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December 02, 2008

Reviewing Technologies, Developments and Projects to Watch for 2008

On Christmas eve 2007, this site published 10 technologies and projects to watch and one added development.

Here is a review of those items:
1. Dwave systems' adiabatic quantum computers (AQC) will come up short of the projected 512 to 1000 qubits and likely end the year at 128 qubits. 128 qubits is still the most for a quantum computer by a large margin. Successful development of quantum computers would accelerate the development of molecular nanotechnology with superior molecular simulation and modeling.



The Dwave System AQC is making progress to quantify what performance will be possible on its systems and in determining the quantumness of their systems.

So Dwave is still pushing ahead to record numbers of qubits and working to refine the efficiency of their systems and to expand the areas where this system will have superior performance. Dwave will explore where to use this system and will continue to refine their designs and increase the qubits and increase performance.

2. Inertial Electrostatic (Bussard Fusion) WB-7 prototype reactor was built and operated. The results are still not published, but are suspected to be mostly confirming the final WB6 result success. There are likely also some issues to be addressed. The ultimate potential impact may not be known until follow up funding and work is done and the details of what has been learned in the WB-7 tests will not be known until the results are published.






3. Breakthrough memjet printers were delayed into 2009. The 2008 versions of the memjet printers were expected to be 60 page per minute.

4. Nvidia Tesla and AMD Firestream have delivered multi-teraflop GPGPU desktops and servers for under $20,000 and even under $8,000.

5. About 200 Tesla Electric cars will have been by the end of 2008 and the Aptera electric car could have some units built by 2008.

Hybrid car sales will rise to over 5% of total new cars by 2012

Hybrid car sales were solid in 2008 at about 2.6-2.8% in the USA.


The Aptera could get up to 300mpg and was to have been available Oct, 2008.

6. Flash solid state drives were $5-7/Gigabyte at the end of 2007.

Solid state flash drives have reached $2.33/Gigabyte.

This pricing level was not expected until the end of 2009 or 2010.

Hard drives are $0.10-1.20/Gigabyte

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

Wimax progress has been slower than was expected at the end of 2007, but the FCC has approved the Sprint/Clearwire deal. The FCC also approved white space airwaves for public use.

Comcast is offering wideband 50 mbps download speed and 10 mbps upload in 10 markets.

Verizon FIOS service has 50 mbps download and 20 mbps upload as its top tier.

8. Some of the hypersonic aircraft programs have been cancelled, but the US air force has an environmental assessment to allow 48 hypersonic flight tests from 2011-2015.

Darpa is still planning another hypersonic test flight in the summer of 2010.

9. The Reprap project did announce a self-replicating version in 2008

Reprap plans to expand to a wide variety of materials and continue improvements.

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

Applied Biosystems announced their genome sequencing for $10,000 and Complete Genomics announced $5,000 genome sequencing

The non-technological thing to watch: The Taiwan Presidential election correctly forecasted that Ma would win the Taiwan Presidency and would move to improve relations with China.

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