21
Thu, Jun

Top Stories

According to the latest Global Innovation Index, just released in Geneva in Switzerland, while Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, the United States and the UK remain the world's most-innovative countries, China is gradually catching up.

Global Innovation Index 2017 report [Photo: China Plus]

As the first-ever middle-income country to join the world's top 25 innovative economies last year, China continues to move up the list, jumping three places this year.

A closer look at the statistics shows that China in 22nd position overall this year - moves up one spot to 16th position in terms of innovation quality, and has retained its position for the fifth consecutive year as the top middle-income economy.

This movement can be attributed to a number of indicators, including domestic market scale, knowledge workers, patents by origin, high-tech exports, and industrial designs by origin.

Francis Gurry, Director General of World Intellectual Property Organization is full of praise for China's global performance in the past two years.

"China significantly rose from 25 to 22. That is very significant because the first 20 or 25 highest performances in the Global Innovation Index tend to be industrialized developed countries, Europe, North America and Japan. And what we see with China is for the first time a middle income country coming into the mix of high income countries in terms of innovation performance and steady improvement all the time," he noted.

WIPO Director General Francis Gurry presents the Global Innovation Index 2017 at a press conference taking place at the United Nations Office at Geneva. [Photo: WIPO]

European countries take eight out of the top 10 places, with Switzerland keeping its No. 1 position for the seventh year in a row. It's followed by Sweden and the Netherlands; the latter leaping from ninth place last year to third in the 2017 rankings.

The United States remains at fourth, followed by the UK and Denmark. The rest of the top 10 are Singapore, Finland, Germany and Ireland.

The index findings also reveal a large gap between developed and developing nations. The difference in average scores between the two groups is expanding in many indicators including institutions, creative outputs, knowledge and technology outputs.

Soumitra Dutta is Dean of SC Johnson College of Business at Cornell University. He says efforts to bridge the innovation divide must start with helping emerging economies understand their innovation strengths and weaknesses.

"Developing economies have to focus on policies and investment strategies to decrease the gap with rich economies, because the gap is a real gap," he said. "And at the same time we see examples of some countries that successfully close in gaps, so we need more of those successful closures of gap across the world."

List of 2017 Global Innovation Index top 25 [Photo: WIPO]

This year's Global Innovation Index took the theme "Innovation Feeding the World." It reviews the state of innovation in world agriculture and food systems.

The report foresees innovation as the key to sustainable food production, processing, distribution, consumption, and waste management in the next decades, when agriculture and the food sector will face an enormous rise in global demand and increased competition for limited natural resources.

Bruno Lanvin, Executive Director for Global Indices at the European Institute of Business Administration said: "To face the pending food crisis, innovation has a critical role to play. We need to move from digital agriculture, by which drones, satellite base sensors, field robotics are spreading quickly, including to the emerging countries, to what I would call smart agriculture, we have to look not only at food production capabilities, but also distribution, transport, the challenge to alleviate the pressure on using natural resources, especially land and energy, while attending to the needs of the poorest."

Jointly released by the World Intellectual Property Organization, Cornell University, and the European Institute of Business Administration, the 2017 Global Innovation Index is in its 10th year.

Using as many as 81 indicators ranging from patent filings to education spending, the index provides detailed metrics about the innovation performance of some 130 countries and economies around the world each year.

The rankings are now a leading benchmarking tool for business executives, policy makers and others who seek insight into the state of innovation around the world.

Source by: chinaplus.cri.cn

 

 Founded by China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN), the new companies will be a key part of the approval and implementation process of the new nuclear technology which will power a number of British stations.

The news is being seen as a display of confidence by CGN that the projects remain feasible, despite the UK's imminent exit from the European Union.

 

As we reported in May, there had been fears that the Brexit process, which also includes the UK leaving the European nuclear regulatory body Euratom, would lead to long delays in the certification of new technology.

 

Alongside the three new companies, EDF from France and CGN have together formed General Nuclear Services (GNS). GNS will work on a number of new nuclear power projects in the UK, including at Hinkley Point C and Bradwell in Essex.

 

These projects represent an investment worth billions of pounds by GNS, and so any delay caused by Brexit would not have been welcome.

 

The technology behind the new power stations is, however, progressing well. The Chinese-designed HPR1000 nuclear reactor, which will power them, is starting the process of gaining UK certification.

 

That’s referred to as ‘General Design Assessment’ and is expected to take around four years to complete.

