November 03, 2012

5 millimeter thick, 2.5 inch hybrid terabyte hybrid hard drive can boost memory for tablets

Channel News Asia - researchers in Singapore have developed one of the world's thinnest hybrid hard disk drives with storage capacity of over 1 terabyte.

Called the "A-Drive", it is 5mm thick, or 30 per cent thinner than existing hard disk drives, and is targeted for use in tablets, ultrabooks and future data centres.

Typically, existing 7mm-thick hard disk drives have a storage capacity of 500 gigabytes.

The "A-Drive" will provide storage capacities of up to 1 terabyte from the magnetic spinning disks, and 32 gigabytes from flash memory technology.

Nexus 4 has competitive specs with Samsung Galaxy S3, HTC One X and the iPhone 5

Android Central compares the Google LG Nexus 4 with the Samsung Galaxy S3 and HTC One X, and the iPhone 5.

The Nexus 4 beats out the iPhone 5 in screen resolution, and only at a slight cost to pixel density. On local storage, the iPhone 5 has a bit of a lead; neither support microSD, and Apple's offering additional 32 GB and 64 Gb denominations. The iPhone 5 also takes the lead in cellular connectivity thanks to LTE. The iPhone 5 is slimmer, lighter, and has a smaller overall footprint, though the LG Nexus 4 has a significantly bigger battery, plus that cool inductive charging technology and NFC.

Wired and several others have reviewed the LG Nexus 4 and rate it as the best android smartphone that is currently available

Observation of Spontaneous Bursting Spike Patterns Simple Three Memristor Circuits

Arxiv - The memristor is the fourth fundamental circuit element which was predicted to exist from symmetry arguments in 1971. It is a two terminal passive device. It is stateful and the internal state is related to past history of the device. Because of the memristor's ability to learn it has been proposed that the memristor could be a route to neuromorphic or brain-like hardware. As the achievement of this is widely anticipated to lead to a step-change in not just computing, but science and even society itself (if it works we would be able to make a true machine intelligence which could enable us to answer fascinating philosophical questions about the nature of consciousness, intelligence and mankind).

The distinctive switching spikes seen in single memristor circuits can be suppressed in networks of memristors. Instead oscillatory behaviour interrupted by spontaneous irregular bursting spike patterns are observed. An investigation of two and three memistor circuits was undertaken to elucidate the origin and nature of these rich dynamics. No spiking or oscillations are seen in circuits where all the memristors are arranged with matching polarity. Spiking is seen in circuits where memristors are arranged anti-parallel. These dynamics may be due to increased sensitivity to initial conditions or deterministic chaos and are potentially useful for neuromorphic computing.

We have shown that three memristors can produce rich behaviour, including
brain-wave-like oscillations and spiking events. An interesting question is where
has the large spike at the start gone and where have the switching spikes ex-
pected from the I-V curve gone. We believe that the energy of the current spike,
in fact the current itself, has been `absorbed' into the memristor network and
is the cause of the latter spiking events

Project for Adult Stem Cell Antiaging Breakthrough Fundraising on Indiegogo

Since 1999, Maximum Life Foundation has been dedicated to eradicating aging-related diseases, and the aging process itself.

UPDATE - A separate study found that an injection of 20 million stem cells (either the patients own or a third party donor) helped repair 30% of scar tissue from a heart attack.

As we age, we see every reason to be completely independent, energetic and youthful with MORE time with family and friends and MORE time to achieve each of our goals and dreams. Our mission is to make “100 years old the New 50.”

Centagen is a biotechnology company that is developing medical therapies that utilize a patient's own adult stem cells. The company has a new technology to expand adult stem cells in vitro (in the lab) up to 1 million times, then rejuvenate them and inject the stem cells back into the person from which they came. This will help repair and rejuvenate organs and tissues damaged by aging, disease and injury. The process may even help healthy people stay young.

