Tag: lights

05
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Quantum computing: Photon startup lights up the future of computers and cryptography

A fast-growing UK startup is quietly making strides in the promising field of quantum photonics. Cambridge-based company Nu Quantum is building devices that can emit and detect quantum particles of light, called single photons. With a freshly secured £2.1 million ($2.71 million) seed investment, these devices could one day underpin sophisticated quantum photonic systems, for applications ranging from quantum communications to quantum computing.

The company is developing high-performance light-emitting and light-detecting components, which operate at the single-photon level and at ambient temperature, and is building a business based on the combination of quantum optics, semiconductor photonics, and information theory, spun out of the University of Cambridge after eight years of research at the Cavendish Laboratory.

“Any quantum photonic system will start with a source of single photons, and end with a detector of single photons,” Carmen Palacios-Berraquero, the CEO of Nu Quantum, tells ZDNet. “These technologies are different things, but we are bringing them together as two ends of a system. Being able to controllably do that is our main focus.”

SEE: Hiring Kit: Computer Hardware Engineer (TechRepublic Premium)

As Palacios-Berraquero stresses, even generating single quantum particles of light is very technically demanding. 

In fact, even the few quantum computers that exist today, which were designed by companies such as Google and IBM, rely on the quantum states of matter, rather than light. In other words, the superconducting qubits that can be found in those tech giants’ devices rely on electrons, not photons.

Yet the superconducting qubits found in current quantum computers are, famously, very unstable. The devices have to operate in temperatures colder than those found in deep space to function, because thermal vibrations can cause qubits to fall from their quantum state. On top of impracticality, this also means that it is a huge challenge to scale up

03
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Microsoft Ignite 2020 Lights Up Power Platform With Updates

Earlier this week, I published my first coverage of the virtual Microsoft Ignite 2020 conference, in which I did a flyby over a wide range of product areas—Teams, Power Platform, Azure, and more. While I did touch on some of the Power Platform announcements, today, I will continue my coverage with a more in-depth look at Microsoft’s announcements for its low-code developer platform for businesses. This platform is a great differentiator for Microsoft and one of the best enterprise tools for enabling digital transformation. It’s quickly becoming one of my favorite of the company’s offerings to follow, and with all that Microsoft does well, that’s saying something. Let’s take a closer look.

With the current digital transformation rate, accelerated even further by the pandemic, there’s just not enough developer talent out there to keep up with the demand. Many businesses, especially small-to-medium-sized companies, do not have developers on staff to help them digitally transform and stay competitive in today’s volatile market. The beautiful thing about Power Platform’s low-code strategy is that it extends the power of automation and app-building to the citizen developer or the business user who is not necessarily versed in code. That’s not to say Power Platform isn’t a valuable tool for experienced developers and large enterprises—just that it is accessible to the entire developer continuum, from amateur to expert, for businesses of any size. The times call for low-code developer tools, and Microsoft answered.

On that note, Microsoft announced a new solution it calls Microsoft Power Automate Desktop. The feature takes its Power Automate RPA (robotic process automate) offering and, with the help of recent acquisition Softomotive, extends it to the world of on-prem. According to Microsoft, this solution will give the full

02
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Teslas can now roll through green lights automatically

Autopilot grows smarter.


Tesla

Tesla continues to tweak and update its Autopilot system, likely in preparation for a Full-Self Driving beta set to launch in about a month, according to CEO Elon Musk. The latest update adds the capability for Tesla vehicles to automatically drive through green lights without a lead car.

According to the Tesla release notes, the vehicle will not require “explicit drive confirmation” to move through an intersection when a traffic light turns green. Before this update, drivers needed to give the car permission to proceed with a stalk push or a tap of the accelerator anytime they used Autopilot on city streets. Autopilot also always relied on a car in front of the Tesla to indicate when it was safe to start accelerating. All of these functions require Tesla owners to purchase the Full-Self Driving upgrade package, and no, it does not make any Tesla fully autonomous, despite its name.

Now the software will let a Tesla simply roll through as it recognizes the green signal even if the EV is the first car in line. When this happens, “the stop line in the driving visualization will turn green to indicate that the car will continue through an intersection,” according to the release notes. Don’t expect the Tesla to take over every intersection, though. The notes also state drivers still need to give the car permission if they’ve already brought the car to a complete stop when the light turns green. Autopilot also will not turn through an intersection — only accelerate in a straight line. The automaker said it expects that, as it gathers more data from the fleet of Teslas using the software, it will