Weekly Takeaways-August 10, 2022
Updated: Sep 29
Time to Save the World Timing synchronization provides the grease for efficient networks. This efficiency helps reduce power consumption, and, by extension, harmful emissions. While it is difficult to show the direct link between timing accuracy and power consumption, some case studies show the potential. For example, timing in data centers reduces the effort to work with distributed databases. A joint Facebook and NVIDIA project showed that “making the timekeeping 80x more precise made a distributed database run 3x faster - an incredible performance boost on the same server hardware, just from keeping more accurate and more reliable time.” This inspired them to set up the Time Appliance Project, stating that “Time is a key element to get the highest efficiency in a distributed system.” The benefits of synchronization also extend to power grids. A Norwegian power utility estimates that synchronized digital substations in power grids could help recover 9% of their energy, and the Swedish Transport Administration estimates that phase synchronization could result in a 1 TWh/year potential energy savings. Better timing = more efficiency = lower power consumption = reduced emissions = Save the World. Last Week's Theme: Timing is Everything
China recently launched six new LEO satellites to provide quantum key distribution (QKD) from space as part of a larger global QKD network and a follow up to their groundbreaking quantum satellite launched in 2016.
In addition, the US “Quantum Computing Cybersecurity Preparedness Act” is moving through Congress with the intent to force the “migration of Federal Government information technology systems to quantum-resistant cryptography.”
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, also known as “America’s Seed Fund,” is in danger of expiring because it was not included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Research shows that SBIR and STTR “generated a 22 to 1 return on investment, including $347 billion in total economic impact and created more than 1.5 million jobs between 1995 and 2012,” an incredible return on the $4B/year investment.
Meanwhile, the US Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that they awarded a record $154.2B to small businesses, an $8B increase from last years. This represents nearly 27.2% of total federal contracting funds and “has supported over one million jobs in the American economy.”
Following on news that VC fundraising in 2022 is on pace to surpass last year’s record, there are signs that investment is moving out of the Silicon Valley amid claims that remote work is “profoundly weakening the Silicon Valley network effect.”
"What if your internet connection used single photons to transmit bits of information? You would be enjoying the unprecedented features of a quantum network, including access to quantum computing nodes and high security." Check out the QED-C The Landscape of Quantum Networking webinar to learn more.
Optics + Photonics, August 21 - 25, San Diego, CA
ION GNSS+ 2022, September 19 - 23, Denver, CO
IEEE Quantum Week 2022, September 18 - 23, Broomfield, CO
APSCC 2022, October 18 - 20, Seoul, Korea
Tough Tech Summit, October 27 - 28, Boston, MA
International Timing and Sync Forum, November 7 - 10, Dusseldorf, Germany
The More You Know...
Did it feel like your day went by especially fast on Wednesday, June 29? That's because the Earth had the shortest day on record, completing one rotation in 1.59 milliseconds less than 24 hours. In general, over long periods of time the Earth's rotation slows down by a tiny bit. To keep the 24-hour day synced with the rotation, scientists will occasionally add leap seconds to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), the international time standard. However, in recent years the Earth's rotation has been mysteriously speeding up. So scientists may need to subtract a leap second rather than add one! But it doesn't matter to network operators like Google, Microsoft, Meta and Amazon. They want to scrap the leap second altogether because any discontinuous jump of that magnitude can wreak havoc with their networks. For the same reason, GPS time -- the current source of network timing -- doesn't use leap seconds That's why GPS time now differs from UTC time by 18 seconds.