We can only envision the future technology that our grandkids will be able to use on a daily basis. Future technology will allow the generation of today to live longer due to advances in medicine, use more high tech computers and electronics. Future electronics will go way beyond the iPad using holograms & other virtual reality technology. What once was believed to be science fiction will simply be known as science.
10. The Flying Car
It was between 1996-2002 NASA’s Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Project explored the possibilities of antigravity. Society hasn’t ever really stopped dreaming about flying cars which is deemed not impossible as there are a rare few that have already been made today. Terrafugia’s 2010 prototype probably the most recent. However the concept seems more out of question when you consider highway systems in the skys.
9. Underwater Cities
For the early humans the oceans were a vast mystery. Today, our understanding has expanded but the world’s waters still offer us an abundance of mystery. We dream less about mermaid cities and sunken Atlantis and instead imagine underwater seafloor colonies. In the 1960s Jacques Cousteau’s Conshelf project and the United States Navy’s Sealab saw the dream of living undersea. They tested the ocean floor and proved that humans can live and work for extended periods of time underwater. The test subjects tended underwater gardens, tackled underwater construction projects and lived the life of an aquanaut. Half a century later we have underwater hotels in Dubai. However living underwater isn’t necessary & very expensive. Circumstances haven’t forced humans to consider underwater living seriously but when the ice-caps melt and the lands get flooded under sea then we can only imagine what the future generations will be forced to do.
8. Robot Slaves
It’s fair to say as we have evolved and created new technology our procrastination habits have also evolved. Instead of reading maps, we now follow a tomtom. Instead of posting a letter we now send a text. Instead of cleaning the dishes & vacuuming the floor we might just have automated bots to carry out these tasks for us – a true robotic domestic servant capable of safely navigating a human living environment. It is said Japan are commonly known to be excited by this idea and have already created robotic bots. I-pod to I-bot. Who knows?
7. Trips To The Moon
A British company is offering seats to adventurers willing to go the extra mile on a journey to the moon.The first 500,000-mile round trip in a converted Soviet-era space station could take place as early as 2015. The private British space company will carry out the first manned moon mission since Apollo 17 in 1972. The aim is for 3 people to fly to the moon, orbit the lunar surface, parachuting to the ground and return safely to earth. Seems like another big step for mankind if one day travel agencies maybe catering for out of space ‘resorts’.
6. Food In A Pill
It is said this idea was actually first envisioned in the 1800s to spare animals from slaughter, while others saw it as a way to feed the planet’s growing population without causing too much demand from the planet itself. Today’s society with the increase in working hours and less leisure time we have resorted to packing lunch into small boxes or bars. It could be possibly our future ancestors will evolve to create pills containing all the nutrients required for a meal. Food supplement pills have already been marketed but they specialise in gym related products. The only problem with this idea is that people like to eat because food tastes good – pills generally don’t.
5. The Air Conditioned Suit
When air conditioning was first invented in 1902 it was described as having a drawback. It required people to stay indoors to stay cool. Wouldn’t it be better if you could wear air conditioning on your body, so you could stroll down the street on the hottest day in July without breaking a sweat? Futurists dreamed of just that, and in 1951, scientists touted the idea of an air-conditioned suit cooled through ducts built into an insulated lining, which would be cooled by a small refrigeration unit attached to the body. In 1993, an inventor actually patented a “wearable air conditioner” with water-filled coils built into the fabric that would be cooled by reactions. However it never made it into stores possibly because of how much a water-filled suit might weigh.
Looking back in history humans have turned to just about every viable option on the planet for new means of destroying one another. The use of biological weapons, or bioweapons, dates back to the ancient world. As early as 1,500 B.C. the Hittites of Asia Minor sent plague victims into enemy lands. Some historians even argue that the 10 biblical plagues Moses called down against the Egyptians may have been more of a biological warfare rather than the acts of God. Advances in medical science have led to an understanding of harmful pathogens and the way our immune systems deal with them. But while these advancements have led to vaccinations and cures, they have also led to the further weaponisation of some of the most destructive biological agents on the planet. Today, biological weapons are outlawed under 1972’s Biological Weapons Convention. But while a number of nations have ceased research into their biological weapons the threat remains.
3. Body Heat Powered Electrical Devices
Researchers are coming up with certain ways to rechannel the body’s natural energies to power electrical devices. Scientists at the Energy Dept.’s Berkeley Lab announced breakthroughs in nano-wire based converters that could let someone charge a cell phone with body heat or charge an iPod through walking. This can possibly defeat the role of batteries.
