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Chris Fenton's Cray 1A implemented in an FPGA with a 1/10th scale housing.

"We prototype in Python, but, of course, the production code is on FPGA."

Sunset shines down the grassy hills of the Big Sur coastline...

Flying insects setup. This portable unit is used to capture flying insects into the field. 2 or more flashes are used and also a second mechanical highspeed 5 msec external shutter. All the functions are driven by a homemade hardware controller with a Altera FPGA chip. The GPS put the locations direct to the picture into the D200 nikon camera to know where the insects are captured. A dual laser system detects the flying insects and transfert the information to the controller to drive all the function. The flashes are driven by the controller, not by the camera. All settings are manual set as the focus point stay fix at the laser intersection. The controller is powered by 6x AA batteries. The hole unit is portable into the field to find the insects. The same unit is used at night for flying moths into the dark. There UV light is used for the moths ( not show on the picture).

 

For the newer version 2009 see: www.flickr.com/photos/fotoopa_hs/sets/72157611107153997/

 

And the results stay here:

www.flickr.com/photos/fotoopa_hs/sets/72157614472228822/

 

High definition image sensors 1M pixel combined with reprogrammable Virtex6 FPGA that includes a 32bit softcore processor programmed under CPP. All video paths streamed in near realtime. The printed circuit board is designed for high reliability and ease of manufacture. Image sensors and main board curvature are folded into position at a final assembly stage using an inner flex interconnect PCB combined with inner and outer FR4 component layers.

for Macro Mondays Chip(s)

3D crossview picture with the 2 cameras vertical.

This macro closeup picture is the result of a falling waterdrop and a few objects together with waterfigures. The waterfigures are a result from an special type wave on a speaker, the correct amplitude and frequency and form of the wave. This form is a digital signal into the flash of my hardware controller. Cameras are prefect synchronized in spite of that they are different types. See the setup.

www.flickr.com/photos/fotoopa_hs/4260310208/sizes/o/

 

Technical data:

D300 + D200 Nikon DSLR camera.

Camera space 100mm vertical.

Macro lenses 2 x Nikor AF105/2.8D micro.

Frame real live size : 80 x 120mm

F29 diafragma, manual bulb shutter mode.

4 Flashes SB-80-DX TTL controlled by the central hardware controller.

1 DE1 FPGA cyclone II mainboard at 50MHz clock.

Digital waveforms into a flash at high speed PWM, digital powercontrol, frequentie control and type waveform.

2 laser detector systems.

 

How to see 3D photos:

www.neilcreek.com/blog/2008/02/28/how-to-see-3d-photos/

 

A screenshot.

 

Mah Ponk is working in standard VGA 640x480 60Hz mode. This picture is not generated from a memory buffer, like it would be done on a computer. Instead, the video signal is generated in real time by logic circuit implemented in a FPGA chip. In other words it's a big state machine, an automaton, that has R,G,B and sync signals needed by VGA monitor as its outputs. The time required to scan one pixel is 1/25175000th of a second and this is the rate at which the machine is working, constantly updating its state.

 

See the action here.

Final high-speed setup, Olympus E-PL3 replaced by the Nikon D300 camera.

 

Why this replacement:

Better pictures, less noise.

ISO low to 100 better for longer camera capture time with internal shutter open.

Better acces to the memory card and the battery for exchanging.

 

Specs:

Nikon D300 camera in manual mode.

DIY adaptor to mount the Nikor AF105/2.8D macro lens.

Nikkor AF105/2.8D macro lens.

A DIY external shutter housing has the super fast Uniblitz VS14s shutter.

The shutter-lag is only 3.5ms, the opening time is 4.5 ms or 1/220 sec.

A DIY HT module control the 65V to the external shutter. The high power current for the external shutter is supplied by a flash capacitor 740 uF/330V.

Detector depth accuracy: 0.25mm at 310mm from object to front macro lens, frame = 60mm.

The 2 flashes are SB-80-DX types (or SB800). They works in TTL mode and are controlled via my hardware modules. Via the keyboard all settings can be changed and stored into a flash eeprom. So the flashes are all controlled from the controller and no more individual on the flashes itself.

The hardware core is a FPGA module from terasic, the DE0-nano. Very powerfull and small. All high-speed timings are controlled from this board. More then 81 I/O pins are used.

All modules in this unit can be reprogrammed via an USB connection.

 

For high-speed in-flight insects capture I use a laser system to know when an insects come in focus. This laser system is very accurate and quickly. In just 50 us I know when an insects stay infocus. Thereafter the high-speed external shutter is activated into 3.5 ms to take a picture. Even super fast flying insects at macro closeup stay in the picture frame with this ultra short detecton delay and shutter-lag.

