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22/10/2018 - Euro-Japanese boat BepiColombo launched its seven-year trip to Mercury

The BepiColombo Europe and Japan space mission launched successfully, aiming at exploring Mercury, the closest to the Sun, the smallest and most unexplored planet of our solar system. The new mission will study the surface, the atmosphere and the magnetic field of the planet.

This is a joint venture between the European Space Agency (ESA) and Japan's Space Agency (JAXA), the third-ever mission to Mercury and the first European.

BepiColombo, costing 1.65 billion euros, was launched at 04:45 GMT on Saturday from the European Space Station in Kourou, French Guiana, South America, on a European Ariane 5 missile. The mission bears the name of the Italian astrophysicist Giuseppe " Bepp »Colombo, who had studied Mercury during the Mariner mission.

The mission includes two vessels: a larger European with 11 scientific instruments and cameras (Mercury Planetary Orbiter-MPO or Bepi) and a smaller Japanese with five instruments (Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter-MMO or Mio), both put into orbit from Mercury, completing each other's remarks.

The trip to Mercury will last for seven years, and if everything goes well, the ship, which has developed speeds of up to 60 kilometers per second, is expected to be in orbit in 2025. A serious challenge will be the enormous gravitational pull of the Sun, which makes it very difficult to place a space device in a fixed orbit around the neighboring Mercury. We also needed to develop new technologies to better protect the two spacecraft from the radiation and heat of our parent star that reaches 5,500 degrees Celsius.

Among other things, the Euro-Japanese mission will offer new evidence on various mysteries of Mercury, as for its asymmetric magnetic field (much more powerful in the north), its oversized core of mainly fused iron (occupying up to 80% of the radius of the planet), strange geological precipitations like lakes on its surface (depths of tens of meters and widths of hundreds), as well as the abundance of volatile chemical elements (chlorine, sulfur, potassium, sodium, etc.), which should be had previously disappeared under the influence of the Sun, so they are probably constantly being recreated from the planet's subsoil.

Sourse:  https://www.cnn.gr/tech/story/151461/to-eyro-iaponiko-skafos-bepicolombo-xekinise-to-eptaetes-taxidi-toy-gia-ton-ermi

22/10/2018 - It comes ... unsend message to Facebook Messenger!
In April, Facebook had revealed its intention to present a new Messenger service, in which the user could cancel the sending of a message ("unsend"). A few months after the announcement, screenshots of the new functionality test leaked into the social media. As shown in the photos, the user who wants to correct or even "get back" something he has sent has the opportunity to select "Unsend Message", which will be just above the "Delete Message" option. After unsend is selected, a message will be displayed asking for confirmation of the option: "Your message will be deleted from your chat and inbox". Facebook has confirmed the big change but has not determined when it will be: "Although we have nothing to announce today, we have already confirmed that we plan to design such a feature, and this is still true," said a spokesman for TechCrunch. Source: https://www.cnn.gr/tech/story/150803/erxetai-to-unsend-message-sto-facebook-messenger

11/04/2018 - How to find out if your Facebook account has been hacked

11/04/2018 - Microsoft set to release Spring Creators Update for Windows 10 today

ALTHOUGH MICROSOFT hasn't specifically said so yet, it's a pretty open secret that the latest stable update to Windows 10 (version 1803, fact fans) is being released at some point today.

The Spring Creators Update continues the company's commitment to releasing a bi-annual version of Windows 10 which adds new features under the guise of "Windows-as-a-Service". In the old days, it'd probably have been called Service Pack 4. 

It will include some distinct new visuals thanks to the Fluent design (Microsoft's version of Google's Material design language) which should start to appear in this edition. We've seen evidence of it in demo versions of Groove already.

Members of the Windows Insider Program have been beta testing 1803 for a week or so, and so we pretty much know what we're getting. Highlights include the fact that it will install much faster because it will start installing before it reboots, so less time waiting for the spinning icon.

