Every day, scientists come up with new inventions and discoveries that advance the drive for ever more sophisticated technologies.
In an amazing breakthrough, it seems that the most powerful super computer on earth could be only as big as a single sugar cube and more energy efficient than ever previously imagined, according to researchers at IBM Zurich.
The Laboratory there have developed a prototype called Aquasar that prevents overheating through uses a water-cooling principle, and while. Aquasar is a normal-sized computer, IBM believe the technology proven effective in Aquasar could be equally effective in a vastly smaller device.
Modern processors get very hot, needing to be air-cooled, usually but IBM found using water 4,000 times more efficient, and since 50% of an air-cooled data centre energy consumption comes is just from powering cooling systems, the potential savings are huge.
Head of the Laboratory of Thermodynamics in New Technologies, ETH Zurich, Dimos Poulikakos, believes that with Aquasar, an important contribution to development of sustainable high performance computers can be made
The water-cooling system keeps the processors remain well below 185 degrees Fahrenheit, enabling the system to operate normally, running throughout computer systems in what IBM call micro-channel liquid coolers, essentially tiny tubes of water attached to a processor so that none in the system overheat, Aquasar being nearly 50% more efficient than the most powerful supercomputers currently in use
Until recently, the most powerful could perform about 770 million computational operations per second as against 1.1 billion with the Aquasar. 10 to 15 years from now, collapsing such a system to one sugar cube size should be feasible.
A University of Washington research breakthrough brings humanity a one step closer to living with or indeed as cyborgs, Chao Zhong and colleagues having built, from the shells of crustaceans a biocompatible solid state device able to monitor and control proton flows.
Instead of transferring information via electrons, bodies and brains do so with protons, that difference between machines and bodies a major challenge to advancing cybernetics, though there are others. Some technologies allow mind control of machines, involving extensive electrode implants, or brain caps studded with electrodes to convert brainwaves actions.
Zhong and his team’s solution instead use a very small transistor roughly one twentieth the width of a human hair, allowing for direct implantation, the construction of more complex pieces of equipment, as the technology continues to advance, an obvious next step
The material used is apparently an ideal means of interfacing with biological systems, controlling and monitoring ionic and protonic currents. Ideas for future use include implanting in the brain to monitor Parkinson’s and other applications