 

Source by: en.people.cn

WASHINGTON, June 15 (Xinhua) -- Chinese scientists on Thursday reported a successful transmission of "entangled" photon pairs from space to ground stations separated by 1,200 km, a major technical breakthrough towards quantum communication over great distances.

The study, published as a cover story by the U.S. journal Science, distributed such "entangled" photons, or light particles, from a satellite 500 km above the Earth's surface, known as Micius, which was launched last year and equipped with specialized quantum tools.

It's another effort to prove that a physical phenomenon once described by Albert Einstein as "spooky" exists at a large distance, and eventually on a global scale.

"This work lays a reliable technical foundation for large-scale quantum networking and quantum communication experimental research, as well as experimental testing of basic principles of physics, such as general theory of relativity and quantum gravity, in outer space in the future," Pan Jianwei, chief scientist for the quantum satellite project, told Xinhua.

WORLD RECORD

Quantum entanglement, which Einstein referred to as "a spooky action at a distance," is a curious phenomenon in which particles are "linked" together in such a way that they affect one another regardless of distance. It is of great significance for secure communications, quantum computation and simulation, and enhanced metrology.

Yet, efforts to entangle quantum particles, such as photons, have been limited to about 100 km, mostly because the entanglement is lost as they are transmitted along optical fibers, or through open space on land, Pan said.

One way to overcome this issue is to break the line of transmission into smaller segments and use so-called quantum repeaters to repeatedly swap, purify and store quantum information along the optical fiber, while another approach is to make use of satellite-based technologies.

In the new study, Pan, a professor at the University of Science and Technology of China, and his colleagues used the Chinese satellite Micius to demonstrate the latter feat.

The Micius satellite was used to communicate with two ground stations 1,203 km apart, located in Delingha in northwest China's Qinghai Province and Lijiang in Yunnan Province in southwest China, separately. The distance between the orbiting satellite and the two ground stations varies from 500 to 2,000 km.

By combining so-called narrow-beam divergence with a high-bandwidth and high-precision acquiring, pointing, and tracking technique to optimize link efficiency, the team established entanglement between two single photons, separated at a distance of over 1,200 km apart, for the first time, Pan said.

In addition, compared with previous methods using the best performance and most common commercial telecommunication fibers, the effective link efficiency of the satellite-based approach is 12 and 17 orders of magnitude higher respectively.

GIANT STEP

An immediate application of distributed entangled photons, said Pan, is for entanglement-based quantum key distribution to establish secure keys for quantum communication. Another is to exploit distributed entanglement to perform a variant of quantum teleportation protocol for remote preparation and control of quantum states.

According to Pan, peer reviewers of the paper praised his work as "a major technical accomplishment with potential practical applications as well as being of fundamental scientific importance" that "will have a very large impact, both within the scientific community and in the grand public."

A number of experts spoke highly of the new achievement from China.

This demonstration of the photon entanglement distribution from a satellite to very distant ground bases is "a giant step" forward in quantum information and quantum networking development, Alexander Sergienko, a quantum physicist at Boston University, told Xinhua.

"This is a heroic experiment because so many detrimental factors were working against researchers (and) attempting to destroy a quantum nature of the photonic entanglement in this landmark experiment," Sergienko said. "It is hard to overestimate the impact of this result on the development of modern quantum physics."

"Chinese researchers deserve a greatest praise and acknowledgement of their skills, persistence, and devotion to science," said Sergienko.

Seth Lloyd, director of the Center for Extreme Quantum Information Theory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, expressed similar views, calling this work "a true breakthrough" in the technology of entanglement distribution.

"The experiment shows that long-range quantum communication is indeed technologically feasible and holds out the promise of the construction of long-range quantum communication networks in the near future," Lloyd told Xinhua.

Source by: news.xinhuanet.com 

 

Internet services from China will reportedly soon be available in Nepal, ending India's bandwidth supply monopoly in the country. This is set to be a great boon to the South Asian country, which is still rebuilding its shattered economy and infrastructure after a devastating earthquake in 2015.

"Nepal will be connected with the Chinese Internet from the beginning of August," Nepal's Republica newspaper reported earlier in July, citing Shobhan Adhikari, a deputy spokesperson for Nepal Telecom.