 

The detector has a 128 pixel line array to readout the laserbeam. A distance change of only 0.25 mm can be seen by the line array. Each pixel has an 8 bit value. The value, the position and the noise can be set into the parameters for optimal picture capture. Even super small insects of 0.5mm can be detected at 500 mm from the macro lens and this into the super short time of only 50 us (1/20.000 sec)

 

I use a power-pack module to powerup all the hardware. The racing pack module gives 7.5V @ 4200 mA. Multiple DC/DC convertors converts this to the correct voltage with high efficience. More then 10 hours autonomy is provided.

 

List of frame versus distance (object to frontside macro lens):

 

Free Distance ...... Frame

410 mm ............... 80 mm

360 mm ............... 70 mm

310 mm ............... 60 mm . . . Detector depth accuracy 0.25mm

280 mm ............... 50 mm

235 mm ............... 45 mm

215 mm ............... 40 mm

190 mm ............... 35 mm

165 mm ............... 30 mm

147 mm ............... 25 mm

125 mm ............... 20 mm

112 mm ............... 17 mm

 

Extra added the ringflash Nikon SB29s. The flash is also drived via TTL mode to setup the correct power. I've connected this extra flash parallel to the flash2 SB-80-DX flash with the same power control due to the limited outputs of the central controller. If need is can also set this SB29s flash manual into 1/4 power or 1/32 power. I use 2 diodes in series to connect the flashes parallel. This works perfect. I've added this ringflash due the high flash power needed to works in full sunlight and much better light distribution in closeups.

 

Functioning of the optical detector.

 

The detector gives a signal when an object arrives at the correct focus area. The beam of a green laser pointer is reflected by the moving object (insect) and is received on a 128 pixel line array detector. According to the distance of the object the laserbeam give a signal on a group pixels on the linearray between 1 and 128. One pixel position corresponds to 0.25 mm distance change in depht. Setting a detector range on the controller can change the focus zone and the focus distance. Ambient light is calculated over the full 128 pixel line array during a scan, the detector signal show a peak value when the object is in the focus range. The normal working distance from the front side of the macro lens to the object in focus change with the macro lens ratio. The normal range with the external fast shutter system is from 112mm to 410mm. The integration time to measure the light vary from 50us to any desired value, practical limited to 850 us. The most use scan time is 50 us at daytime.

 

This detector work very fast, only 50 us or 20.000 samples/sec. A digital filter algorithme can be added to avoid unwanted triggers. This digital filter can be set from 1 to 8 samples before a valid trigger is assigned. This is especially important during the day when there is plenty of sunshine. Once the detector signal validated the external super-fast shutter is activated. This take only 3.5ms to full open time.

 

Optical detector versus cross-beam interruption:

 

Cross-beam interruption work also very accurate but there is a limiet on the acces to the insects. No other objects may interrupt the beam and the position of the laser-detectors are in front of the insects. Shy insects are less likely to fly here between and there are a lot of limits from unwanted objects between laser and object. My optical detector can even look inside a hole to capture the insects. The full distance between front of the lens and the insects is free with the optical detector. So I can record many more species.

 

Another advantage with the optical line array is the dynamic focus control without adjusting again the macro lens. Just change the "FOCUS" value ( normal set at 64, the centre of the 128 pixel array) to set the detector point further or closer. The "DOF" value set the detector tolerance (depht) and the "NOISE" parameter set the sensivity, or signal above the ambient value valid for detection. At night to detect super small insects I can increase the integration time given a super boost for the sensivity to detect black and small in-flight insects. Insects of 0.5mm body are suitable for detection.

 

Total weight unit : 6.6 kg inclusief all batteries.

 

The Digital Blocks DB9100 and DB9200 2D Graphics Hardware Acceleration Engine Verilog IP Cores integrates into ASIC, ASSP, & FPGA devices, providing programmable hardware acceleration of 2D graphics function under a host processor direction.

www.digitalblocks.com

3D crossview picture with the 2 cameras vertical.

This macro closeup picture is the result of a falling waterdrop and a few objects together with waterfigures. The waterfigures are a result from an special type wave on a speaker, the correct amplitude and frequency and form of the wave. This form is a digital signal into the flash of my hardware controller. Cameras are prefect synchronized in spite of that they are different types. See the setup.

www.flickr.com/photos/fotoopa_hs/4260310208/sizes/o/

 

Macro capture of waterfigures in 3D crossview.

The projectile touch a falling waterdrop and fly through the drop and make a splash. On the bottom, multiple figures rise upwards to the projectile.

 

Technical data:

D300 + D200 Nikon DSLR camera.

