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Primeur weekly 2017-04-24

Focus

The Global Network Architecture consortium is a strong believer in good collaboration, sharing capacity and costs for transatlantic network connectivity ...

North Atlantic Network Collaboration Building Foundation for Global Network Architecture ...

Focus on Europe

British Met Office faces big challenges with Big Data ...

Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research enables researchers to meet with SURF ...

RDA Europe-ENVRI Summer School on Data Management and Data Science ...

PRACE 14th Call for Proposals shows the magnitude of PRACE 2 ...

Prof. Dr. Michael M. Resch named new chairman of GCS Board of Directors ...

Hardware

Canada's most powerful academic supercomputer launched at Simon Fraser University ...

Pattern discovery over pattern recognition: A new way for computers to see ...

Mellanox 25Gb/s Ethernet adapters chosen by major ODMs to enable next generation hyperscale data centres ...

Mellanox announces new executive appointments ...

New HPC cluster installed at Clarkson University ...

Harnessing heat to power computers ...

Launch of new research line on network measurements and analytics ...

DataDirect Networks to demonstrate converged appliance that accelerates immersive and traditional content creation and global distribution ...

Rescale announces ScaleX Labs with Intel Xeon Phi processors and Intel Omni-Path architecture ...

Applications

Royal Canadian Institute for Science recognizes IBM's commitment to STEM ...

WorldFlix announces new data protection technology that even a supercomputer won't be able to break ...

Call for Applications opened for DATA2PERSON - Big Data and Health ...

IBM machine vision technology advances early detection of diabetic eye disease using deep learning ...

Predictive power ...

Dutch eScience Center organises Scientific Visualization event and Fifth National eScience Symposium ...

OCF supporting scientific research at the Atomic Weapons Establishment ...

A good night's sleep thanks to new machine learning algorithm ...

The Cloud

Oracle brings Oracle's flagship databases and developer tools to the Docker Store ...

IBM to deliver Docker Enterprise Edition for Linux on IBM systems ...

Harnessing heat to power computers


Sidy Ndao and Mahmoud Elzouka, University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Engineering, developed this thermal diode that may allow computers to use heat as an alternate energy source. Credit: Karl Vogel, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Engineering.
17 Apr 2017 Lincoln - One of the biggest problems with computers, dating to the invention of the first one, has been finding ways to keep them cool so that they don't overheat or shut down. Instead of combating the heat, two University of Nebraska-Lincoln engineers have embraced it as an alternative energy source that would allow computing at ultra-high temperatures.

Sidy Ndao, assistant professor of mechanical and materials engineering, said his research group's development of a nano-thermal-mechanical device, or thermal diode, came after flipping around the question of how to better cool computers.

"If you think about it, whatever you do with electricity you should also be able to do with heat, because they are similar in many ways", Sidy Ndao stated. "In principle, they are both energy carriers. If you could control heat, you could use it to do computing and avoid the problem of overheating."

A paper Sidy Ndao co-authored with Mahmoud Elzouka, a graduate student in mechanical and materials engineering, was published in the March edition of Scientific Reports . In it, they documented their device working in temperatures that approached 630 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sidy Ndao said he expects the device could eventually work in heat as extreme as 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit, which could have major implications in many industries.

"We are basically creating a thermal computer", Sidy Ndao stated. "It could be used in space exploration, for exploring the core of the earth, for oil drilling, for many applications. It could allow us to do calculations and process data in real time in places where we haven't been able to do so before."

By taking advantage of an energy source that has long been overlooked, Sidy Ndao said, the thermal diode could also help limit the amount of energy that gets wasted.

"It is said now that nearly 60 percent of the energy produced for consumption in the United States is wasted in heat", Sidy Ndao stated. "If you could harness this heat and use it for energy in these devices, you could obviously cut down on waste and the cost of energy."

The next step is making the device more efficient and making a physical computer that could work in the highest of temperatures, Sidy Ndao said.

Though the researchers have filed for a patent, Mahmoud Elzouka said there is still work to be done to improve the diode and its performance.

"If we can achieve high efficiency, show that we can do computations and run a logic system experimentally, then we can have a proof-of-concept", Mahmoud Elzouka stated. "That is when we can think about the future."

Yet Sidy Ndao has even bigger ambitions for his group's research.

"We want to to create the world's first thermal computer", he stated. "Hopefully one day, it will be used to unlock the mysteries of outer space, explore and harvest our own planet's deep-beneath-the-surface geology, and harness waste heat for more efficient-energy utilization."

Source: University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2017-04-24

Focus

The Global Network Architecture consortium is a strong believer in good collaboration, sharing capacity and costs for transatlantic network connectivity ...

North Atlantic Network Collaboration Building Foundation for Global Network Architecture ...

Focus on Europe

British Met Office faces big challenges with Big Data ...

Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research enables researchers to meet with SURF ...

RDA Europe-ENVRI Summer School on Data Management and Data Science ...

PRACE 14th Call for Proposals shows the magnitude of PRACE 2 ...

Prof. Dr. Michael M. Resch named new chairman of GCS Board of Directors ...

Hardware

Canada's most powerful academic supercomputer launched at Simon Fraser University ...

Pattern discovery over pattern recognition: A new way for computers to see ...

Mellanox 25Gb/s Ethernet adapters chosen by major ODMs to enable next generation hyperscale data centres ...

Mellanox announces new executive appointments ...

New HPC cluster installed at Clarkson University ...

Harnessing heat to power computers ...

Launch of new research line on network measurements and analytics ...

DataDirect Networks to demonstrate converged appliance that accelerates immersive and traditional content creation and global distribution ...

Rescale announces ScaleX Labs with Intel Xeon Phi processors and Intel Omni-Path architecture ...

Applications

Royal Canadian Institute for Science recognizes IBM's commitment to STEM ...

WorldFlix announces new data protection technology that even a supercomputer won't be able to break ...

Call for Applications opened for DATA2PERSON - Big Data and Health ...

IBM machine vision technology advances early detection of diabetic eye disease using deep learning ...

Predictive power ...

Dutch eScience Center organises Scientific Visualization event and Fifth National eScience Symposium ...

OCF supporting scientific research at the Atomic Weapons Establishment ...

A good night's sleep thanks to new machine learning algorithm ...

The Cloud

Oracle brings Oracle's flagship databases and developer tools to the Docker Store ...

IBM to deliver Docker Enterprise Edition for Linux on IBM systems ...