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Archive for 1. Juli 2019

Hybrid airliners could come to dominate the skies

Posted by hkarner - 1. Juli 2019

Date: 27-06-2019
Source: The Economist

They use both orthodox engines and electric motors in an optimum mix

Steady improvements in battery technology, driven along by the electrification of road transport, are helping air taxis and other small electric aircraft get airborne. But even the best lithium-ion cells are still far from being able to power the workhorses of civil aviation: short-haul airliners carrying 150 or so passengers. An electric version would not be able to rise from the ground, because of the weight of the batteries required to drive its engines. Nevertheless, many aerospace experts continue to think that electric flight is the future, at least in hybrid form.

This could be achieved by starting with smaller hybrid airliners, such as those carrying 50 or so passengers on regional routes, and then scaling the technology up. Details of one such effort, called Project 804, illustrate how the airborne equivalent of a hybrid Toyota Prius might work. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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An American ban hits China’s supercomputer industry

Posted by hkarner - 1. Juli 2019

Date: 27-06-2019
Source: The Economist

It may not knock it out

In 2000 china had two supercomputers ranked among the world’s fastest 500. Ten years later a machine named Tianhe-1a topped the global league table. It was, though, based on Intel chips. So when in 2015 America barred its giant chipmaker from selling to four Chinese supercomputer labs—fearing that the machines were being used to simulate nuclear blasts—it might have expected China’s progress in the field to slow. Instead, China unveiled another supercomputer, Sunway TaihuLight, that led that ranking in 2016 and 2017—this time powered entirely by home-grown microprocessors. The latest American sanctions will nevertheless bite.

On June 21st America’s Commerce Department blacklisted another five Chinese supercomputing entities on the grounds that they too pose a threat to national security. The export ban prohibits American firms from selling them chips and “interconnects” that allow chips to talk to each other. An army-led institute that designed chips for the latest world-beating machine is on the list, as is Sugon, which has built a third of China’s 100 fastest ones. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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