Camera space 100mm vertical.

Macro lenses 2 x Nikor AF105/2.8D micro.

Frame real live size : 80 x 120mm

F29 diafragma, manual bulb shutter mode.

4 Flashes SB-80-DX TTL controlled by the central hardware controller.

1 DE1 FPGA cyclone II mainboard at 50MHz clock.

Digital waveforms into a flash at high speed PWM, digital powercontrol, frequentie control and type waveform.

2 laser detector systems.

 

How to see 3D photos:

www.neilcreek.com/blog/2008/02/28/how-to-see-3d-photos/

 

Adaptor M62 to M26 for Mitutoyo 10X on the AF200/F4 tube lens. Also see how the frontside of the lens is placed in an additional holder to avoid vibration.

 

The Nikon D7100 camera is used in mirror-up mode, then a delay of 500 msec, then the shutter and flash in rear-curtain sync mode, so the delay is 10ms if camera set at 1/100. This time can also be slower is the ambient light is reduced. I use an extra 3.5 sec delay before moving the stepper motor for the next picture. This makes it possible to keep the flashes cool if many photos are taken. All timings are from my FPGA controller, pictures transfert to the PC via ControlMyNikon software.

 

This is my best setup for the Mitutoyo 10X objectief.

16 years in the making, Everspin just unveiled the first spin-torque MRAM, a contender for a new generation of memory chip technology.

 

Our original investment thesis for novel memory technologies (like Coatue/AMD, Nantero and Everspin) was a sense that Moore’s Law would begin to bifurcate, where technical advances in memory precede logic by several years. In the next few years, radical advances in memory density and performance will be needed to relieve the performance bottleneck in corporate computing.

 

These new technologies are non-volatile rad-hard memories that should be faster, smaller, cooler, cheaper and more reliable than the SRAM and DRAM kludge.

 

Background: Memory advances are becoming increasingly important to further advances in computing and computation. The mention of Moore’s Law conjures up images of speedy Intel microprocessors. Logic chips used to be mostly made of logic gates, but today’s microprocessors, network processors, FPGAs, DSPs and other “systems on a chip” are mostly memory. But they are still built in fabs that were optimized for logic, not memory.

 

The IC market can be broadly segmented into memory and logic chips. The ITRS estimates that 90% of all logic chip area is actually memory. Coupled with the standalone memory business, we are entering an era for complex chips where almost all transistors manufactured are memory, not logic.

 

Back in 2005 I was truck by the details of Intel’s Montecito processor. They had to add more error-correction-code memory bits (now over 2 bits per byte) to deal with the growing problem of soft errors (alpha particles from radioactive decay and cosmic rays from space flipping a bit as the transistors get very small). According to Intel, of the 1.72 billion transistors on the chip, 1.66 billion are memory and 0.06 billion are logic.

 

Why the trend to memory-saturated designs? Intel’s primary design enhancement from the prior Itanium processor was to “relieve the memory bottleneck.” For enterprise workloads, Itanium executes 15% of the time and stalls 85% of the time waiting for main memory. When the processor lacks the needed data in the on-chip cache, it has to take a long time penalty to access the off-chip DRAM. Power and cost are also improved to the extent that more can be integrated on chip.

 

Who should care about this? A large and growing set of industries depends on continued exponential cost declines in computational power and storage density. Moore’s Law drives electronics, communications and computers and has become a primary driver in drug discovery and bioinformatics, medical imaging and diagnostics. Over time, the lab sciences become information sciences, and then the speed of iterative simulations accelerates the pace of progress.

 

Intel is right: "Compute must evolve"

  

More on the big picture version of Moore's Law.

  

News on Spin-Torque MRAM: VentureBeat and Electronic Design.

 

P.S. we have a conference room at work dedicated to MRAM 1.0, aka core memory.

A casual evening stroll suddenly takes a death-defying turn :)

Inside view Fischertechnik controller .

 

Gedeeltelijke bestukking van de controller. Modules zitten op hun plaats en vele verbindingen zijn al gemaakt. Heel veel werk, vooral overal die kleine krimp gaines op de draadjes. Alles moet afneembaar zijn. Vandaar de grotere gaten op de achterkant zodat de pluggen erdoor kunnen. Centraal de FPGA controller DE0-Nano board. Via een USB connector is de software aanpasbaar. Ook 2 scope uitgangen zijn beschikbaar die helpen tijdens het testen van de vele signalen. Via het keyboard kunnen op deze scope uitgangen verschillende signalen geselecteerd worden. Beide kanalen hebben er zo 16 signalen vooraf beschikbaar om te selecteren op de uitgang. Indien nodig kan dit in de FPGA software aangepast worden.

