2018 iPad teardown finds few major changes beyond A10 Fusion processor, Apple Pencil support

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The new, education-focused iPad device offers two major changes, as well as a few minor ones, according to iFixit’s iPad 6 teardown, released Tuesday
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New $329 iPad includes support for the Apple Pencil, A10 Fusion processor

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Apple has used its educational Field Trip event to launch a new 9.7-inch iPad, the first outside the iPad Pro range to support the Apple Pencil.
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Apple introduces new 9.7-inch iPad with A10 Fusion chip, Apple Pencil support starting at Rs. 28000

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Apple at the Creative Education event in Chicago has introduced a new refreshed 9.7-inches iPad with Apple Pencil support. The new iPad is powered by the A10 Fusion chip which is used on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.  The new Apple iPad features familiar hardware, it sports a 9.7-inch Retina display. With Apple Pencil support, the documentation app, Pages is now compatible with “Smart Annotation” which essentially lets users scribble over a file. Furthermore, the new iPad features Touch ID, an HD FaceTime camera, 10 hours of battery life, an 8-megapixel rear camera which can record 1080p videos, LTE option. The iBooks author app lets Teachers stitch digital books together. It runs on iOS 11. Apple iPad 9.7-inch (2018) specifications 9.7 inch (2048×1536 pixels) Fully laminated Retina Display with 264 ppi, Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating, Supports Apple Pencil A10 Fusion chip with M10 coprocessor motion coprocessor 32/128GB variants Touch ID fingerprint sensor iOS 11 8 MP 1080p camera, f/2.4 aperture, Panorama (up to 43MP) 1.2MP HD front-facing FaceTime HD camera, f/2.2 aperture 4G LTE (optional), Wi‑Fi (802.11a/b/g/n/ac); dual channel (2.4GHz and 5GHz) and HT80 with MIMO, Bluetooth 4.2 Dimensions: 240x 169.5x 7.5mm; Weight: 469g (WiFi) / 478g (WiFi + Cellular) 32.4-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery with up to 10 hours …
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Japan’s latest supercomputer is dedicated to nuclear fusion

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This year, Japan will deploy a Cray XC50 that will be the world's most powerful supercomputer in the field of advanced nuclear fusion research. It will be installed at the National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science (QST) and used for lo…
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MIT Is Taking on Fusion Power. Could This Be the Time It Actually Works?

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We may be one large step closer to a future driven by fusion power — the elusive, limitless, and zero-carbon energy source that’s even a step-up from renewables. A collaboration between MIT and a new private company, Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS), aims to bring the world’s first fusion power plant online in the next 15 years, using a novel approach.

Fusion powers the sun and other stars. It involves lighter atoms like hydrogen smashing together to form heavier elements, like helium, and releasing massive amounts of energy while doing so. This energy release happens, however, at very, very extreme temperatures — in the range of hundreds of millions of degrees Celsius — which would melt any material it came in contact with.

So, in order to experiment with fusion in the laboratory, researchers use magnetic fields to hold that smashed together soup of subatomic particles, called plasma, suspended and away from the walls of the experimental chamber. The trickiness of using fusion as a form of energy is that, to date, every experiment has yielded net negative energy  — meaning more energy goes into heating that subatomic soup than comes out for potential use.

Now, this collaboration is launching an experiment known as SPARC, which will use new, high-temperature superconductors to build smaller, more powerful high-field magnets to power an experimental fusion reactor. SPARC’s goal? The first-ever net positive energy gain from fusion.

Vizualization of proposed SPARC experiment. Image Credit: Visualization by Ken Filar, PSFC research affiliate
Visualization of the proposed SPARC experiment. Image Credit: Visualization by Ken Filar, PSFC research affiliate.

This fusion experiment is designed to produce 100 megawatts of heat, thanks to those new magnets. It won’t turn that heat into electricity, but in 10-second pulses, it could produce twice the power needed to heat the plasma, and as much power as is used by a small city.

“This is an important historical moment: Advances in superconducting magnets have put fusion energy potentially within reach, offering the prospect of a safe, carbon-free energy future,” MIT President L. Rafael Reif told MIT News. 

While this team’s approach to fusion power seems promising; a number of previous collaborations were unable to get fusion energy off the ground. Researchers at the University of New South Wales tried, and failed, to create fusion through hydrogen-boron reactions.

The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) in France is also making progress, but SPARC is set to dethrone the project in terms of size. SPARC will be only 1/65th of ITER’s volume, because these new high-field magnets make it possible to build smaller fusion plants needed to achieve a given level of power.

If SPARC is successful, and the fusion project design proliferates worldwide, it’s possible fusion energy could start to help meet global energy demands. Researching carbon-free fusion energy is critical during an era in which greenhouse gases continue to drive climate change.

“The aspiration is to have a working power plant in time to combat climate change,” Bob Mumgaard, CEO of Commonwealth Fusion Systems, told The Guardian. “We think we have the science, speed and scale to put carbon-free fusion power on the grid in 15 years.”

