NOR flash chipmakers have seen more of their clients eager to strike long-term supply agreements, according to industry sources.

Apr 11, 2021

Monkey uses brain implants to play Pong

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

Neuralink, co-founded by Elon Musk in 2016, has revealed a macaque with chips embedded on each side of its brain, playing a mind-controlled version of the 1972 video game, Pong.

Although established in 2016, Neuralink remained secretive about its work until July 2019, when Musk presented his concept for a new brain–machine interface (BMI). Not only would this help physically diseased or injured people, Musk believed it could also treat mental illness – and even be used by healthy individuals who might wish to enhance themselves.

A prototype in August 2020 demonstrated the Neuralink technology in a pig. This coin-sized chip, featuring a read/write link, contained 1024 channels with a wireless megabit data rate and all-day battery life. Brain signals conveying the pig’s sense of smell could be seen in real time. The FDA had by then approved it as a breakthrough device, allowing use in limited human trials under the US federal guidelines for testing medical devices.

Apr 11, 2021

Quantum computer based on shuttling ions is built by Honeywell

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

Design could allow large numbers of qubits to be integrated in one device.

Apr 10, 2021

The Near-Magical Mystery of Quasiparticles

Posted by in categories: computing, physics

Using intuition, educated guesswork and computer simulations, condensed matter physicists have become better at figuring out which quasiparticles are theoretically possible. Meanwhile in the lab, as physicists push novel materials to new extremes, the quasiparticle zoo has grown quickly and become more and more exotic. “It really is a towering intellectual achievement,” said Natelson.

Recent discoveries include pi-tons, immovable fractons and warped wrinklons. “We now think about quasiparticles with properties that we never really dreamt of before,” said Steve Simon, a theoretical condensed matter physicist at the University of Oxford.

Here are a few of the most curious and potentially useful quasiparticles.

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Apr 9, 2021

Ibm, Nvidia Form Strategic Alliance

Posted by in category: computing

Vendor Spotlight

IBM and NVIDIA announced the two companies have formed a multi-year strategic alliance under which IBM will manufacture NVIDIA’s next-generation GeForce graphics processor units (GPUs).

State-of-the-art GPUs, like NVIDIA’s Geforce FX, have become process and manufacturing drivers. To deliver the immense computational power needed to create cinematic images in real-time, NVIDIA’s GPUs require the most sophisticated process technologies.

Apr 9, 2021

Physicists working with Microsoft think the universe is a self-learning computer

Posted by in categories: computing, physics, space

A team of theoretical physicists working with Microsoft today published an amazing pre-print research paper describing the universe as a self-learning system of evolutionary laws.

In other words: We live inside a computer that learns.

The big idea: Bostrom’s Simulation Argument has been a hot topic in science circles lately. We published “What if you’re living in a simulation, but there’s no computer” recently to posit a different theory, but Microsoft’s pulled a cosmic “hold my beer” with this paper.

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