SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY
Hot Trend in Computing: Chips that Sometimes Get It Wrong
from the Houston Chronicle
At first blush it appears a daft notion: increasing the speed and efficiency of computer processors at the cost of a few computational errors. Nevertheless, as a Houston computer scientist has developed his ideas over nearly a decade, he has found increasing acclaim for his "inexact" computer chips.
This week, at a major computing conference in Italy, Rice University's Krishna Palem unveiled his newest chips that trade a bit of accuracy for better efficiency. "When we first started working on this there was a large part of the world that was skeptical about what we were doing," said Palem, who holds a joint appointment at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University.
"But I can very confidently say that we are past that now." That does not seem to be an idle boast. After Palem and his colleagues demonstrated their prototype chips at the ACM International Conference on Computing Frontiers in Cagliari, Italy, this week it earned "best paper" honors from attendees.
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In 2013, American Scientist featured an article on odd ice formations on plant stems, including these curling ribbons of ice. One of the types of ice discussed in the article was hair ice—long, thin strands of ice that grow under quite specific conditions. The only problem is that a new study shows the theory put forth at the time—that gas pressure pushes the water out—isn’t correct... (click the link above to read more).
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