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Tech Titans Building Boom

Google, Microsoft, and other Internet giants race to build the mega data centers that will power cloud computing

12 min read
Illustration of a data center.
The Million-Server Data Center: Today’s most advanced data centers house tens of thousands of servers. what would it take to house 1 million?
Illustration: Bryan Christie Design

The serene countryside around the Columbia River in the northwestern United States has emerged as a major, and perhaps unexpected, battleground among Internet powerhouses. That’s where Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Yahoo have built some of the world’s largest and most advanced computer facilities: colossal warehouses packed with tens of thousands of servers that will propel the next generation of Internet applications. Call it the data center arms race.

The companies flocked to the region because of its affordable land, readily available fiber-optic connectivity, abundant water, and even more important, inexpensive electricity. These factors are critical to today’s large-scale data centers, whose sheer size and power needs eclipse those of the previous generation by one or even two orders of magnitude.

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Deep Learning Gets a Boost From New Reconfigurable Processor

The ReAAP processor allows AI to be faster, more efficient

2 min read
different colored beams of light shooting up
iStock

This article is part of our exclusive IEEE Journal Watch series in partnership with IEEE Xplore.

Deep learning is a critical computing approach that is pushing the boundaries of technology – crunching immense amounts of data and uncovering subtle patterns that humans could never discern on their own. But for optimal performance, deep learning algorithms need to be supported with the right software compiler and hardware combinations. In particular, reconfigurable processors, which allow for flexible use of hardware resources for computing as needed, are key.

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Rory Cooper’s Wheelchair Tech Makes the World More Accessible

He has introduced customized controls and builds wheelchairs for rough terrain

6 min read
portrait of a man in a navy blue polo with greenery in the background
Abigail Albright

For more than 25 years, Rory Cooper has been developing technology to improve the lives of people with disabilities.

Cooper began his work after a spinal cord injury in 1980 left him paralyzed from the waist down. First he modified the back brace he was required to wear. He then turned to building a better wheelchair and came up with an electric-powered version that helped its user stand up. He eventually discovered biomedical engineering and was inspired to focus his career on developing assistive technology. His inventions have helped countless wheelchair users get around with more ease and comfort.

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Designing Fuel Cell Systems Using System-Level Design

Modeling and simulation in Simulink and Simscape

1 min read
Designing Fuel Cell Systems Using System-Level Design

Design and simulate a fuel cell system for electric mobility. See by example how Simulink® and Simscape™ support multidomain physical modeling and simulation of fuel cell systems including thermal, gas, and liquid systems. Learn how to select levels of modeling fidelities to meet your needs at different development stages.