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Intel's research agenda includes 90-nanometer fabrication processes and work in extreme ultraviolet lithography that will help extend Moore's law. It also embraces disruptive technologies exemplified in devices such as microelectromechanical-systems microradiators, smart antennas, and radiofrequency components for analog switches, resonators, and filters; ad hoc sensor networks with wireless communications; and photonic devices such as optical switches and cheap tunable lasers.
To implement these advances, Intel has created a network of university-based labs that group the corporation's scientists with academic researchers to form multidisciplinary teams. These lablets leverage industry and academic synergy to nurture off-the-roadmap ideas and technologies and provide a proving ground for testing their viability.
Jeffrey O. Kephart and David M. Chess
A 2001 IBM manifesto observed that a looming software complexity crisis—caused by applications and environments that number into the tens of millions of lines of code—threatened to halt progress in computing. The manifesto noted the almost impossible difficulty of managing current and planned computing systems, which require integrating several heterogeneous environments into corporate-wide computing systems that extend into the Internet.
Autonomic computing, perhaps the most attractive approach to solving this problem, creates systems that can manage themselves when given high-level objectives from administrators.
Daniel S. Katz and Raphael R. Some
NASA's successful exploration of space has uncovered vast amounts of new knowledge about the Earth, the solar system and its other planets, and the stellar spaces beyond. To continue gaining new knowledge has required—and will continue to require—new capabilities in onboard processing hardware, system software, and applications such as autonomy.
For example, initial robotic space exploration missions functioned, for the most part, as large flying cameras. These instruments have evolved over time to include more sophisticated imaging radar, multispectral imagers, spectrometers, gravity wave detectors, a host of prepositioned sensors and, most recently, rovers.
Daniel A. Reed
The correlation, combination, and statistical analysis of large data volumes derived from multiple sources depend on joining a new generation of high-resolution scientific instruments, high-performance computing systems, and large-scale scientific data archives via high-speed networks and a software infrastructure that enables resource and data sharing by collaborating groups of distributed researchers.
Scheduled for completion in 2003, the National Science Foundation's TeraGrid, a massive research computing infrastructure, will combine five large computing and data management facilities and support many additional academic institutions and research laboratories in just such endeavors. When operational, the TeraGrid will help researchers solve problems in fields such as genomics, biology, and high-energy physics.
Chris Diorio and Jaideep Mavoori
Although digital computers and nerve tissue both use voltage waveforms to transmit and process information, engineers and neurobiologists have yet to cohesively link the electronic signaling of digital computers with the electronic signaling of nerve tissue in freely behaving animals.
Recent advances will finally let us link computer circuitry to neural cells in live animals and, in particular, to reidentifiable cells with specific, known neural functions. By enabling neuroscientists to better understand the neural basis of behavior, these devices may someday lead to neural prosthetics, hardware-based human-computer interfaces, and artificial systems that incorporate principles of biological intelligence.
Robert M. Janowiak
The communications and computing industries are both enduring a difficult period brought on by too much success in conveying their joint potential to investors and the broader public. The relationship between these two industries, which began almost at the birth of the modern computing industry, has grown stronger and closer over the years. Just as computing devices are becoming more communications-driven, communication networks are becoming more computing-centric.
Computer-enabling services such as broadband and high-speed wireless data will succeed or fail based on how well they connect many millions of people in useful ways. That's something the communications carriers have been doing for 125 years.