Mostly Right! Updates on Our 2014 Predictions

Drones, virtual reality, and electric race cars all made news

5 min read
Mostly Right! Updates on Our 2014 Predictions
Illustration: Greg Mably

It’s that time of year when we look back and take stock of  what we’ve accomplished. At IEEE Spectrum that means seeing how well our predictions from last January’s tech forecast turned out. In our humble opinion, we did pretty well. Google and Facebook helped two of our predictions come true by spending big on Oculus Rift and Titan Aerospace. And two others, Formula E racing and 3-D memories, hit (or mostly hit) the milestones we forecast. We hope we can do as well with this year’s predictions.

  1. Titans Vied for Titan

    Google outbid Facebook for Titan Aerospace

    illustration for titans updateIllustration: Greg Mably

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The Beating Heart of the World’s First Exascale Supercomputer

These chips power Frontier past 1,100,000,000,000,000,000 operations per second

4 min read
An image of Frontier, the worlds first exascale supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, U.S..
Carlos Jones/ORNL/U.S. Department of Energy

The world’s latest fastest supercomputer, Frontier at Oak Ridge National Lab, in Tennessee, is so powerful that it operates faster than the next seven best supercomputers combined and more than twice as well as the No. 2 machine. Frontier is not only the first machine to break the exascale barrier, a threshold of a billion billion calculations per second, but is also ranked No. 1 as the world’s most energy-efficient supercomputer. Now the companies that helped build Frontier, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), reveal the electronic tricks that make the supercomputer tick.

Frontier consists of 74 HPE Cray EX supercomputing cabinets, each weighing more than 3,600 kilograms, which altogether hold more than 9,400 computing nodes. Each node contains one optimized third-generation AMD EPYC 64-core 2-gigahertz “Trento” processor for general tasks and four AMD instinct MI250x accelerators for highly parallel supercomputing and AI operations, as well as 4 terabytes of flash memory to help quickly feed the GPUs data. In total, Frontier contains 9,408 CPUs, 37,632 GPUs, and 8,730,112 cores, linked together by 145 kilometers of networking cables. The lab says its world-leading supercomputer consumes about 21 megawatts.

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Video Friday: Remote-Control Burger Crafting

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

3 min read
Two small black quadrupedal robots help each other to practice cooking a hamburger in a fake kitchen in a laboratory

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.

ERF 2022: 28–30 June 2022, ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
RoboCup 2022: 11–17 July 2022, BANGKOK
IEEE CASE 2022: 20–24 August 2022, MEXICO CITY
CLAWAR 2022: 12–14 September 2022, AZORES, PORTUGAL
ANA Avatar XPRIZE Finals: 4–5 November 2022, LOS ANGELES
CoRL 2022: 14–18 December 2022, AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

Enjoy today’s videos!

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Take the Lead on Satellite Design Using Digital Engineering

Learn how to accelerate your satellite design process and reduce risk and costs with model-based engineering methods

1 min read

Win the race to design and deploy satellite technologies and systems. Learn how new digital engineering techniques can accelerate development and reduce your risk and costs. Download this free whitepaper now!

Our white paper covers:

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