Virgin Galactic debuts design of future Mach 3 high-speed aircraft, signs deal with Rolls-Royce


Virgin Galactic is making strides toward its goal of creating high-speed commercial aircraft that operates a little closer to Earth than its existing passenger spacecraft. The company revealed the initial design of the commercial passenger airplane it’s creating that’s designed to fly at speeds in excess of Mach 3 — faster than the average cruising speed of around Mach 2 that the original Concorde achieved.

This concept design comes alongside a new partnership for Virgin Galactic, by way of a memorandum of understanding that the company signed with Rolls-Royce, one of the world’s leading aircraft engine makers. Rolls-Royce is also responsible for the engine of the Concorde, one of the only supersonic commercial aircraft ever used for passenger travel.

Continue reading… “Virgin Galactic debuts design of future Mach 3 high-speed aircraft, signs deal with Rolls-Royce”


Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 5 refuels phones 50% in 5 minutes, 100% in 15


Wireless recharging has become increasingly popular over the past few years due to its convenience — just drop your phone on a pad and pick it up later — but wired charging is faster, and some ultra-high-speed options have emerged this month to power next-generation phones. Today, Qualcomm is adding its latest innovations to the mix under the name Quick Charge 5, a wired platform that promises to fully recharge upcoming phones in 15 minutes or go from zero to 50% in only five minutes.

Continue reading… “Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 5 refuels phones 50% in 5 minutes, 100% in 15”


Europe’s biggest 3D printer helps create an entire two-story house


While 3D printing might be most commonly used to print smaller-sized models or prototypes, that doesn’t mean it can’t also be used to print larger objects. Much, much larger. In Belgium, Europe’s largest 3D printer was recently used to print an entire house. Unlike other 3D-printed houses we’ve covered (of which there are a handful), this one has two floors — making it one of the biggest and most ambitious 3D-printed housing projects we’ve seen.

“[We used a] gantry printer delivered by COBOD [based in Denmark],” Emiel Ascione, project manager at Kamp C, the firm behind the project, told Digital Trends. “It was their prototype BOD2 [printer]. A gantry printer operates basically like the most common small plastic printers and uses the same type of software, [but on a much larger scale]. The concrete, the silo, as well as the mixing and pumping installation. were delivered by our partner Weber.”

The enormous gantry printer, measuring 32 feet x 32 feet, was used to print the shell of the house. Additional features such as the roof and windows were then added the old-fashioned way. It boasts numerous innovative sustainable features, including solar panels and underfloor heating.

Continue reading… “Europe’s biggest 3D printer helps create an entire two-story house”


Samsung: Expect 6G in 2028, enabling mobile holograms and digital twins


Just as the earliest 5G networks began to go live two years ago, a handful of scientists were eager to publicize their initial work on the next-generation 6G standard, which was at best theoretical back then, and at worst an ill-timed distraction. But as 5G continues to roll out, 6G research continues, and today top mobile hardware developer Samsung is weighing in with predictions of what’s to come. Surprisingly, the South Korean company is preparing for early 6G to launch two years ahead of the commonly predicted 2030 timeframe, even though both the proposed use cases and the underlying technology are currently very shaky.

Given that the 5G standard already enabled massive boosts in data bandwidth and reductions in latency over 4G, the questions of what more 6G could offer — and why — are key to establishing the need for a new standard. On the “what” side, Samsung expects 6G to offer 50 times higher peak data rates than 5G, or 1,000Gbps, with a “user experienced data rate” of 1Gbps, plus support for 10 times more connected devices in a square kilometer. Additionally, Samsung is targeting air latency reductions from 5G’s under 1 millisecond to under 100 microseconds, a 100 times improvement in error-free reliability, and twice the energy efficiency of 5G.

Continue reading… “Samsung: Expect 6G in 2028, enabling mobile holograms and digital twins”


MIT engineers use ‘artificial atoms’ to make the world’s largest quantum chip of its kind


Quantum chips have proved somewhere between difficult and impossible to manufacture

Researchers at MIT have developed a way to manufacturer “artificial atoms” to produce what they claim is the world’s largest quantum chip of its kind.

The atoms have been created in microscopically thin slices of diamond.

The accomplishment “marks a turning point” in the field of quantum processors, said Dirk Englund, associate professor at MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, in a statement.

Continue reading… “MIT engineers use ‘artificial atoms’ to make the world’s largest quantum chip of its kind”


Honeywell claims to have world’s highest performing quantum computer according to IBM’s benchmark


The chamber housing the ion trap in Honeywell’s quantum computer system.

Honeywell said JP Morgan Chase and other customers are using its quantum computer in production, which it claims is the most powerful currently in use based on a benchmark established last year by IBM.

Industrial giant Honeywell on Thursday said it is now live with a quantum computer running client jobs that uses six effective quantum bits, or qubits, and a resulting “volume” of compute that it claims makes the system the most powerful quantum machine currently in production.

The announcement fulfills a vow the company made in March to offer a machine with a quantum volume of 64, as related on March 3rd by ZDNet’s Lawrence Dignan in a conversation with Honeywell’s head of quantum, Tony Uttley, who is president of the division Honeywell Quantum Solutions.