Although the focus of Centagen is clinical therapeutics with amplified stem cells, we applied some of our technology to create an effective nanotech nutritional supplement that promotes stem cells in humans and doubles the maximum lifespan of laboratory animals. As our first product, Stem Cell 100TM combines ten pharmaceutical-grade natural vegetarian extracts that promote regenerative stem cells in the body. Stem Cell 100 acts by stimulating biological processes needed to promote healthy stem cells, while inhibiting the degenerative inflammatory reactions that limit stem cell function. Along with our clinical therapeutics, we are developing additional supplements that promote our own stem cells and have a positive benefit on other mechanisms of aging. Stem Cell 100 does not contain any stem cells. It is made with pharmaceutical grade plant extracts that have been used for thousands of years.

Solution Summary

* Small number of Adult Stem Cells are removed from your blood or fat

* Stem Cells are expanded a million fold in incubator and rejuvenated without changing stem cell state

* Revitalized Stem Cells are then injected back into a particular body system to cure dysfunction or disease

* It is safe and non-immunogenic - uses no genetic engineering or mutagens

Plasma Jet Electric Thrusters for Spacecraft Kickstarter

A prototype electric pulsed plasma jet thruster for reliable, high performance, low cost interplanetary space transportation kickstarter has successfully raised $72,000 and still has 51 minutes left to go.

Our technical objectives for this thruster development project are to meet or exceed the following thruster performance goals:

* Design and construct a high density gas fed plasma thruster operated at an average continuous input power level of about 1.0 kW
* Achieve a specific impulse (Isp) of 2000 sec (which means an average exhaust velocity of about 20,000 m/s)
* Operate at 5 pulses per second (5 Hz) for a minimum duration of one minute

November 02, 2012

One in 25 solar systems have Asteroid Belts at Just the Right Place to be Friendly to Life

NASA JPL - Solar systems with life-bearing planets may be rare if they are dependent on the presence of asteroid belts of just the right mass, according to a study by Rebecca Martin, a NASA Sagan Fellow from the University of Colorado in Boulder, and astronomer Mario Livio of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md.

As solar systems form, they frequently acquire an asteroid belt around the "snow line" – the point where it's cold enough for volatile materials such as water to remain solid. But just having an asteroid belt isn't enough in itself; you need a large planet around to make sure the belt isn't too thick or too thin.

Life may need a Goldylocks asteroid belt that is just the right place and density.

Having too few collisions could mean that the planet is not properly seeded with material from the asteroids.

There might also be an issue if the asteroid belt causes too many collisions, where a technological civilization cannot develop without getting destroyed by an asteroid.

They suggest that the size and location of an asteroid belt, shaped by the evolution of the sun's planet-forming disk and by the gravitational influence of a nearby giant Jupiter-like planet, may determine whether complex life will evolve on an Earth-like planet.

This might sound surprising because asteroids are considered a nuisance due to their potential to impact Earth and trigger mass extinctions. But an emerging view proposes that asteroid collisions with planets may provide a boost to the birth and evolution of complex life.

Asteroids may have delivered water and organic compounds to the early Earth. According to the theory of punctuated equilibrium, occasional asteroid impacts might accelerate the rate of biological evolution by disrupting a planet's environment to the point where species must try new adaptation strategies.

Intel working on 48 core processor for smartphones and tablets by about 2018 to 2023

Computer World - Intel researchers are working on a 48-core processor for smartphones and tablets, but it could be five to 10 years before it hits the market.

This seems like a long time to get to market and by then the current leaders in smartphone chips (Nvidia and Qualcomm) would seem likely to have far better offerings.

Enric Herrero, a research scientist at Intel Labs in Barcelona, said the lab is working on finding new ways to use and manage many cores in mobile devices.

Today, some small mobile devices use multi-core chips. However, those multi-cores might be dual- or quad-core CPUs working with a few GPUs. Having a 48-core chip in a small mobile device would open up a whole new world of possibilities.

Justin Rattner, Intel's CTO, told Computerworld that a 48-core chip for small mobile devices could hit the market "much sooner" than the researchers' 10-year prediction.

