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IBM announces densest, most powerful microchip in market

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San Francisco, Tech giant IBM has announced it has developed a new microchip for computers that is about four times more powerful that those currently in the market.

The firm said in a communiqué on Thursday that it was able to manufacture chips with components just seven nanometers wide — 1,000 times smaller than a red blood cell, Efe news agency reported.

The smallest components in computer chips to date are 14 nm in size, although the industry has already begun the transition to producing 10-nm chips.

Each new generation of chips is defined by the smaller size of its basic components.

IBM IBM-company-e1415979321352has manufactured the first prototypes of the chips in a laboratory and is currently exploring ways to produce them in its factories.

The firm said the new advances will enable it to produce chips containing 20 billion transistors, or switches, compared to the 1.9 billion on the Intel’s most advanced 14-nm chips.

The firm is making a big push to reduce the size of transistors and other microscopic components on its fingernail-sized chips, following a trend of increasing computer power — known as Moore’s Law.

The law — or, better said, observation — bears the name of Gordon Moore, one of the pioneers in developing silicon chips and the co-founder of Intel, and holds that, over the history of computing hardware, the number of transistors in a densely integrated circuit has doubled approximately every two years.

The announcement made on Thursday by IBM means that the past exponential increase in computational power will continue apace for the next few years.

IBM said it was able to resolve development problems for the new chip by using silicon germanium — rather than just silicon — in key parts of the chip, something which makes it possible for even smaller elements in the chip to operate properly.

“For business and society to get the most out of tomorrow’s computers and devices, scaling to seven nm and beyond is essential,” said Arvind Krishna, senior vice-president and director of IBM Research.

IBM and its partners, including Samsung, are planning to invest some $3 billion in a New York state manufacturing plant to produce the tiny seven-nm chips, making them available for installation in computers and other tech devices by 2017.  (IANS)

 

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A Data Project To Predict Human Trafficking Before It Occurs By Corporate Giants

Along with IBM and Western Union, participants include Europol, Europe's law enforcement agency is also included

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Human Trafficking
People protesting against human trafficking and slavery raise their fists during a demonstration in Mexico City. VOA

Computer giant IBM Corp., financial services company Western Union
Co. and European police launched a project Thursday to share financial data that they said may one day be able to predict human trafficking before it occurs.

The shared data hub will collect information on money moving around the world and compare it with known ways that traffickers move their illicit gains, highlighting red flags signaling potential trafficking, organizers said.

“We will build and aggregate that material, using IBM tools, into an understanding of hot spots and routes and trends,” said Neil Giles, a director at global anti-slavery group Stop the Traffik, which is participating in the project.

Human Trafficking
Ethnic Uighur Muslim boy stands inside a police van in Khlong Hoi Khong of southern Songkhla province, Thailand. He was in a group of 200 people rescued from a human trafficking camp. VOA

Data collection, digital tools and modern technology are the latest weapons in the fight against human trafficking, estimated to be a $150 billion-a-year global business, according to the International Labor Organization.

The U.N. has set a goal of 2030 for ending forced labor and modern slavery worldwide, with more than 40 million people estimated to be enslaved around the world.

Certain patterns and suspicious activity might trigger a block of a transaction or an investigation into possible forced labor or sex slavery, organizers said.

The project will utilize IBM’s internet cloud services as well as artificial intelligence and machine learning to compare data and to spot specific trafficking terms, said Sophia Tu, director of IBM Corporate Citizenship.

Human Trafficking
The project will utilize IBM’s internet cloud services

With a large volume of high-quality data, the hub one day may predict trafficking before it happens, she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“You can’t do it today because we’re in the process of building out that amount of data and those capabilities, but it’s in the road map for what we want to do,” she said.

While law enforcement is teaming up with banks and data specialists to chase trafficking, experts have cautioned that it can be a cat-and-mouse game in which traffickers quickly move on to new tactics to elude capture.

Also Read: USA And Other Countries Pledge To Eradicate Illegal Wildlife Trade

Also, less than 1 percent of the estimated $1.5 trillion-plus laundered by criminals worldwide each year through the financial system is frozen or confiscated, according to the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime.

Along with IBM and Western Union, participants include Europol, Europe’s law enforcement agency; telecommunications giant Liberty Global; and British banks Barclays and Lloyds, organizers said. (VOA)