Nanotechnology in medicine is said to bring about advanced and exciting methods to treat certain diseases. It involves employing nanoparticles to deliver drugs, heat, light or other substances to specific types of cells (such as cancer cells). The nanoparticles are engineered in such a way that they are attracted to diseased cells. This technique brings no harm to healthy cells which is the greatest problem when treating cancer to the patients of today. Tests are already in progress and the final approval for the use of nanoparticles is still pending. Researchers are also developing nanoparticles to defeat viruses. It does not necessarily kill the virus molecules but it delivers enzymes that prevent the reproduction of the virus in the patients bloodstream. Another plausible use of nanoparticles is to treat neurological disorders in the brain. Many scientists are certain nanotechnology will prove to be a great step for mankind.
If you could go back or forward in time, when would you go? Time travel would open the door to a million possibilities, yet there’s always the risk of disastrous paradoxes, altering the present for the worse. Imagine if we could develop the means to withstand the force of a wormhole (a shortcut through the universe’s space-time continuum). Today the idea sounds like fiction, similarly to communicating visually with people who can be on the other side of the world 100 years ago (webcam). Maybe we shouldn’t be so pessimistic to how quickly mankind can advance in technology.
How many times has a moment so absolutely hilarious or unbelievably adorable unfolded before your eyes, making you wish you’d been holding a video camera? Japanese tech company Neurowear’s high-tech headgear, Neurocam, aims to solve that problem for you. The device straps a camera and an electroencephalogram reader to the wearer’s cranium. During moments of high-frequency electronic signals detected through the skull — a general indication of excitement — the camera switches on to record short five-second GIFs onto an iPhone that is somewhat awkwardly attached to the device.
European research organisations and companies are busy targeting microservers as a potential very large revenue stream for the medium term. At least four groups, funded to a large extent by the EU’s 7th Framework Programme, are looking at a variety of often overlapping processor, system and software architecture projects, all scheduled to finish in September 2016.
Microservers are targeting applications which, individually, may not require very high levels of computing performance, but which may need to be done in large numbers and/or may have critical latency aspects to performance. Importantly, the individual components and subsystem being devised are also expected to have applications in other spheres, notably in the radio access networks (RAN) of mobile infrastructure gear and some high end embedded systems. The make-up of the collaborative projects reflects these potential user cases.
The nine member Euroserver project, for example, links processor IP specialist ARM and chip maker STMicroelectronics with Eurotech, the Italian specialist in systems integration at the board and machine levels, and Greek hardware-software integrator FORTH. On the academic side, the world renowned wireless infrastructure group from Technical University Dresden is working on how databases are handled in embedded communications systems. UK group OnApp, which specialises in Infrastructure as a Service – or IaaS – cloud platforms used mainly by web-hosting providers, is the end-user partner.
One of the key themes is ‘easy scalability’, Yves Durand, the project co-ordinator from French group CEA-LETI in Grenoble told New Electronics.
“With Intel’s processor architecture, which currently dominates the servers and high end computing sectors, you are de facto running at full power. But with the scale out architecture outlined in a forerunner project dubbed Eurocloud, we know well how to best use many smaller processor cores, and how to share memory more flexibly, so as to reduce significantly the power dissipation. I/O virtualisation will also help in this regard through hardware and software support,” said Durand.
“In the first stage of the project,” he added, “we analysed, tested and revisited some of the throughputs and latencies of the ‘chiplet’ and memory links that we considered would be needed. Now, we are starting to build prototypes – and Eurotech will have a key role. In essence, the project from now will be to exploit the capabilities of the chip.”
The group expects to demonstrate that the proposed architecture can lead to a tenfold improvement in data centre energy efficiency, compared to traditional server and other potential microserver applications. Significant cost benefits and software efficiency are also expected, claimed Durand.
‘Chiplet’ is the Euroserver nomenclature for the bare processor die being developed by ARM, ST Microelectronics and CEA-LETI. The parts incorporate an eight core ARM Cortex-A53 implemented in ST’s 28nm FD-SOI process. In the physical implementation, the chiplet will sit on top of an interposer that carries peripheral circuitry. The whole package relies on advances in 3D silicon integration being readied by researchers at CEA-LETI.
Typically, four chiplets are integrated on a silicon interposer that includes SoC interfaces and on-chip interconnects. The approach is said to lead to very high yields, the best possible power-performance trade-off, and, most importantly, lower costs of application specialisation.
John Goodacre, director of technology and systems at ARM and technical director of the Euroserver project, stresses: “Device acquisition, and thus the ability to spread costs among several variants, is a vital consideration in our approach.”