"I think the desire to move to more natural interfaces to make the interaction much more human-like is really going to drive the computational requirements," he said. "Having large numbers of cores to generate very high performance levels is the most energy efficient way to deliver those performance levels."
Intel is working on a cloud computing chip

Navy Researchers Look to Rotating Detonation Engines for 25% fuel savings

The U.S. Navy finds gas-turbine engines attractive because they scale nicely to large powers, are relatively small and self-contained, and are relatively easy to maintain. The gas-turbine engines the Navy uses today are based on the Brayton thermodynamic cycle, where air is compressed and mixed with fuel, combusted at a constant pressure, and expanded to do work for either generating electricity or for propulsion. To significantly improve the performance of gas-turbine engines, researchers need to look beyond the Brayton cycle to explore alternative and possibly more innovative cycles.

NRL researchers believe that one attractive possibility is to use the detonation cycle instead of the Brayton cycle for powering a gas-turbine.

NRL researchers believe that RDEs (Rotating Detonation Engine) have the potential to meet 10% increased power requirements as well as 25% reduction in fuel use for future Navy applications. Currently there are about 430 gas turbine engines on 129 U.S. Navy ships. These engines burn approximately 2 billion dollars worth of fuel each year. By retrofitting these engines with the rotating detonation technology, researchers estimate that the Navy could save approximately 300 to 400 million dollars a year.

NRL researchers have constructed a model of a Rotating Detonation Engine.(Photo: U.S. Naval Research Laboratory)

Over 5 times as many Android smartphones shipped compared to Apple phones

Google android smartphone had 75% of the smartphone market in the third quarter.

181 million smart phones shipped on the quarter
136 million android smartphones
26.9 million apple iphones
7.7 million blackberry
4.1 million symbian
3 million windows

Samsung shipped about 35 million
The recently released Galaxy Note 2 has already sold 3 million phones and is on track to triple sales of the first note

Robots for Precision Agriculture

New Scientist - Automation is the key to precision farming. Specifically, say agricultural engineers, precision farming needs robot farmers.

Soon, we might see fields with agribots that can identify individual seedlings and coax them along with tailored drops of fertiliser and measured sips of water. Other machines would distinguish weeds and dispatch them with a microdot of pesticide, a burst from a flame gun or a shot from a high-power laser. These machines will also be able to identify and harvest all kinds of ripe vegetables.

Robots could bring major changes, too, in jobs and how we work, in the soil and its quality, and in how much energy, and thus carbon, goes into farming. They could reduce pollution and water use. The most visible change, though, for ordinary people, could be in how farmland looks. Crops could be planted in small, geometrically arranged fields, while fruit farms are filled with arrays of two-dimensional trees. Robofarmers might even influence the type of fruit and vegetables that reach our shelves.

November 01, 2012

Apple and Samsung have 106% of mobile handset profits

EETimes - Combined, Apple and Samsung took 106 percent of handset profits in the third quarter, down slightly from 108 percent in the second quarter, according to Walkley. The percentage is greater than 100 to offset for operating losses incurred by struggling vendors like Research in Motion, Nokia and Motorola.

Kazakhstan Uranium production is up 8% or 1200 tons from last year for first 9 months

Uranium production volume of the Republic of Kazakhstan for 9 months made up 15,080 tU (which is 8 % higher in comparison with the same period of the previous year).

Kazatomprom accounts for 8,601 tU of the total uranium production volume in the Republic of Kazakhstan, and this is approximately 8% more in comparison with the same period of the previous year.

Cameco of Canada was down 200 tons (about 3%) from last year.

Cameco has a revised forecast of Net New Nuclear Reactors for 2021

Cameco is one of the largest uranium producers in the world. They are highly motivated to have an accurate forecast of how many nuclear reactors there will be that will use their uranium resources. Cameco is expecting 15 fewer net new reactors by 2021. They still expect 80 net new reactors.

While expected demand has decreased, there has also been an increase in global supply. In China, Uzbekistan and Namibia production increased at a number of mines, which we expect will equate to about 30 million pounds of further supply over the 10-year period.