Nepal Telecom Set

The long-awaited availability of bandwidth supply from China will put an end to Nepal's long-held reliance on Indian Internet services. It goes without saying that there are conspicuous benefits of reduced dependence on Internet supply from India. As Adhikari put it, Internet connection from its northern neighbor will allow Nepali Internet users to get uninterrupted Internet services, unlike Indian Internet services, which sometimes can lose the connection. In addition, local users will be presented with various bandwidth alternatives from different Chinese companies and will be able to enjoy more affordable Internet connections.

This is absolutely good news for Nepal, as the country will no longer be confined to the Indian option, which is slow yet expensive.

In an era where the Internet is considered an almighty growth driver and job creator, it's obviously important for Nepal to build a reliable high-speed Internet infrastructure in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquake for there to be an economic leap forward.

With Chinese Internet services soon up and running, Nepal could ultimately be expected to be hooked up with the digital world and catch up with other countries in building an Internet economy. The rapid spread of mobile connectivity and increased Internet speeds in China, it is believed, will give Nepal confidence to make up for lost time.

It's especially worth noting that the rise of Chinese phone brands across the world has also been seen in Nepal, with the likes of Huawei and Xiaomi becoming household names in the South Asian country. Local users are thus able to purchase quality yet affordable smartphones. The availability of Chinese smartphones is already commonplace in Nepal and it will soon be normal to have Chinese Internet services as well. Such a combination will surely help Nepal avoid detours and delays on its road to Internet-powered innovation and growth.

By Xiao Xin Source:Global Times Published: 2017/7/13 

The author is a reporter with the Global Times. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Few Chinese have heard of Transsion Holdings, a Shenzhen-based company, which has grabbed more than 40 percent market share in Sub-Saharan African countries. In 2016, it outperformed its main competitors like Samsung in terms of feature phone shipments in the African market. Transsion's success there might inspire more domestic competitors to follow suit. But experts also warn that such mobile phone makers need to prepare to face certain challenges when doing business in Africa, such as widespread political instability and low consumption.Few Chinese have heard of Transsion Holdings, a Shenzhen-based company, which has grabbed more than 40 percent market share in Sub-Saharan African countries. In 2016, it outperformed its main competitors like Samsung in terms of feature phone shipments in the African market. Transsion's success there might inspire more domestic competitors to follow suit. But experts also warn that such mobile phone makers need to prepare to face certain challenges when doing business in Africa, such as widespread political instability and low consumption.

Chinese Mobile Maker Grabs

Transsion Holdings, a Chinese mobile phone maker based in Shenzhen, has grabbed more than 40 percent market share in Sub-Saharan African countries.

In the first quarter of 2017, the company ranked first place among Chinese mobile phone exporters, shipping 27.4 million units, according to Beijing-based data provider AVC. Huawei, the world's third largest phone maker by shipments, ranked second place.

In 2016, Transsion outperformed its main competitors such as Samsung in terms of feature phone shipments in the African market, according to a report by market research company IDC in March.

However, few Chinese have heard of the company as its mobile phones are not sold domestically.

About 10 years ago, due to rising domestic competition, "a good number of Chinese mobile phone makers started to explore foreign markets, but many have failed as they didn't focus on branding and wanted quick returns," Wang Yanhui, secretary-general of the Mobile China Alliance, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

International mobile phone makers are reluctant to enter the African market due to the low consumption there, Li Yi, chief research fellow at the Internet Research Center under the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

Li noted that it could be an opportunity for domestic mobile phone makers. But Li also warned that the path to exploring the African market will not be easy due to the uncertain risks there.

Grabbing opportunities

Transsion is one of the domestic mobile phone makers seeking opportunities in Africa. They narrowed their focus to the market in 2008. 
Wang attributed Transsion's success in Africa mainly to the company's founder Zhu Zhaojiang, who is very experienced in overseas markets. Additionally, the company operates locally in African countries to secure its dominance there, said Wang. 

At the beginning, the company set up a marketing strategy to "become a leader" of emerging economies, Arif Chowdhury, vice president of Transsion, told the Global Times. The continent has huge potential with a population of more than 1 billion, he noted.

Transsion was right about the market. Africa's population of mobile users accounted for 12 percent of the total individual subscribers in the world and amounted to 6 percent of global revenue, an increase of 70 percent compared to figures from five years ago, according to a CNN report in November 2016. 

In total, 215.3 million mobile phones were shipped to Africa in 2016, up 10 percent year-on-year, according to data released by IDC in March. 

Tailoring to customer needs 

Chinese-made mobile phones indeed have the positive reputation of good functions and low prices and are strongly welcomed by most African consumers. 

