Planting Seeds of Technology

After successfully cofounding three communications companies, Judy Estrin is going for a fourth, this time to beget not more products, but more companies

14 min read
Vital Statistics:

Present position: chief executive officer, Packet Design LLC, Menlo Park, Calif.

First job: folk dance teacher

Most recent book read:The Last Precinct by Patricia Cornwell

Computer: Sony Vaio

Favorite Web sites:,,

Favorite food: chocolate

Favorite saying: "Everybody is a package deal"

Management philosophy: People do best when they understand the goals and participate in the success

Favorite award:Fortune's 50 most powerful women in business

When it comes to start-ups, some people just can't quit. For Judy Estrin, the hardest part about starting a company comes when it isn't just a little start-up anymore--when it merges with another company, is acquired, or goes public and suddenly feels a lot like a big, established company.

Estrin and her husband, Bill Carrico, have been through this a few times: in 1981 with Bridge Communications, which went public in 1985 and merged with 3Com two years later; in 1988 with Network Computing Devices (NCD), which went public four years later; and in 1995 with Precept Software, which was purchased by Cisco Systems three years later.

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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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Get the Coursera Campus Skills Report 2022

Download the report to learn which job skills students need to build high-growth careers

1 min read

Get comprehensive insights into higher education skill trends based on data from 3.8M registered learners on Coursera, and learn clear steps you can take to ensure your institution's engineering curriculum is aligned with the needs of the current and future job market. Download the report now!