The result when we put these changes to supply and demand together is a demonstrated need for new supply of 360 million pounds from 2012 to 2021, compared to the 440 million pounds we had forecast earlier in the year.

Even Disney Corporate Suits and Hired Directors and Writers will Love Star Wars more than George Lucas Did

Accultured - at long last, George Lucas has decided to get out of the moviemaking business. He’s selling out Lucasfilm, including all of its properties and moneymaking storylines, to the Mouse. This is a good thing. Maybe even a great thing.

Disney is a bloodless corporate behemoth. But at least they will try to hire good people and many of those people care about their craft and love the Star Wars Universe (in spite of some of the things George Lucas did). George Lucas became a big corporate guy who hated everything but editing.

To understand why, we need to back up a bit to understand more about who George Lucas is and who he isn’t. And here’s the first step I’d like you to take before we go any further: banish from your head any assumption that George Lucas even likes Star Wars. Assume, for the sake of argument, that he doesn’t like it at all.

I didn’t really understand George Lucas, despite living on an uninterrupted diet of his films for most of my childhood years, until I read The Making of Empire Strikes Back, a recent book which tracks the process of the best film of the Star Wars saga and includes all sorts of stories from the set about the clashes between Lucas and director Irvin Kershner. Around the time the book came out, Lucas publicly declared that Empire was the worst Star Wars movie, to the shock of many fans.

US switching from Canada's oilsand projects to US tight oil and China Buys into Canada Oilsands

1. Financial Post - Ottawa’s new foreign ownership guidelines are coming into play just as a large number of oil sands assets are poised to change hands.

In a new report, Calgary energy investment bank Peters & Co. said oil sands assets worth $17-billion are for sale today formally and informally — about the same value as oil sands assets sold over the entire last decade.

The interesting theme: The big sellers appear to be U.S. companies looking to get out, while the buyers seem to be national oil companies (NOCs) — such as those from China — looking to get in.

The theme may reflect the rise and attractiveness of tight oil in the United States and pipeline bottlenecks that are depressing prices of oil produced in Canada.

2. Calgary Herald - Suncor Energy Inc. expects crude from its Fort Hills oilsands mine to start flowing a year later than previously thought and says ever-growing production from places like North Dakota is a challenge to the economics of its Voyageur upgrader.

Those two projects, as well as the Joslyn mine, are part of a $1.75-billion joint venture Suncor inked with French energy giant Total SA in 2010. The partners are undertaking a review of those three projects in an effort to drive down costs.

US Daily Crude Oil Production at 6.67 million bpd up 13% from 2011 and Texas daily oil over 2 million bpd

US daily oil production was 6.67 million barrels per day for the week of Oct 26 which was up 59,000 barrels per day. The US is averaging 500,000 barrels per day more in 2012 than in 2011. The four week average is up 12.9% from the same period in 2011. This is the highest daily US crude oil production level since 1994.

The daily US all oil liquid production (including natural gas liquids and ethanol) is at 10.97 million barrels per day.

The EIA shows Texas oil production is over 2 million barrels per day in August. Texas was last at this level in 1988.

October 31, 2012

Japan Thorium and Accelerator Driven Reactors

Kirk Sorensen A Global Alternative to thorium energy via LFTR

Kirk thinks medical isotopes will be the initial product from thorium reactors to fund the development to scale up thorium reactors for energy.

MIT Style

Noam Chomsky, the 83-year-old “father of modern linguistics,'' is in the MIT Gangnam Style Parody video for about 7 seconds.

A few other notable professors were featured, including Professor Eric Lander, one of the principle leaders of the Human Genome Project. In one scene, Lander dances around Ha, and the two then jump up onto a desk.

“He actually heard of the song before and he was really excited to do it,” Ha said, adding that Lander choreographed the moves on his own.

The Thousand Year Disney Star Wars Empire

1. MTV - George Lucas Says Disney's 'Star Wars' Could Last 100 Years. I think this is underestimating it and it will be the thousand year entertainment empire.

