IBM Research Alliance Has Figured Out How To Make 5nm Chips

IBM, GlobalFoundries, and Samsung said Monday that they have found a way to make thinner transistors, which should enable them to pack 30 billion switches onto a microprocessor chip the size of a fingernail. The tech industry has been fueled for decades by the ability of chipmakers to shoehorn ever smaller, faster transistors into the chips that power laptops, servers, and mobile devices. But industry watchers have worried lately that technology was pushing the limits of Moore’s Law — a prediction made by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore in 1965 that chips could double in power every two years or less. From a report: Today’s chips are built with transistors whose dimensions measure 10 nanometers, which means about 1,000 fit end-to-end across the diameter of a human hair. The next generation will shrink that dimension to 7nm, and the IBM-Samsung development goes one generation beyond that to 5nm. That means transistors can be packed four times as densely on a chip compared with today’s technology. “A nanosheet-based 5nm chip will deliver performance and power, together with density,” said Huiming Bu, IBM’s director of silicon integration and device research. Take all those numbers with a nanograin of salt, though, because chipmakers no longer agree on what exactly they’re measuring about transistors. And there’s also a long road between this research announcement and actual commercial manufacturing. IBM believes this new process won’t cost any more than chips with today’s transistor designs, but its approach requires an expensive shift that chipmakers have put off for years: the use of extreme ultraviolet light to etch chip features onto silicon wafers.

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Bill Gates Calls On the US Government To Invest More In Research and Development

An anonymous reader cites an article on Fortune: On Monday, Bill Gates attempted a commendable feat: to get politicians to focus on something other than the current election cycle and its partisan bickering. In an op-ed published by Reuters, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft called on the United States to spur technological innovation by increasing its investment in research and development. “Government funding for our world-class research institutions produces the new technologies that American entrepreneurs take to market,” he wrote. But while other nations like South Korea and China have drastically upped their R and D spending, the United States’ has “essentially flatlined.” He said that the rest of the world’s commitment to research and development is great, “but if the United States is going to maintain its leading role, it needs to up its game.” His call for more government-sponsored R&D also comes as corporations pull back on their commitment to discovery and innovation. With more government investment, he said, U.S. scientists could completely eradicate polio and further decrease the number of deaths from malaria. More funding could also “develop the technologies that will power the world — while also fighting climate change, promoting energy independence, and providing affordable energy for the 1.3 billion poor people who don’t have it today.”

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Ocean Cleanup Project Completes Great Pacific Garbage Patch Research Expedition

hypnosec writes: The reconnaissance mission of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, dubbed the Mega Expedition by Ocean Clean, has been concluded. The large-scale cleanup of the area is set to begin in 2020. The primary goal of the Mega Expedition was to accurately determine how much plastic is floating in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This was the first time large pieces of plastic, such as ghost nets and Japanese tsunami debris, have been quantified. “I’ve studied plastic in all the world’s oceans, but never seen any area as polluted as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” said Dr. Julia Reisser, Lead Oceanographer at The Ocean Cleanup. “With every trawl we completed, thousands of miles from land, we just found lots and lots of plastic.”

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Research Suggests How Alien Life Could Spread Across the Galaxy

astroengine writes: As astronomical techniques become more advanced, a team of astrophysicists think they will be able to not only detect the signatures of alien life in exoplanetary atmospheres, but also track its relentless spread throughout the galaxy. The research, headed by Henry Lin of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), assumes that this feat may be possible in a generation or so and that the hypothesis of panspermia may act as the delivery system for alien biology to hop from one star system to another.

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Google Research Leads To Automated Real-Time Pedestrian Detection

An anonymous reader writes with a link to a story about one of the unexciting but vital bits of technology that will need to be even further developed as autonomous cars’ presence grows: making sure that those cars don’t hit people. Google researchers have recently presented findings about a method that tops previous ones for real-time pedestrian detection using neural nets “that is both extremely fast and extremely accurate.” From the article: There are other approaches that provide a real-time solution on the GPU but in doing so, have not achieved accuracy targets (in this real-time approach there was a miss rate of 42% on the Caltech pedestrian detection benchmark). Another approach called the VeryFast method can run at 100 frames per second (compared to the Google team’s 15) but the miss rate is even greater. Others that emphasize accuracy, even with GPU acceleration, are up to 195 times slower.

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USC Vs. UC San Diego In Fight Over Alzheimer’s Research

New submitter BVBigelow writes: In Southern California, a legal skirmish between USC and UC San Diego is escalating into into a full-blown fracas, replete with restraining orders, loyalty oaths, and accusations of computer piracy, intimidation, and interference in federal grant awards. The two universities are fighting over control of an Alzheimer’s program that coordinates about $ 100 million in research grants. The lawsuits began after USC recruited scientist Paul Aisen from UC San Diego, where he has been director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study since 2007. The study has been based at UC San Diego since 1991, and and UCSD expected to retain control. But Aisen’s team took root command of the computer system (including 24 years’ worth of clinical trial data) and won’t give it back.

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Research Scientists To Use Network Much Faster Than Internet

nickweller writes with this story from the Times about the Pacific Research Platform, an ultra-high-speed fiber-optic research infrastructure that will link together dozens of top research institutions. The National Science Foundation has just awarded a five-year $ 5 million dollar grant for the project. The story reports:The network is meant to keep pace with the vast acceleration of data collection in fields such as physics, astronomy and genetics. It will not be directly connected to the Internet, but will make it possible to move data at speeds of 10 gigabits to 100 gigabits among 10 University of California campuses and 10 other universities and research institutions in several states, tens or hundreds of times faster than is typical now.

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NY Judge Rules Research Chimps Are Not ‘Legal Persons’

sciencehabit writes: A state judge in New York has dealt the latest blow to an animal rights group’s attempt to have chimpanzees declared ‘legal persons.’ In a decision handed down this morning, New York Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jaffe ruled that two research chimps at Stony Brook University are not covered by a writ of habeas corpus, which typically allows human prisoners to challenge their detention. The Nonhuman Rights Project, which brought the lawsuit in an attempt to free the primates, has vowed to appeal.

We posted news last year about an earlier case (mentioned in the article) brought by the same group, which also ended in defeat.

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Research: Industrial Networks Are Vulnerable To Devastating Cyberattacks

Patrick O’Neill writes: New research into Industrial Ethernet Switches reveals a wide host of vulnerabilities that leave critical infrastructure facilities open to attackers. Many of the vulnerabilities reveal fundamental weaknesses: Widespread use of default passwords, hardcoded encryption keys, a lack of proper authentication for firmware updates, a lack of encrypted connections, and more. Combined with a lack of network monitoring, researchers say the situation showcases “a massive lack of security awareness in the industrial control systems community.”

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Naval Research Interested In Bringing 3D Printing To Large Scale For Ships

coondoggie writes: The Navy this month will outline what it is looking for from additive manufacturing or 3D printing technology as way to bolster what it terms “fleet readiness.” The Office of Naval Research will on July 15 detail its Quality Metal Additive Manufacturing (Quality MADE) program that will aim to “develop and integrate the suite of additive manufacturing software and hardware tools required to ensure that critical metallic components can be consistently produced and rapidly qualified in a cost effective manner.”

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