Timeline, a feature we'd expected in the previous (Fall) update is finally here. It will give you a complete history of everything you've been up to, and allow you to pick it up from where you left off on another machine, even a tablet or (whispers) a phone.

If you are an educational user, a millennial or an idiot you can switch to S-Mode for the first time - a clamped down version of Windows that only allows Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps from the Microsoft Store. Yaaaawn.

The big concern is that we've had several indicators that Microsoft plans to wrestle away more control, particularly for users of the built-in mail client. We've had reports of adverts for Office 365, and that all links open in Edge even if you don't usually use it. Whether either of these little payloads makes it into the final version remains to be seen.

There's also talk that you will no longer be able to turn searching via Cortana off. And guess what she always uses? That's right, Edge and Bing, of course. That's been the case for a while, but no one really complained because no one was using Cortana.

As ever, the Spring Creators Update will roll out gradually. It could be weeks before you get it via the Windows Update. There are ways to cheat the system - right now you can join the Insiders, update, then leave again. In coming days you'll be able to download an image to a DVD or flash drive.

But generally, although don't tell them we said this, Microsoft rolls these updates out the way it does for a reason. Previously we've had all kinds of problems with people skipping ahead and discovering problems with the drivers for their system which haven't been worked out yet.

We'd never say not to, but we would say beware - if in doubt, wait for notification that the update is ready. µ

Source: https://www.theinquirer.net

11/04/2018 - Kingston Introduces Entry-level A1000 PCIe NVMe SSD

Kingston announced A1000 PCIe NVMe SSD. The M.2 drive is an entry-level PCIe NVMe SSD utilizing 3D NAND. The A1000 delivers twice the performance of SATA with SATA pricing.

The single-sided M.2 2280 (22mm x 80mm) form factor makes A1000 ideal for notebooks and systems with limited space. The PCIe NVMe drive features a Gen 3.0 x2 interface, 4-channel Phison 5008 controller, and 3D NAND Flash. It delivers 2x the performance of SATA SSDs with read/write speeds1 up to 1500MB/s and 1000MB/s giving it exceptional responsiveness and ultra-low latency.

“Kingston is excited to release its newest SSD for the entry-level PCIe NVMe market.  Designed with 3D NAND Flash memory, A1000 is more reliable and durable than a hard drive and doubles the performance of a SATA SSD. Now we can give consumers the benefit of PCIe performance at about the same price as SATA,” said Tony Hollingsbee, SSD Business Manager for EMEA at Kingston. “Consumers can replace a hard drive or slower SSD with A1000 and have the storage needed for applications, videos, photos and more.”

A1000 is available in 240GB, 480GB and 960GB2 capacities and is backed by a limited five-year warranty, free technical support and legendary Kingston reliability.

Kingston is selling the 240GB model for $119.60, the 480GB for $218.40, and the 960GB for $403.

A1000 Features and Specifications:

20X faster than a hard drive1: With incredible read/write speeds the A1000 will not only increase performance but can also be used to breathe new life into older systems.
M.2 2280 Form Factor: Multi-purpose SFF connector replaces small mSATA and mini-PCIe slots.
Single-sided design: Integrates easily into designs with M.2 connectors; ideal for thin and light notebooks and in systems with limited space.
Multiple capacities: Available in a range of capacities up to 960GB2 to meet your data storage requirements.

Source:  http://www.guru3d.com/news-story/kingston-introduces-entry-level-a1000-pcie-nvme-ssd.html

