A Broadband Utopia

A municipally owned network in Utah is poised to offer 100 megabits per second--and that's just to start

15 min read

Utopia, as described by Sir Thomas More, the man who originated the term in the early 16th century, is an imaginary place of few laws, great natural abundance, and an absence of poverty and want. We still don't know how to cure poverty and want. But in a western U.S. desert, a utopia of sorts is taking shape for broadband users who would like to get their phone, television, and Internet services from the providers of their choice.

As it turns out, this Utopia, known formally as the Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency, promises to be just that, a broadband utopia. And it is very much a real place, encompassing 14 cities in northeastern Utah. It delivers to each of its 3000 subscribers high-speed Internet access, telephony, and television programming through a fiber-optic cable at data rates that now reach 30 megabits per second. Soon, service providers there will be offering speeds of 50 and even 100 Mb/s. That's enough to download a 2-hour movie in about 6 minutes, 10 to 20 times as fast as the typical U.S. cable or digital subscriber line connection, 6 times as fast as Verizon Communications Inc.'s much-publicized fiber-to-the-home service (called FiOS) and twice as fast as the new DSL now being introduced in Europe by France Telecom and others.

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Video Friday: Turkey Sandwich

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

4 min read
A teleoperated humanoid robot torso stands in a kitchen assembling a turkey sandwich from ingredients on a tray

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your friends at IEEE Spectrum robotics. We also post a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months. Please send us your events for inclusion.

CoRL 2022: 14–18 December 2022, AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

Enjoy today's videos!

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New AI Speeds Computer Graphics by Up to 5x

Neural rendering harnesses machine learning to paint pixels

5 min read
Four examples of Nvidia's Instant NeRF 2D-to-3D machine learning model placed side-by-side.

Nvidia Instant NeRF uses neural rendering to generate 3D visuals from 2D images.

NVIDIA

On 20 September, Nvidia’s Vice President of Applied Deep Learning, Bryan Cantanzaro, went to Twitter with a bold claim: In certain GPU-heavy games, like the classic first-person platformer Portal, seven out of eight pixels on the screen are generated by a new machine-learning algorithm. That’s enough, he said, to accelerate rendering by up to 5x.

This impressive feat is currently limited to a few dozen 3D games, but it’s a hint at the gains neural rendering will soon deliver. The technique will unlock new potential in everyday consumer electronics.

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Learn How Global Configuration Management and IBM CLM Work Together

In this presentation we will build the case for component-based requirements management

2 min read

This is a sponsored article brought to you by 321 Gang.

To fully support Requirements Management (RM) best practices, a tool needs to support traceability, versioning, reuse, and Product Line Engineering (PLE). This is especially true when designing large complex systems or systems that follow standards and regulations. Most modern requirement tools do a decent job of capturing requirements and related metadata. Some tools also support rudimentary mechanisms for baselining and traceability capabilities (“linking” requirements). The earlier versions of IBM DOORS Next supported a rich configurable traceability and even a rudimentary form of reuse. DOORS Next became a complete solution for managing requirements a few years ago when IBM invented and implemented Global Configuration Management (GCM) as part of its Engineering Lifecycle Management (ELM, formerly known as Collaborative Lifecycle Management or simply CLM) suite of integrated tools. On the surface, it seems that GCM just provides versioning capability, but it is so much more than that. GCM arms product/system development organizations with support for advanced requirement reuse, traceability that supports versioning, release management and variant management. It is also possible to manage collections of related Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) and Systems Engineering artifacts in a single configuration.

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