By John E. Kelly III
It’s amazing for me to recall that in 1980 when I came to IBM Research out of graduate school, engineers were striving to design chips containing 100,000 transistors–those tiny electronic switches that process and store data. Today, it’s common to put five or six billion transistors on a sliver of silicon.
This remarkable achievement is the fulfillment of a prediction made in 1965 by industry pioneer Gordon Moore: that the number of components on a chip would double every year for the foreseeable future. He later amended the time period to 24 months. His predictions, codified as Moore’s Law, have come to symbolize the seemingly inevitable march of technological progress–the ability to make all sorts of electronic devices faster, smaller and more energy efficient.
While Gordon’s prediction proved to be more prescient than he could have imagined, today, 50 years later, the chip industry is no longer able to clear the high bar he set, due largely to limits imposed by the laws of physics. To put things bluntly: Moore’s Law is hitting a wall, and that collision holds significant consequences for business and society. Unless scientists and engineers come up with bold new approaches to chip architectures and materials, technological progress will slow.
To accelerate progress, we need to invent the next switch.
By Anjul Bhambhri
It’s estimated that 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day from sources such as email and collaboration tools, including posts to social media sites, digital pictures and videos, and purchase transactions, just to name a few.
As the tools for making sense of Big Data become more widely – and more expertly – applied, and the types of data that are available for analysis diversify, the opportunity to use Big Data for social good intensifies. These massive datasets can be leveraged to better serve both the billions of people who generate the data, and ultimately the societies in which they live. Continue Reading »
By Chris Nay
On average, IBM bestows its top technical rank of Fellow upon only five employees per year. That adds up to 257 who have earned the title over the program’s 52 year history. And those who hold it are recognized not only across IBM, but throughout the industry and around the world for leading innovation that will change the future.
Fellows program founder, Gardiner Tucker, recently recalled an example of the impact and scope of the program when discussing the work of Nathaniel Rochester, Fellow class of 1967. Continue Reading »
By Judy Murphy
One of the most stressful parts of a nurse’s job is the so-called “handover,” which occurs at the beginning of the shift–typically at 7 a.m. or 7 p.m.
In a matter of minutes, they have to find out which patients have been assigned to them, get reports from the nurses who handled those patients during the previous shift, and plan everything for their shift, from administering medications and scheduling procedures to giving baths and doing assessments –all the while being aware of activities that are already on the books for each patient. Talk about multitasking! Continue Reading »
By Kyu Rhee, MD, MPP
There was an interesting decision to make within IBM about what to call a new business organization that we’re announcing today. Should it be named Watson Health or Watson Healthcare?
“Health” is an aspiration, for individuals and society. “Healthcare” describes an industry primarily focused on treating diseases.
While healthcare is essential, it represents just one of many factors that determine whether people live long and healthy lives. Some other critical factors are genetics, geography, behaviors, social/environmental influences, education, and economics. Unless society takes all of these factors into account and puts the individual at the center of the healthcare system, we won’t be able to make large-scale progress in helping people feel better and live longer. So, Watson Health it is. Continue Reading »
By Sandy Carter
In 1969, the world witnessed one of the greatest engineering achievements of all time, landing two astronauts on the moon for the first time. NASA used IBM technology to calculate the enormous amount of liftoff data needed for astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin to meet the command module for the flight back to Earth, and also called on our resources in managing subsequent Apollo missions.
This weekend, nearly half a century later, IBM is sponsoring the NASA Space App Challenge to give developers, students, scientists, educators, and entrepreneurs a chance to take part in the next era of space innovation by helping them devise solutions that address challenges facing Earth, humans, robotics and space exploration. Continue Reading »
By Dave Turek
The high-performance computing (HPC) community is changing, and changing fast.
For some time the HPC community, consumers and vendors alike, have turned to floating point capability as the ultimate judge of the value of a supercomputer: the more floating-point operations per second (flops) you have, the better the system you have.
This mantra has been instilled through the bi-annual publication of the TOP500 list, which utilizes a benchmark that favors systems heavy on floating point capability. And, to be honest, this was quite useful for a very long time. But the world has evolved, and so have supercomputers. Big Data has changed everything. Combing through huge amounts of consumer data or years of financial statistics requires a new model and a new yardstick.
Over the last several years, segment by segment, the Big Data phenomenon has intruded on the floating point-centric value scheme and begun to force consideration of alternative measurements for assessing system value. It’s time for a new approach, which we call data centric computing. Continue Reading »
By Loren McDonald
A recent joint study conducted by IBM and Econsultancy titled, The Consumer Conversation, is shining new light on a growing gap between the messages marketers are sending out and what their customers are actually receiving.
In the old world of marketing, the path-to-purchase was straight and narrow. Marketers based communications on their own marketing calendar, not necessarily on what was best for the consumer. But today’s path is far more complex, with marketers and entire organizations tasked with engaging an increasingly elusive customer when it’s best for the customer. Succeed at this, the theory goes, and every interaction is relevant, targeted and personalized. Continue Reading »
By Ron Ambrosio
Later this month the Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project (PNW-SGDP), the largest smart grid demonstration in the U.S., will be completed.
This five year-long project is the largest of 16 such projects funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. It spans five states and involves about 60,000 metered customers. The goals of the projects include helping create a more efficient and effective electricity infrastructure that does a better job of containing costs, lowering emissions, incorporating more renewable energy sources, improving grid reliability, and giving consumers greater flexibility. Continue Reading »
By Jeff Marshall
When you think of marketing and advertising, the common thread between them is clear: communication. One group seeks to effectively communicate a message to another group. It’s pretty simple.
At Havas, one of the leading international marketing agencies in the world, communication is our lifeblood. But the discipline continues to evolve. Massive shifts in technology and society dictate that we – that everyone – rethink and advance the way we all communicate.
In a report we released last year called The New Consumer and the Sharing Economy, we unearthed some profound statistics about people and the way their lives and business operations were changing as a result of three things: overconsumption, new technologies and newly accepted behaviors. Continue Reading »