Monday, October 28, 2013

#ALGORITHMS: "Bots Defeat CAPTCHA Turing Test"

Now that a bot has defeated the Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart--Captcha--the online world is scrambling to come up with a successor. Captcha protects thousands of web sites like Google, PayPal, Amazon from being hacked by bots by challenging them with a Turing Test that only humans can pass--until now. Vicarious aims to follow up by passing all the other popular Turing Tests--one at a time--until they have developed a robotic brain that is "almost human": R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Vicarious' bot acts like a human when completing the Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart -- Captcha, here used by Yahoo to verify users are human.
Further Reading

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

#CHIPS: "Synthetic Biology to Enhance Semiconductors"

Hybrid bio-chips, that integrate living cells with semiconductors, is the ultimate goal of the Semiconductor Research Corporation's new Semiconductor Synthetic Biology program. Along the way it plans to use DNA to pattern chips and to emulate the low-power efficiency of biological cells with cytomorphic-semiconductor circuit design: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

DNA-templates will guide their self-assembly of chip interconnects at sub-five nanometer nodes.
Further Reading

#MARKETS: "Intel Capital Boost 16 Startups with $65 Million"

At Intel Capital's annual Global Summit 2013 it announced $65 million in investments in 16 companies in nine countries: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

The CEOs of 16 companies accumulated $65 million in investments by Intel Capital today.
Further Reading

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

#SUPERCOMPUTERS: "Powerful Iridis4 HPC Goes Online"

The third most power supercomputer in the U.K. went online last week at the University of Southamptom: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

The 250 teraflop Iridis4 supercomputer houses over 12,200 Xeon cores along with 24 Xeon Phi coprocessors.
Further Reading

#ROBOTICS: "Co-Robot Unveiled by Unbounded Robotics "

Co-robots are one of the goals of the National Robotics Initiative launched last year, but Unbounded Robotics has beaten them to the punch with its just introduced UBR-1, a robot that can safely work alongside humans in applications ranging from warehouse shelve stocker to companions for the elderly: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Unbounded Robotics co-robot is designed to handle any object that humans ordinarily use.
Further Reading

Monday, October 21, 2013

#CHIPS: "Intel ‘Ivy Bridge’ Boost Financial Market Benchmark"

The Securities Technology Analysis Center LLC (STAC) financial benchmarks run 50 percent faster on the new "Ivy Bridge" Xeon chips from Intel: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Further Reading

Friday, October 18, 2013

#CHIPS: "DRAMs on the Rise Again"

Despite the slowdown in the PC market--DRAMs traditional main market--dynamic random access memories are in the black again: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

DRAMS have experienced operating margin rises for six successive periods after a nearly three year slump.
Further Reading

Thursday, October 17, 2013

#SUPERCOMPUTERS: "IBM Cluster Accelerates U.K. Research"

Iridis4--the 250 teraflop supercomputer at University of Southampton rates as one of the most powerful supercomputers in the United Kingdom: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Based an IBM Intelligent Cluster, the Iridis4 supercomputer accelerates research at the University of Southampton.
Further Reading

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

#DISPLAYS: "Applied Materials' Metal-Oxides Enable Ultra-Hi-Rez Displays"

The 4K and 8K televisions, as well as the "retina" calibre tablets and notebooks are switching to metal-oxide backplanes over conventional silicon, according to Applied Materials which just introduced new fabrication equipment suites for metal-oxide displays: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Ultra-high-resolution displays require metal oxide thin-film transistors (TFTs) using indium-gallium-zinc-oxide (IGZO, yellow) as the channel.

Applied Materials'PiVot system fabricate the ultra-high-resolution metal-oxide backplanes.
Further Reading

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

#MEMS: "Personal Crash Detector Protects Helmet Wearers"

Many spots enthusiast are wearing helmets these days to protect that precious noggin, but what to do when a rider is knocked unconscious on a lonely road. Now thanks to MEMS technologies, the ICDdot personal crash detector will detect the crash and contact emergency personnel and lead them to you, even if you are unconscious": R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

The MEMS enable personal crash detector from ICEdot mounts on any helmet to detect head traumas and contact emergency personnel if you are unconscious.
Further Reading

Monday, October 14, 2013

#MEMS: "Invensense Buys ADI's Digital Microphone Business"

Invensense--called the world's most successful MEMS startup by IHS--is expanding its portfolio of expertise by acquiring Analog Devices' digital microphone group, leveraging Invensense into big-brand OEMs like Apple (since ADI's mic is used in the iPhone and iPad): R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Invensense will complement its motion tracking MEMS chips with microphones by acquired from Analog Devices digital microphone business.
Further Reading

Friday, October 11, 2013

#CHIPS: "Qualcomm Unveils its Neural Network Chip"

Qualcomm described its neural processing units (NPUs) at the MIT Technology Review's EmTech conference, where Qualcomm chief technology officer (CTO) Matt Grob said that NPUs and design tools for developers will be available next year: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Qualcomm's "Zeroth" neural processing unit (NPU) is named after Isaac Asimov's Zeroth Robot Law--that no robot should harm a human.