"Chinese mobile phone makers can produce what you want and are flexible in designing products to meet customers' needs," Rayan Abdelrahman Ahmed Mohamed, a 33-year-old Sudanese, told the Global Times. 

Africans love music, loud speakers and two SIM cards, which Chinese mobile phones can provide, he said.

Many larger companies intend to sell the phone's brand instead of the quality of the product, he said. "Why [should] I pay for the brand? I pay for my need."

There are many telecom operators in Africa, and it's not cheap to dial between networks, so we produce phones with dual, and sometimes even four, SIM card slots, said Chowdhury.

African customers, like many other smartphone customers around the world, love taking 'selfies'. But the customers with darker skin say it is hard for them to take good quality photos as many smartphone cameras have poor facial recognition. 

Transsion, on the other hand, designs specialized cameras that focus on people's teeth and eyes to ensure photographic clarity. 

"We have different brand tactics to provide high, medium and low-end products for our diverse consumers," Chowdhury noted.

Competition and challenges 

Recently, the interest in the African market from Chinese mobile phone makers has been increasing; they have been expanding their businesses to more and more countries, but this new venture has invited mixed results from across the continent, according to IDC.  

Of the big Chinese mobile phone makers, Huawei saw year-on-year shipment growth to "remain as Africa's No.3 smartphone vendor in 2016, while Lenovo saw flat growth and ZTE and Alcatel both [witnessed trimmed sales]," said IDC.

Huawei and Lenovo didn't respond to the request to give comment on their performance in the African market. 

"Price competitiveness has become a key issue in many African markets," said an IDC report released in March citing Ramazan Yavuz, research manager for mobile devices in Africa at IDC.

Both Wang and Li said that vendors have to provide phones which are priced very competitively to aid to the large amount of low-income populations in the continent.

Meanwhile, mobile phone makers face the fact that the cost of phone components is rising. They need to produce good quality products but with affordable prices, as well as to keep companies profitable.

Before raising the value of their phones, Chowdhury said the company will monitor the prices of the components provided by different suppliers by buying a large amount of them at reasonable prices. 

"In the short run, Transsion has had less pressure from other competitors in the African market," said Wang, the secretary-general, noting that Africa is a big market, with more than 50 countries, and therefore huge potential. 

Most companies will face challenges due to differences in culture, language and regulations when operating overseas, said Wang.  

Echoing Wang's statement, Chowdhury said that they have spent $75 million to establish after-sales networks in African countries during the recent few years. 

Transsion also has sales networks in 58 countries, including Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Egypt.

Moreover, companies need to understand the development and political situation in some African countries, said Li, the aforementioned chief research fellow, noting that it will take at least another 15 years for the market to mature in Africa. 

Even for Transsion, it has taken almost a decade for the company to gradually build its brand in order to meet local customers' needs.

Few Chinese have heard of Transsion Holdings, a Shenzhen-based company, which has grabbed more than 40 percent market share in Sub-Saharan African countries. In 2016, it outperformed its main competitors like Samsung in terms of feature phone shipments in the African market. Transsion's success there might inspire more domestic competitors to follow suit. But experts also warn that such mobile phone makers need to prepare to face certain challenges when doing business in Africa, such as widespread political instability and low consumption.Few Chinese have heard of Transsion Holdings, a Shenzhen-based company, which has grabbed more than 40 percent market share in Sub-Saharan African countries. In 2016, it outperformed its main competitors like Samsung in terms of feature phone shipments in the African market. Transsion's success there might inspire more domestic competitors to follow suit. But experts also warn that such mobile phone makers need to prepare to face certain challenges when doing business in Africa, such as widespread political instability and low consumption.

Transsion Holdings, a Chinese mobile phone maker based in Shenzhen, has grabbed more than 40 percent market share in Sub-Saharan African countries.

In the first quarter of 2017, the company ranked first place among Chinese mobile phone exporters, shipping 27.4 million units, according to Beijing-based data provider AVC. Huawei, the world's third largest phone maker by shipments, ranked second place.

In 2016, Transsion outperformed its main competitors such as Samsung in terms of feature phone shipments in the African market, according to a report by market research company IDC in March.

However, few Chinese have heard of the company as its mobile phones are not sold domestically.