 

Ook het power gedeelte links is af. De vele servo en DC motoren vereisen nogal wat stroom. Maar die is ruim voorzien en aanpastbaar.

 

Ik denk nog een week extra werk om dan het frontpaneel erop te plaatsen ( is al voorbestukt ). Vanaf dat ogenblik kunnen de echte testen starten.

  

This is a close up view of the Laser Tag (LED Tag) system build by our electrical engineering students at BYU during their junior year. The system consists of a modified Nerf gun containing an LED and a photodetector connected to an FPGA board worn on the back which does all the computation. Holly Cluff is serving as the model here against a clear blue, late summer sky.

Current setup for the 3D waterfigures.

Many notes give extra information about the functions.

My Electronics Workbench includes computer Analysis and Diagnostic capabilities, working alongside a collection of Vintage

1950's - 70's reconditioned testing and evaluation equipment. My so called obsolete equipment includes a (factory built) HeathKit

Model 0-12 oscilloscope which has been around for over fifty years, However this device has been modified and serves me well.

I also use a Tektronix 465 scope and a computer scope for comparative purposes.

 

My Hewlett Packard collection includes the 410B, 400D voltmeters, a 5512A electronic frequency counter and a 202C low

frequency oscillator.

 

I have several vacuum tube testers. My primary unit is a Sencore MU140, which has been painstakingly reconditioned.

The unit was removed from it's original briefcase enclosure and was mounted into a slide out drawer under my workbench.

My secondary unit is a custom built computer assisted tube analyzer and the third unit is a B&K 747 for continuity and

comparison, providing me with backup in the event of a failure.

 

A note of possible interest: when I removed the Sencore's control panel from it's case, I found a Lawrence Livermore National

Laboratory (NASA) Service Technician's punch list sheet with notes, plus additional Sencore documents in a plastic envelope

glued to the inside bottom of the briefcase enclosure which was a fascinating find.

 

I also have a few other interesting devices tucked away. Some other essential pieces of equipment I have besides a few extra

multimeters is a hand built multi outlet isolated & regulated power supply, several variable DC power supplies and a variable

metered autotransformer.

 

This equipment is just a chain of readily available components on the power supply end of an electronics workstation, assuring

an outcome that results in the best possible performance from your equipment and the tasks at hand. However a typical power

supply and protection setup like this is not fool proof and can be vulnerable and unreliable under certain conditions, making it

necessary at times to use battery operated (standalone) equipment in conjunction with your AC equipment while performing

certain multi point tests to avoid misleading readings.

 

All and all, I have enough confidence to use my vintage test equipment without computer assistance, weather it's a checkup,

test and repair job or even on a new build.

 

Some of the devices mentioned but not seen in this photo are kept in an easily movable autonomous roll out equipment

rack under my workbench.

 

Recent equipment includes an additional Sencore MU140 tube tester, a Hewlett Packard 339A Distortion Analyzer, a UDB /

DDS multi-function signal generator, a handheld Owon 60Mhz dual oscilloscope with advanced multi-functions and a Heath

Zenith variable isolated AC Power Supply, plus the lion's share of assorted specialty hand tools.

A little inside joke for FPGA engineers/designers (this is an obvious clue about what my profession is).

  

A patient wait for the next servings of an early seafood dinner..

D300 + Nikkor AF105/2.8D macro.

DIY housing with VS14S external fast shutter 3.5ms, F-mount 37mm thick.

Flashes external 2 x SB-80-DX.

F16 ISO 200 manual mode.

Original frame size 60mm.

Free distance object to front lens: 300mm.

Optical detector system with line array 128 pixels.

FPGA hardware controller Terassic DE0-nano board.

 

Location: Oostrozebeke.

Date: 2013 Okt 01

Snorzweefvlieg - Episyrphus balteatus.

D300 + Nikkor AF105/2.8D macro.

DIY housing with VS14S external fast shutter 3.5ms, F-mount 37mm thick.

Flashes external 2 x SB-80-DX.

F16 ISO 200 manual mode.

Original frame size 60mm.

Free distance object to front lens: 300mm.

Optical detector system with line array 128 pixels.

FPGA hardware controller Terassic DE0-nano board.

 

Location: Oostrozebeke.

Date: 2013 Okt 01

I've been doing a little FPGA development lately. With the Altium software I'm using, it looks like it would be useful to have this special dual-head JTAG adapter. They don't sell them individually anymore, but they do publish the schematics and PCB layouts.. so I got a couple boards made by BatchPCB, ordered all the components from DigiKey, and soldered it all up the other day.

Strontvlieg - Scathophaga stercoraria.

D300 + Nikkor AF105/2.8D macro+ND4 filter.

