World's Coolest Personal Computer

A PC maker submerges its computers to raise their clock speed

1 min read

By dunking the guts of its computers in liquid, Hardcore Computer, in Rochester, Minn., says it can dampen (yes, that’s the word it uses) temperature spikes, raising both reliability and performance through ”the fastest sustainable overclocking available.” Overclocked video cards and other components run at roughly half their normal temperatures.

Cofounder Chad Attlesey says that the speed of its flagship computer, the Reactor, is matched by hobbyists using liquid nitrogen but that their systems can’t run with overclocking for long periods of time. “The original Hardcore prototype has been running error free in my office for over four years.”

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The Future of Deep Learning Is Photonic

Computing with light could slash the energy needs of neural networks

10 min read
Image of a computer rendering.

This computer rendering depicts the pattern on a photonic chip that the author and his colleagues have devised for performing neural-network calculations using light.

Alexander Sludds

Think of the many tasks to which computers are being applied that in the not-so-distant past required human intuition. Computers routinely identify objects in images, transcribe speech, translate between languages, diagnose medical conditions, play complex games, and drive cars.

The technique that has empowered these stunning developments is called deep learning, a term that refers to mathematical models known as artificial neural networks. Deep learning is a subfield of machine learning, a branch of computer science based on fitting complex models to data.

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