Monday, June 22, 2015
Mission Secure Inc and Perrone Robotics Inc say Vehicles can be hacked - Apple Carplay and @Android Auto Assassin’s Weapon of Choice in Contract Remote Vehicular Homicide
Self -Driving Car are hackable.
The experts are slowly beginning to weigh in on the most troubling aspect of Self-Driving Cars, which is the fact that they can be easily hacked as noted in the article “Selfdriving cars vulnerable to cyberattack, experts warn”, published June 1 2015 by Luc Olinga, Physorg.
US security firms Mission Secure Inc (MSi) and Perrone Robotics Inc have declared that IVE (In-Vehicle Entertainment Systems) meant to make vehicles safer were in fact easily compromised, due to their connected nature both within the vehicle as well as via the Internet.
These research firms, in collaboration with the University of Virginia and the Pentagon, have tested various vehicle models and found that they can be easily hacked.
What's most troubling, is that the Security analysts were able to remotely access the test vehicles via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connections built into the vehicles IVE. Because in most of these vehicle systems the internal Network that controls the vehicle’s Braking system and the IVE are linked, sometimes even sharing the same hard-drive, they were also able to gain control over the vehicle while it is driving.
To quote the report available on MSi's website, if your vehicle is hacked and you’re in it, the hacker can control your vehicle remotely, quote: “One attack scenario forces the car to accelerate, rather than brake, even though the obstacle avoidance system (using LiDAR) detects an object in front of the car. Rather than slowing down, the car hits the object ... at high speed, causing damage to the car and potential threat to the life and safety of the passengers in the car under attack and in the car being struck”.
In fact, according to US security firms, a successful hack would be indistinguishable from a software failure, as most of these IVE's have no internal system log to track external intrusions, quote: “If an attack were carried out successfully, automobile manufacturers have no means of quickly gathering information for forensic analysis or to rapidly deploy additional protections to cars in response to new and evolving attacks”.
So how widespread is this? And is there any defense against it?
How IVE can be hacked – Contract killing via Remote Vehicular Homicide
Reports are now coming in suggesting that these cars can be hacked.
On my blog in August 4th 2014, I'd done and article highlighting the fact that Cars are hackable via their IVE (In-Vehicle Entertainment Systems) as explained in my blog article entitled “Automotive Security Researchers tell CNN Money Vehicles are hackable - How Vehicle Entertainment Systems are hacked”.
This as many of their IVE's access the Internet either by themselves using a built in 3G or 4G LTE Radio (SIM Card Required!) or using the 3G/4G LTE from a connected smartphone.
Also the Vehicles internal Network that controls the vehicle's Braking system and the IVE, if linked and sharing the same hard-drive, present an opportunity that many hackers can exploit. Thus if a hacker gain control of the vehicle via its built in Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection they can gain control of the vehicle.
An alternative scenario is where the victim’s Smartphone is infected with a Trojan horse app.
The victim then connects that smartphone to their vehicle IVE via the USB Cable, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, unknowingly allowing the Trojan Horse to infect their IVE. This then allows the hacker, via the Internet, to remotely access the vehicle using that smartphone from anywhere in the world, not just within range of the vehicle's Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity.
This is an even more dangerous scenario to contemplate, as basically an assassin does not have to come close to your car to hack it using the Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity in some of these vehicles. All they have to do to carry out a contract killing is to install a app with a link to server that has a specially designed Trojan Horse as described in my Geezam blog article entitled “Google Play Store Apps with AdWare threat to Android Security”.
Then when the person accesses their favourite app, it remotely downloads the Trojan as an update to the app, infecting the targets vehicle remotely, giving control to the assassin hundreds of miles away via the Internet to carry out their contract killing.
These vulnerabilities could also give government spy agencies, such as the NSA (National Security Agency) in collaboration with other Intelligence agencies the ability to hack your vehicle using back door access to apps as explained in my Geezam blog article entitled “NSA and Five Eyes Alliance in Project Irritant Horn Spying on Arab Spring Jihadists”.
