Material Gains

While 5G has only shown a fraction of its potential, will the world ever be ready for the next generation?

Much of the world seems to have changed beyond recognition since the pandemic began. With numerous economic and environmental uncertainties, however, one thing remains constant: our appetite for what comes next – and our impatience – are undiminished. The rollout of 5G cellular networks has barely begun – after a huge development effort to define the standards and do the engineering – yet, already, excitement is building around 6G. The first standardization phase for this will begin in 2023 and services should be available around 2030.

Read more: What Will 6G Bring to Our Lives?

Alun Morgan

Industry 5.0 promises a more humanistic approach to production.

It has been over a year since governments began lifting restrictions on citizens’ movements to resuscitate their economies, and some 18 months since the Ever Given blocked the Suez Canal in March 2021, sending global shipping activities into spasm.

But supply chains today are in critical condition. Assets and materials are in the wrong places around the world, factories are struggling to resume normal activities, and large numbers of people are simply not working, having either not returned to work after the pandemic or become part of what is now termed the Great Resignation, or the Big Quit. Some 20 million workers around the world, in the largest and most advanced economies, have left their posts, citing factors such as burnout, pressures at home and isolation, and feeling unvalued by their companies.

Read more: People are Staying Away from Work after Covid. The Next Industrial Revolution Wants Them Back.

Alun Morgan

Work continues on quantum machines. But classical computing is here, now, and faster and more powerful than ever.

When Frontier, the latest supercomputer at the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), went live at the end of May, it became the first to demonstrate true exascale performance, according to the TOP500 organization that benchmarks commercially available computer systems. At 1.102 Exaflop/s (quintillion operations per second), Frontier’s performance is three times faster than the previous performance leader, Fujitsu’s Fugaku system at the Riken Center for Computational Science (R-CCS) in Kobe, Japan. By breaking the exascale barrier, Frontier is 10 times faster than its ORNL predecessor, Summit.

Read more: What’s So ‘Super’ about Supercomputers?

AI is spreading quickly into sensors and will drive an even greater appetite for data.

Read more: Machine Learning at the Edge

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