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Computing


Latest significant advancements in computing. Reporting on the far-reaching impacts of improvements within the realm of computing on society and humanity.

Microsoft Had a Crazy Idea to Put Servers Under Water—and It Totally Worked

A little over two years ago, a shipping container-sized cylinder bearing Microsoft’s name and logo was lowered onto the ocean floor off the northern coast of Scotland. Inside were 864 servers, and their submersion...

This Microchip Has Its Own Built-In Cooling System

As we pack electronics into ever smaller packages, dealing with the heat they produce is becoming a growing challenge. Now researchers have developed a liquid cooling system integrated directly within a microchip that dramatically...

A New Breakthrough Just Brought City-Wide Quantum Communication Into Reach

A quantum internet promises a truly unhackable way to communicate, but most proposals so far only link two users at a time and require costly infrastructure. Now researchers have demonstrated the first city-wide quantum...

Could Quantum Computing Progress Be Halted by Background Radiation?

Doing calculations with a quantum computer is a race against time, thanks to the fragility of the quantum states at their heart. And new research suggests we may soon hit a wall in how...

Moore’s Law Lives: Intel Says Chips Will Pack 50 Times More Transistors

If you weren’t already convinced the digital world is taking over, you probably are now. To keep the economy on life support as people stay home to stem the viral tide, we’ve been forced to...

New Algorithm Paves the Way Towards Error-Free Quantum Computing

No one likes noise when they’re working through a difficult problem. Quantum computers are no different, and now researchers have devised a new way to estimate how noise can throw their calculations off, a...

The World’s New Fastest Supercomputer Is an Exascale Machine for AI

Twice a year, the world’s fastest supercomputers take a test to see which is top of class. These hundred-million-dollar machines usually run on hundreds of thousands of processors, occupy warehouse floors, gobble up copious amounts...

A New Startup Intends to Build the World’s First Large-Scale Quantum Computer

An ambitious plan to build a quantum computer the size of a soccer field could soon become a reality. A startup founded by the researchers behind the idea has just come out of stealth...

China Takes Another Step Towards Uncrackable Quantum Communication

Uncrackable quantum communication is a step closer after Chinese researchers demonstrated a practical way to share security keys over 1,120 kilometers using entangled photons sent and received by satellites. In 2017, a team lead by...

MIT Wants to Put AI in Your Pocket With Confetti-Sized Brain Chip

The human brain operates on roughly 20 watts of power (a third of a 60-watt light bulb) in a space the size of, well, a human head. The biggest machine learning algorithms use closer...

Computing Power Can Keep Growing as Moore’s Law Winds Down. Here’s How

Moore's Law is faltering, but that doesn't mean the end of progress in processing power. Rather than relying on semiconductor physics and silicon-fabrication technology, though, we need to turn to innovations in software, algorithms,...

Scientists Tap the World’s Most Powerful Computers in the Race to Understand and Stop the Coronavirus

In The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, the haughty supercomputer Deep Thought is asked whether it can find the answer to the ultimate question concerning life, the universe, and everything. It...

Carbon Nanotube Transistors May Soon Give Waning Moore’s Law a Boost

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have long been touted as a potential material to take us beyond the limits of faltering silicon chips, but they've proven tricky to manufacture. Now scientists have demonstrated a way to...

New ‘Hot Qubits’ Let Quantum Computers Run 15X Warmer Than Before

When people say quantum computing is “hot” right now they are most definitely talking metaphorically; today’s leading devices have to operate at close to absolute zero. Now two research groups have demonstrated technology that...

This Breakthrough Just Got Us One Step Closer to a Quantum Internet

While quantum computing tends to garner all the headlines, quantum technology also has huge promise for the communication networks of the future. That’s why on top of the roughly $450 million the Trump administration...

Could a USB-C Charger’s Chip Get You to the Moon? This Guy Did the Math so You Don’t Have To

Comparing today’s computers to their famous ancestors is a popular pastime. As we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the moon landing last year, the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) became a particularly juicy target. The analysis,...

Could Photonic Chips Outpace the Fastest Supercomputers?