Not only could they spy on persons of interest, but should it become necessary, they might be able to commandeer the vehicle and crash it. Thus, the NSA would thereby be committing Remote Vehicular Homicide from hundreds of miles away!
Apple Carplay and Android Auto – Possible Vulnerabilities makes them Assassin’s Weapon of Choice
The automakers listed in my original article automakers may soon expand, as both Apple and Google have introduced their versions of a portable IVE on a smartphone.
Apple's version, called Apple Carplay, was launched in March 2014 gives the driver access to Apple's Siri to supplant their vehicles IVE as reported in my blog article entitled “Apple to launch CarPlay at Geneva Auto Show in Geneva, Switzerland - Siri Voice Assistant and Primesense bring Hands-free Remote Control Revolution to The Grand Budapest Hotel”.
Apple Carplay along with Google's Android Auto is now coming to Cadillac's CUE (Cadillac User Experience) IVE for several of their 2016 vehicle models as reported in the article “Apple CarPlay among multiple Cadillac improvements”, published 10 June 2015 by Wayne Cunningham, CNET News and “2016 Cadillac models will get CarPlay and Android Auto”, published June 9, 2015 By Chris Ziegler, The Verge.
Apple Carplay and Android Auto are also coming to GM (General Motor) 2016 models as well as reported in the article “Chevy bets big with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in 2016 line-up”, published May 27, 2015 by Wayne Cunningham, CNET News .
At this rate, by 2017, most vehicle manufacturers would have IVE's that can interface with Apple Carplay and Android Auto via their smartphone. This might include Google’s’ self Driving Buggy cars, set to hit the roads in June 2015 as argued in my blog article entitled “@Google’s Self-Driving All-Electric Vehicles in June 2015 – Autonomous Vehicles reduce Road Accidents, Parking and make Ride Sharing the Norm” making hacking yet another obstacle the must navigate.
Thus, by 2017, it would become a hacker's paradise, making these vehicles the Assassin’s Weapon of Choice.
Number Portability now possible in Jamaica - How the NPA creates efficient Number Range Management as Third Telecom Provider Coming
Finally at long last it's here and it's free!
I'm of course referring to MNP (Mobile Number Portability) which begins effective midnight of Sunday June 21st 2015 as reported in the article “Number portability now an option for telecoms subscribers in Jamaica”, published Sunday June 21, 2015, The Jamaica Gleaner.
And yes, best of all, it's a free service, as stipulated under the section of the Telecommunications Act of 2014 that speaks specifically to Portability.
The service had been delayed duo to “technical problems” according to the Telecom Provider, which I predicted was related to the issue of unlocked smartphones as predicted in my blog article entitled “MNP and LNP delayed to Monday June 22nd 2015 - Technical Problem is Customer Knowledge, Mismatched Demographics and no Unlocked Quad-Band smartphones”.
MNP and LNP (Landline Number Portability), a telecom related service that allows you to port or transfer your phone numbers, both the three (3) digit exchange codes and the four (4) digit station codes from one Network to another.
This service is being provided by NPA (Number Portability Administrator) Porting Access B.V. of the Netherlands who had been hired since Friday March 13th 2015 to provide the service as noted in my blog article entitled “Jamaica has selected Porting Access B.V. for NPA – How NPAS will provision a TPRR based CRDB from the Land of Windmills and Carrier-Free SIM Cards”.
More importantly, the introduction of MNP and LNP means that the OUR (Office of Utilities Regulation) can finally get the additional Number Ranges from the NANP (North American Numbering Plan) that would allow Competition in the Telecom Sector to come to Jamaica as explained in my blog article entitled “OUR applies for new Area Code for Jamaica - Competition in Telecoms in the coming Hunger Games Catching Fire of Mobile Computing”.
But how did the Telecom Provider solve the problem of unlocked smartphones? And how is it free seeing as the NPA has to be paid to provide the service to customers?
