David Kirkpatrick

August 18, 2010

The long arm of the internet reaches 5B devices

Filed under: Business, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:28 pm

Yes, that header is correct — this month will see the five billionth device connected to the world via the internet Something to think about there. From the early days of ARPANET up to today’s World Wide Web full of commercialization, social media, viral video and everything else you can track down in the online world, human communication has gone through an honest revolution. A revolution I doubt very many of us would want to see rolled back.

From the first link:

Sometime this month, the 5 billionth device will plug into the Internet. And in 10 years, that number will grow by more than a factor of four, according to IMS Research, which tracks the installed base of equipment that can access the Internet.

On the surface, this second tidal wave of growth will be driven by cell phones and new classes of consumer electronics, according to an IMS statement. But an even bigger driver will be largely invisible: machine-to-machine communications in various kinds of smart grids for energy management, surveillance and public safety, traffic and parking control, and sensor networks.

Earlier this year, Cisco forecast equally steep growth rates in personal devices and overall Internet traffic. [See “Global IP traffic to increase fivefold by 2013, Cisco predicts“]

Today, there are over 1 billion computers that regularly connect to the Internet. That class of devices, including PCs and laptops and their associated networking gear, continues to grow.


August 4, 2010

Fiber optics on a chip

Filed under: Business, Science, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:22 pm

Now, this is really interesting (and to be fair to the story, the fiber ops are replacing wiring, the chip is key component in allowing this to happen.)

From the link:

The world of computing could change rapidly in coming years thanks to technology that replaces the metal wiring between components with faster, more efficient fiber-optic links.

“All communications over long distance are driven by lasers, but you’ve never had it inside devices,” says Mario Paniccia, director of Intel’s photonics lab in Santa Clara, CA. “Our new integrated optical link makes that possible.”

Paniccia’s team has perfected tiny silicon chips capable of encoding and decoding laser signals sent via fiber optics. Today, when data arrives at a computer via a fiber optic connection it has to be moved from a separate photonic device to an electronic circuit. This new system promises to speed things up because everything works in silicon.

Last week, Paniccia’s team demonstrated the first complete photonic communications system made from components fully integrated into silicon chips. Electronic data piped into one chip is converted into laser light that travels down an optical fiber and is transferred back into electrical signals a few fractions of a second later. The system can carry data at a rate of 50 gigabytes per second, enough to transfer a full-length HD movie in less than a second.

The silicon photonic chips could replace the electronic connections between a computer’s key components, such as its processors and memory. Copper wiring used today can carry data signals at little more than 10 gigabytes per second. That means critical components like the central processing unit and the memory in a server cannot be too far apart, which restricts how computers can be built.

Seeing the light: A chip in the center of this circuit board contains four lasers that convert electrical signals into light pulses. The pulses travel at high speeds along a fiber-optic link.
Credit: Intel

November 25, 2009

Nanny company alert — Apple

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:17 pm

Apple is actually voiding warranties for secondhand smoke “contamination.” Second hand smoke residue on computer parts make them too toxic to handle? Really?

I hope this is some sort of hoax, but it seems to have some factual basis. Apple already has a very sorry track record in digital rights management, and it now looks like they want to either start defrauding customers of legitimate warranty claims or become some sort of anti-smoking police, because they can’t be seriously arguing the remnants of tobacco smoke on electronic parts is least bit dangerous.

From the first link:

Apple is apparently telling at least some customers that the amount of cigarette smoke residue inside their computers makes it unsafe for the company to perform warranty service on them, despite the lack of such a clause in the company’s warranty agreement.

The Consumerist says the complaint as been raised as far as Steve Jobs’ office, with no relief for the customers involved.

The story was reported on Friday, though the Consumerist said it had sought, but failed to receive, any explanation from Apple HQ over a period of months. (The site is part of the Consumers Union/Consumer Reports organization, so I deem the report credible).

March 17, 2009

PC circa 2019

Filed under: Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:17 pm

At least according to MIT’s Media Lab.

From the link:

One thing everyone seems to agree on: The PC of 2019 won’t look like today’s laptops. “I’m not seeing people carrying anything that looks like a book,” says Dan Siewiorek, a professor of computer science and electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University and director of the university’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute. “It would be like a phone or a ring or watch. It will probably take multiple form factors.”

February 4, 2009

Quantum dots and better computers

From KurzweilAI.net— Very cool Single-atom quantum dots made of silicon. This nanotech breakthrough has very real implications in improving computer performance by reducing both size and power consumption.

Single Atom Quantum Dots Bring Real Devices Closer
PhysOrg.com, Jan. 27, 2009

Scientists at Edmonton’s National Institute for Nanotechnology have invented quantum dots less than a nanometer in diameter and containing only one atom of silicon.

By controlling electrons at a smaller scale than transistors, the quantum dots could allow for silicon-based computers 1,000 times smaller in size and with a 1,000-times reduction in power consumption.

Read Original Article>>

September 25, 2008

Nanotech process to improve computers

This nanoscale process will make computers smaller, faster and more efficient. Sounds good to me.

From the link:

Scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara have made a major contribution to this field by designing a new nanotechnology that will ultimately help make computers smaller, faster, and more efficient. The new process is described in today’s Science Express, the online version of the journal Science.
For the first time, the UCSB scientists have created a way to make square, nanoscale, chemical patterns –– from the bottom up –– that may be used in the manufacture of integrated circuit chips as early as 2011. It is called block co-polymer lithography.

Five leading manufacturers, including Intel and IBM, helped fund the research at UCSB, along with the National Science Foundation and other funders. The university has already applied for patents on the new methods developed here, and it will retain ownership.

Atomic Force Microscope image of a square array of 15nm pores formed by the new technology.
Atomic Force Microscope image of a square array of 15nm pores formed by the new technology.