- DARPA Electronics Research Initiative Summit - New Workshops on AI, Security, Systems Emulation, and Integrated Photonics associated with new funding initiative.
- Ultrafast MRAM - IMEC in Belgium demonstrated a new magnetic random access memory based on spin-orbit torque (SOT-MRAM) with a switching speed of 200 picoseconds.
- Probabilistic Computing for AI - Intel is promoting research into incorporating probabilistic computing into real-world AI systems such as autonomous vehicles.
- White House forms AI Panel with Industry Summit - The US Office of Science and Technology Policy sponsored a Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence, which met recently with US Industry Leaders in the field.
- National Machine Intelligence Strategy - The Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies together with Booz-Allen Hamilton presented a new report promoting a strategic plan for application of machine intelligence in government and industry.
- New Computing Research Center at University of Virginia - Center for Research in Intelligent Storage and Processing-in-Memory (CRISP) sponsored by DARPA and Semiconductor Research Corporation.
- US Department of Energy Announces Plans to Acquire 3 Exascale Computers - Systems to be delivered by 2023 at Oak Ridge, Livermore, and Argonne National Laboratories.
- Patterson and Hennessey win Turing Award for RISC Processors - Approach developed in 1980s still dominates modern microprocessors.
Intel’s New Path to Quantum Computing
In this article in IEEE Spectrum, Jim Clarke, Intel’s Director of Quantum Hardware, speaks about Intel’s two different technological approaches to quantum computing hardware. Despite all of the hype and promises, quantum computing is still an immature technology, and the ultimate technological approach for practical systems is still to be determined.
One approach uses superconducting quantum bits, or qubits, designed to operate at temperatures as low as 0.01 K. This is similar to an approach being pursued by Google and D-Wave Systems, among others. A 49-qubit system (code-named Tangle Lake) has been packaged and tested, and is shown in the photograph as the small object with gold connectors.
The other approach is based on Si quantum dots, where the qubits are essentially single-electron transistors, and the information is encoded in the spin of the electron. These are compatible with CMOS processing, and full wafers of chips with up to 26 qubits (shown in the photograph) have been fabricated and tested. These chips still need cryogenic temperatures, but may operate at slightly warmer temperatures than the superconductor approach, up to about 1 K. They may also be more compatible with integrated semiconductor control circuitry.
Intel also has a free online simulator for small quantum systems.
Another recent article in Semiconductor Engineering provides an overview of quantum computing R&D, including contributions from IBM, Google, Microsoft, LETI, and D-Wave Systems, as well as Intel.
HPE Progress in Memory Driven Computing and AI
The HPE Discover Conference was held in Las Vegas, Nevada in June 2018. This video includes interviews with speakers Kirk Bresniker, HPE Chief Architect, and Beena Ammanath, HPE Global VP for AI.
Bresniker spoke about Memory-Driven Computing, a new generation of systems designing to deal with Big Data sets, and how this technology is being co-developed between HPE Labs and several potential customers. A “development sandbox” has been created in the cloud, so that customers may determine how to use this technology most effectively, with their own data sets.
Ammanath spoke about the present and future development of AI, and that it is important to distinguish between the reality and the hype. The present reality deals with what might be called narrow AI, where computer systems can learn a narrow subject area and can sometimes beat out human experts. Efforts to develop general AI, where computer systems try to duplicate general human intelligence in much broader areas, have been much less successful. Super AI, which could in principle out-compete any and all humans, should not really be a concern for the foreseeable future.
For the video interviews, see here.
- Rebooting Computing Video Overview
- IEEE Future Directions
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- Computing in Science and Engineering on the End of Moore's Law
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- Arch2030 Workshop Report
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- Update on National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI)
- RC White Paper on Nanocomputers
- IEEE Computer Magazine on Rebooting Computing
- RC-ITRS Report on the Foundation of the New Computer Industry Beyond 2020