Technical Problem of knowledge ignored – Customer have to unlock their smartphones elsewhere
Unlocked Smartphone was a major hurdle for introducing Number Portability. That and the fact that not all Jamaicans have a Quad-Band smartphone.
But given the resistance by the Telecom Providers to Number Portability, which was suggested since 2010 and that fact that they hardly, spoke about or gave out information about it, they may not have been eager to have it introduced in Jamaica.
After all, increased number ranges would allow them to expand their Networks and achieve the short-term gains of getting customer to swap their numbers from competing Telecom Providers.
But with the IXP (Internet Exchange Point) available albeit with no Peering enabled as noted in my blog article entitled “Jamaican Telecom Providers ISP on IXP Not Peering –What is Peering, Why is Peering Important and Why Jamaican Telecom Providers are not Peering” and now MNP and LNP here, by now and the end of 2015, expect to hear announcements about competitors coming to Jamaica to setup their services.
So short answer, they didn't solve it at all, as since making the switch is free, as they will not be unlocking smartphones, a responsibility that they’ll leave to the customers as noted in my blog article entitled “How Jamaican can access MNP and LNP by Monday June 1st 2015 – Windfall for Jamaican smartphone unlockers as Quad-Band smartphones and Carrier-Free SIM Cards Required”.
Possibly, many customers, in making the jump to a new Network, may have just simply purchase a new smartphone, being as they’re currently on sale at fairly reasonable prices. After the MNP is complete, they get a new phone and a new SIM with their phone number.
This is especially if they did not have a Quad-Band smartphone in the first place, thus resorting to just simply purchasing a new instrument, especially in the case of LNP.
How the NPA gets paid – Telecom Provider foots the bill for more efficient Number Range management
So how does the NPA Porting Access B.V. of the Netherlands get paid to set up, administer, maintain and expand the CRDB (Central Reference Database) and action requests for the porting of mobile and Landline numbers between the Telecom Providers via a COHS (Central Order Handling System)?
After all, their facilities to provide the NPAS (Number Portability Administrator Service) as explained in my blog article entitled “OUR issues TPPR for a Number Portability Administrator in Jamaica - How Number Portability will get us NANP's NPA and Third 4G Competitor” most have an operating cost and be doing so to make a profit.
Most likely, as stipulated under the Telecommunications Act of 2014, being as Porting is Free, the NPA is being paid on a per month on a volume basis directly by the Telecom Provide without charging the customer.
That is, if they port a certain amount of phone numbers of per month, the Telecom Provider from whom the numbers are being ported as well as to whom the numbers are being ported would pay them based on the volume of numbers ported.
This as the Telecom Provider that is the recipient of the new customers stands to benefit from the customers seeking to retain their phone numbers so that persons familiar with their phone number can always make contact.
It also benefits them as it now efficiently manages the available number ranges and creates the added windfall of the NANP being able to grant the increase in number ranges. This is the main benefit; efficient management of their phone number resources as explained in my blog article entitled “OUR applies for new Area Code for Jamaica - Competition in Telecoms in the coming Hunger Games Catching Fire of Mobile Computing”.
So what next to expect in the next six (6) months? Progress on the implementation of MNP and LNP as well as the announcement of Jamaica getting the additional Area code and hence the additional number ranges.
Possibly too, a New Telecom Provider as well by December 2015!
Sunday, June 21, 2015
Researchers develope 3D Toroidal Phase Diagram to represent Hyper-entangled Qubits - How Donuts herald @NASA's faster-than-light Quantum Teleportation Network
We are slowly stepping closer and closer to a day when Quantum Teleportation can be used to send data since it was first theorized in 1993. All thanks to some Glow-in-the-Dark Chocolate Glaze Donuts using my tried and tested recipe developed while at the MICO College University as detailed in my blog article entitled “Cooking for Exams at MICO - How to make Glow-in-the-Dark Chocolate Glaze Donuts to go with Sorrel Wine”.