DIY housing with VS14S external fast shutter 3.5ms, F-mount 37mm thick.

Flashes external 2 x SB-80-DX.

F11 ISO 200 manual mode.

Optical detector system with line array 128 pixels.

FPGA hardware controller Terassic DE0-nano board.

 

Location: Oostrozebeke.

Date: 2013 May 22

Temp: 11 degrees.

 

3D crossview picture with the 2 cameras vertical.

This macro closeup picture is the result of a falling waterdrop and a few objects together with waterfigures. The waterfigures are a result from an special type wave on a speaker, the correct amplitude and frequency and form of the wave. This form is a digital signal into the flash of my hardware controller. Cameras are prefect synchronized in spite of that they are different types. See the setup.

www.flickr.com/photos/fotoopa_hs/4260310208/sizes/o/

 

Technical data:

D300 + D200 Nikon DSLR camera.

Camera space 100mm vertical.

Macro lenses 2 x Nikor AF105/2.8D micro.

Frame real live size : 80 x 120mm

F29 diafragma, manual bulb shutter mode.

4 Flashes SB-80-DX TTL controlled by the central hardware controller.

1 DE1 FPGA cyclone II mainboard at 50MHz clock.

Digital waveforms into a flash at high speed PWM, digital powercontrol, frequentie control and type waveform.

2 laser detector systems.

 

How to see 3D photos:

www.neilcreek.com/blog/2008/02/28/how-to-see-3d-photos/

 

Image of the bottom of the HS02 headset showing a High-Q Tx Coil interface. Three (3) coil drivers were removed from HS01 requirements and subsequently replaced with a (fallback) single Tx transmit coil driver on HS02 to make room for a galvanically isolated percutaneous plug interface. The loan planar Tx coil is driven via a 50MHz DDS that includes programmable quadrature phase and dual frequency high-speed modulation control lines via feed directly from the Virtex6 FPGA. Also included in this power transfer block are voltage and current monitoring circuits including logarithmic impedance and phase converter IC providing precision monitoring of transformer load characteristics

FPGA_20050912_0063

Snorzweefvlieg - Episyrphus balteatus.

D300 + Nikkor AF105/2.8D macro.

DIY housing with VS14S external fast shutter 3.5ms, F-mount 37mm thick.

Flashes external 2 x SB-80-DX.

F16 ISO 200 manual mode.

Original frame size 60mm.

Free distance object to front lens: 300mm.

Optical detector system with line array 128 pixels.

FPGA hardware controller Terassic DE0-nano board.

 

Location: Oostrozebeke.

Date: 2013 Sep 28

Capturing a Composite of all PCB Layers for Bionic Eye High Acuity Headset Virtex6 Prototype Engineered with Altium Designer and Includes dual HD image sensors, inertial sensors and audio codecs. The design includes 6 flex layers Sandwidged between FR4.

High Acuity Headset - Sam He, VHDL Virtex 6 Programmer

Bionic Vision Australia

Intel crea el procesador FPGA más potente del mundo: 100 veces más que el de tu PC

Soap bubble and waterfigure. First the soap bubble is placed on the speaker, then liquids are added and the waves drives the speaker. This give this nice shape. Waves have a special form and are generated like digital audio as multiple audio samples. The amplitudes of the waves are calculated realtime as function from the position of the rotary encoders on the controller. The FPGA hardware take care of this calculations and all the timings, inclusief the commands for the camera and flashes (6 flashes max).

4-bit CPU, design and debugging in FPGA and from there 'reverse engineered' into discrete electronics. 3400 transistors, 24000 diods, 9 Nixie tubes (to display the results).

These bitcoin miners have been running almost constantly for a year and a half on Fedora 14. They're in a minimally temperature controlled space ranging from 35°F-95°F and require some of the video cards to be placed outside of the chassis.

 

While I have my doubts on the future sustainability of the bitcoin ecosystem these machines more than paid for themselves. The technical challenges involved also have relevance with affordable high power processing for media content creation and research.

 

CrappyCat print by Trevor Van Meter (aka VanBeater).

 

Update 2013-09-04: With one miner retiring due to hardware failure and ASIC and FPGA-based systems coming online affecting the hash difficulty, the last remaining miner is no longer effective and has been retired. Where this currency is heading is anyone's guess but it's been a great experiment so far.

www.polygon.com/features/2013/9/4/4660780/bitcoin-satoshi...

Detail of ADSR schematic from my work-in-progress FPGA synthesizer.

D300 + Nikkor AF105/2.8D macro.

DIY housing with VS14S external fast shutter 3.5ms, F-mount 37mm thick.

Flashes external 2 x SB-80-DX.

