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Chinesischer Brückenbauer trägt weltweit zur Infrastruktur bei

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Bereits früher lieferte das Unternehmen Stahlstrukturen für Brückenprojekte in den Vereinigten Staaten. Darüber hinaus verwirklichte CRSBG Projekte in Äthiopien, im Tschad und in Tansania. Der Bau von Brücken und Exportprojekte mit Ländern, die sich an „Gürtel und Straße”-Initiative (BRI) beteiligen, sind Teil der Unternehmenstätigkeit. 

Das jüngste Projekt – die Slussen-Brücke – befindet sich in einem historischen Stadtviertel im Zentrum von Stockholm, das als Fußgängerzone ausgewiesen und an einer Schiffsschleuse gelegen ist, einer Drehscheibe des öffentlichen Nahverkehrs zu Wasser und zu Lande.  

Seit vier Jahrhunderten wird das Slussen-Viertel alle hundert Jahre nach den Bedürfnissen der jeweiligen Zeit umgebaut und erfindet sich so immer wieder neu. Die neugebaute Brücke sei eine gigantische Konstruktion aus Stahlträgern, die Tunnel- und Brückenfunktion miteinander verbinde, sagt Lin Junke, Vorstand des staatlichen Unternehmens mit Sitz in der Provinz Hebei. 

Unter den gegebenen Umständen habe das Projekt nicht nur hochwertige Materialien und modernste Technologie aufgeboten, sondern ersetze zudem zwei Vorgängerbrücken und integriere nun die Nutzung der Brücke durch Autofahrer, Radfahrer und Fußgänger, so Lin.  

Die Brücke ist 140 Meter lang und 45 Meter breit, in der Mitte misst sie sogar eine Breite von 58 Metern. Sie hat mehrere Fahrbahnen und ist auf eine Lebensdauer von 120 Jahren ausgelegt. Die Stahlträger wiegen 3.400 Tonnen und wurden in einem Stück aus China nach Stockholm geliefert. Der Seetransport dauerte siebzig Tage. 

Lins Meinung nach könne der Bau von Infrastruktur wie Brücken und Bahnstrecken in BRI-Ländern dazu beitragen, das Wohlstandsgefälle zwischen den Küstenregionen und dem Hinterland zu verringern. 

Durch Kooperation mit anderen chinesischen Unternehmen wie der China Railway Major Bridge Engineering Group Co. hat die CRSBG im Jahre 2014 erstmals ein Gelände zur Montage von Stahlteilen ausgewiesen, um Bauelemente aus Stahl zur Konstruktion der Padma-Brücke, dem größten Infrastrukturprojekt Bangladeshs, liefern zu können. 

Die fünfundzwanzig Meter breite und zehn Kilometer lange Brücke erstreckt sich über den Fluss Padma, einem der drei größten Flüsse in Bangladesh. Nach ihrer Fertigstellung wird sich die Reisezeit zwischen der Hauptstadt Dhaka und der südwestlichen Metropole Khulna von dreizehn auf drei Stunden verkürzen. 

Mit einem Blick auf die Ausweitung der Aktivitäten auf dem Weltmarkt, getragen vom Gedanken an eine Verbesserung der Serviceleistungen, hat das Unternehmen in einer Reihe von Ländern, darunter Deutschland und die USA, Marketing- und Managementteams gebildet.  

Nach Darstellung Lins sei das Unternehmen nicht länger darauf angewiesen, bei Ausschreibungen durch günstige Preise zu überzeugen, sondern zunehmend durch Produktqualität und Kostenmanagement. 

Automatische Gerätschaften und Industrieroboter können bei schwierigen und riskanten Arbeitsschritten Arbeiter ersetzen und so die Qualität erhöhen und das Risiko senken. „Nur durch gewaltige Investitionen in innovativen Bereichen können wir ansehnliche Gewinne einfahren und Vorteile im globalen Wettbewerb sichern,” sagt Lin.  

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SOURCE China Railway Shanhaiguan Bridge Group

Source: https://www.prnewswire.com:443/news-releases/chinesischer-bruckenbauer-tragt-weltweit-zur-infrastruktur-bei-874610348.html

AI

Is Computing Facing An Energy Crisis?

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Efficiency gains can be boosted by combining CPUs, NPUs, GPUs and networking processors in novel ways.

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Is the end near?

If the topic is energy efficiency gains in computing, the answer depends on whom you ask.