This as a team of researchers have discovered a way to improve the information density by reducing the resources needed and thereby improve the reliability of Quantum teleportation as reported in the article “Donuts, math, and superdense teleportation of Quantum information”, published May 28, 2015 by Siv K. Schwink, Physorg.
Their research, published in on Thursday May 28th, 2015 issue of Nature Communications Journal, is part of a collaboration with NASA (National Aeronautical space Administration) to test Quantum Teleportation in space from the ISS (International Space Station) to an Optical Telescope on Earth.
The collaborator bandwagon is again overcrowded, so yet again, I must draw for a list:
1. Doctoral candidate Trent Graham from the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign
2. Dr. Hamid Javadi of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California
3. Dr. Herbert Bernstein from the Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts
4. Dr. Jungsang Kim, physicist from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina
5. Dr. Marius Junge, a Mathematician from the University of Illinois
6. Dr. Paul Kwiat, physicist from the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign
7. Dr. TzuChieh Wei of State University of New York at Stony Brook
The team recently received funding from NASA Headquarter's Space Communication and Navigation program, which has project Directors Badri Younes and Barry Geldzahler, to explore the feasibility of Quantum Teleportation from a space based location back to the Earth. Based on this published research, they're close to the idea of one day building a Quantum Teleportation Network for practical communication.
That team led by physicist Paul Kwiat of the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign and paper coauthor Herbert Bernstein of Hampshire College in Amherst, Massechusets takes advantage of the properties of a torus, a shape which look like a Donut, to improve the efficiently of Quantum Teleportation by making better phase diagram for the windowing of super-dense Quantum data for hyper-entangled atoms being used in the Quantum Teleportation Network between Alice and Bob.
Don’t worry, I’m just as confused as you are, dear reader! So how did Donuts help?
First, before the explanation gets complicated, it would be a good idea to whip up a batch of Glow-in-the-Dark Chocolate Glaze Donuts using my tried and tested recipe developed while at the MICO College University as detailed in my blog article entitled “Cooking for Exams at MICO - How to make Glow-in-the-Dark Chocolate Glaze Donuts to go with Sorrel Wine”.
Researchers develope Toroidal Phase diagram to represent Hyper-entangled Qubits - How Donuts are the key
Turns out Donuts aren’t just good for eating; they’re also helpful with improving information density.
When sending information over such a Quantum Teleportation Network, the sender and receiver, referred to as Alice and Bob respectively, have to get their samples of supercooled atoms Quantum entangled i.e. showing the same Quantum state as explained in extreme detail in my blog article entitled “Kavli Institute of Nanoscience demonstrates Quantum Teleportation – Super-cooled Diamonds demonstrate faster-than-light potential for Computing and Telecommunications”.
Only this time, instead of using the Spin Quantum Number (ms) of a sample of atoms, the team used the polarization and the Orbital Quantum Number, (l) , of photons to transmit the initial key data to get the two (2) samples of atoms Quantum entangled, a state that they referred to as being hyper-entangled.
By using multiple variable of the photons being transmitted in the laser beam used in the FSO (Free Space Optics) communications platform, it allowed the researchers to compress more data, making the communication become more superdense. This is basically a form a data compression, no different from using QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) employing phase angle and amplitude to transmit different symbols representing groups of bits i.e. 1 (on bit) 0 (of bit) in a Data Schema.
But instead of a flat 2D (two dimensional) phase diagram, the researchers used a 3D (three dimensional) analog; a sphere. This, however, presented its difficulties, as it was difficult to label unique points on that phase diagram to represent the polarization and the Orbital Quantum Number (l), of photons that was used a symbols for the hyper-entangled state being transmitted by Alice to represent the Qubits being sent to Bob, the recipient
To quote Dr. Paul Kwiat as he munches on a Donut: “In classical computing, a unit of information, called a bit, can have only one of two possible values—it's either a zero or a one. A Quantum bit, or qubit, can simultaneously hold many values, arbitrary superpositions of 0 and 1 at the same time, which makes faster, more powerful. So a qubit could be represented as a point on a sphere, and to specify what state it is, one would need longitude and latitude. That's a lot of information compared to just a 0 or a 1”.