F16 ISO 200 manual mode.

Original frame size 60mm.

Free distance object to front lens: 300mm.

Optical detector system with line array 128 pixels.

FPGA hardware controller Terassic DE0-nano board.

 

Location: Oostrozebeke.

Date: 2013 Juni 021

Temp: 17 degrees.

 

I just got back from the Churchill Club’s 13th Annual Top 10 Tech Trends Debate (site).

 

Curt Carlson, CEO of SRI, presented their trends from the podium, which are meant to be “provocative, plausible, debatable, and that it will be clear within the next 1-3 years whether or not they will actually become trends.”

 

Then the panelists debated them. Speaking is Aneesh Chopra, CTO of the U.S., and smirking to his left is Paul Saffo, and then Ajay Senkut from Clarium, then me.

 

Here are SRI’s 2011 Top 10 Tech Trends [and my votes]:

 

Trend 1. Age Before Beauty. Technology is designed for—and disproportionately used by—the young. But the young are getting fewer. The big market will be older people. The aging generation has grown up with, and is comfortable with, most technology—but not with today’s latest technology products. Technology product designers will discover the Baby Boomer’s technology comfort zone and will leverage it in the design of new devices. One example today is the Jitterbug cell phone with a large keypad for easy dialing and powerful speakers for clear sound. The trend is for Baby Boomers to dictate the technology products of the future.

 

[I voted YES, it’s an important and underserved market, but for tech products, they are not the early adopters. The key issue is age-inspired entrepreneurship. How can we get the entrepreneurial mind focused on this important market?]

 

Trend 2. The Doctor Is In. Some of our political leaders say that we have "the best medical care system in the world". Think what it must be like in the rest of the world! There are many problems, but one is the high cost of delivering expert advice. With the development of practical virtual personal assistants, powered by artificial intelligence and pervasive low-cost sensors, “the doctor will be in”—online—for people around the world. Instead of the current Web paradigm: “fill out this form, and we’ll show you information about what might be ailing you”, this will be true diagnosis—supporting, and in some cases replacing—human medical practitioners. We were sending X-rays to India to be read; now India is connecting to doctors here for diagnosis in India. We see the idea in websites that now offer online videoconference interaction with a doctor. The next step is automation. The trend is toward complete automation: a combination of artificial intelligence, the Internet, and very low-cost medical instrumentation to provide high-quality diagnostics and advice—including answering patient questions—online to a worldwide audience.

 

[NO. Most doctor check-ups and diagnoses will still need to be conducted in-person (blood tests, physical exams, etc). Sensor technology can’t completely replace human medical practitioners in the near future. Once we have the physical interface (people for now), then the networking and AI capabilities can engage, bringing specialist reactions to locally collected data. The real near-term trend in point-of-care is the adoption of iPads/phones connected to cloud services like ePocrates and Athenahealth and soon EMRs.]

    

Trend 3. Made for Me. Manufacturing is undergoing a revolution. It is becoming technically and economically possible to create products that are unique to the specific needs of individuals. For example, a cell phone that has only the hardware you need to support the features you want—making it lighter, thinner, more efficient, much cheaper, and easier to use. This level of customization is being made possible by converging technical advances: new 3D printing technology is well documented, and networked micro-robotics is following. 3D printing now includes applications in jewelry, industrial design, and dentistry. While all of us may not be good product designers, we have different needs, and we know what we want. The trend is toward practical, one-off production of physical goods in widely distributed micro-factories: the ultimate customization of products. The trend is toward practical, one-off production of physical goods in widely distributed micro-factories: the ultimate customization of products.

 

[NO. Personalization is happening just fine at the software level. The UI skins and app code is changeable at zero incremental cost. Code permeates outward into the various vessels we build for it. The iPhone. Soon, the car (e.g. Tesla Sedan). Even the electrical circuits (when using an FPGA). This will extend naturally to biological code, with DNA synthesis costs plummeting (but that will likely stay centralized in BioFabs for the next 3 years. When it comes to building custom physical things, the cost and design challenges relegate it to prototyping, tinkering and hacks. Too many people have a difficult time in 3D content creation. The problem is the 2D interfaces of mouse and screen. Perhaps a multitouch interface to digital clay could help, where the polygons snap to fit after the form is molded by hand.]

     

Trend 4. Pay Me Now. Information about our personal behavior and characteristics is exploited regularly for commercial purposes, often returning little or no value to us, and sometimes without our knowledge. This knowledge is becoming a key asset and a major competitive advantage for the companies that gather it. Think of your supermarket club card. These knowledge-gatherers will need to get smarter and more aggressive in convincing us to share our information with them and not with their competitors. If TV advertisers could know who the viewers are, the value of the commercials would go up enormously. The trend is technology and business models based on attracting consumers to share large amounts of information exclusively with service providers.