He added the scalable architecture should be completed this year, and a hardware-software prototype implementation is expected ‘before the end of this year’. Goodacre told New Electronics that FPGA based prototypes have already yielded important data on the most important characteristics of the full scale prototype. Two versions of this are planned, one targeting embedded servers, the other enterprise servers. The former will hold one or two microserver boards in a small sealed form factor with passive cooling. The enterprise server variant will integrate up to 64 microserver boards together with I/O, storage and power supply into a unit compatible with standard 42U racks (see fig 1).
Elaborating on Durand’s comments, Goodacre stressed one early focus of the architecture development was to reduce to the minimum the use of long distance interconnects. Another key innovation in the software architecture is the ability to manage shared resources and processors efficiently and to assign workloads dynamically to the appropriate group of resources, reducing workload interference.
“To achieve all this, the group has had to follow a holistic approach. It is very much a mixture of software and hardware,” he noted.
On a more corporate level, Lakshmi Mandayam, ARM’s director of software systems, stressed that, whileprojects like this are exploiting emerging technologies, ‘they are pointing the way for us into different markets, not just servers, but telecoms infrastructure and networking – all sectors that are growing rapidly’.
There will, of course, be big challenges ahead, Mandayam told New Electronics. “Not least how the industry handles software compatibility issues between, for instance, x86 or Atom based servers and those based on our 64bit v8 architecture in the same chassis.”
This is why ARM is working with OEMs and IT groups such as HP, Dell, Citrix, Red Hat and TI under its Server Base System Architecture initiative announced last year, which aims to ‘enable portability between ARM-based platforms’.
At the silicon level, Qualcomm became, last November, the sixth company to announce plans to build SoCs and boards based on ARM 64bit cores, joining AMD, Applied Micro, Broadcom, Cavium and Huawei. AMD’s Opteron 1100 device started shipping late last year.
Reaching for the sky
Stepping up a level in processing power and targeting both servers and High Performance Computers (HPC), the Mont-Blanc project is almost reaching for the skies, targeting ‘a new type of computer architecture built from energy efficient solutions used in embedded and mobile devices’.
Basically, the project is looking for higher performance, less energy consumption and a more scalable architecture.
Co-ordinated at the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre (BSC), the effort started in 2011 and was then extended in 2013 with additional members, until September 2016. Industrial partners in the 14 member consortium include ARM, STMicroelectronics, server maker Bull and UK compiler specialist Allinea. These are joined by European university departments focusing on HPC, as well as other supercomputing centres.
Last year, the group unveiled a prototype blade server that is seen as a stepping stone towards a full Exascale system. The compute cards – which measure 85 x 56mm – integrate a Samsung Exynos 5 SoC, 4Gbyte of DDR3-1600 DRAM, a microSD slot for local storage and a 1Gbit/s Ethernet network interface card. The card offers 6.5GFLOPs of compute for around 10W of power. This works out at about 3.2GFLOPs/W at peak theoretical performance
A single Mont-Blanc blade integrates 15 of these cards and a gigabit Ethernet crossbar switch. Nine of these blades then fit into a standard Bull X chassis. A complete rack hosts up to six chassis, delivering 26TFLOPS at peak performance.
A more recent set up, demonstrated last December at the BSC, saw 135 prototype nodes, with a final ‘installation prototype’ scheduled to be completed this month, offering more than 1000 computational nodes.
In a recent presentation, consortium executives said the target is now to extend support for ARMv8 64bit processors, further develop the OmpSs parallel programming model so that it can exploit multiple cluster nodes, and finalise the Exascale architecture.
A different approach is being followed by the NanoStreams consortium – a necessity, since the work is targeted at different end users, such as financial institutions and medical diagnostics.
It brings together European expertise in embedded system design and high performance computing software to address the challenge of real time analytics on very fast data streams.
Participants include: Queens University, Belfast, where Professor Dimitrios Nikolopoulos co-ordinates the effort ; computing systems technology companies – Analytical Engines from the UK and Dutch group Associated Compiler Experts (ACE) ; Greek research institute FORTH, and, as end user drivers, IBM (Zurich) and Credit Suisse.
The aim is to devise and implement a microserver based on an application specific heterogeneous analytics on chip (AoC) engine that integrates a small number of latency optimised RISC cores from ARM and a large number of throughput optimised, application specific nanocores. The cores can be programmed in C, as in regular processors, and the aim is to build several more customised to specific user cases.
The system also leverages a hybrid DRAM-PC RAM combo and, according to Prof Nikolopoulos, the use of NVRAM is also being explored. “We have built prototypes of the accelerator chip, based on nanocores, on the Xilinx Zynq platform,” he told New Electronics.
“We will be applying a hierarchical scale out approach and expect to deliver micro servers that will have a significant energy efficiency advantages over the traditional x86 based offerings.”
He adds that one of the project’s main advantages is that it is part driven by the needs of real financial workloads and the architecture and software stacks will be evaluated using real financial data.