About 10 years ago, due to rising domestic competition, "a good number of Chinese mobile phone makers started to explore foreign markets, but many have failed as they didn't focus on branding and wanted quick returns," Wang Yanhui, secretary-general of the Mobile China Alliance, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

International mobile phone makers are reluctant to enter the African market due to the low consumption there, Li Yi, chief research fellow at the Internet Research Center under the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

Li noted that it could be an opportunity for domestic mobile phone makers. But Li also warned that the path to exploring the African market will not be easy due to the uncertain risks there.

Grabbing opportunities

Transsion is one of the domestic mobile phone makers seeking opportunities in Africa. They narrowed their focus to the market in 2008. 
Wang attributed Transsion's success in Africa mainly to the company's founder Zhu Zhaojiang, who is very experienced in overseas markets. Additionally, the company operates locally in African countries to secure its dominance there, said Wang. 

At the beginning, the company set up a marketing strategy to "become a leader" of emerging economies, Arif Chowdhury, vice president of Transsion, told the Global Times. The continent has huge potential with a population of more than 1 billion, he noted.

Transsion was right about the market. Africa's population of mobile users accounted for 12 percent of the total individual subscribers in the world and amounted to 6 percent of global revenue, an increase of 70 percent compared to figures from five years ago, according to a CNN report in November 2016. 

In total, 215.3 million mobile phones were shipped to Africa in 2016, up 10 percent year-on-year, according to data released by IDC in March. 

Tailoring to customer needs 

Chinese-made mobile phones indeed have the positive reputation of good functions and low prices and are strongly welcomed by most African consumers. 

"Chinese mobile phone makers can produce what you want and are flexible in designing products to meet customers' needs," Rayan Abdelrahman Ahmed Mohamed, a 33-year-old Sudanese, told the Global Times. 

Africans love music, loud speakers and two SIM cards, which Chinese mobile phones can provide, he said.

Many larger companies intend to sell the phone's brand instead of the quality of the product, he said. "Why [should] I pay for the brand? I pay for my need."

There are many telecom operators in Africa, and it's not cheap to dial between networks, so we produce phones with dual, and sometimes even four, SIM card slots, said Chowdhury.

African customers, like many other smartphone customers around the world, love taking 'selfies'. But the customers with darker skin say it is hard for them to take good quality photos as many smartphone cameras have poor facial recognition. 

Transsion, on the other hand, designs specialized cameras that focus on people's teeth and eyes to ensure photographic clarity. 

"We have different brand tactics to provide high, medium and low-end products for our diverse consumers," Chowdhury noted.

Competition and challenges 

Recently, the interest in the African market from Chinese mobile phone makers has been increasing; they have been expanding their businesses to more and more countries, but this new venture has invited mixed results from across the continent, according to IDC.  

Of the big Chinese mobile phone makers, Huawei saw year-on-year shipment growth to "remain as Africa's No.3 smartphone vendor in 2016, while Lenovo saw flat growth and ZTE and Alcatel both [witnessed trimmed sales]," said IDC.

Huawei and Lenovo didn't respond to the request to give comment on their performance in the African market. 

"Price competitiveness has become a key issue in many African markets," said an IDC report released in March citing Ramazan Yavuz, research manager for mobile devices in Africa at IDC.

Both Wang and Li said that vendors have to provide phones which are priced very competitively to aid to the large amount of low-income populations in the continent.

Meanwhile, mobile phone makers face the fact that the cost of phone components is rising. They need to produce good quality products but with affordable prices, as well as to keep companies profitable.

Before raising the value of their phones, Chowdhury said the company will monitor the prices of the components provided by different suppliers by buying a large amount of them at reasonable prices. 

"In the short run, Transsion has had less pressure from other competitors in the African market," said Wang, the secretary-general, noting that Africa is a big market, with more than 50 countries, and therefore huge potential. 

Most companies will face challenges due to differences in culture, language and regulations when operating overseas, said Wang.  

Echoing Wang's statement, Chowdhury said that they have spent $75 million to establish after-sales networks in African countries during the recent few years. 

Transsion also has sales networks in 58 countries, including Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Egypt.

Moreover, companies need to understand the development and political situation in some African countries, said Li, the aforementioned chief research fellow, noting that it will take at least another 15 years for the market to mature in Africa. 

Even for Transsion, it has taken almost a decade for the company to gradually build its brand in order to meet local customers' needs.
Source by: globaltimes.cn

WASHINGTON, June 19 -- China's Sunway TaihuLight and Tianhe-2 are still the world's fastest and second fastest machines, but America's Titan was squeezed into fourth place by an upgraded Swiss system, according to the latest edition of the semiannual T0P500 list of supercomputers released Monday.