Kathy Kennedy revealed that meetings have already begun with prospective writers for the new movies. "I'm doing this so that the films will have a longer life," Lucas said. "So more fans and people can enjoy them in the future. It's a very big universe I've created and there's a lot of stories sitting in there."

In a separate video announcing the deal, Disney CEO Bob Iger had nothing but praise for Lucas' vision for the "Star Wars" universe, which he noted now includes 17,000 characters inhabiting several thousand planets spanning 20,000 years. "George Lucas is a true visionary and an innovative, epic storyteller who has defined modern filmmaking with unforgettable characters and amazing stories," said Iger.

The pact will also spin off new TV shows, games and theme park attractions and Iger said the company fully understands the responsibility that comes with stewardship of such iconic, beloved characters. In the same video, Lucas said he's been a fan of Disney all his life and that the deal will allow him to move into more philanthropic efforts as well as work on more experimental films that don't fit into the Lucasfilm universe.

2. John Scalzi on Disney buying Star Wars.

Iron Man 4 just announced; will chronicle Tony Stark's final transformation into Darth Vader.

Average Solar module prices at 64 cents per watt and will be at 55 cents per watt in 2013

Average market pricing for crystalline modules is expected to decline by another 9% in the fourth quarter, falling to $0.64/W at the end of 2012, down from $0.70 at the end of September.

All told, the decline in PV module prices afflicting the market will slow down in 2013 and then eventually stop by the second half of the year. By the fourth quarter of 2013, average crystalline module prices are forecast to reach $0.55 per watt, down 14% from the same time in 2012, compared to a bigger contraction of 32% between the fourth quarter of 2011 to 2012.

Revenues of the module industry that dropped throughout 2012 are predicted to bottom out in the first quarter of next year. From then on a recovery is expected. In Q4 2013 global module revenues are forecast to again surpass the mark of $7 billion. This is still significantly less than in the boom year 2010, when quarterly module revenues exceeded $10 billion in Q3 and Q4.

Quad patterning a possibility at 10nm says Taiwan Semiconductor and Intel

EETimes - Quad patterning may be needed for 10-nm process technology if extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography is not ready in 2015 or so when Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. expects to start early production of the technology. He also said we can see down to 5 nm easily in the next five years.

Jack Sun, chief technologist at TSMC, said quad patterning--four passes through a lithography stepper using four different masks--was one of several options TSMC is exploring as it works on path finding for the process.

Earlier, Intel said it has found a way to make 10-nm chips using quad patterning that is still cost effective. It aims to start production of chips in the process in as little as two years.

Smartphones that Use Half the Power

Technology Review - Powering cellular base stations around the world will cost $36 billion this year—chewing through nearly 1 percent of all global electricity production. Much of this is wasted by a grossly inefficient piece of hardware: the power amplifier, a gadget that turns electricity into radio signals.

The versions of amplifiers within smartphones suffer similar problems. If you’ve noticed your phone getting warm and rapidly draining the battery when streaming video or sending large files, blame the power amplifiers. As with the versions in base stations, these chips waste more than 65 percent of their energy—and that’s why you sometimes need to charge your phone twice a day.

An MIT spinout company called Eta Devices say they have cracked the efficiency problem with a new amplifier design.

October 30, 2012

David LeBlanc talks about Molten Salt Reactors

At the 18 minute, talks about current University consortium starting to work towards 25 MWE prototype and a major engineering firm.

Oil sands' $200 Billion carbon taxes over 35 years, mandated to be spent on cleantech.

At about 17 minutes, talks about the opportunity to use molten salt reactors for oilsands and then bridge over to pure nuclear energy powered civilization.

Emerging Nuclear Fission and Fusion Innovations Talk by Mark Halper

Introduction for 4 minutes
* then fast neutron reactors (Terrawave, China, and others, Full size reactor should be commercial 2030)

* General Atomics (6.5 minutes)

2 page datasheet

8 page executive summary

Disney buys Star Wars Film Franchise and will make More Episodes and George Lucas will consult

Disney is buying Lucasfilm for $4 billion, adding the legendary Star Wars franchise to the entertainment giant's stable of characters. The latest part of the Star Wars saga, Star Wars Episode 7 is targeted for a 2015 release.