26/03/2018 - First rechargable proton battery without lithium

Scientists have created the world’s first rechargeable proton battery, a crucial step towards cheaper and more environmentally-friendly energy storage.While the battery is just a small-scale prototype, it has the potential to be competitive with currently available lithium-ion batteries.The rechargeable battery, created by researchers at RMIT university in Melbourne, uses carbon and water instead of lithium.The lead researcher Professor John Andrews said that as the world moved towards renewables, there would be a significant need for storage technologies that relied on cheap and abundant materials. “Lithium-ion batteries are great but they rely on ultimately scarce and expensive resources,” he said. “Hydro is also a good technology but suitable sites are limited and the cost may be very high.“The advantage is we’re going to be storing protons in a carbon-based material, which is abundant, and we are getting protons from water which is readily available.”The battery itself produces no carbon emissions and it can store electricity from zero-emissions renewables.Andrews said it could be commercially available within five to 10 years.“When it is commercially available, it would be a competitor to the Tesla Powerwall and then eventually we’d hope we might find applications at the scale of the huge Tesla battery [in South Australia] and even larger.”

01/03/2018 - MIT Device Generates Electricity From Thin Air

A team at MIT designed a novel way to convert temperature fluctuations into electrical power.

And you thought a potato-powered light bulb was cool.

Most thermoelectric devices require two different-yet-concurrent climate inputs. But the new system takes advantage of changes in ambient temperature.

“We’ve built the first thermal resonator,” Michael Strano, professor of chemical engineering, said in a statement. “It’s something that can sit on a desk and generate energy out of what seems like nothing.”

This discovery, according to the Institution, could enable continuous, years-long operation of remote sensing systems—sans power sources or batteries.

A lamp, for instance, could thrive off of the air. Or a computer or TV, maybe even a smartphone.

“We are surrounded by temperature fluctuations of all different frequencies all of the time,” Strano added. “These are an untapped source of energy.”

MIT’s thermal resonator is not yet ready for prime time. Its power levels so far are “modest,” at best.

Without the need for direct sunlight, though, the device is unaffected by short-term changes in environmental conditions (cloud cover, wind intensity, etc.). It can be located anywhere that’s convenient—even under a solar panel, where the thermal resonator might draw away waste heat, making the sunlight-absorbing technology more efficient.

The full findings were published recently in the journal Nature Communications. Research was conducted by graduate student Anton Cottrill and Strano, with seven other members of MIT’s Department of Chemical Engineering.

There’s a reason no one has successfully produced power from temperature cycles: it’s really hard. 

Scientists needed a material optimized for thermal effusivity, which combines properties of thermal conduction (how rapidly heat spreads through a material) and thermal capacity (how much heat can be stored in a material). In most cases, if one is high, the other is low.

So the team made their own thermal effusivity material out of a metal foam (copper or nickel), coated in graphene and infused with octadecane.

Only one side at a time captures heat, which slowly radiates through the device. One half, however, always lags behind, and it’s this perpetual difference that can be harvested and used as a complementary energy source in a hybrid system.

Solar panels dampened by a sandstorm? Thermal resonator to the rescue!

“You’ll have this additional mechanism to give power, even if it’s just enough to send out an emergency message,” Cottrill said.

Researchers hope their system could one day power networks of sensors that monitor conditions at oil and gas drilling fields.

Source:  https://www.geek.com/tech/mit-device-generates-electricity-from-thin-air-1732324/

15/02/2018 - What your keystrokes reveal about your gender

Your webcam may know your face, but your keyboard knows your gender. Computer models can predict with 95.6% accuracy whether a man or woman is typing, according to a new study.

To conduct the research, computer engineers installed keystroke-logging software onto the personal computers of 75 volunteers—36 men, 39 women—which monitored their daily computer use for 10 months. The researchers then used a program they created, called “ISqueezeU” to calculate the relative helpfulness of different typing features for determining gender—things like the time between two specific keystrokes, or the amount of time a key is pressed down during a single keystroke. A few features stood out as being more useful than others. For example, the average time between pressing the “N” key to pressing the “O” key was the most helpful, followed by the average time between pressing the “M” and “O” keys. The program isn¢t capable of specifying whether a man or woman types those keys faster or more often—only that there is a difference.

The researchers then tested the program¢s findings using five machine learning models, which are computer programs that build models based on what they “learn” from existing data. All five models were able to predict gender accurately more than 78% of the time, with the most successful model being more than 95% accurate, the engineers report this week in Digital Investigation.