WUXI, June 20, 2016 (Xinhua) -- Photo taken on June 20, 2016 shows Sunway TaihuLight, a new Chinese supercomputer, in Wuxi, east China's Jiangsu Province. (Xinhua/Li Xiang) (File photo)

CHINA'S HOMEGROWN SUPERCOMPUTERS

Sunway TaihuLight, described by the T0P500 list as "far and away the most powerful number-cruncher on the planet," maintained the lead since last June, when it dethroned Tianhe-2, the former champion for the previous three consecutive years.

It means that a Chinese supercomputer has topped the rankings maintained by researchers in the United States and Germany for nine times in a row.

What's more, Sunway TaihuLight, with a performance of 93 petaflops, was built entirely using processors designed and made in China.

"It highlights China's ability to conduct independent research in the supercomputing field," Haohuan Fu, deputy director of the National Supercomputing Center, where Sunway TaihuLight was installed, told Xinhua.

"China is simultaneously developing hardware and software technologies of supercomputers," Fu said. "It is expected that rapid development in homegrown hardware technologies, supported by homegrown software, will lead to a stronger research and engineering test capacity in many fields, thus promoting an industrial upgrading and, eventually, a sustainable development of China's homegrown supercomputing industry."

Tianhe-2, capable of performing 33.9 petaflops, was based on Intel chips, something banned by the U.S. government from selling to four supercomputing institutions in China since 2015.

SWISS SYSTEM "REALLY A SURPRISE"

In the latest rankings, the new number three supercomputer is the upgraded Piz Daint, a system installed at the Swiss National Supercomputing Center.

Its current performance of 19.6 petaflops pushed Titan, a machine installed at the U.S. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, into fourth place. Titan's performance of 17.6 petaflops has remained constant since it was installed in 2012.

"This is the second time in the 24-year history of the TOP500 list that the United States has failed to secure any of the top three positions," the TOP500 organizers said in a statement.

The only other time this occurred was in November 1996, when three Japanese systems captured the top three spots.

"Nevertheless, the U.S. still claims five of the top 10 supercomputers, which is more than any other nation," they said.

Fu called the upgraded Swiss system "really a surprise," saying that "it reflects the increased investment in large-scale supercomputers in Europe."

AMERICA'S STRONG STRENGTH

"Although the U.S. dropped out of the top three, it still has strong strength in high performance computing," Fu told Xinhua. "If everything goes well, we could see two U.S. systems with a performance of 200 to 300 petaflops in the next rankings at the end of the year."

Just days before the TOP500 announcement, the U.S. Department of Energy said it has awarded AMD, Cray, HP Enterprise, IBM, Intel and NVIDIA a total of 258 million U.S. dollars in funding to accelerate the development of next-generation supercomputers.

"Continued U.S. leadership in high performance computing is essential to our security, prosperity, and economic competitiveness as a nation," U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said in a recent statement.

The immediate goal of the United States is to develop at least one exascale-capable system by 2021, which will be at least 10 times faster than China's Sunway TaihuLight.

"Global competition for this technological dominance is fierce," the U.S. Department of Energy asserted. "However, the U.S. retains global leadership in the actual application of high performance computing to national security, industry, and science."

In addition, the latest list showed that the United States leads the pack in the total number of TOP500 systems, with 169, while China is a close second with 160. Both countries lost share compared to six months ago, when they each claimed 171 systems.

Besides the United States and China, the most well-represented countries on the list are Japan, with 33 supercomputers, Germany, with 28, France, with 18, and Britain, with 17.

Overall, aggregate performance on the TOP500 rose to 749 petaflops, a 32 percent jump from a year ago.

Such an increase, though, is well below the list's historical growth rate of about 185 percent per year, said the organizers.

"The slower growth in list performance is a trend that began in 2013, and has shown no signs of reversal," they said.

When it comes to companies making these systems, the U.S.-based Hewlett-Packard Enterprise claims the number one spot with 143 supercomputers. China's Lenovo is the second most popular vendor, with 88 systems, and Cray is in third place, with 57.

There are three other Chinese companies in the vendor list: Sugon (No. 4 with 44 systems), Inspur (No. 6 with 20 systems) and Huawei (No. 7 with 19 systems).