"For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next," said George Lucas, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lucasfilm, in a statement. "It's now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers."

The statement about passing onto a new generation of filmmakers seems to imply that George will not be involved in Episode 7. Disney buying the franchise means that they will produce far more episodes and more will be produced so long as they are profitable. If they are ever unprofitable then they will reboot the universe and keep going.

LA Times - Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger said today that the long-range plan would be to release a new “Star Wars” film every two to three years.

Lucasfilm founder George Lucas will act as a creative consultant for the next film.

Disney will take ownership of Lucasfilm and acquire the entire portfolio of Lucasfilm technologies, as well as its franchises like Indiana Jones.

Carnival of Space 273

HIV detection test that is ten times more sensitive

Cordis - Two researchers funded by the EU have succeeded in developing and testing a state-of-the-art HIV detection test. The Imperial College London, United Kingdom duo says the test is 10 times more sensitive than other methods used to identify this disease, and it is inexpensive. The potential to bring this innovative technique to market is strong, providing a way to diagnose HIV earlier.

Journal Nature Materials - Plasmonic nanosensors with inverse sensitivity by means of enzyme-guided crystal growth

Low-Resistance Connections Facilitate Use of Multi-walled Carbon Nanotubes for Interconnects

Georgia Tech - Using a new method for precisely controlling the deposition of carbon, researchers have demonstrated a technique for connecting multi-walled carbon nanotubes to the metallic pads of integrated circuits without the high interface resistance produced by traditional fabrication techniques.

Based on electron beam-induced deposition (EBID), the work is believed to be the first to connect multiple shells of a multi-walled carbon nanotube to metal terminals on a semiconducting substrate, which is relevant to integrated circuit fabrication. Using this three-dimensional fabrication technique, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology developed graphitic nanojoints on both ends of the multi-walled carbon nanotubes, which yielded a 10-fold decrease in resistivity in its connection to metal junctions.

Journal IEEE Transactions on Nanotechnology - Fabrication of an Ultra-Low-Resistance Ohmic Contact to MWCNT-Metal Interconnect using Graphitic Carbon by Electron Beam Induced Deposition (EBID)

Tri-alpha Energy Nuclear Fusion 100MW Project emerging from Stealth Mode

Tri-alpha Energy (stealth nuclear fusion project that has over $140 million in funding including funding from Goldman Sachs) has a 79 page presentation. Tri-Alpha structures in 12C.

(H/T Talk Polywell)

Tri-alpha Energy has a patent - Controlled fusion in a field reversed configuration and direct energy conversion.

The 11B (p,α)αα reaction
* When 675 keV protons strike 11B, a resonance in 12C is formed at 16.6 MeV having a width of 300 keV.
* This resonance decays by emitting a primary α−particle, leading to the first excited state of 8Be which is 3 MeV above the ground state. This state decays into two secondary α-particles. σ(α1) = 600 mb!
* The state-of-the-art understanding of this reaction came from a 1987 study which “proved” that the reaction yielded one high energy primary α-particle, and two low energy secondary ones.

Our discovery of TWO high energy α-particles is having a huge impact on the reactor design. They are much easier to extract and convert more efficiently into electricity.

October 29, 2012

Google Reveals the Nexus 10 and it is the strongest tablet competitor to the Apple iPad

Google Play - Nexus 10 is the newest tablet from Google. With the world’s highest resolution tablet display, all new multi-user features, immersive HD content and the best Google app. It will be available for purchase on Tuesday, Nov. 13th for $399 for a 16GB WiFi version and $499 for a 32 GB version.

