December 24, 2007

Technologies, developments and projects to watch for 2008

1. Dwave systems' adiabatic quantum computers could reach 512 to 1000 qubits and performance superior to classical computers in 2008 Successful development of quantum computers would accelerate the development of molecular nanotechnology with superior molecular simulation and modeling.

CTO Geordie Rose revealing his 16 qubit machine in Feb, 2007. A 28 qubit machine was revealed Nov, 2007. There is controversy over the proof that the computers are using quantumness.

2. The proposed WB-7 and WB-8 fusion energy prototype devices will be constructed and tested during 2008. If the prototypes are successful then it would provide substantial evidence for the likely success of a full scale nuclear fusion device that could generate net power by 2013. This would transform the energy situation and access to space and civilization in general.

3. Memjet printers are expected in the second half of 2008 and would transform the price and performance of inkjet printers. The 2008 versions of the memjet printers are expected to be 60 page per minute. Memjet's plan is to develop a 120-KHz cycle head in two to three years, increasing the print speed sixfold to 180 pages per minute at photo quality, 360 pages per minute at normal color quality, and 720 pages per minute in draft mode.

4. Nvidia Tesla multi-teraflop GPGPU's and AMDs GPGPU will transform the performance of personal supercomputers.

5. Significant new electric vehicles and hybrid cars will be released in 2008. They will be continuing an accelerating but long term shift away from oil powered cars.

The Aptera could get up to 300mpg and will be available Oct, 2008.

6. Flash solid state drives will make continued progress versus hard drives which will enable more powerful energy efficient devices.

7. 2008 a year of significant improvements in communication speed.

150 mbps cable modems are expected to be on trial in 2008. 20 percent of Comcasts footprint is expected to be blanketed in ultrahigh bandwidth goodness by the end of 2008. 2008 may still be the year when Wimax reaches critical mass The Wimax IEEE 802.16 standard is theoretically capable of transmitting data up to 70 Mbps as far as 37 miles. Nokia should have 2+mbps wimax mobile phones.

8. Mach 10 hypersonic test aircraft should be flying in 2008.

Two Falcon Hypersonic Test Vehicles, built by Lockheed Martin with input from NASA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa), will take to the air in 2008.

9. The reprap fabricator should announce a self-replicating version in 2008

10. 2008 might be a breakthrough year for low cost DNA sequencing and synthesis.

George Church has officially entered the DNA sequencing x-prize race.

$10 million prize will go to the first group that can sequence 100 genomes (to at least 98 percent coverage and with less than one error per 100,000 bases) in 10 days, for under $10,000 per genome.

Some other non-technological things to watch:
The Taiwan Presidential election. If Ma is elected President then there will likely be normalizing of relations between Taiwan and China and the threat of any war over Taiwan will be gone. A problematic scenario is if the current corrupt President Chen Shui-bian (who has been embezzling a lot of money) were to cause trouble and if his successor were to win, then there could be a lot of unnecessary trouble between China and Taiwan.

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