The team proposes the use of keystroke dynamics as a cost-efficient and nonintrusive way to identify the gender of unknown computer users in criminal investigations, such as in cases of cyberstalking or identity theft. The researchers plan to expand their data collection with more volunteers, and see whether incorporating other variables such as handedness or education level can increase accuracy.

Source: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/02/what-your-keystrokes-reveal-about-your-gender

13/02/2018 - Microsoft, Alibaba AI programs beat humans in a Stanford reading test

First, they beat us at chess. Then it was Go. Now it's basic reading comprehension.

Ôhe robots are coming.

Two artificial intelligence programs created by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and Microsoft beat humans on a Stanford University reading comprehension test, Alibaba said recently. Alibaba took the honors as creator of the first program to ever beat a human in a reading comprehension test, scoring 82.44 percent out of a perfect 100 and narrowly edging past the human's 82.304 percent.

A different program built by Microsoft scored higher than Alibaba's at 82.605 on the same test, but that score was finalized a day later, according to Bloomberg.

The test, known as Stanford Question Answering Dataset or SQuAD for short, asks contestants—human and robot—to provide exact answers to more than 100,000 questions drawn from more than 500 Wikipedia articles. The test is designed to see if artificial intelligence can process large amounts of information before fully comprehending it and offering precise answers.

Some of the Wikipedia articles from which questions were drawn covered a wide range of topics, from Super Bowl 50 ("Where did Super Bowl 50 take place?" Answer: Santa Clara.) to Doctor Who ("What planet is Doctor Who from?" Answer: Gallifrey.).

"These kinds of tests are certainly useful benchmarks for how far along the AI journey we may be," Microsoft spokesperson Andrew Pickup told CNN. "However, the real benefit of AI is when it is used in harmony with humans."

Major technology companies in the United States and China have invested billions of dollars in artificial intelligence to gain a foothold in what may be the next technological frontier. The Chinese government has outlined a plan to create a $150 billion AI industry by 2030 in partnership with private companies such as Alibaba and Tencent.

Microsoft in December announced its "AI on Earth" project to help the planet become more environmentally sustainable using the company's in-house AI infrastructure. Microsoft will invest $50 million over the next five years, according to Microsoft CEO Brad Smith.

"At Microsoft, we believe artificial intelligence is a game changer," said Smith. "As we enter the world's Fourth Industrial Revolution, a technology-fueled transformation, we must not only move technology forward, but also use this era's technology to clean up the past and create a better future."

With comprehension skills now arguably better than a human's, Alibaba's chief data scientist said the new breakthrough will be applied to helping human customers.

"The technology underneath can be gradually applied to numerous applications such as customer service, museum tutorials and online responses to medical inquiries from patients, decreasing the need for human input in an unprecedented way," Luo Si, chief scientist for natural language processing at Alibaba's Institute of Data Science of Technologies, told Bloomberg.

25/01/2018 - SSD 860 EVO and PRO from Samsung

After more than three years of huge successes in the SATA SSD market, the emblematic and particularly popular Samsung 850 Evo and 850 Pro series, which first brought 3D NAND flash memory to the market, are being replaced. Samsung officially announced the new Solid State Drive series she launches, called 860 Evo and 860 Pro.

As is clear from the relatively little change in the names, the new 860 series is not revolutionary like the 850, as Samsung does not promise any massive leap in terms of performance over the past. This is more of a normal upgrading of today's models, which represents the continued development of Samsung's SSD technology.

The biggest change is the transition from the 48-layer V-NAND flash memory to the 64-layer V-NAND flash (combining 512Gb and 256Gb 64-layer V-NAND technology), while they also incorporate an upgraded MJX SSD memory controller and a LPDDR4 DRAM versus the previous generation LPDDR3 DRAM.

