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Synthetic Sensors Is a Sensor That Could Soon Make Homes Scary-Smart (Liz Stinson)

If you want to set up a connected home, you’ve got two options. You can buy a bunch of smart gadgets that may or may not communicate with other smart gadgets. Or you can retrofit all of your appliances with sensor tags, creating a slapdash network. The first is expensive. The second is a hassle. Before long, though, you might have a third choice: One simple device that plugs into an electrical outlet and connects everything in the room. That’s the idea behind Synthetic Sensors, a Carnegie Mellon University project that promises to make creating a smart, context-aware home a snap. The tiny device, unveiled this week at the big ACM CHI computer interaction conference, can capture all of the the environmental data needed to transform a wide variety of ordinary household objects into smart devices…

Source: Synthetic Sensors Is a Sensor That Could Soon Make Homes Scary-Smart | WIRED

Great Read on the State of the Semiconductor Industry: How the SoC is Displacing the CPU (Pushkar Ranade)

The silicon transistor continues to be at the heart of post-PC era products like the smartphone, the tablet and the smartwatch. However, the success metrics for the transistor are quite different now than they have been in the past.Frequency (clock-speed) was the primary metric in the PC era and the standalone central processing unit (CPU) was the primary chip that drove advancements in semiconductor technology for decades. Form-factor was hardly an influencer and there wasn’t as much of a drive to integrate system-level functionality either on-chip (SoC) or in-package (SiP)…

Source: How the SoC is Displacing the CPU – Medium

New Kind of Processor: Microsoft Bets Its Future on a Reprogrammable Computer Chip (Cade Metz)

It was December of 2012 and Doug Burger was standing in front of Steve Ballmer, trying to predict the future.Ballmer, the big, bald, boisterous CEO of Microsoft, sat in the lecture room on the ground floor of Building 99, home base for the company’s blue-sky R&D lab just outside Seattle. The tables curved around the outside of the room in a U-shape, and Ballmer was surrounded by his top lieutenants, his laptop open. Burger, a computer chip researcher who had joined the company four years earlier, was pitching a new idea to the execs. He called it Project Catapult.

The tech world, Burger explained, was moving into a new orbit. In the future…

Source: Microsoft’s Internet Business Gets a New Kind of Processor | WIRED

The Chips are down: The semiconductor industry will soon abandon its pursuit of Moore’s law. Now things could get a lot more interesting. (Mitchell Waldrop)

Next month, the worldwide semiconductor industry will formally acknowledge what has become increasingly obvious to everyone involved: Moore’s law, the principle that has powered the information-technology revolution since the 1960s, is nearing its end.

A rule of thumb that has come to dominate computing, Moore’s law states that the number of transistors on a microprocessor chip will double every two years or so — which has generally meant that the chip’s performance will, too. The exponential improvement that the law describes transformed the first crude home computers of the 1970s into the sophisticated machines of the 1980s and 1990s, and from there gave rise to high-speed Internet, smartphones and the wired-up cars, refrigerators and thermostats that are becoming prevalent today…

Source: The chips are down for Moore’s law : Nature News & Comment

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