Enter the Donut, stage left, no doubt stumbled upon by the researcher when they had hit a dead end. During that period while on their allotted one (1) hour lunch break, they must have realized that they literally were munching on the solution to the problem of transmission fidelity of qubits in their hands!
Researchers love eating Donuts - How Donuts may herald NASA's faster-than-light Quantum Teleportation Network
With a 3D Donut, or torus, it's a lot easier to represent polarization and the Orbital Quantum Number (l), as you have the points on the Donut hole as a unique reference instead of just the central axis.
Each set of qubits is represented by a unique polarization and the Orbital Quantum Number (l) point on the Donut wheel, which Dr. Paul Kwiat explains at length, while no doubt mooching on an actual Donut in hand: “What makes our new scheme work is a restrictive set of states. The analog would be, instead of using a sphere, we are going to use a torus, or Donut shape. A sphere can only rotate on an axis, and there is no way to get an opposite point for every point on a sphere by rotating it—because the axis points, the north and the south, don't move. With a Donut, if you rotate it 180 degrees, every point becomes its opposite. Instead of axis points you have a Donut hole. Another advantage, the Donut shape actually has more surface area than the sphere, mathematically speaking—this means it has more distinct points that can be used as encoded information”.
By so doing, the researchers increased the transmission fidelity from 44%, the tradition upper limit, to nearly 88% i.e. successful transmission of information using the Quantum entangled data 88% of the time. This is nowhere close to the five 9's i.e. 99.999% reliability uptime required by Telecom Providers, but it’s getting close.
Restricting the number of possible states being represented using a toroidal phase diagram to represent the polarization and the Orbital Quantum Number (l), of photons to initiate the hyper-entangled state, puts the team a step closer to a practical Quantum Teleportation Network.
Again, to quote Lead author and Doctoral candidate Trent Graham from the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign, who might possibly be munching on a Donut, the source of inspiration for this breakthrough: “We are constrained to sending a certain class of Quantum states called 'equimodular' states. We can deterministically perform operations on this constrained set of states, which are impossible to perfectly perform with completely general Quantum states. Deterministic describes a definite outcome, as opposed to one that is probabilistic. With existing technologies, previous photonic Quantum teleportation schemes either cannot work every time or require extensive experimental resources. Our new scheme could work every time with simple measurements”.
Hopefully when NASA test this Quantum Teleportation Network on the ISS and publishes their results, their researchers will use a lot less jargon to explain the fact that they're using a 3D Donut shape phase diagram, as all this talk about Donuts is making me hungry!
Saturday, June 20, 2015
“We could be just a few decades from proving if there is life elsewhere. For all this time, we have been looking on other planets, when the answer could be on a moon”
Postdoctoral fellow at McMaster's Origins Institute Rene Heller commenting on the possibility of life on exomoons as explained in their pair of papers published in two (2) separate journals, Astronomy & Astrophysics and Astrophysical
Is there life on other planets?
Probably not, as many of the planets found so far are Gas Giants, such as GU Psc b, discovered by the University of Montreal some 115 Light Years away in the constellation Pisces as reported in my blog article entitled “University of Montreal directly images exoplanet GU Psc b using Infrared - 100 Light Year Barrier no longer an issue as Infrared Tun Up”?
But what about their moons?
This was the question that astrophysicists Rene Heller and Ralph Pudritz sought to answer with their research that suggested that some exoplanets had moons that could support life as reported in the article “Distant moons may provide evidence of life beyond Earth, researchers say”, published June 1 2015 by Wade Hemsworth, Physorg.