There's been a lot of talk about quantum computers being able to solve far more complex problems than conventional supercomputers. The authors of a new paper say they're on the path to showing an...

IBM’s Plan to Design Solid-State Batteries Using Quantum Tech

Batteries are the key to decarbonizing both transport and the grid, but today’s technology is still a long way from living up to this promise. IBM seems to have decided its computing chops are...

How Scientists Squeezed a Particle Accelerator Onto a Tiny Silicon Chip

Particle accelerators have helped us unravel some of the universe’s biggest mysteries, but they're huge, expensive, and inaccessible to most researchers. A new particle accelerator on a chip could soon change that. The world’s biggest...

Investment in Quantum Computing Is Booming—But Will a Quantum Winter Follow?

Quantum computing is red hot right now, not least after Google's recent announcement that it had achieved quantum supremacy. An analysis by Nature shows the quantum hype is translating into a massive investment boost...

Moore’s Law Is Dying. This Brain-Inspired Analogue Chip Is a Glimpse of What’s Next

“Dark silicon” sounds like a magical artifact out of a fantasy novel. In reality, it’s one branch of a three-headed beast that foretells the end of advances in computation. Ok—that might be too dramatic. But...

Cellular Computers Get a Boost With CRISPR

Cancer’s impenetrable secrets partly rely on its mysterious molecular history. As cells turn to the dark side, a whirlwind of DNA changes gradually accumulate. Like flipping multiple interlinked light switches, the cell gradually changes its...

Silicon Is Reaching Its Limits. Up Next: Carbon Nanotubes

Silicon has powered the information age, but it’s reaching its physical limits. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) hold a lot of promise as a replacement if we can get around some key obstacles—and the designers of...

This Giant AI Chip Is the Size of an iPad and Holds 1.2 Trillion Transistors

People say size doesn’t matter, but when it comes to AI the makers of the largest computer chip ever beg to differ. There are plenty of question marks about the gargantuan processor, but its...

Watch China’s New Hybrid AI Chip Power an Autonomous Bike

When I lived in Beijing back in the 90s, a man walking his bike was nothing to look at. But today, I did a serious double-take at a video of a bike walking his...

Microsoft Invests $1 Billion in OpenAI’s Mission to Build Artificial General Intelligence

Since its inception in 2015, OpenAI has been chasing the lofty goal of developing artificial general intelligence (AGI) for the benefit of all. But it turns out that doesn’t come cheap, so now Microsoft...

How Will We Store Three Septillion Bits of Data? Your Metabolome May Have the Answer

Thanks to the cloud, it’s hard to imagine that we’ll ever run out of data storage. But by 2040, we may be swarmed by three septillion bits of data, and Earth will run out...

In the Future, Everyone Might Use Quantum Computers

Computers were once considered high-end technology, only accessible to scientists and trained professionals. But there was a seismic shift in the history of computing during the second half of the 1970s. It wasn’t just...

Microsoft Is Building an All-In-One DNA Data Storage Device

The modern world is facing a tsunami of data. DNA is emerging as an ultra-compact way of storing it all, and now researchers supported by Microsoft have created the first system that can automatically...

Intel Is Building the World’s Most Powerful Supercomputer

A supercomputer capable of a quintillion operations a second will go online in 2021 after the US government handed Intel and supercomputer manufacturer Cray a contract to build an exascale computer called Aurora. This...

Finally, Proof That Quantum Computing Can Boost Machine Learning

Quantum supremacy sounds like something out of a Marvel movie. But for scientists working at the forefront of quantum computing, the hope—and hype—of this fundamentally different method of processing information is very real. Thanks...

IBM Introduces ‘Quantum Volume’ to Track Progress Towards the Quantum Age

Quantum computing companies are racing to squeeze ever more qubits into their devices, but is this really a solid sign of progress? IBM is proposing a more holistic measure it calls “quantum volume” (QV)...

Quantum Computing, Now and in the (Not Too Distant) Future

Fifty years ago, smartphones would have been the ultimate computing wizardry. Just as classical computers were almost unimaginable to previous generations, we’re now facing the birth of an entirely new type of computation, something...

