Blogs about hardware

Part of Sundai TaihuLight (Photo courtesy Jack Dongarra. All rights reserved)

After three years, the world of supercomputers has a new king: the Top500 ranking crowned Sundai TaihuLight, Chinese as its predecessor Tianhe-2 and the first to use national processors while the previous Chinese supercomputers were still using American processors, especially Intel ones. The computing power of Sundai TaihuLight is 93 PFlop/s, nearly three times that of Tianhe-2.

IBM Quantum Computing Scientist Jay Gambetta uses a tablet to interact with the IBM Quantum Experience (Photo Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service for IBM)

IBM has announced it will offer the opportunity to use the services of its quantum computer to the public. This will be done through the IBM Quantum Experience, a quantum platform provided by IBM cloud on regular desktop computers but also on mobile devices.

To test the IBM Quantum Experience, the company built a system based on a quantum processor with five qubits. This number doesn’t exactly give the impression of a very powerful system but at least on paper quantum computers can solve problems much faster than traditional systems. Actually it’s still difficult to make comparisons.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich at CES 2014

This Monday, Intel announced the acquisition of Ascending Technologies, also known simply as AscTec, a German company based in Krailing that produces autopiloted drones. The terms of the agreement not disclosed but in August 2015 Intel invested 60 million dollars in the Chinese aircraft company Yuneec International, which also produces drones. The acquisition of AscTec represents the culmination of a partnership between the two companies that began in 2015.

Big dog robots during a test (Source U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. M. L. Meier)

Boston Dynamics, a robotics company purchased almost exactly two years ago by Google, published a really special video of Christmas greetings. In the company’s interpretation, a woman Santa Claus is the less weird element because she’s driving a sleigh pulled by robot reindeer. This is obviously one of the Boston Dynamics models, specifically the BigDog.