The Pro Series support slightly higher read and write speeds (560MB/s and 530MB/s for Pro - 550MB/s and 520MB/s for Evo) while at the same time it supports twice total records from the Evo series, mainly due to MLC 2-bit memory technology instead of the slower, less reliable, yet more economical 3-bit MLC 3D NAND (also known as TLC) memory found in the Evo series.

The 860 Evo series will be released in 2.5-inch form factor in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB and 4TB capacities. Concerning m.2 form factor, it will be available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities while in mSATA there will be 250GB, 500GB and 1TB capacities. Prices start at $ 94.99 for the 250GB model and reach $ 169.99, $ 329.99, $ 649.99 and $ 1399.99 for the 500GB, 1TB, 2TB and 4TB models respectively.

As for the Samsung 860 Pro series, it is available in 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB and 4TB capacities and only in 2.5-inch form factor priced at $ 139.99, $ 249.99, $ 479.99, $ 949.99 and reaching at $ 1899.99.

The difference in the number of TBWs (Terra Bytes Writen) between the two EVO and PRO models doubles, since there is a corresponding increase depending on the capacity of the disk. The most notable change, however, is the decrement in the 860 PRO warranty period (compared to 850pro) from 10 to 5 years.

Samsung's new solid state drives will be available from the end of the month and the 860 series could definitely be one of the best of 2018.

 

15/12/2017 - Nvidia Titan V: The most powerful graphics card ever created

Nvidia announced the new graphics card Nvidia Titan V which is currently the strongest on the market. The new Volta architecture, based on which it is designed, and the selection of accessories that frame it, make it unrivaled compared to any other.

nvidia titan v

The Volta architecture, named after scientist Alessandro Volta, will be the continuation of the highly successful Pascal and will offer the following improvements:

  • CUDA Compute Capability (GV100)
  • High Bandwith Memory
  • NVLink 2.0
  • Tensor Cores
  • PureVideo Hardware Video Decoding

The Nvidia Titan V contains the GV100 graphics processor that was first introduced to the Tesla v100 at a cost of $ 10,000! It contains 21.1 billion transistors, 5120 CUDA cores, and 640 Tensor cores that can calculate much faster than CUDA.

In terms of core frequency, it works at 1200Mhz and 1455Mhz (Boost Mode) and reaches up to 100TFLOPS in calculations.

Some of its memory features are: 12GB HBM2 at 850Mhz, 1.7Gbps memory speed, 3072-bit memory bus size and 653GB / s memory bandwith.

Its energy requirements correspond to 250W and uses active cooling like all Titan (even the shell is of the same design but in golden color instead of metallic silver or black).

The connectors found on the rear side are a 6-pin and 8-pin power supply directly from the power supply, and on the front side the display connections are made from DisplayPorts (x3) or HDMI (x1).

According to Nvidia, this product is addressed to professionals or researchers as it is intended for A.I (Artificial Intelligence) applications, deep learning, and systems that use complex calculations. The cost is at $ 3,000.

The first unofficial Titan V measurements on the Web, outline it 25% -30% faster than the recent GTX 1080 Ti, NVIDIA's top theoretically "consumer" graphics card at the moment, and without overclock.

Below you can see a comparison table with the Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti.

comparison

08/12/2017 - Smartphones with 512GB storage from Samsung

While most popular smartphones have 32GB or 64GB of storage and rarely some flagship phones can hold 128GB (256GB at best), Samsung's semiconductor division has begun mass production of the first 512GB embedded Universal Flash Storage chips (eUFS).

This means that the future top devices of the South Korean company will have twice as much space as its current (256MB) and its users will be able to store up to 130 10-minute UHD videos.

Apart from the increase in capacity, however, there is also a boost in terms of read and write performance. Specifically, sequential write and read speeds reach 255MB/s and 860MB/s respectively. It's not a huge increase on the 256GB chip but it's certainly high enough to transfer a 5GB HD video clip to a solid state drive in about 6 seconds, which is eight times faster than a standard microSD card. The new storage also displays random read/write performance 42000 IOPS/40000 IOPS respectively (IOPS, Input/output operations per second).