Qualcomm aims to deliver both NPU hardware and development tools for its developer community in 2014.

Qualcomm CTO Matt Grob revealed its neural processing unit (NPU) at MIT's EmTech conference.

Further Reading

#MEMS: "Meet the Ideal iPad Add-On for Engineers"

Engineers are constantly being frustrated by the inability to conveniently draw circuit diagrams, but the iSketchnote digitizing iPad cover is the perfect add-on since it allows plain-paper sketches to be automatically uploaded to any iPad. The iSketchnote is enabled by an array of 32 STMicroelectronic magnetometers which locate a passive pen with a ring magnet attached: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

The iSketchnote iPad cover transfers anything written on a plain piece of paper (right) to the iPad screen (left)

A array of 32 STMicroelectronics three-axis magnetometers behind the plain paper holder enables the iSketchnote to track a passive pen with an embedded ring magnet.
Further Reading

Thursday, October 10, 2013

#ALGORITHMS: "IBM Launches Accelerated Discovery Lab"

IBM's Accelerated Discovery Lab takes data mining to the next level with smart analytics derived from its Watson AI combined with deep domain knowledge. The AD Lab's goal is to leverage Big Data to accelerate the pace of discovery in all fields of technology development: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Jeff Welser runs the Accelerated Design Lab for IBM.
Further Reading

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

#MARKETS: "Smart Video Outpacing Global Population"

Smart video players, from smartphones to smart-TVs, will outnumber the total number of people on Earth within four years. The Western world will dominate with over 10 smart video devices per household, but on average there will be 1.1 smart video devices per global capita by 2017: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

The global per capita (yellow) for smart video devices equal the population in 2016 (black dotted line) and outpace it by 2017 (blue), according to IHS.
Further Reading

#CHIPS: "Oracle Sets New World Record for Servers"

A new world’s record for two-socket x86 server performance has been set by Oracle's Sun Server X4 line powered by Intel’s newest Xeon E5-2600 v2 processor recently announced at Intel’s Developers Forum: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Further Reading

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

#ROBOTICS: "Jumping Robots Self-Assemble"

Robots with no wheels or legs nevertheless can move about by jumping in any direction to self-assemble into any shape necessary to solve a problem at hand. Eventually they will be downsized small enough to swarm over the landscape forming smooth arbitrary functions like the "liquid metal" robots in Terminator-II: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Modular robot used internal flywheel (pulled out here) to give it the ability to move without legs or wheels.
Further Reading

Monday, October 07, 2013

#MEMS: "Electronic Nose Sniffs Out Any/All"

Honeywell has enabled a universal electronic nose, with the world's first MEMS vacuum pump, which sniffs out any toxin, biological material or chemical in real time. Small enough to fit inside a smartphone, the electronic nose will eventually enable people to track the time and place of their exposure to everything from hazardous materials to the common cold bugs: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Honeywell's penny-sized vacuum pump (upper right) enables universal electronic noses by virtue of MEMS turbine blades for suction (lower left).
Further Reading

Friday, October 04, 2013

#CHIPS: "Supermicro MicroBlade Packs 896 Atom Cores"

Microservers will play an important part in the future of web hosting, mobile cloud services, data visualization and even in extreme scale-out environments and Intel's Atom C2000 (code-named Avoton) aims to lead the pack the way Xeon leads in the traditional server world. Case in point is SuperMicro's new Microblade which pack 896 energy efficient Atom cores into a single 6U rack: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Supermicro's MicroBlade offers extreme-density 112 octal-core Intel Atom C2000 processors, for a total of 896 cores, in a single 6U chassis just 10-1/2 inches high.
Further Reading

Thursday, October 03, 2013

#ALGORITHMS: "IBM Ushers in Era of Cognitive Computing"

The "era of cognitive computing" is upon us, according to IBM which featured an all-star cast of forward-looking thinkers at its Cognitive Systems Colloquium (CSC) this week. There it announced its Cognitive Systems Institute which will enlist academia, industry and government labs worldwide to cooperatively develop brain-like computers that can converse with us using natural language and which will augment human capabilities to cut-through Big Data in the search for solutions to the pressing technological and social problems of our time: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Further Reading

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

#MATERIALS: "Spray-On Sensors for Flexible Electronics"

Spray-on electronics will enable nearly any surface to become a sensor, for instance allowing robots to have sensitive skin or entire walls or curtains to have electronic functions, from changing the pattern of your wallpaper at the touch of a button to converting light coming in the window to power for the room. Now German researchers have proven the concept of spray-on electronics with a gas sensor that detects harmful chemicals, but which could also be used for almost any electronic function: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

German researcher Alaa Abdellah illustrates the flexibility of his spray-on gas sensor.
Further Reading