Archive for the ‘computing’ category

Sep 20, 2023

Photonic chips could lower energy consumption from data centres

Posted by in categories: computing, space

Data centre energy consumption could be cut with new, ‘breakthrough’ photonic chips that are more efficient than today’s chips.

Data centres can consume up to 50 times more energy per square foot of floor space than a typical office building and account for roughly 2 per cent of all electricity use in the US.

In recent years, the number of data centres has risen rapidly due to soaring demand from the likes of Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft and Google.

Sep 20, 2023

New tool measures plasma source and color of light simultaneously to improve microchip production

Posted by in categories: computing, nanotechnology

Researchers at MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology developed a tool that can measure the size of a plasma source and the color of the light it emits simultaneously. “Measuring both at the same time enables us to further improve lithography machines for smaller, faster and improved chips.” The article is highlighted as an Editor’s pick in Optics Letters.

Lithography machines are central to the process of making the microchips that are needed for almost all our . To produce the smallest chips, these machines need precision-engineered lenses, mirrors and light sources. “Traditionally, we could only look at the amount of light produced, but to further improve the chipmaking process, we also want to study the colors of that light and the size of its source,” explains Muharrem Bayraktar, assistant professor at the XUV Optics Group.

The extreme ultraviolet light is emitted by a plasma source, produced by aiming lasers at metal droplets. With sets of special mirrors, this light is aimed at a silicon wafer to create the smallest microchips imaginable. “We want to make the plasma as small as possible. Too large and you ‘waste’ a lot of light because the mirrors cannot catch all the light,” says Bayraktar.

Sep 20, 2023

Researchers Unlock Chip-Based Thermionic Cooling for Quantum Computers, More

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

Researchers with the VTT Technical Research Center of Finland have developed thermionic devices that allow for absolute-zero temperatures to be reached without having to deal with costly liquid-based.

Sep 19, 2023

Everything We Know About Neuralink’s Brain Implant Trial

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

Elon Musk’s neurotech startup announced that it is now seeking patients with paralysis to test a brain-computer interface.

Sep 19, 2023

New quasi-particle bridges microwave and optical domains

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

In a paper published today (Sept. 18) in Nature Communications, researchers from the Paul-Drude-Institut in Berlin, Germany, and the Instituto Balseiro in Bariloche, Argentina, demonstrated that the mixing of confined quantum fluids of light and GHz sound leads to the emergence of an elusive phonoriton quasi-particle—in part a quantum of light (photon), a quantum of sound (phonon) and a semiconductor exciton. This discovery opens a novel way to coherently convert information between optical and microwave domains, bringing potential benefits to the fields of photonics, optomechanics and optical communication technologies.

The research team’s work draws inspiration from an everyday phenomenon: the transfer of energy between two coupled oscillators, such as, for instance, two pendulums connected by a spring. Under specific coupling conditions, known as the strong-coupling (SC) regime, energy continuously oscillates between the two pendulums, which are no longer independent, as their frequencies and decay rates are not those of the uncoupled ones. The oscillators can also be photonic or electronic quantum states: the SC regime, in this case, is fundamental for quantum state control and swapping.

In the above example, the two pendulums are assumed to have the same frequency, i.e., in resonance. However, hybrid quantum systems require coherent information transfer between oscillators with largely dissimilar frequencies. Here, one important example is in networks of quantum computers. While the most promising quantum computers operate with microwave qubits (i.e., at few GHz), quantum information is efficiently transferred using near infrared photons (100ds THz).

Sep 19, 2023

Brain in a Dish: Bio-Computing’s Rise and Ethics in the Age of Living Machines

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, computing, ethics, neuroscience

Summary: The revolutionary field of bio-computing is making waves as DishBrain, a neural system combining 800,000 living brain cells, learns to play Pong. Recognizing the pressing need for ethical guidelines in this emerging domain, the pioneers behind DishBrain have joined forces with bioethicists in a study.

The research explores the moral considerations around biological computing systems and their potential consciousness. Beyond its innovation, the technology offers vast environmental benefits, potentially transforming the energy-consuming IT industry.

Sep 19, 2023

Physicists Create New Magnetic Material to Unleash Quantum Computing

Posted by in categories: computing, information science, mathematics, particle physics, quantum physics

Quantum behavior is a strange, fragile thing that hovers on the edge of reality, between a world of possibility and a Universe of absolutes. In that mathematical haze lies the potential of quantum computing; the promise of devices that could quickly solve algorithms that would take classic computers too long to process.

For now, quantum computers are confined to cool rooms close to absolute zero (−273 degrees Celsius) where particles are less likely to tumble out of their critical quantum states.

Breaking through this temperature barrier to develop materials that still exhibit quantum properties at room temperatures has long been the goal of quantum computing. Though the low temperatures help keep the particle’s properties from collapsing out of their useful fog of possibility, the bulk and expense of the equipment limits their potential and ability to be scaled up for general use.

Sep 19, 2023

Pigs with human brain cells and biological chips: how lab-grown hybrid lifeforms bamboozle scientific ethics

Posted by in categories: biological, computing, ethics, neuroscience

Pigs with human kidneys? Brain-powered computer chips? Science is creating new kinds of living things – and our moral understanding needs to catch up fast.

Sep 19, 2023

From Human Uniqueness to Mental Imagery: This Week’s Top 5 Neuroscience Insights, September 17, 2023

Posted by in categories: computing, food, neuroscience

Summary: New research delves into the distinctive human trait of sequential memory, setting us apart from bonobos. A recent study has also highlighted the joy in chasing passions over accomplishments. Groundbreaking discoveries show the human brain’s computational prowess, mirroring high-powered computers.

Additionally, the footprint of Big Tobacco is evident in the modern American diet through the promotion of hyperpalatable foods. Lastly, understanding the range of mind’s visualization abilities, from hyperphantasia to aphantasia, opens avenues for innovative treatments.

Sep 19, 2023

Quantum computing offers new insight into photochemical processes

Posted by in categories: chemistry, computing, environmental, quantum physics

Quantum computing has provided new insights into a fundamental aspect of photochemical reactions that has previously proven difficult to study. The findings could improve scientists’ understanding of light-driven processes such as photosynthesis, smog formation and ozone destruction.

Photochemical processes occur when atomic nuclei and their electrons take on different configurations after absorbing a photon. Some of these reactions are guided by a quantum phenomenon called a conical intersection, where the potential energy surfaces that describe a molecule in its ground state and in its excited state converge. In these situations, quantum mechanical interference can prevent certain molecular transformations from taking place – a constraint known as a geometric phase. This limits the path that the reaction can take and affects the reaction outcome. The geometric phase has been known about since the 1950s, but due to the femtosecond timescales involved, it has never been directly observed in a molecular system.

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