Big data and Cloud
IBM to put $3 billion into research

IBM is investing $3 billion in research that could benefit its cloud computing and big data services, the company announced Thursday.

While chip manufacturers have been rapidly reducing the size of their silicon chip transistors to make them cheaper and more efficient, silicon has physical limitations, IBM said — meaning that at some point, shrinking the technology will no longer reduce cost or power consumption.

So the company is looking for new materials or structures as alternatives to silicon, IBM said. These might include, among others, carbon nanotubes, quantum computing (a system that relies on atomic particles called “qubits”) and neurosynaptic computing, a field of computing that simulates the human brain.

— Mohana Ravindranath

Supercomputing
Los Alamos getting new Trinity system

Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico is getting a next-generation supercomputer to help maintain the safety and effectiveness of the nation’s nuclear weapons.

The National Nuclear Security Administration announced Thursday that it is contracting with Cray Inc. to help develop the supercomputer, called Trinity.

Trinity will be used by Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore and Sandia national laboratories and will be housed at Los Alamos’ Metropolis Computing Center. Officials say Trinity will be sized to run the largest and most demanding simulations of stockpile stewardship, assuring the safety, security, and effectiveness of the country’s nuclear stockpile without underground testing.

Trinity is scheduled for delivery in mid-2015.

— Associated Press