The steady increase in performance per watt over the decades has been one of the most important drivers in our industry. Last year I was thumbing through a neighbor’s 1967 Motorola IC catalog that featured such space age wonders as a small control chip of the sort that went into the Apollo moon mission. While cutting edge then, if you tried to build a smartphone with it today, the phone would consume about 16MW of power and take up 12 football fields. You’d think twice before signing up for a cell plan.

Skeptics believe we are headed for choppier waters. Moore’s Law is delivering diminishing returns. Meanwhile, techniques that have kept data center power consumption flat for the past 15 years —virtualization, ambient cooling, workload consolidation, unplugging “zombie” servers—have already been exploited fairly extensively. Many cutting edge data centers already tout Price Use Effectiveness (PUE) ratings of close to 1, meaning that almost all of the energy goes to running IT equipment. Further improvements will require innovation of core computing architecture.

Worse, AI will turn up the heat. We’re graduating from basic AI problems (finding cat videos!) to more energy-intensive tasks like autonomous driving or medical diagnostics. Applied Materials warns that, absent advances in materials, chip designs and algorithms, data center power could rise from 2% of worldwide electricity consumption to 10% or even 15%.

On the other hand, the optimists have a compelling argument: we’ve heard it before. In 1999 some predicted the Internet might consume half of the grid in ten years. That scary future was avoided through leapfrog innovations like FinFETs, but also through steady improvements in overall system design and mapping algorithms to hardware. Good engineering, they argue, still has quite a bit of headroom.

Plus, you need to look at the big picture. Worldwide emissions dropped by 2.4 billion tons, or 7%, in 2020 as videoconferencing replaced commuting and business trips. While travel will likely rebound, a good portion of meetings will stay on Zoom. Similarly, smart devices and AI are being deployed to help curb the estimated 30% of power that gets wasted in buildings. Electronics, one can argue, can deliver a net benefit the environment.

Nonetheless, many optimists are also reluctant to look beyond a 2 to 3 year horizon. So who’s right? Both sides bring up very good points and the debate has certainly added a jolt to conference panels. But personally, I’m a cautious optimist. While Moore’s Law may be past its prime, the semiconductor industry has already launched into a design-centric era where gains will be mainly realized through innovations in SoC and core architectures instead of process shrinks. Large integrated caches and GPUs accelerators were arguably the first step in this era. 3D NAND was another major milestone: transistor stacking changed the design and economic equations for flash memory companies.

At Arm, we’ve been paying particular focus on exploring the synergies that can be achieved by combining CPUs, NPUs, GPUs and networking processors or DPUs in novel ways. Combining CPUs and NPUs, for instance, have been shown to be capable of boosting efficiency gains by 25x while increasing performance on tasks like interference by 50x over CPU-only solutions. For IoT devices, that means an ability to produce more precise, more interesting insights on a fixed energy budget that won’t tax batteries. You’ll see a similar philosophy with the Total Compute strategy coming to handhelds.

In data centers, AWS says its single-threaded, Arm-based 64-core Graviton2 processor provides more than 3X the performance per watt over more traditional multithreaded processors with fewer cores. Similarly, AWS says that over 70% of the instances available on EC2 take advantage of its Nitro system for offloading tasks like virtualization, security and networking to dedicated hardware and Arm-based silicon.

One of the next big milestones for us all will be the commercialization of chiplets. Chiplet designs allow companies to maximize yields and mix process manufacturing nodes for optimal effect. Chiplet designs, however, will also have a positive impact on the power-performance equation. Imagine a 4 x 4 array of chiplets each with 640 CPUs, 640 NPUs, and gigabytes of SLC all linked by a high-speed interconnect. Such a system could deliver petaflops of performance on around 1.4kW of power.

And what do we do when we tap out the gains there? Dig deeper with chip-level technologies like in-memory computing: Over 60% of total system energy gets spent moving data between main memory and compute by some estimates. We’ve only scratched the surface of what is possible at the device and circuit level.

Granted, these advances will take some very hard work, but I’m confident they can occur before we hit a power wall.

Where do you believe the future will go? Feedback, comments, and ideas are quite welcome.

Rob Aitken

  (all posts)
Rob Aitken is an ARM fellow.