What Games Are Humans Still Better at Than AI?

Artificial intelligence (AI) systems’ rapid advances are continually crossing rows off the list of things humans do better than our computer compatriots. AI has bested us at board games like chess and Go, and set...

Neuroscientists Just Found a Way to Image the Brain 1,000 Times Faster Than Ever Before

You know those stories of scientific breakthroughs, in which the lone genius scientist struggles for years until his “eureka!” moment? Yeah, that’s a lie. With the big data revolution well under way, today scientific discoveries are...

Quantum Communication Just Took a Great Leap Forward

Researchers in the field of quantum communication have recently made great strides, taking us closer to a perfectly secure method of communication. For years, researchers struggled to find ways to amplify quantum signals, store large...

How Blockchain Is Changing Computer Gaming

Ripples of change are starting to spread throughout the $108.9 billion computer gaming industry, as blockchain technology looks set to change core aspects of games enjoyed by 2.2 billion people around the world. Better security...

The SpiNNaker Supercomputer, Modeled After the Human Brain, Is Up and Running

We've long used the brain as inspiration for computers, but the SpiNNaker supercomputer, switched on this month, is probably the closest we’ve come to recreating it in silicon. Now scientists hope to use the...

How Quantum Computing is Enabling Breakthroughs in Chemistry

Note: Mark Jackson is Scientific Lead of Business Development at Cambridge Quantum Computing  Quantum computing is expected to solve computational questions that cannot be addressed by existing classical computing methods. It is now accepted that...

From Quantum Computing to a Quantum Internet—a Roadmap

Quantum computers are making all the headlines these days, but quantum communication technology may actually be closer to practical implementation. In a bid to hasten its arrival, researchers have now mapped out the path...

DeepMind’s Eerie Reimagination of the Animal Kingdom

If a recent project using Google’s DeepMind were a recipe, you would take a pair of AI systems, images of animals, and a whole lot of computing power. Mix it all together, and you’d...

Why Rigetti’s New Quantum Hybrid Cloud Service Is a Big Deal

Despite their potential power, today’s quantum computers are still taking baby steps and need a fair bit of hand-holding from their conventional cousins. That’s why computing startup Rigetti has launched a hybrid cloud service...

A Student Took Down One of Quantum Computing’s Top Applications—Now What?

The possibility that quantum computing could turbocharge machine learning is one of the most tantalizing applications for the emerging technology. But an 18-year-old student just put that vision in doubt after finding a classical...

Could Machine Learning Mean the End of Understanding in Science?

Much to the chagrin of summer party planners, weather is a notoriously chaotic system. Small changes in precipitation, temperature, humidity, wind speed or direction, etc. can balloon into an entirely new set of conditions...

Waste Heat: The Overlooked Energy Problem, and How to Solve It

With the exponential increase in the number of data centers and electronic devices over the last decade, waste heat has become a big but overlooked environmental problem. It is frequently hidden away, out of...

DNA Computing Gets a Boost With This Machine Learning Hack

As the master code of life, DNA can do a lot of things. Inheritance. Gene therapy. Wipe out an entire species. Solve logic problems. Recognize your sloppy handwriting. Wait, What? In a brilliant study published in...

Why Most of Us Fail to Grasp Coming Exponential Gains in AI

By now, most of us are familiar with Moore’s Law, the famous maxim that the development of computing power follows an exponential curve, doubling in price-performance (that is, speed per unit cost) every 18...

Big Tech Should Take the Lead on Climate Change—Here’s Why

At Collision, which calls itself “North America’s fastest-growing tech conference,” former United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres threw down a challenge to tech titans: move the world from incremental to exponential action on climate...

Bot vs. Bot: Will the Internet Soon Be a Place Without Humans?

The internet, as it stands, is a global system of interconnected computer networks that allows humans to interact with each other, do business, gain knowledge, and be entertained. Google allowed us to find everything...

Three Huge Ways Tech Is Overhauling Healthcare

We are on the brink of a revolution in healthcare. AI is making the drug discovery process >100X faster and cheaper, and 90 percent more likely to succeed in clinical trials. Mobile health is...

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