The Top500 list is considered one of the most authoritative rankings of the world's supercomputers. It is compiled on the basis of the machines' performance on the Linpack benchmark by experts from the United States and Germany.

Source by: en.people.cn

 

On June 18, students at six Chinese universities received items they had purchased from JD.com from robot couriers.

Still a pilot project, the robots were dispatched to just half a dozen universities, including Renmin University, Tsinghua University and Zhejiang University. At JD.com delivery stations, items were first divided among the robots according to size. The smart robots were then able to plan their routes with the help of an automatic navigation system, which also assists them in avoiding obstacles en route.

They follow preset routes and send messages to the recipients when they are 100 meters away from their destinations. The robots can move as quickly as electric bikes, though they are set to walk at the speed of pedestrians when on campus. They also slow down in advance of speed bumps.

University students will be the first group to benefit from the new technology. Considering the openness of college students when it comes to hi-tech products, JD.com will highlight its 1,300 delivery stations at universities as the promotional campaign for robot couriers kicks off.

Source by: en.people.cn

 

 

Is the human race destined to expand to point where it becomes impossible to sustain ourselves? The fear of unsustainable growth is often voiced by environmentalists like Naomi Klein and David Attenborough, but it isn’t new. In 1798, Thomas Malthus wrote that “the increase of population is necessarily limited by the means of subsistence”. He went on to predict that growth would inevitably end in famine because “the power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man”. (Malthus was derided for his pessimism and was eventually immortalised as the inspiration for Ebenezer Scrooge.) At the time Malthus was writing, the population of the whole world was less than a billion. In the 200 years since Malthus published his infamous essay, the population of the world has grown to 7 billion. So why haven’t we witnessed a Malthusian crisis?

Geoffrey West, a physicist, thinks he knows why. West has written a bookcalled “Scale: The Universal Laws of Life and Death in Organisms, Cities and Companies”, presenting a universal theory of scale, which seems to have consequences for almost everything in the universe. In the new episode of Babbage, West was interviewed by his biggest fan, Kenneth Cukier. The interview starts at the 7:20 mark:

The human race, West says, has been saved by innovation and innovation thrives in cities. Unlike countries, companies and humans, cities seem to be immortal. In the last century cities have been de-industrialised, starved and some have even been attacked with nuclear bombs. And yet they always seem to survive. Ten years ago humanity passed the point by which those who lived in cities outnumbered those who didn’t. Every day a million more people move into cities, and this shouldn’t worry us.

West reckons that when the population of a city doubles, wages, patents and businesses increase by more than 50% because when humans work together they can produce more than the sum of their parts. When we get together, we tend to share information faster to figure out new ways to make our economy more efficient, which in turn allows us to accommodate more growth. If so, does that mean that the prosperity of cities can rise indefinitely?

According to West, if the innovation slows down the cities will be quickly be overwhelmed by their growing environmental and demographic burdens. Some would argue that western cities have already outsourced many of the unsustainable elements of their existence to industrialised developing economies while contributing to climate change, which disproportionately affects many of the world’s poorest people. Meanwhile, the popularity of Brexit and Donald Trump could be hinting that geographic concentrations of innovation often monopolise talent and opportunity leading to deprivation in the towns and regions that are left behind. Perhaps this is why West told us that the next cycle of innovation will have to be social, as well as technological.

So is perpetual urban growth really sustainable? If you’re reading this, you’re probably already living and working in a city. If you are, what are you doing there? Does your city seem as if it could get better forever? And what kind of social innovation will we need if we continue to grow at pace?

Please post your comments below so we can share your thoughts and questions in an upcoming episode of Babbage. Or, if you don’t have a Medium account, you can e-mail them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Nicholas Barrett is a social media writer at The Economist.

Source by: economist.com

 

 

Scientists from several U.S. and Chinese universities say new findings about microbes and their interaction with other species show that Darwin’s theory of evolution needs an update.

Their contention is based on discoveries that all plants and animals, including humans, evolved in interaction with a huge number of microscopic species — bacteria, viruses and fungi — not only in harmful but also in beneficial ways.

In a paper published by the scientific journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution, scientists from the University of Colorado, Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China, and several other universities say Darwin’s tree of life fails to recognize that many forms of life are linked physically and evolved together in so-called symbiomes.

The authors propose creating a working group that would use advanced computational methods to create a multidimensional evolutionary tree describing our complex interaction with microbes.

For centuries, mythologies around the world used the so-called tree of life as a metaphor for diversity stemming from a single source.

