Category Archives: Present

IBM counts atoms – the answer is 12

What: “Researchers have successfully stored a single data bit in only 12 atoms.  Currently it takes about a million atoms to store a bit on a modern hard-disk, the researchers from IBM say.”

Why: “According to the researchers, the technique opens up the possibility of producing much denser forms of magnetic computer memory than today’s hard disk drives and solid state memory chips.”

How: “The groups of atoms, which were kept at very low temperatures, were arranged using a scanning tunnelling microscope. Researchers were subsequently able to form a byte made of eight of the 12-atom bits.”

Full article on BBC News.

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IBM Unveils Chips That Mimic Human Brain

What:  “IBM has unveiled a new experimental computer chip that it says mimics the human brain in that it perceives, acts and even thinks.”

Why: “The chip, a product of IBM’s three-year-old SyNAPSE project, could become a building block for a new generation of computers designed to emulate the animal brain’s abilities for sensing and cognition–all the while consuming many orders of magnitude less power and space than today’s computers. “We believe we have reproduced the core circuit of the brain in silicon,” says Dharmendra Modha, program lead for IBM Research’s cognitive computing department at the Almaden lab. “All mammal brains are built on the same blueprint. We believe that we have found the core design that encapsulates the key architectural principles of the brain.””

How: “The scientists have built two working prototype designs. Both cores contain 256 neurons, one with 262,144 programmable synapses and the other with 65,536 learning synapses. The team has successfully demonstrated simple applications like navigation, machine vision, pattern recognition, associative memory and classification.”

Read the full article on computing.co.uk here or on the Smarter Planet blog here.

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Extreme Blue – 12 Weeks Running a Micro-Business

The eight-striper wordmark of IBM, the letters...

Image via Wikipedia

What: “Extreme Blue is no ordinary summer internship. Where else could you develop a technology and business plan to bring a new product to life in just 12 weeks? Working in a small team of students, you’ll transform an idea into a real product. Then, when the 12 weeks are up, you’ll showcase it to our executives, business partners and clients.”

Why: “Since the program started in 1999, students have generated more than 500 patent submissions, helped create more than 50 new product capabilities, and contributed more than 15 pieces of software to the open-source community.

Extreme Blue isn’t for the faint hearted. It’s about pushing boundaries. It’s intense, challenging and tough. The projects are real. They move quickly, expectations are high and the results are subject to scrutiny. But when millions of people around the world are using the product that your team helped develop, you’ll find that all the hard work was worth it.”

Find out more about Extreme Blue in the UK here, and hear from Extreme Blue students here.

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What Are the Smarter Planet Graphics All About?

Ever wondered where the inspiration for IBM’s Smarter Planet graphic design came from?

“In a bid to ‘show the world that the thinking and technology that’s needed to solve the world’s biggest problems exists today,’ creative studio Office were asked by Ogilvy & Mather New York to work on IBM’s Smarter Planet campaign.

Inspired by the creative vision of designer Paul Rand’s work for IBM in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, Office chose clear and bold designs that aimed to create an emotional connection with people.”

Paul Rand is famed for creating the IBM thirteen-stripe and eight-bar logos, the Eye-Bee-M logo, the OS/2 logo, IBM’s 1964 World’s Fair Brochure, the THINK letterhead, 15 annual report covers and designs for all kinds of packaging and adverts.

More pictures of the Smarter Planet marketing at PSFK.  But much more interesting is a collection of Paul Rand’s work for IBM at Paul-Rand.com.

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Watson Creates New Entry for Gartner Hype Cycle

Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies 2010

Image by marketingfacts via Flickr

What: “Gartner’s 2011 Hype Cycle Special Report provides strategists and planners with an assessment of the maturity, business benefit and future direction of over 1,900 technologies, grouped into 76 distinct Hype Cycles. The Hype Cycle graphic has been used by Gartner since 1995 to highlight the common pattern of overenthusiasm, disillusionment and eventual realism that accompanies each new technology and innovation. The Hype Cycle Special Report is updated annually to track technologies along this cycle and provide guidance on when and where organizations should adopt them for maximum impact and value.”

How: “a new entry for natural language question answering recognizes the impressive and highly visible achievement of IBM’s Watson computer in winning TV’s Jeopardy! general knowledge quiz against champion human opponents.”

Full overview at MarketWatch.

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