 

[YES, but it’s nothing new. Amazon makes more on merchandising than product sales margin. And, certain companies are getting better and better at acquiring customer information and personalizing offerings specifically to these customers. RichRelevance provides this for ecommerce (driving 25% of all e-commerce on Black Friday). Across all those vendors, the average lift from personalizing the shopping experience: 15% increase in overall sales and 8% increase in long-term profitability. But, simply being explicit and transparent to the consumer about the source of the data can increase the effectiveness of targeted programs by up to 100% (e.g., saying “Because you bought this product and other consumers who bought it also bought this other product" yielded a 100% increase in product recommendation effectiveness in numerous A/B tests). Social graph is incredibly valuable as a marketing tool.]

       

Trend 5. Rosie, At Last. We’ve been waiting a long time for robots to live in and run our homes, like Rosie in the Jetsons’ household. It’s happening a little now: robots are finally starting to leave the manufacturing floor and enter people's homes, offices, and highways. Robots can climb walls, fly, and run. We all know the Roomba for cleaning floors—and now there’s the Verro for your pool. Real-time vision and other sensors, and affordable precise manipulation, are enabling robots to assist in our care, drive our cars, and protect our homes and property. We need to broaden our view of robots and the forms they will take—think of a self-loading robot-compliant dishwasher or a self-protecting house. The trend is robots becoming embedded in our environments, and taking advantage of the cloud, to understand and fulfill our needs.

 

[NO. Not in 3 years. Wanting it badly does not make it so. But I just love that Google RoboCar. Robots are not leaving the factory floor – that’s where the opportunity for newer robots and even humanoid robots will begin. There is plenty of factory work still to be automated. Rodney Brooks of MIT thinks they can be cheaper than the cheapest outsourced labor. So the robots are coming, to the factory and the roads to start, and then the home.]

  

Trend 6. Social, Really. The rise of social networks is well documented, but they're not really social networks. They're a mix of friends, strangers, organizations, hucksters—it’s more like walking through a rowdy crowd in Times Square at night with a group of friends. There is a growing need for social networks that reflect the fundamental nature of human relationships: known identities, mutual trust, controlled levels of intimacy, and boundaries of shared information. The trend is the rise of true social networks, designed to maintain real, respectful relationships online.

  

[YES. The ambient intimacy of Facebook is leading to some startling statistics on fB evidence reuse by divorce lawyers (80%) and employment rejections (70%). There are differing approaches to solve this problem: Altly’s alternative networks with partioning and control, Jildy’s better filtering and auto-segmentation, and Path’s 50 friend limit.]

  

Trend 7. In-Your-Face Augmented Reality. With ever-cheaper computation and advances in computer vision technology, augmented reality is becoming practical, even in mobile devices. We will move beyond expensive telepresence environments and virtual reality games to fully immersive environments—in the office, on the factory floor, in medical care facilities, and in new entertainment venues. I once did an experiment where a person came into a room and sat down at a desk against a large, 3D, high-definition TV display. The projected image showed a room with a similar desk up against the screen. The person would put on 3D glasses, and then a projected person would enter and sit down at the other table. After talking for 5 to 10 minutes, the projected person would stand up and put their hand out. Most of the time, the first person would also stand up and put their hand into the screen—they had quickly adapted and forgotten that the other person was not in the room. Augmented reality will become indistinguishable from reality. The trend is an enchanted world— The trend is hyper-resolution augmented reality and hyper-accurate artificial people and objects that fundamentally enhance people's experience of the world.

 

[NO, lenticular screens are too expensive and 3D glasses are a pain in the cortex. Augmented reality with iPhones is great, and pragmatic, but not a top 10 trend IMHO]

   

Trend 8. Engineering by Biologists.

Biologists and engineers are different kinds of people—unless they are working on synthetic biology. We know about genetically engineered foods and creatures, such as gold fish in multiple other colors. Next we’ll have biologically engineered circuits and devices. Evolution has created adaptive processing and system resiliency that is much more advanced than anything we’ve been able to design. We are learning how to tap into that natural expertise, designing devices using the mechanisms of biology. We have already seen simple biological circuits in the laboratory. The trend is practical, engineered artifacts, devices, and computers based on biology rather than just on silicon.

