You might think Google knows all there is to know, but apparently Google doesn't think so. The company is now seeking to know the unknowable, having just sunk an undisclosed amount of capital into Cambridge, Mass.-based Recorded Future, a startup that analyzes the "past, present and the predicted future," according to Google's investment arm, Google Ventures.
Late last year, English scientists created the first real-world instance of spin ice, a long-hypothesized type of crystal that can behave as a magnet with only one pole. These monopole magnets could form the basis of quantum computing memory, so it was disappointing to find out that the spin ice only behaved as a monopole at -454 degrees Fahrenheit.
In 1971, electrical engineering professor Leon Chua proposed a theoretical basic electronics component called a memristor. In 2008, Hewlett Packard brought the memristor out of theory and into the real world. And today, HP announced that they have finally proven that they can build devices that use memristors, instead of the transistors that enable all current computer chips.
Never content to let a paradigm remain a paradigm, DARPA has issued a broad agency announcement seeking the development of super-low-power, non-volatile logic integrated circuits that retain their computational states as well as their data even after their power supplies have been removed. Focusing on magnetic-moment-based approaches, the agency wants a new breed of portable electronics, sensors and UAVs that can compute even when the lights go out.
Apple aficionados and first-adopters will have to wait a bit longer than anticipated to get their hot hands on the iPad. The tablet computer's debut has been moved back to April 3 for the U.S., AP reports.
Graphene may brighten the future more literally than we had originally anticipated, besides merely revolutionizing electronics and Silicon Valley. Swedish and American researchers have transformed the one-atom-thick carbon material into a new, inexpensive lighting component that could give organic light diodes (OLEDs) a run for their money.
Silicon Valley may want to update its name, because IBM has created graphene transistors that blow away the silicon competition. The transistor prototypes were made from sheets of carbon just one atom thick that could switch on and off at 100 billion times per second. The 100-gigahertz speed is about 10 times faster than any silicon equivalents, Technology Review reports.
As technological tensions run high between the U.S. and China these days (see Google's recent dust-up with the party, etc.), the People’s Republic has unveiled more details on its quest to phase U.S.-made processors from its microchip diet. China’s next supercomputer – a Linux-running machine known as the Dawning 6000 – will run purely on Chinese processors, possibly before the end of this year.
Researchers at Harvard and the University of Queensland have come up with a novel, just-crazy-enough-to-work method for modeling and simulating quantum systems: use a quantum computer. Employing the superior computing power of a custom-built quantum computing system, the researchers were able to determine the precise energy of molecular hydrogen for the first time, an impossible feat using classical computing methods. By doing so, they've opened the box on what could be a computing breakthrough stretching across disciplines.
A computer chip using nanotube circuitry can run much faster than a regular silicon chip, for a fraction of the cost, but no one has been able to effectively string together two nanotube transistors, let alone the thousands needed for a chip. Until now: researchers at Stanford University have built the first nanotube circuits, by stamping multiple layers of nanotubes on top of one another.