* 2560-by-1600 high-resolution display
* Chrome is now better than ever on Nexus 10. Advanced MIMO WiFi and accelerated page loading give you web browsing speeds up to 4x faster* than normal WiFi.
* CPU: Dual-core A15
* GPU: Mali T604
* 1.33 pounds
* 5 MP (main camera)
* 1.9 MP (front camera)
* nine hours of continuous video playback and 500 hours of standby on its 9,000mAh lithium polymer battery
* Android 4.2 which has Google Now, which can monitor your Gmail for relevant content

The Nexus 10 is better than the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and Galaxy Tab 2 10.1. Equal or better price with a far better screen and processors and updated version of Android.

The Nexus 10 is a bit more expensive than the Kindle Fire HD but has better components (screen, processors, cameras etc...)

The Nexus 10 is a strong competitor to the iPad with comparable screen and more aggressive pricing and about 10% lighter.

Incremental Solar Electric Propulsion Improvement Enables Electric Propulsion Human Missions to the Moon, Asteroids, and Mars

NASA FISO presentation - This Way To Deep Space Electric Propulsion Human Missions to the Moon, Asteroids, and Mars (27 pages)

New solar array technologies (e.g. ROSA, FAST, Ultraflex) could provide the power for a high-­‐power SEP stage (with specific powers of 130-­‐220 W/kg).

Space Solar array technology has been doubling every four years.

There are other potentials for more radical improvement in space capabilities, but this incremental scaling up and improvement of what has already flown in space.

The Japanese Ikaros satellite, a solar sail, is producing power at about 0.8 kg/kw [1250 watts per kg, 5 to 10 times better than what the SEP stage can do) for the power production system. This extremely low value is accomplished by using a heliogyro thin film solar sail design, which has no structure, and thin film solar cells on part of the surface. Given reasonable improvements in thin film solar cells this figure could be 0.16 kg/kw [6250 watts per kg or 28 times better than the 220 watts per kg expectation for 2020] for power production, not including other parts of the satellite.

Spacex next cargo mission could be delayed to investigate first stage engine loss. Engine loss did not prevent successful cargo delivery

Aviation Week - NASA says operations aboard the International Space Station should not be affected if the SpaceX CRS-2 cargo delivery mission currently slated for January slips as a result of the ongoing investigation into the first-stage engine loss that occurred on the Oct. 7 CRS-1 mission.

The supply cache delivered to the station in early to mid-2011 by the now-retired space shuttle placed the six-person orbiting science lab on a firm footing well into 2013, according to Mike Suffredini, NASA’s space station program manager.

Oak Ridge National Lab Debuts the 20 petaflop Titan supercomputer

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory launched a new era of scientific supercomputing today with Titan, a system capable of churning through more than 20,000 trillion calculations each second—or 20 petaflops—by employing a family of processors called graphic processing units first created for computer gaming. Titan will be 10 times more powerful than ORNL's last world-leading system, Jaguar, while overcoming power and space limitations inherent in the previous generation of high-performance computers.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is home to Titan, the world’s most powerful supercomputer for open science with a theoretical peak performance exceeding 20 petaflops (quadrillion calculations per second). That kind of computational capability—almost unimaginable—is on par with each of the world’s 7 billion people being able to carry out 3 million calculations per second

Nvidia also has coverage since they supplied the GPUs for speeding up the ORNL supercomputer.

Supported by the energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the Tesla K20 GPU, Titan is more than 10 times faster and five times more energy efficient than its predecessor, the 2.3-petaflops Jaguar system, while occupying the same floor space. Had Oak Ridge upgraded Jaguar by simply expanding its CPU-based architecture, the system would be more than four times its current size and consume more than 30 megawatts of power.

Spacex Dragon returns from the Space Station and we again have Sample Return Capability

Today at 12:22 p.m. PT, SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft returned to Earth from the International Space Station, safely splashing down approximately 250 miles off the coast of southern California.

"This historic mission signifies the restoration of America's ability to deliver and return critical space station cargo," said SpaceX CEO and Chief Technical Officer Elon Musk. "The reliability of SpaceX's technology and the strength of our partnership with NASA provide a strong foundation for future missions and achievements to come."