Source: https://semiengineering.com/is-computing-facing-an-energy-crisis/

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The chip to recharge your smartphone with hot water

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A team at the China Academy of Launch Veichle Technology is testing a chip that turns the heat of hot water into electricity to recharge smartphones or other small devices

It’s safe to say: they’ve made a hot water discovery in China. A team of researchers from the China Academy of Launch Veichle Technology is testing a thermoelectric chip capable of transforming the heat of water into electricity. The idea is to install this thermoelectric circuit on the cap of a water bottle or small thermos and use the heat from the water inside to recharge small electrical devices. Researcher Sheng Jian explained that 500 milliliters – half a liter – of boiling water is enough to provide 30 minutes of charging to low-powered electronic devices. In this way, hot water could provide charging for smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, cameras and even PCs. The idea of using a thermoelectric chip to charge devices itself is not new. In fact, this technology is used by astronauts during space missions. The novelty of the Chinese study lies in the attempt to “extend” this aerospace technology to everyday life.

Modulo Cella di Peltier 40 * 40mm TEC1-12706 12V6A raffreddamento termoelettrico - Arduiner - Arduino Components Shop
An example of thermoelectric chip

Read also —> Here are the latest tech gadgets for smartphones

The chip to recharge your smartphone with hot water

One of the strengths of the chip to recharge the smartphone with hot water is environmental sustainability. The system is totally green and uses a 100% renewable energy source. In addition, the chip produces energy at low voltage and therefore does not run the risk of short-circuiting. Chinese researchers are looking for a way to produce this thermoelectric chip at low cost. This way, the technology could spread widely at a very affordable price. For example, the China Academy of Launch Veichle Technology would like to put on sale a water bottle with a smartphone charging system at a price of 150 Yuan (about $23).

You might also be interested in → Lg Rollable: the first smartphone that can be “rolled up” like a sheet of paper

Source: https://www.thepatent.news/2021/01/13/chip-recharge-smartphone-hot-water/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=chip-recharge-smartphone-hot-water

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Mapped: The World’s Largest State-Owned Oil Companies

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View the high-resolution of the infographic by clicking here.

Oil is one of the world’s most important natural resources, playing a critical role in everything from transportation fuels to cosmetics.

For this reason, many governments choose to nationalize their supply of oil. This gives them a greater degree of control over their oil reserves as well as access to additional revenue streams. In practice, nationalization often involves the creation of a national oil company to oversee the country’s energy operations.

What are the world’s largest and most influential state-owned oil companies?

Editor’s Note: This post and infographic are intended to provide a broad summary of the state-owned oil industry. Due to variations in reporting and available information, the companies named do not represent a comprehensive index.

State-Owned Oil Companies by Revenue

National oil companies are a major force in the global energy sector, controlling approximately three-quarters of the Earth’s oil reserves.

As a result, many have found their place on the Fortune Global 500 list, a ranking of the world’s 500 largest companies by revenue.

Country Name Fortune Global 500 Rank 2019 Revenues 
🇨🇳 China Sinopec Group 2 $443B
🇨🇳 China China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC)  4 $379B
🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia Saudi Aramco 6 $330B
🇷🇺 Russia Rosneft 76 $96B
🇧🇷 Brazil Petrobras 120 $77B
🇮🇳 India Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL)  151 $69B
🇲🇾 Malaysia Petronas 186 $58B
🇮🇷 Iran National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)  Not listed $19B* 
🇻🇪 Venezuela  Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) Not listed $23B (2018)

*Value of Iranian petroleum exports in 2019. Source: Fortune, Statista, OPEC

China is home to the two largest companies from this list, Sinopec Group and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). Both are involved in upstream and downstream oil operations, where upstream refers to exploration and extraction, and downstream refers to refining and distribution.

It’s worth noting that many of these companies are listed on public stock markets—Sinopec, for example, trades on exchanges located in Shanghai, Hong Kong, New York, and London. Going public can be an effective strategy for these companies as it allows them to raise capital for new projects, while also ensuring their governments maintain control. In the case of Sinopec, 68% of shares are held by the Chinese government.

Saudi Aramco was the latest national oil company to follow this strategy, putting up 1.5% of its business in a 2019 initial public offering (IPO). At roughly $8.53 per share, Aramco’s IPO raised $25.6 billion, making it one of the world’s largest IPOs in history.

Geopolitical Tensions

Because state-owned oil companies are directly tied to their governments, they can sometimes get caught in the crosshairs of geopolitical conflicts.

