Medvedev Addresses Nanotechnology Amidst the Economic Crisis

Russia's President Medvedev presents a pragmatic approach to developing nanotechnology in that country

1 min read

Last week in his keynote speech at the Rusnanotech Nanotechnology International Forum the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev impressed me as making the most pragmatic, realistic and detailed speech I have yet seen by a national leader on the role of government in the commercialization of nanotechnology. You can watch the entire video of the speech here.

Since the forming of the Russian Federation after the fall of the Soviet Union, the only bright spot economically has been the exploitation of Russia’s natural resources, in particular its oil. But as Medvedev points out Russia has the intellectual capability and the oil riches necessary to transform its economy into a knowledge-based one by using nanotechnology investment and research.

It appears Russia is committed to getting this nanotechnology initiative right, even if it means they may have to change some of their ways of thinking along the way. I can think of at least one nanotechnology blogger that is changing his views on the Russia nanotechnology initiative.

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Two Startups Are Bringing Fiber to the Processor

Avicena’s blue microLEDs are the dark horse in a race with Ayar Labs’ laser-based system

5 min read
Diffuse blue light shines from a patterned surface through a ring. A blue cable leads away from it.

Avicena’s microLED chiplets could one day link all the CPUs in a computer cluster together.


If a CPU in Seoul sends a byte of data to a processor in Prague, the information covers most of the distance as light, zipping along with no resistance. But put both those processors on the same motherboard, and they’ll need to communicate over energy-sapping copper, which slow the communication speeds possible within computers. Two Silicon Valley startups, Avicena and Ayar Labs, are doing something about that longstanding limit. If they succeed in their attempts to finally bring optical fiber all the way to the processor, it might not just accelerate computing—it might also remake it.

Both companies are developing fiber-connected chiplets, small chips meant to share a high-bandwidth connection with CPUs and other data-hungry silicon in a shared package. They are each ramping up production in 2023, though it may be a couple of years before we see a computer on the market with either product.

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