The pair, who hail from McMaster's Origins Institute, presented their research as two (2) separate papers published in two (2) separate journals, Astronomy & Astrophysics and Astrophysical, suggests that some exomoons were habitable because:
1. The right size and hence a Earth-like gravity
2. Possess a breathable Oxygen rich Earth-like atmosphere
3. Orbiting a planet in the habitable zone
4. Surface temperature to have liquid water
Astrophysicists Rene Heller and Ralph Pudritz based their research on models of the early life of Jupiter and its system of sixteen (16) moons. They realized that based on the model, during the early years of the Solar System’s evolution, when the Sun was much hotter and the Earth had not yet become habitable, life could have flourished on these rocky moons.
As the Sun cooled, all that water may have either frozen onto the surface, such as on the Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons or sunk below the surface to form subterranean aquifers and even seas as in the case of Ganymede.
Gas Giant Exomoons might have Life – Bigger Telescopes and improved Moon-detecting algorithms needed
This idea is now being bolstered by the recent discovery of a subterranean salty sea on the moon Ganymede thanks to the research conducted by Dr Joachim Saur of the University of Cologne in Germany as reported in my blog article entitled “University of Cologne use Ganymede’s Aurora to find Underground Salty Ocean – How Lenz’s Law causes rocking Aurora from Diamagnetic Salt Water”.
Detecting exomoons is not an easy task, as already planetary scientists digging through the NASA's Kepler Space Telescope have found some 4000 exoplanets but no such exomoon. Possibly, they may exist in the data, but would require the use of more sophisticated algorithms to detect.
Alternately, Space Telescopes with higher resolution such as ESA (European Space Agency) PLATO, ATLAST (Advanced Technologies Large Aperture Space Telescope), the E-ELT
(European Extremely Large Telescope) located in Cerro Armazones in Chile’s Atacama Desert and the James Webb Space Telescope as described in my blog article entitled “ATLAST, James Webb Telescope and E-ELT - Bigger Space and Ground-based Telescopes for the Planet Hunters” will possess the resolution to detect exomoons.
Why habitable moons likely around Gas Giant Exoplanets – Exomoon with right ESI yet to be discovered
This idea makes sense, as you might have a situation where a Gas Giant is in the habitable zone but is unable to support life due to its surface temperature, gaseous composite and crushing gravity. However, it may have a rocky moon orbiting that planet, which may have the right size, a breathable atmosphere and being in the habitable zone, possess the right surface temperature to have liquid water.
Planets like Gliese 832 c, located 16.1 Light years away in the Constellation Grus that was discovered by Dr. Robert Wittenmyer of the University of New South Wales as reported in my blog article entitled “Dr. Robert Wittenmyer Team discovers Gliese 832 c – Supersize my Exoplanet Please with a Serving of Super-Venus” could possibly have moons that support life.
Albeit to date no Moons have been found, the ESI (Earth Similarity Index) of such a planet would mean that life might exist on rocky moons in orbit around Gas Giant planets. Because of the limitations of our current technique used to detect planets that's based on the planet transitioning before its star, not only detecting planets with long orbits difficult, but the moons would remain undetectable.
Such is the case of exoplanet Kepler-186f orbiting an M dwarf Star Kepler-186 in the Constellation Cygnus some 1000 light years away discovered by Astronomer Dr. David Kipping of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts as reported in my blog article entitled “Dr. David Kipping discovers exoplanet Kepler-421b – Discovery of
The current algorithm used to detect planets would have to be further refined to detect exomoons, which would be very difficult, being as they might be smaller relative to their host planet and have very large eccentric elliptical orbits.
But detecting them would be easy, as like the planet Earth and our Moon, there would be changes in the planet's gravitation as well as magnetosphere, as the presence of a moon would cause the planet to wobble about its axis as it transitions around its sun. That wobble, albeit faint in the visible spectra, would be detectable in UV or Infrared spectrum by a suitable Telescope.
So exomoons of Gas Giants with life?
Guess I’ll have that to my watch list of news worth items to write about; future discovery of a Gas Giant exoplanet in the habitable zone with a rocky moon that might support life.