Of course, physical dimensions of today's 256GB storage are maintained, with Samsung manufacturing the new version out of eight 64-layer 512 gigabit chips, while it previously used 48-layer chips.

04/12/2017 - Samsung: 5 times faster smartphone charging

Have you ever wondered whether your smartphone could be fully charged in less than 15 minutes?

According to Samsung, this may not be that far away, as the company finished last week a new battery research that could have a big impact on smartphone manufacturers.

The Korean electronics giant says it has developed a kind of battery that is more efficient and charges faster than traditional lithium-ion batteries. It is called "graphene ball," and Samsung says batteries made from this material could be charged up to five times faster than those made of lithium-ion.

A battery that now needs one hour for full charge could theoretically take just 12 minutes to charge if the new material with graphene balls is used, says the company. It could also allow an increase in battery capacity by 45%, according to the researchers.

This increased capacity, coupled with super fast charging, could have major impact not only on smartphones, but also on electric vehicles and all other products that benefit from high capacity batteries.

"We were able to greatly improve the capabilities of lithium-ion batteries in an environment where mobile and electric vehicle markets are growing rapidly," said Dr. Son In-hyuk. "Our commitment is to continuously explore and develop battery technology in the light of these trends."

While the hardware is still in a research phase, there is another reason why Samsung may be particularly interested in the use of graphene-based batteries: safety. Since the battery is able to remain at an "extremely stable" temperature of 60 degrees Celsius, the batteries could be particularly appropriate for PCs.

27/11/2017 - Firefox Quantum: Mozilla’s new browser

Mozilla promises higher speed and better results using less memory with its new browser, Firefox Quantum, which launched on November 14 and has already received very positive feedback.

As Mark Mayo, vice president of Mozilla, wrote this is the biggest update of the platform ever since Firefox 1.0 was launched back in 2004. Mayo emphasizes that Firefox Quantum promises twice the speed of its previous releases, 30% less RAM usage than Google Chrome and faster tab switching.

The "secret" lies in using all your CPU cores. Most web browsers are not "written" in code that exploits all the kernels of your computer. Firefox Quantum aims to exploit these, which makes it the fastest web browser on the market.

Mozilla puts emphasis on the new User Interface: "We call this Photon initiative, and the goal is to modernize and integrate all of Firefox's features while taking advantage of the fast new machine," Mayo writes.

For the purposes of developing Photon, we examined the ways in which users use the web. "We looked at real hardware to make Firefox look fine on every screen, and we've made sure that Firefox looks and works like Firefox, no matter what device you're using." Mozilla also points out that the whole system has been set up to be expanded in the future, going beyond the current hardware.

Firefox Quantum has a new, minimal design and new built-in tools that do not require installation from third party services such as capturing screenshots, the Pocket Store for Web Pages, and a new library that concentrates all the user's activity. Another important addition is the Tracking Protection option, which excludes requests for online user tracking, works by default in a Private Browsing window and according to Mozilla reduces the loading time by 44%. Caution is required on some extensions where there is incompatibility as only WebExtensions will work instead of the legacy.

Already from the first days of using the new platform, the difference is obvious, and users do not have to make an effort to adapt to the new display, as it is new, but reminds the old one in many ways.

