I agree--that picture does look a lot like HAL. The line between preposterous science fiction and realizable technologies is so blurred that its increasingly hard to tell the nuts from the geniuses anymore!
I keep remembering the transparent storage media in the movie 2001--remember when Dave was unscrewing them and they popped out looking like bars of glass. How else would the memory in those bars be accessed if not by high-precision laser targeting? I think many of us guessed that MEMS micro-mirrors would be the enabler for storing qubits on atoms in a transparent medium, but Duke and Univ. of Wisconsin were the first to prove the concept.
MEMS micro-mirrors are already used for optical switching by companies like Glimmerglass Networks and Micralyne, but those devices do not have the speed or accuracy necessary to create a quantum computer. The Duke and the University of Wisconsin demonstration, however, shows that MEMS is up to the task of targeting individual atoms, albeit it will be a long time--at least a decade--before we see this dream fully realized.
NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used in Orion Spacecraft, part of NASA's Mars mission. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.
Brought to you by