Friday, June 19, 2015
This article is somewhat personal to me, as I'm currently using a Dell Lattitude D520 Laptop that gets pretty hot. I know I have to eventually pop her open and clean the fan as explained in my Geezam blog article “Tips and Tricks on how to make your computer run faster” but I'm somewhat of a procrastinator.
So when I read about a research team from Stanford University that has figured out a way to miniaturize Fiber Optic Cables to be used inside of a Laptop as reported in the article
“Breakthrough brings optical Data transport closer to replacing wires”, published May 28 2015, Physorg, I was beside myself with excitement.
Their research, led by Stanford graduate student Alexander Piggott, was published in Nature Photonics Journal. Again, a lot of PhD’s riding on this wagon, so here's yet another long list:
1. Stanford electrical engineer Dr. Jelena Vuckovic
2. Graduate student and Google employee Jesse Lu
3. Graduate student Jan Petykiewicz
4. Postdoctoral Stanford student Thomas Babinec
5. Postdoctoral Stanford student Konstantinos Lagoudakis
What their research yielded was a method of creating Fiber Optic Data circuits using silica glass to replace the copper and gold wires used in the making of motherboards in laptops and computers. Because they are made from silica glass and not wires, they are not prone to the heating effect normally seen in your traditional computer.
Best of all, silica glass naturally refracts IR (infrared) light, the same frequency of light that is used by Fiber Optic Data Transmission systems. Thus, if you could replace the Bus on a computer motherboard, you could eliminate the need to do optical-to-electrical conversion, at least until you reach the Processor.
So how did the Stanford research team shrink the tried and trusted Fiber Optics system that is the basis of modern telecommunications to fit into a computer? And can this potentially be the
Optical computer I've long dreamed in my blog article entitled “IBM develops 25Gbps Photonic Optical Processor at the 90nm level - IBM's Red Dawn (2012) for Optical Processors”?
Stanford University Researcher develop Fiber Optic Motherboard Bus – Cool Running’s for Computers
The research conducted by the team was actually the continuation of previous work done by Professor Jelena Vuckovic with Professor David Miller years prior.
Acting as a guide to Stanford graduate student Alexander Piggott, her previous research foray into computers revealed that as much as 80% of the power wastage in terms of heat loss was not from the Processor but from the motherboards, quote: “Several years ago, my colleague David Miller carefully analyzed power consumption in computers, and the results were striking. Up to 80 percent of the microprocessor power is consumed by sending Data over the wires so called interconnects”.
“Wow” was my first reaction reading article, as I'd always assumed it was the Processor drinking up all that power.
That idea has been reinforced while at MICO College University while doing my Diploma in Professional Studies, as I often have to pop over into the Computer Lab at the e-Learning or at the MICO University Library. Whenever I use a computer, I notice that the computers make an awful lot of noise, almost like an airplane about to take off.
I've always assumed it was the Processor cranking up and needing all that cooling to keep it functioning, as I've had similar problem with my Gaming rig back home in Milk River, Clarendon, which is also noisy despite my best attempts at optimization. However, my computer has a steady fan noise, not an ever increasing hum akin to an airplane taking off as I’d observer with computers at MICO College University, as the fan in my personal PC is rather large.
Up until now I thought the solution lied in improving the cooling technology used in computers using liquid cooling techniques, such as UAH's (University of Alabama in Huntsville)
Fluorinert FC-72 Passive Cooling System as described in my blog article entitled “UAH Graduate Students use 3M's Fluorinert FC-72 in Passive Cooling System – Gaming Rigs and Data Centers Noiseless Cooling Systemss upgrade”.
More exotic solutions such as using CNT’s (Carbon Nanotubes) and room temperature superconductors made from Group 4 Elements as described in my blog article entitled “@UTAustin at Austin develops Silicene Transistors - How to grow Silicene and Group 4 Super-conducting Processors and Batteries on Silver Spoon”.