20/11/2017 - "Phase-shifting" computer memory could herald the next generation of RAM

Computer manufactures are always looking for the next best technology, and thanks to an impressive bit of materials science, a little-used form of random access memory (RAM) could soon be taking over the insides of your personal computer. That’s because materials scientists in China have recently found a way to speed up—by more than a factor of 10—so-called phase-change random access memory (PCRAM), which can hold onto information even when your computer’s power is off.
For decades, computers have been getting smaller, faster, and cheaper. But advances in memory technologies have slowed in recent years, prompting researchers to consider alternatives. Dreamed up in the 1960s, PCRAM has always been a promising candidate for RAM—the rewritable scratch pad that a computer’s central processor uses while making its calculations. But it was much slower than most common forms of RAM—including static RAM (SRAM) and dynamic RAM (DRAM)—which can hold information only temporarily.
To serve as computer memory, a gizmo must be able to faithfully record either a 0 or a 1. PCRAM does this by switching between two states (hence, the phase-change name): a regimented crystalline order that allows for the easy flow of electricity and a glasslike jumble of atoms that does just the opposite. PCRAM records one number when it’s in a high-conductance crystalline state and another when it’s in a low-conductance glass state. Sending a relatively large current through the material heats the bit and changes its state, writing or rewriting the data.
The problem has been that the most commonly used phase change material—an alloy of germanium, antimony, and tellurium known as GST—can be an uneven performer, sometimes switching from amorphous to crystalline in 10 nanoseconds, which is just as fast as the DRAM in today’s computers. At other times, it can take hundreds of nanoseconds to write data bits, which is too slow to be competitive. Now, however, Feng Rao, a materials scientist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’s Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology, and colleagues have found a way to write all PCRAM bits quickly, making it faster than most alternatives, including NAND flash—one of the other kinds of memory that’s able to store information absent a power supply.
Nearly a decade ago, researchers working on GST realized that even in its amorphous state, the phase-change material could harbor crystalline precursors, cubic arrangements of atoms that can act as nuclei for switching to a full-fledged crystal. So, Rao’s team carried out systematic computer calculations to see whether adding different metal atoms to the GST mix would help stabilize nuclei at the elevated temperatures that take place during the phase switching.
Those simulations, Rao says, revealed that “scandium is the key.” Adding the element creates strong bonds with neighboring antimony and tellurium atoms, forming cube-shaped nuclei that remain intact even when enough electricity is zapped through the material to raise its temperature to 600 K, which promotes a fast switch between the amorphous and crystalline phases. And when the researchers synthesized their new phase change material, they found that the nuclei consistently caused the material to switch between the two states in less than 1 nanosecond, they report this week in Science.
Hongsik Jeong, a PCRAM expert at Tsinghua University in Beijing, says the new speed boost is “almost the ideal value for storage class media applications.” In fact, even without the speed boost, PCRAM has just begun to be used in some data center servers. So, the souped-up version could soon expand its reach. However, Jeong adds, the faster PCRAM must still prove that it can be scaled up, withstand the high temperatures found in standard chip-manufacturing conditions, and still be able to rewrite bits of data many trillions of times to match DRAM’s performance. If PCRAM can pass those hurdles, the trend toward smaller, faster, cheaper computers will likely continue well into the future.


This simulation shows how crystalline nuclei expand in just 600 picoseconds, converting a phase change material from a glasslike state to crystalline.

14/11/2017 - IBM creates first 50 quantum bits processor

IBM gains a competitive edge in the quantum "race" of leading technology companies. The big American company announced it has created the first processor with 50 quantum bits or qubits, being the first company to achieve this, which gives it a comparative advantage over Google and other technology companies involved in the highly competitive quantum "race".

This gives the company a comparative advantage over Google and other technology companies involved in the highly competitive quantum "race".

Quantum computers, still in their infancy, promise a computing speed much higher than today's computers. This is because on today's computers, the bit, the basic information unit, can either get the value '0' or the value '1'. But the qubit, the elemental quantum information unit, can take the values ​​"0", "1" or "0 and 1" at the same time.

IBM has announced that it has created a system with 20 quantum bits already ready for use and developed the first experimental IBM Q system with a 50 qubits processor.

The company has announced that its 20 qubits system will be available online to its customers by the end of 2017 in order to explore its practical implementation capabilities. The next generation of IBM's quantum systems will incorporate the most powerful 50 qubits processor.

The first quantum computer made available online by IBM to anyone interested was in May 2016. In the meantime, the company has made further advances and seems to be ahead of developments by any other competitor.