 

[YES, and NO because it was so badly mangled as a trend. For the next few years, these approaches will be used for fuels and chemicals and materials processing because they lend themselves to a 3D fluid medium. Then 2D self-assembling monolayers. And eventually chips , starting with memory and sensor arrays long before heterogeneous logic. And processes of biology will be an inspiration throughout (evolution, self-assembly, etc.). Having made predictions along these themes for about a decade now, the wording of this one frustrated me]

 

Trend 9. ‘Tis a Gift to be Simple. Cyber attacks are ever more frequent and effective. Most attacks exploit holes that are inevitable given the complexity of the software products we use every day. Cyber researchers really understand this. To avoid these vulnerabilities, some cyber researchers are beginning to use only simple infrastructure and applications that are throwbacks to the computing world of two decades ago. As simplicity is shown to be an effective approach for avoiding attack, it will become the guiding principle of software design. The trend is cyber defense through widespread adoption of simple, low-feature software for consumers and businesses.

 

[No. I understand the advantages of being open, and of heterogencity of code (to avoid monoculture collapse), but we have long ago left the domain of simple. Yes, Internet transport protocols won via simplicity. The presentation layer, not so much. If you want dumb pipes, you need smart edges, and smart edges can be hacked. Graham Spencer gave a great talk at SFI: the trend towards transport simplicity (e.g. dumb pipes) and "intelligence in the edges" led to mixing code and data, which in turn led to all kinds of XSS-like attacks. Drive-by downloading (enabled by XSS) is the most popular vehicle for delivering malware these days.]

 

Trend 10. Reverse Innovation. Mobile communication is proliferating at an astonishing rate in developing countries as price-points drop and wireless infrastructure improves. As developing countries leapfrog the need for physical infrastructure and brokers, using mobile apps to conduct micro-scale business and to improve quality of life, they are innovating new applications. The developing world is quickly becoming the largest market we’ve ever seen—for mobile computing and much more. The trend is for developing countries to turn around the flow of innovation: Silicon Valley will begin to learn more from them about innovative applications than they need to learn from us about the underlying technology.

 

[YES, globalization is a megatrend still in the making. The mobile markets are clearly China, India and Korea, with app layer innovation increasingly originating there. Not completely of course, but we have a lot to learn from the early-adopter economies.]

 

High-Speed A/D I/O Card with Reconfigurable FPGA and TigerSHARC Link Ports

SL9 Launch: October 23, 2014

Platform: SpaceLoft

Location: Spaceport America, New Mexico

Photographer: UP Aerospace & Ricard González-Cinca

 

Technologies tested during this October 23, 2014 flight test:

 

T0021-S Application Of Controlled Vibrations To Multiphase Systems For Space Applications

PI: Ricard González-Cinca, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Richard Tyson (Co-I), University of Alabama

 

T0077-S Facility for Microgravity Research and Submicroradian Stabilization using sRLVs

PI: Scott Green, Controlled Dynamics Inc

 

T0080-S Advanced Micro Sun Sensor

PI: Sohrab Mobasser, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

 

T0088-S An FPGA-based, Radiation Tolerant, Reconfigurable Computer System with Real Time Fault Detection, Avoidance, and Repair

PI: Brock LaMeres, Montana State University, Bozeman

  

NASA image use policy.

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SL9 Launch: October 23, 2014

Platform: SpaceLoft

Location: Spaceport America, New Mexico

Photographer: UP Aerospace & Ricard González-Cinca

 

Technologies tested during this October 23, 2014 flight test:

 

T0021-S Application Of Controlled Vibrations To Multiphase Systems For Space Applications

PI: Ricard González-Cinca, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Richard Tyson (Co-I), University of Alabama

 

T0077-S Facility for Microgravity Research and Submicroradian Stabilization using sRLVs

PI: Scott Green, Controlled Dynamics Inc

 

T0080-S Advanced Micro Sun Sensor

PI: Sohrab Mobasser, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

 

T0088-S An FPGA-based, Radiation Tolerant, Reconfigurable Computer System with Real Time Fault Detection, Avoidance, and Repair

PI: Brock LaMeres, Montana State University, Bozeman

  

NASA image use policy.

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Prachtwapenvlieg - Chloromyia Formosa.

 

D300 + Nikkor AF105/2.8D macro.

DIY housing with VS14S external fast shutter 3.5ms, F-mount 37mm thick.

Flashes external 2 x SB-80-DX.

F16 ISO 200 manual mode.

Original frame size 60mm.

Free distance object to front lens: 300mm.

Optical detector system with line array 128 pixels.

FPGA hardware controller Terassic DE0-nano board.

 

Location: Oostrozebeke.

Date: 2013 July 01

 

120/365: Stop us while you can, Sarah.

 

The DED final project was to code and compile a game in VHDL and download it onto the FPGA board seen in today's photo via a JTAG cable.

 

We managed to complete coding and testing last Friday - a week ahead of the due date.

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