Always Be Curious #183: Special delivery from Bennu, China's EUV accelerator and RunPee
This week in ABC: a haul of rocks and asteroid dust dropped into the US desert, China's working on a particle accelerator for EUV, and a guy made an app that tells cinema-goers exactly when to pee.
Some weeks, I compile ABC and stare in awe at the combined news. 🤩 Humanity grabs rocks and dust from asteroid Bennu and succesfully flies it back 2 billion kilometers to Earth. ☄️ Scientists are building programmable liquid DNA-based machines that offer general-purpose computing power. 🧬 And ChatGPT got all fancy-pants and can now see, hear, and speak. 🔮 Cool beans, right? And while the world of science and tech continues to move at warp 9, many new readers are just finding out about Always Be Curious. Welcome! I thought it would be nice to add a personal touch to this week’s edition. But…with a little help from AI! ✌️
Have a good week, stay safe and sound,
Thanks for reading Always Be Curious! Subscribe for free and join the curious clan on Sunday mornings. ☕️🥐
👨💻The round-up in sci-tech💡
Samples collected by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission excite scientists with their potential to reveal secrets of the Solar System.
Fun piece and the first I’ve heard of “Cerebral Valley”. Near San Francisco, the next generation of tech billionaires is optimising its lifestyle.
Tech companies see big benefits in making drugs, harvesting stem cells and growing crystals in ‘off-Earth’ conditions.
The stuff you can learn from the roles that a company is hiring. Microsoft is looking to recruit a nuclear energy expert to help coordinate powering its AI data centers with small nuclear reactors.
In the age of AI, computer science is no longer the safe major.
🤳Van Nokia 9110 Communicator naar S23 - 25 jaar smartphones / From Nokia 9110 Communicator to S23 - 25 years of smartphones (Tweakers)
The team at Tweakers is celebrating 25 years of tech reporting and are producing some really nice overviews, like this one for smartphones. In Dutch.
OpenAI is beginning to roll out new voice and image capabilities in ChatGPT. They offer a new, more intuitive type of interface by allowing you to have a voice conversation or show ChatGPT what you’re talking about.
The videos no longer look like they were filmed on a potato camera.
Jony Ive, the renowned designer of the iPhone, and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman have been discussing building a new AI hardware device, according to two people familiar with the conversations.
Toregem Biopharma is slated to begin clinical trials in July of next year after it succeeded growing new teeth in mice five years ago.
The ASML Junior Academy will offer more technology lessons to primary schools in and outside Brainport Eindhoven. Through the program, the number of children receiving technology lessons is set to increase by more than threefold from the initial target of 60,000 to 181,000 in the Netherlands.
🤓This week in chips⚠
Intel celebrated the arrival of its Intel 4 technology, which uses ASML’s extreme ultraviolet (EUV) technology, and the first use of EUV in high-volume manufacturing (HVM) in Europe. The arrival of this important moment ushers in the future for products like Intel’s upcoming Intel® Core™ Ultra processors (code-named Meteor Lake), which will pave the way for AI PCs, as well as future-generation Intel® Xeon® processors coming in 2024 and produced on the Intel 3 process node.
🇺🇸The most important tech company you’ve never heard of is a major reason computers keep getting faster (Wall Street Journal) 🔐
The WSJ nicked ASML’s unofficial tagline for a profile piece on Applied. Meh. Or I guess ASML is now officially “heard of”? Anyway. Good piece though. 😜
The technology is being positioned as a way for China to bypass US sanctions and join the leaders of the semiconductor industry. I believe that the Chinese will manage to build this accelerator. But the real questions are: when? And where are those Chinese lithography machines that it might support? Harnessing EUV in lithography has proven one big beast to tackle.
New liquid computer can run more than 100 billion distinct circuits.
I LURV reading about TSMC in Korean media. It’s frequently just so blatantly biased. This piece is a nice example, blaming TSMC’s N3 for iPhone troubles.
Apple’s statement about the heating issues on iPhone 15 Pro: “We have identified a few conditions which can cause iPhone to run warmer than expected. The device may feel warmer during the first few days after setting up or restoring the device because of increased background activity.
We have also found a bug in iOS 17 that is impacting some users and will be addressed in a software update. Another issue involves some recent updates to third-party apps that are causing them to overload the system. We’re working with these app developers on fixes that are in the process of rolling out.”
“Von der Watch bis zum iPhone: Bis zum Jahr 2030 sollen sämtliche Apple-Produkte kohlendioxidneutral sein. Der Elektronikkonzern und sein Chef Tim Cook lernen auf diesem Wege vom niederländischen Chiphersteller NXP.”
New fabs won't achieve much without the specialized staff to fill them.
Amid the US containment measures to slow down China's development in semiconductors, China has reportedly increased its semiconductor equipment localization rate to over 40%.
📈By the numbers📉
“During fiscal 2023, amid a challenging environment for the memory and storage industry, Micron sustained technology leadership, launched a significant number of leading-edge products, and took decisive actions on supply and cost,” said Micron Technology President and CEO Sanjay Mehrotra. “Our 2023 performance positions us well as a market recovery takes shape in 2024, driven by increasing demand and disciplined supply. We look forward to record industry TAM revenue in 2025 as AI proliferates from the data center to the edge.”
Oxford on top, but UK and US universities struggle to keep pace with top Asian performers as research funding shares decline.
❤️For the love of tech❤️
The developer of RunPee, the app that tells cinemagoers the best time to take a loo break, on what makes a good ‘peetime’ and how the program helped him meet his wife.
Always Be Curious is the personal newsletter of Sander Hofman, Senior Creative Content Strategist at ASML. Opinions expressed in this curated newsletter are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.