The post MIT Is Taking on Fusion Power. Could This Be the Time It Actually Works? appeared first on Futurism.

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MIT embarks on ambitious plan to build nuclear fusion plant by 2033

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MIT announced yesterday that it and Commonwealth Fusion Systems — an MIT spinoff — are working on a project that aims to make harvesting energy from nuclear fusion a reality within the next 15 years. The ultimate goal is to develop a 200-megawatt p…
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Sonnet ships 1 terabyte version of the Fusion Thunderbolt 3 PCIe Flash Drive

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Thunderbolt 3 GPU enclosure vendor Sonnet has started shipping another Mac-related accessory, by offering a version of its Fusion Thunderbolt 3 PCIe Flash Drive that includes 1 terabyte of storage to users requiring a portable high-speed solid state external drive.
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GoPro’s Fusion camera is ready to work with a few Android phones

GoPro's ability to nail the experience with its 360-degree Fusion camera will rely on its marriage of hardware and software capabilities, and now the latter is getting a boost. An update to the company's Android app allows certain phones (listed belo…
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The Long Wait for Fusion Power May Be Coming to an End

Renewable energy sources like solar and wind account for a growing share of the world’s electric power. That’s no surprise, given concerns about the carbon emissions from fossil fuel-fired power plants and their harmful effect on the climate.

Nuclear energy offers some advantages over renewables, including the ability to make electricity when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow. But today’s nuclear plants use fission, which splits atoms of rare metals like uranium. Fission creates radioactive waste and can be hard to control — as evidenced by reactor accidents like those at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima.

Another form of nuclear energy known as fusion, which joins atoms of cheap and abundant hydrogen, can produce essentially limitless supplies of power without creating lots of radioactive waste.

Fusion has powered the sun for billions of years. Yet despite decades of effort, scientists and engineers have been unable to generate sustained nuclear fusion here on Earth. In fact, it’s long been joked that fusion is 50 years away, and will always be.

But now it looks as if the long wait for commercial fusion power may be coming to an end — and sooner than in half a century.

Leading the Charge

One of the brightest hopes for controlled nuclear fusion, the giant ITER reactor at Cadarache in southeastern France, is now on track to achieve nuclear fusion operation in the mid- to late-2040s, says Dr. William Madia, a former director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory who led an independent review of the ITER project in 2013.

Construction of the ITER reactor — a doughnut-shaped vacuum chamber known as a “tokamak” that spans more than 60 feet — recently passed the halfway point.

Madia says the decades needed to bring the ITER reactor to full operation reflect the huge engineering challenges still facing fusion researchers. These include building reactor walls that can withstand the intense heat of the fusion reaction — about 150 million degrees Celsius (270 million degrees Fahrenheit), or 10 times hotter than the core of the sun.

And then there’s the challenge of creating superconducting materials that can generate the powerful magnetic fields needed to hold the fusion reaction in place.

ITER has international backing and a budget of more than $ 14 billion. But it’s not the only promising effort in the long quest for sustained nuclear fusion, or what some have called a “star in a jar.”

Lots of Competition

Several smaller fusion projects, including commercial reactors being developed by Lockheed Martin in the U.S., General Fusion in Canada, and Tokamak Energy in the U.K., aim to feed fusion-generated power to electricity grids years before ITER produces its first fusion reactions.

“Our target is to deliver commercial power to the grid by 2030,” says Tokamak Energy’s founder, Dr. David Kingham.

Lockheed Martin’s legendary Skunk Works engineering division is developing a compact fusion reactor that uses cylindrical magnetic fields to confine the fusion reaction instead of the donut-shaped reactor being built at the ITER site.

The company foresees its fusion reactors replacing the fission reactors used in warships and submarines — and being put on trucks so they can be deployed wherever power is needed. A 100-megawatt fusion reactor that fits on the back of a truck could generate enough power for 100,000 people, according to the company.

Other fusion power projects include the Wendelstein 7-X fusion reactor in Germany, which uses an alternative to ITER’s tokamak design known as a stellarator. Like ITER, the German reactor is backed by an international consortium and serves mainly for experimental research.

Exactly which, if any, of these initiatives will crack the fusion nut is still uncertain. But experts hope fusion power one day can make fossil-fuel-fired plants and nuclear fission reactors obsolete, along with most of their environmental problems.

And we can take heart that the remaining challenges are all just a matter of advanced engineering. Says Madia, “We know the science is absolutely real because we can see it happening in the sun every day.”

The Long Wait for Fusion Power May Be Coming to an End was originally published by NBC Universal Media, LLC on December 29, 2017 by Tom Metcalfe. Copyright 2017 NBC Universal Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

The post The Long Wait for Fusion Power May Be Coming to an End appeared first on Futurism.

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iMac Pro teardown finds mystery Apple chip that could be A10 Fusion coprocessor

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A careful disassembly of the new iMac Pro has found another Apple-made chip in addition to the new T2, potentially confirming rumors that the desktop would feature an A10 Fusion coprocessor.
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