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Will Silicon Save Quantum Computing?

Silicon has become a leading contender in the hunt for a practical, scalable quantum bit

19 min read
Will Silicon Save Quantum Computing?
Illustration: Bryan Christie Design

Grand engineering challenges often require an epic level of patience. That’s certainly true for quantum computing. For a good 20 years now, we’ve known that quantum computers could, in principle, be staggeringly powerful, taking just a few minutes to work out problems that would take an ordinary computer longer than the age of the universe to solve. But the effort to build such machines has barely crossed the starting line. In fact, we’re still trying to identify the best materials for the job.

Today, the leading contenders are all quite exotic: There are superconducting circuits printed from materials such as aluminum and cooled to one-hundredth of a degree above absolute zero, floating ions that are made to hover above chips and are interrogated with lasers, and atoms such as nitrogen trapped in diamond matrices.

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Paying Tribute to Computer Science Pioneer Frederick Brooks, Jr.

He helped develop the IBM System/360 and its operating system

3 min read
portrait of an elderly man in a a red tie and blazer with a bookcase in the background
University of North Carolina

Frederick P. Brooks Jr., a prolific computer scientist and longtime professor of computer science, died on 17 November at the age of 91.

While working as a project manager at IBM in the 1960s, the IEEE Life Fellow led the development of the System/360 computer family. It was the first vertically compatible family of mainframe computers. Brooks also developed IBM’s OS/360, the world’s largest software project at the time. He is credited with coining the term computer architecture, which is used to describe how hardware and software are organized to make up a computer system and the operations which guide its function. He wrote The Mythical Man-Month, a book of essays published in 1975 that detailed lessons he learned from challenges he faced while developing the OS/360.

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How to Stake Electronic Components Using Adhesives

Staking provides extra mechanical support for various electronic parts

2 min read
Adhesive staking of DIP component on a circuit board using Master Bond EP17HTDA-1.

The main use for adhesive staking is to provide extra mechanical support for electronic components and other parts that may be damaged due to vibration, shock, or handling.

Master Bond

This is a sponsored article brought to you by Master Bond.

Sensitive electronic components and other parts that may be damaged due to vibration, shock, or handling can often benefit from adhesive staking. Staking provides additional mechanical reinforcement to these delicate pieces.

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