Son of SBInet: Show Me the Technology!

Government wants existing technology that can play together with minimal integration effort

1 min read
Son of SBInet: Show Me the Technology!

Last week, the US government posted more information about its desired Son of SBInet (see PDF), the successor to the failed SBInet virtual fence program. According to this article in the Washington Technology and the government's solicitation, Customs and Border Protection wants technology solutions that are " ... complete, fully integrated, and proven commercial-off-the-shelf/government-off-the-shelf (COTS/GOTS) solutions."

Furthermore:

"The Government is not interested in solutions that require measurable developmental effort to integrate COTS/GOTS subsystems... There is no intent to develop any items or systems under the program."

In addition, the government intends to use fixed priced contracts for the procurement of the technology.

What's more, open architecture solutions - meaning "an inherent ability to 'plug-and-play' (consistent with well-defined interface descriptions) - including switch-out of hardware and software components from other suppliers - without any additional integration costs or any additional involvement from the original equipment manufacturer(s)" - are going to be given preference.

Given the above requirements/constraints, one is led to believe that there is lots of inexpensive, easy to integrate and very effective surveillance, communications and command system technology that entered the marketplace in the past three years that can "detect, track, identify, and classify illegal incursions to provide Border Patrol agents with improved situational awareness between the Ports of Entry (POEs)."

Hmm, I wonder why this supposedly readily available, off-the-shelf, plug & play technology wasn't being used on SBInet?

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An IBM Quantum Computer Will Soon Pass the 1,000-Qubit Mark

The Condor processor is just one quantum-computing advance slated for 2023

4 min read
This photo shows a woman working on a piece of apparatus that is suspended from the ceiling of the laboratory.

A researcher at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center examines some of the quantum hardware being constructed there.

Connie Zhou/IBM

IBM’s Condor, the world’s first universal quantum computer with more than 1,000 qubits, is set to debut in 2023. The year is also expected to see IBM launch Heron, the first of a new flock of modular quantum processors that the company says may help it produce quantum computers with more than 4,000 qubits by 2025.

This article is part of our special report Top Tech 2023.

While quantum computers can, in theory, quickly find answers to problems that classical computers would take eons to solve, today’s quantum hardware is still short on qubits, limiting its usefulness. Entanglement and other quantum states necessary for quantum computation are infamously fragile, being susceptible to heat and other disturbances, which makes scaling up the number of qubits a huge technical challenge.

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