“In March we said within the next three months we’re going to be releasing the world’s highest-performing quantum computer, and so this is a case of Honeywell did what it said it was going to do,” Uttley told ZDNet in a telephone call.

Continue reading… “Honeywell claims to have world’s highest performing quantum computer according to IBM’s benchmark”


Hadrian X brick-laying robot ups the ante to 200 blocks an hour


The Hadrian robot was created by Australian firm Fastbrick Robotics (FBR) and is named after the UK’s Hadrian Wall

Back in 2015 we looked at an interesting approach to automated construction in the form of a brick-laying robot, capable of putting together full-sized homes in just two days. The engineers behind the Hadrian X have continued making software improvements and have now announced a new record brick-laying speed, which they say makes the robot commercially competitive with manual workers around much of the world.

The Hadrian X robot was created by Australian firm Fastbrick Robotics (FBR) and is named after the UK’s Hadrian Wall. It features a telescopic boom that mounts to an excavator or truck, which is fed a 3D CAD model of a house and goes about placing bricks along with mortar and adhesive to build out the structure.

While the team has concept demonstrator robots designed to one day achieve laying rates of more than 1,000 bricks an hour, on the practical side things have been a little more slow-going. Software upgrades to the Hadrian X have seen it go from laying around 85 blocks an hour before the COVID-19 pandemic, to around 150 blocks an hour, and then onward to up over 200 blocks an hour.

Continue reading… “Hadrian X brick-laying robot ups the ante to 200 blocks an hour”


Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link: Denmark approves start of work for €7 billion underwater tunnel to Germany


Danish MPs have given the green light to the construction of the Fehmarnbelt underwater tunnel which will reduce travel time between the country and Germany to just a few minutes.

Work on the Danish side is now expected to start on January 1, 2021, and the tunnel — known as the Fehmarnbelt link — is now forecast to open in mid-2029, the Ministry of Transport said in a statement on Friday.

Transport Minister Benny Engelbrecht hailed the MPs agreement as a “historic decision”, describing the tunnel as “a new gateway to Europe”.

Continue reading… “Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link: Denmark approves start of work for €7 billion underwater tunnel to Germany”


The deepest hole in the world


The Kola Superdeep Borehole

For 24 years, Soviet scientists dug deeper into the Earth’s surface than anyone had ever done before. The result was the Kola Superdeep Borehole located on the Kola Peninsula in Russia.

The ambitious project began in the 1970s, and scientists in the former Soviet Union began to drill a hole that was just 9-inches (22.9 cm) in diameter. The hole eventually extended 7.5 miles (12.1 km) into the Earth’s crust, farther than the deepest point in the ocean, Challenger Deep in the Marianas Trench in the Pacific Ocean at 6.8 miles (10.9 km).

Continue reading… “The deepest hole in the world”


Tesla produces its 1 millionth electric car


Tesla announced that it produced its 1 millionth electric car — becoming the first automaker to achieve the milestone.

 Only a few years ago, many people didn’t believe that Tesla could produce electric vehicles in any meaningful numbers, but the automaker managed to ramp up three electric vehicle programs: Model S, Model X, and Model 3.

Now it is about to launch its fourth electric vehicle, the Model Y, and it is doing it on the momentum of a new milestone.

Today, CEO Elon Musk announced that Tesla produced its 1 millionth car and released a picture of the car, a Model Y, and the team who made it:

Continue reading… “Tesla produces its 1 millionth electric car”


Honeywell says it will soon launch the world’s most powerful quantum computer


“The best-kept secret in quantum computing.” That’s what Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) CEO Ilyas Khan called Honeywell‘s efforts in building the world’s most powerful quantum computer. In a race where most of the major players are vying for attention, Honeywell has quietly worked on its efforts for the last few years (and under strict NDA’s, it seems). But today, the company announced a major breakthrough that it claims will allow it to launch the world’s most powerful quantum computer within the next three months.

In addition, Honeywell also today announced that it has made strategic investments in CQC and Zapata Computing, both of which focus on the software side of quantum computing. The company has also partnered with JPMorgan Chase to develop quantum algorithms using Honeywell’s quantum computer. The company also recently announced a partnership with Microsoft.

Continue reading… “Honeywell says it will soon launch the world’s most powerful quantum computer”


Citroën launches $6,000 electric car that a 14-year-old can drive


Citroën is launching the Ami, a new ~$6,000 mini electric car that can cost just $20 per month and it can be legally driven by a 14-year-old can in France.

 We call it an electric car because it looks like a small city car, like a smart, but Citroën is calling Ami a “light quadricycle.”

It’s accessible to people from 14 years old in France, though the French automaker says that only 16-year-olds on average are going to be allowed to drive in most European countries. Another advantage (or risk depending on how you look at it) is that in some places, you won’t even need a driver’s license to get behind the wheel of an Ami.

Continue reading… “Citroën launches $6,000 electric car that a 14-year-old can drive”