Dragon departed the station early this morning with 1,673 pounds of return cargo including hardware, supplies, and a GLACIER freezer packed with scientific samples. Dragon is the only craft capable of returning a significant amount of supplies to Earth, and this mission marks the first time since the space shuttle that NASA has been able to return research samples for analysis.

Carnival of Nuclear Energy 128

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Reviews

1. USA Today - The phone will launch with the Android 4.1 mobile operating system. It's also the first Samsung phone for the U.S. to house a powerful quad-core processor.

I've had a chance to check out the T-Mobile version for more than a week. Despite a few networking snags — T-Mobile's 4G network was out of reach in some of the New Jersey areas where I tested the device — I am mostly positive

Samsung's third quarter smartphone shipments double Apple's

Samsung shipped more than twice as many smartphones as Apple Inc. in the third quarter, as the South Korean company dramatically expanded its lead over its U.S. rival, according to ABI Research.

Worldwide handset shipments decreased 1.9% YoY to 387.3 million units in Q3 2012, according to new data from market intelligence firm ABI Research. Worldwide smartphone shipments increased 32.8% YoY to 155.5 million over the same period. Samsung retained the lead position in both handset and smartphone shipments. Underscoring its accomplishment, Samsung shipped more than double the smartphones of second place Apple. “Samsung looks to be running away from the pack while Apple’s new product portfolio continues to eat into its decreasing gross margins,” says senior analyst Michael Morgan. “Apple will need to ship over 94 million smartphones in Q4 if it wants to match its 2011 shipment growth of 96 percent.”

October 28, 2012

Ultracompact on-chip silicon optical logic gates

Arxiv - All-optical integrated circuits for computing and information processing have been pursued for decades as a potential strategy to overcome the speed limitations intrinsic to electronics. However feasible on-chip integrated logic units and devices still have been limited by its size, quality, scalability, and reliability. Here we demonstrate all-passive on-chip optical AND and NAND logic gates made from a directional emitting cavity connecting two ultrasmall photonic crystal heterojunction diodes. The measured transmission spectra show more than 10dB contrast of the logic transport with a high phase tolerance, agreeing well with numerical simulations. The building of linear, passive, and ultracompact silicon optical logic gates might pave the way to construct novel nanophotonic on-chip processor architectures for future optical computing technologies.

Construction of the electronic and optical logic gates. Schematic geometry of the developments (a) from electronic diodes to electronic logic gates, and (b) from optical diodes to optical logic gates. The optical logic devices could be realized by the combination of optical diodes, in much similar way as the electronic logic devices based on the combination of various electronic diodes.

IBM Researchers Demonstrate Initial Steps toward Commercial Fabrication of Carbon Nanotube Chip

For the first time, IBM scientists precisely place and test more than ten thousand carbon nanotube devices in a single chip using mainstream manufacturing processes.

Novel processing method helped pave the way for carbon technology as a viable alternative to silicon in future computing.

IBM scientists have demonstrated a new approach to carbon nanotechnology that opens up the path for commercial fabrication of dramatically smaller, faster and more powerful computer chips. For the first time, more than ten thousand working transistors made of nano-sized tubes of carbon have been precisely placed and tested in a single chip using standard semiconductor processes. These carbon devices are poised to replace and outperform silicon technology allowing further miniaturization of computing components and leading the way for future microelectronics.

Selective placement of carbon nanotubes by an ion-exchange process.

Nature Nanotechnology - High-density integration of carbon nanotubes via chemical self-assembly

ABSTRACT - Carbon nanotubes have potential in the development of high-speed and power-efficient logic applications. However, for such technologies to be viable, a high density of semiconducting nanotubes must be placed at precise locations on a substrate. Here, we show that ion-exchange chemistry can be used to fabricate arrays of individually positioned carbon nanotubes with a density as high as 1 × 10^9 cm−2—two orders of magnitude higher than previous reports. With this approach, we assembled a high density of carbon-nanotube transistors in a conventional semiconductor fabrication line and then electrically tested more than 10,000 devices in a single chip. The ability to characterize such large distributions of nanotube devices is crucial for analysing transistor performance, yield and semiconducting nanotube purity.

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