The group suggests that, with 20nm technology, NanoStreams will be able to integrate up to 1000 nanocores in reconfigurable logic.
Meanwhile, the Greek GreenCenter project is focusing on the design of efficient hardware accelerators that will augment multiprocessor SoCs (MPSoC) used in data centre servers.
“We have developed a hardware accelerator that is used to accelerate the processing of applications based on the MapReduce framework,” Dr Christoforos Kachris, a senior researcher at the University of Thrace, told New Electronics.
MapReduce is a programming model for processing large data sets using high number of nodes.
Teamed with other electronic engineering departments in Greece, the group has developed a MapReduce accelerator that can be augmented to multicore SoCs and which has been proven to accelerate the indexing and processing of key value pairs and thus increase the performance of the system significantly. “The use of the MapReduce accelerator (also) leads to lower energy consumption, since the processing and the indexing of the key value pairs of MapReduce are executed in customised digital logic and not in the processors,” noted Dr Kachris.
The design (see fig 2) has been implemented and evaluated in a Xilinx Zynq platform. “The performance evaluation shows the proposed scheme can achieve up to 1.8x overall performance improvement in MapReduce applications.”
Asked about the potential commercial impact of the work, Kachris said the accelerator ‘could be used efficiently in FPGAs (as an IP core) with embedded processors’. “The proposed scheme could be also incorporated (as hardwired accelerators) to future multicore processors used in data centres, accelerating significantly cloud computing and server applications.”
Taken together, the projects are funded to the tune of €40million. Both Goodacre and Prof Nikolopoulos believe that this level of support indicates the high priority the EC gives to research in this promising sector.
I spent much of my time in Ann Arbor in coffee shops, writing. Having conquered my guilt at working in cafes, occupying space which could be filled by more paying customers (truly, a Calvinist education never really leaves you), I embraced America, the land of the free Wifi. One of my favourite places for working was Mighty Good Coffee, a relatively new shop and café on North Main Street—about a three minute walk on the diagonal from Kerrytown—which is bright and airy and friendly, with lovely coffee and a fridge full of yoghurt.
It also sells artisanal toast. Curious, I tried first a slice of ten seed loaf (good), and then returned with friends and ordered sourdough with cherry jam (very good indeed). But what sets artisanal toast apart from ordinary toast? Was it made by elves, as a friend asked acerbically on Facebook? As far as I…
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Hurray! I finally got a chance to peruse my Winter issue of Render: Feminist Food & Culture Quarterly–or, more accurately, to read it cover to cover on my commute two days this week. There’s a lot of great material in this issue; I particularly liked Laura Dixon’s profile of an affordable Ohio restaurant that serves only sustainable, mostly local food, a thoughtful ethnography of Ecuadorian cuisine (with gorgeous full-color photographs) by Pilar Eguez Guevara, and a reflective essay by Christen McCurdy who, like me, struggles to make sense of her personal foodways within the context of her regional roots (Idaho, in her case) and contemporary food discourse.
And of course, it’s always fun to see my own writing in print:
This essay elaborates on what I’ve written before about feeling troubled by the way people who aren’t from the Southern United States (and, probably, some who are) tend to…
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Baked beans are such an amazingly satisfying meal, especially when combined with a crusty chunk of wholemeal bread! Delicious. However, when you buy baked beans from the store, the sugar and salt content can be incredibly high! You might also find other additives and artificial sweeteners lurking in the can which your body simply doesn’t want anything to do with!
That doesn’t mean that you have to avoid this meal entirely as it’s always possible to make your own! My recipe uses cannellini beans and chickpeas combined with a few other nourishing additions to create the Best Baked Beans!
Cannellini beans rank incredibly low on the glycemic index and also score some serious points when it comes to their high antioxidant count. They are full of a range of vitamins and minerals, with an especially impressive magnesium count. Magnesium is important for keeping your blood pressure normal as well as…
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I’ve been reading Lolly Willowes, a 1926 novel by Sylvia Townsend Warner set at the turn of the 20th century. The story reminds me a lot of the pastoral 19th century novels I’ve been reading: country life radically contrasted with the city, the smallness of family dramas, the quiet resistance of women in their domestic spheres.
When she moves to London with her brother and sister-in-law, main character Laura (called Lolly by her nieces) is seized by a restlessness every autumn. She finds herself roving and anxious until winter fully arrives and she bleakly resigns to it, and:
She fortified herself against the dismalness of this reaction by various small self-indulgences. Out of these she had contrived for herself a sort of mental fur coat. Roasted chestnuts could be bought and taken home for bedroom eating. Second-hand book-shops were never so enticing; and the combination of east winds and London water…
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