In 1859, Charles Darwin used the same concept to explain his theory of evolution, depicting it as a two-dimensional tree with individual species evolving independently of other branches.

Scientists say an updated view on symbiomes could have a profound effect not only on biology but also on many areas of science, including technology and even on society.

Credit : Voice of America (VOA)

Source by: eptoday.com

 

“China’s vow that its carbon emissions will peak by 2030 is totally different from building hundreds of additional coal plants,” said Zhang Guobao, former vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, at a June 9 round table on energy and climate in Beijing.

U.S. President Donald Trump referenced China in the statement he gave upon withdrawing from the Paris climate accord, claiming that China is allowed to do whatever it wants for 13 years. Zhang responded that this statement illustrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the Paris agreement.

Zhang, also the former director of China’s National Energy Administration, noted that China would never build hundreds of new coal plants, a point that has already been clearly explained and publicized. In fact, according to the National Energy Administration, the construction of 105 approved coal-fired power plants has already been halted. Zhang suggested that David Sandalow, the host of the round table and also the former acting undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Energy, correct President Trump's misunderstanding.

The average lifespan of coal plants in the U.S. is 33 years, said Zhang, which means that many American plants are indeed outdated. Zhang cited his experience visiting a coal plant in Indiana, built in 1952 with seven units and a capacity of 400 MW, pointing out that such a plant would be considered very outmoded in China.

“The coal consumption per kilowatt-hour in the U.S. is 400 grams, while the figure is 100 grams lower in China,” Zhang remarked, recommending that the U.S. shut down high-consumption plants and update its technology.

Trump stressed in his statement that the Paris climate accord disadvantaged the U.S. and would have taken away from the country’s wealth, “leaving American workers -- who I love -- and taxpayers to absorb the cost in terms of lost jobs, lower wages, shuttered factories and vastly diminished economic production.”

However, both Zhang and Sandalow emphasized at the round table that the new-energy industry has become an important field for job creation in the U.S., and it should not be neglected by the president. According to Sandalow, a total of 250,000 people in the country are now working in the photovoltaic generation industry.

A report by the U.S. Department of Energy showed that 1.1 million people in the U.S. were engaged in traditional energy industries in 2016, while 0.8 million were in the low-carbon energy sector. Workers in solar energy and wind power respectively increased by 25 and 32 percent over the past year. In addition, wind turbine generation is now the fastest-growing industry in the U.S. 

(Source by: en.people.cn)

 

SHANGHAI, June 12 (Xinhua) -- China aims to build the world's third ocean drilling research vessel and become a key leader in international deep-sea drilling scientific efforts by 2028, a senior government consultant said Monday.

Wang Pinxian, a marine geologist from Tongji University and also with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, made the remarks at a press event to announce the successful conclusion of a China-led international drilling mission to find out how the South China Sea was formed some tens of millions of years ago.

The four-month mission was conducted on board the American vessel JOIDES Resolution as part of the 367th and 368th expeditions of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), an international collaboration on deep-sea geological scientific research that began in 1968.

China joined the IODP in 1998 and participated in three drilling missions focused in the South China Sea in 1999, 2014 and 2017. The latest mission was proposed, designed and led by Chinese scientists. Over 60 researchers from more than ten countries were involved.

Wang, who serves as a consultant for China's IODP involvement, said the mission marked the first step in a three-part strategy for China to engage in international ocean drilling activities.

He said China aims to drill seabeds in other oceans and set up the world's fourth seabed rock database and a lab before attempting to build an ocean drilling vessel.

The two ships used by the IODP are JOIDES Resolution and Japan's Chikyu.

JOIDES Resolution docked in Shanghai Sunday, the first-ever visit of an international ocean drilling vessel to a Chinese port.

Tongji University marine geologist Jian Zhimin, a co-lead of the IODP mission, said at Monday's press briefing that during the expedition they dug 17 holes at seven sites in the South China Sea. The combined drilling depth exceeded 7,669 meters, and samples including sedimentary and volcanic rocks were collected.

The study of the rocks indicates the South China Sea was formed differently than the Atlantic, scientists have found.

Jian said the newly discovered formation of the South China Sea was so unique that they might need to rewrite the textbooks on continental shelf break-up and ocean formation.

Further research is required.

(Source by: en.people.cn)

 

Advertisement
Advertisement
Sign up via our free email subscription service to receive notifications when new information is available.