The disputed presidency of Nicolás Maduro, for example, has resulted in the U.S. imposing sanctions against Venezuela’s government, central bank, and national oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA). The pressure of these sanctions is proving to be particularly damaging, with PDVSA’s daily production in decline since 2016.

State-Owned Oil Companies - Venezuela example

In a country for which oil comprises 95% of exports, Venezuela’s economic outlook is becoming increasingly dire. The final straw was drawn in August 2020 when the country’s last remaining oil rig suspended its operations.

Other national oil companies at the receiving end of American sanctions include Russia’s Rosneft and Iran’s National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC). Rosneft was sanctioned by the U.S. in 2020 for facilitating Venezuelan oil exports, while NIOC was targeted for providing financial support to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, an entity designated as a foreign terrorist organization.

Climate Pressures

Like the rest of the fossil fuel industry, state-owned oil companies are highly exposed to the effects of climate change. This suggests that as time passes, many governments will need to find a balance between economic growth and environmental protection.

Brazil has already found itself in this dilemma as the country’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, has drawn criticism for his dismissive stance on climate change. In June 2020, a group of European investment firms representing $2 trillion in assets threatened to divest from Brazil if it did not do more to protect the Amazon rainforest.

These types of ultimatums may be an effective solution for driving climate action forward. In December 2020, Brazil’s national oil company, Petrobras, pledged a 25% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030. When asked about commitments further into the future, however, the company’s CEO appeared to be less enthusiastic.

That’s like a fad, to make promises for 2050. It’s like a magical year. On this side of the Atlantic we have a different view of climate change.

— Roberto Castello Branco, CEO, Petrobras

With its 2030 pledge, Petrobras joins a growing collection of state-owned oil companies that have made public climate commitments. Another example is Malaysia’s Petronas, which in November 2020, announced its intention to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Petronas is wholly owned by the Malaysian government and is the country’s only entry on the Fortune Global 500.

Challenges Lie Ahead

Between geopolitical conflicts, environmental concerns, and price fluctuations, state-owned oil companies are likely to face a much tougher environment in the decades to come.

For Petronas, achieving its 2050 climate commitments will require significant investment in cleaner forms of energy. The company has been involved in numerous solar energy projects across Asia and has stated its interests in hydrogen fuels.

Elsewhere, China’s national oil companies are dealing with a more near-term threat. In compliance with an executive order issued by the Trump Administration in November 2020, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) announced it would delist three of China’s state-run telecom companies. Analysts believe oil companies such as Sinopec could be delisted next, due to their ties with the Chinese military.

Source: https://www.visualcapitalist.com/mapped-the-worlds-largest-state-owned-oil-companies/

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The Periodic Table of Commodity Returns (2021 Edition)

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Many would agree that a global shift to electric vehicles (EV) is an important step in achieving a carbon-free future. However, for various reasons, EVs have so far struggled to break into the mainstream, accounting for just 2.5% of global auto sales in 2019.

To understand why, this infographic from Castrol identifies the five critical challenges that EVs will need to overcome. All findings are based on a 2020 survey of 10,000 consumers, fleet managers, and industry specialists across eight significant EV markets.

The Five Challenges to EV Adoption

Cars have relied on the internal combustion engine (ICE) since the early 1900s, and as a result, the ownership experience of an EV can be much more nuanced. This results in the five critical challenges we examine below.

Challenge #1: Price

The top challenge is price, with 63% of consumers believing that EVs are beyond their current budget. Though many cheaper EV models are being introduced, ICE vehicles still have the upper hand in terms of initial affordability. Note the emphasis on “initial”, because over the long term, EVs may actually be cheaper to maintain.

Taking into account all of the running and maintenance costs of [an EV], we have already reached relative cost parity in terms of ownership.

—President, EV consultancy, U.S.

For starters, an EV drivetrain has significantly fewer moving parts than an ICE equivalent, which could result in lower repair costs. Government subsidies and the cost of electricity are other aspects to consider.

So what is the tipping price that would convince most consumers to buy an EV? According to Castrol, it differs around the world.

Country EV Adoption Tipping Price ($)
🇯🇵 Japan $42,864
🇨🇳 China  $41,910
🇩🇪 Germany $38,023
🇳🇴 Norway $36,737
🇺🇸 U.S. $35,765
🇫🇷 France $31,820
🇮🇳 India $30,572
🇬🇧 UK $29,883
Global Average $35,947

Many budget-conscious buyers also rely on the used market, in which EVs have little presence. The rapid speed of innovation is another concern, with 57% of survey respondents citing possible depreciation as a factor that prevented them from buying an EV.