But they’d still require cooling. A computer Motherboard with the Data Bus based on Fiber Optics, on the other hand, is inherently cool running as it’s not electricity heating up copper and gold connectors and traces but IR (Infrared Light) in silica glass fibers!
Stanford University’s Inverse Design Algorithm – Microscopic Fiber Optic components for Optical Computer
Their idea was to replace those copper and gold connectors and traces used in the Motherboard's Bus to interconnect the various components that the Processor communicates with silica glass based Fiber Optic cables. Most likely, these electrical circuit components that process Data i.e. Processors, Memory, Hard-drive, would sit in or connect via a special socket that does the optical-to-electrical conversion.
This would allow the TTL (Transistor-Transistor Logic) and MosFet based processors and components to work, with capacitors, resistors and inductors still needing basic electrical connections.
By replacing the Motherboard Data Bus with a Fiber Optic Network, it makes the computer run cooler and connect to Fiber Optic Internet the need for optical-to-electrical conversion. A Fiber Optic Motherboard Bus also allows you to multiplex more Data into fewer Data pathways, making such a computer more efficient and powerful to quote Stanford graduate student Alexander Piggott: “Optical transport uses far less energy than sending electrons through wires. For chipscale links, light can carry more than 20 times as much Data”.
To create these Fiber Optic circuits to replace the Motherboard Data Bus, they created a computer program which they dubbed the Inverse Design Algorithm. It's basically like a PCB (Printed Circuit Board) software program, similar to those you can find online.
But their program is more advanced, as it takes into consideration the properties of silica glass as it relates to its ability to refract IR light to design circuit analogs to switches, multiplexers and amplifiers, but specifically geared at manipulating IR light.
Interestingly too, the circuit it designs are microscopic in scale, with circuits so small that twenty (20) of them would make up the width of a human hair.
The PCB diagrams made by the Inverse Design Algorithm are then etched out using their laboratory fabrication facility, albeit not to a high level of precision to quote Stanford graduate student Alexander Piggott: “Our manufacturing processes are not nearly as precise as those at commercial fabrication plants. The fact that we could build devices this robust on our equipment tells us that this technology will be easy to massproduce at stateoftheart facilities”.
Because these structures, made of silica are to be connected to silica glass traces, most likely they'll be encased in epoxy or some other type of cladding like traditional Fiber Optic cables used in Telecoms so as to reduce refractive losses.
Optical Computer with CNT Processors – Fanless Computers designed by Artificial Intelligence
The designs that the Inverse Design Algorithm comes up with are beautifully and visually stunning, but are geared towards creating circuits equivalent in function to their analog counterparts by manipulating the refraction of IR light, to quote Dr. Jelena Vuckovic: “Our structures look like Swiss cheese but they work better than anything we've seen before”.
So it won't be too long before AI (Artificial Intelligent) programs are cooking our food too as predicted in my blog article entitled “US$15,000 Moley Robotics Cooking Robot – Cooking Robot seeking Taste for Human Food to take over in 2017”.
Hopefully, this all means that the CNT (Carbon Nanbotube) Processor that Standard University has been working on as far back a September 2013 as described in my blog article entitled “University of Stanford Designs a Proof-of-concept Processor using Carbon Nanotubes - Practical option to expand Moore’s Law along with Optical, Quantum and Neural Net Processors” now finally has some optical Pathways to efficiently process Data and interface directly with the Fiber Optic Communications standards used in Telecommunications today.
The potential of this breakthrough Inverse Design Algorithm is huge, as it can be used to design all types of Optical communications systems based on Fiber Optics. Not only does it eliminates the need to do optical-to-electrical conversion to connect to Fiber Optic based Internet, at least until you reach the Processor, but it also makes the computer run cooler, more efficient and potentially faster!
Inverse Design Algorithm ties in automation into the design of circuits, which made the manufacturing of telecommunications gear by Telecom Equiptment suppliers achieve economy-of-scale much faster by giving the work to machines instead of humans. If this is how Optical fanless computers will come to pass, then I’m all for it!