In addition to hardware, IBM continues to develop an entire "ecosystem" of quantum computing, including open source software and educational material for the quantum community of users.

Already, more than 60,000 users from around the world (universities, research centers, schools, etc.) have carried out more than 1.7 million online quantum experiments on IBM computers. At the same time, IBM collaborates with other companies (Samsung, Honda, Hitachi, Canon, etc.) to develop industrial and other practical quantum applications.

13/11/2017 - Intel and AMD partnership on combo chip
Intel is working with AMD to produce a chip for notebook computers that pairs an Intel CPU with an AMD graphics processor, with a small, lightweight design that can nonetheless handle heavy graphics requirements for top-tier video games. This team-up may seem like kind of a no-brainer, but AMD and Intel actually haven¢t collaborated since the ¢80s, according to analyst Patrick Moorhead speaking to The Wall Street Journal. Instead, AMD and Intel have been pretty fierce rivals, vying for the PC processor market, though Intel has pretty much always been on top in that race. Intel¢s primary challenger seems to be Nvidia these days, however, as the graphics card maker has accelerated its AI and machine learning business, while also continuing to delivery industry-leading graphics cards for consumer and enterprise computers. AMD has pressed Nvidia on its GPU business lately, introducing products designed to fit similar functions, and this new Intel product [which will combine Core H-series CPUs with second-generation high bandwidth memory (HBM2) and AMD Radeon graphics that will communicate using a new interface that Intel calls Embedded Multi-die Interconnect USB (EMIB)] which eliminates the requirement for a beefy standalone graphics card will give it some additional space to grow, while making it possible for PC makers to build designs that don¢t require the space and heat sink requirements of a full-fledged graphics card. Basically, it seems like Intel is willing to partner with one of its oldest rivals in order to help stave off one of its top current ones in the bargain. The good news is, consumers should benefit.

09/11/2017 - Intel® Optane™ technology

Intel® Optane™ technology provides an unparalleled combination of high throughput, low latency, high quality of service, and high endurance. The following video presents how new computer architectures are unleashing unprecedented possibilities from data center to desktop.

This technology is a unique combination of 3D XPoint™ memory media, Intel Memory and Storage Controllers, Intel Interconnect IP and Intel® software. Together these building blocks deliver a revolutionary leap forward in decreasing latency and accelerating systems for workloads demanding large capacity and fast storage.

Intel® Optane™ memory is a smart, adaptable system accelerator for PCs with a 7th Gen Intel® Core™ processor and a hard disk drive. It provides uncompromising system responsiveness for large capacity storage drives, making everything you do fast, smooth and easy.

Optane memory isn¢t a type of conventional random-access computer memory, or RAM. Neither is a technology that¢s being used for conventional storage—at least not at the consumer level, and not yet. Instead, the consumer M.2 Optane modules sold in 16GB and 32GB capacities are meant to work as a cache memory bridge between RAM and storage, allowing for faster data transfer between the memory, storage, and processor. This accelerates more or less every operation for the end user, especially when paired with caching software that intelligently stores relevant data on the Optane drive for near-instant retrieval.

Besides the Intel Optane Memory M.2 drives released earlier this year, Intel launches one more Optane product: the first Optane SSD models for desktop PCs with 280 and 480 GB capacities.

The Intel Optane SSD 900P model with a capacity of 280 GB is priced in the US at $ 389, as the 480GB model will be available for $ 599. In the first instance, prices are expensive, but are expected to change downwards in the future. Optane SSD technology is estimated to deliver 4 times faster speed than a conventional SSD, while analysts note that they offer 22 times higher endurance than a conventional SSD.

The first Optane SSD tests have shown that in real-world performance their performance is significantly faster than NAND technology. These models that Intel has introduced are the first to be installed on standard desktop computers that are widely marketed. This is considered to be the first step in advancing this technology and making it more accessible to a wider audience.

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