Challenge #2: Charge Time

Most ICE vehicles can be refueled in a matter of minutes, but there is much more uncertainty when it comes to charging an EV.

Using a standard home charger, it takes 10-20 hours to charge a typical EV to 80%. Even with an upgraded fast charger (3-22kW power), this could still take up to 4 hours. The good news? Next-gen charging systems capable of fully charging an EV in 20 minutes are slowly becoming available around the world.

Similar to the EV adoption tipping price, Castrol has also identified a charge time tipping point—the charge time required for mainstream EV adoption.

Country Charge Time Tipping Point (minutes)
🇮🇳 India 35
🇨🇳 China 34
🇺🇸 U.S. 30
🇬🇧 UK 30
🇳🇴 Norway 29
🇩🇪 Germany 29
🇯🇵 Japan 29
🇫🇷 France 27
Global Average 31

If the industry can achieve an average 31 minute charge time, EVs could reach $224 billion in annual revenues across these eight markets alone.

Challenge #3: Range

Over 70% of consumers rank the total range of an EV as being important to them. However, today’s affordable EV models (below the average tipping price of $35,947) all have ranges that fall under 200 miles.

Traditional gas-powered vehicles, on the other hand, typically have a range between 310-620 miles. While Tesla offers several models boasting a 300+ mile range, their purchase prices are well above the average tipping price.

For the majority of consumers to consider an EV, the following range requirements will need to be met by vehicle manufacturers.

Country Range Tipping Point (miles)
🇺🇸 U.S. 321
🇳🇴 Norway 315
🇨🇳 China 300
🇩🇪 Germany 293
🇫🇷 France 289
🇯🇵 Japan 283
🇬🇧 UK 283
🇮🇳 India 249
Global Average 291

Fleet managers, those who oversee vehicles for services such as deliveries, reported a higher average EV tipping range of 341 miles.

Challenge #4: Charging Infrastructure

Charging infrastructure is the fourth most critical challenge, with 64% of consumers saying they would consider an EV if charging was convenient.

Similar to charge times, there is much uncertainty surrounding infrastructure. For example, 65% of consumers living in urban areas have a charging point within 5 miles of their home, compared to just 26% for those in rural areas.

Significant investment in public charging infrastructure will be necessary to avoid bottlenecks as more people adopt EVs. China is a leader in this regard, with billions spent on EV infrastructure projects. The result is a network of over one million charging stations, providing 82% of Chinese consumers with convenient access.

Challenge #5: Vehicle Choice

The least important challenge is increasing the variety of EV models available. This issue is unlikely to persist for long, as industry experts believe 488 unique models will exist by 2025.

Despite variety being less influential than charge times or range, designing models that appeal to various consumer niches will likely help to accelerate EV adoption. Market research will be required, however, because attitudes towards EVs vary by country.

Country Consumers Who Believe EVs Are More Fashionable Than ICE Vehicles (%)
🇮🇳 India 70%
🇨🇳 China 68%
🇫🇷 France 46%
🇩🇪 Germany 40%
🇺🇸 UK 40%
🇯🇵 Japan 39%
🇺🇸 U.S. 33%
🇳🇴 Norway  31%
Global Average 48%

A majority of Chinese and Indian consumers view EVs more favorably than traditional ICE vehicles. This could be the result of a lower familiarity with cars in general—in 2000, for example, China had just four million cars spread across its population of over one billion.

EVs are the least alluring in the U.S. and Norway, which coincidentally have the highest GDP per capita among the eight countries surveyed. These consumers may be accustomed to a higher standard of quality as a result of their greater relative wealth.

So When Do EVs Become Mainstream?

As prices fall and capabilities improve, Castrol predicts a majority of consumers will consider buying an EV by 2024. Global mainstream adoption could take slightly longer, arriving in 2030.

Caution should be exhibited, as these estimates rely on the five critical challenges being solved in the short-term future. This hinges on a number of factors, including technological change, infrastructure investment, and a shift in consumer attitudes.

New challenges could also arise further down the road. EVs require a significant amount of minerals such as copper and lithium, and a global increase in production could put strain on the planet’s limited supply.

Source: https://www.visualcapitalist.com/the-periodic-table-commodity-price-returns-2021/

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