In late October 2015, the Fifth Plenum of the Central Committee of China’s Communist Party provided a broad preview or “proposal” of what would be contained in the 13th Five-Year Plan (13FYP) for 2016-2020, which was presented in its final form at the People’s National Congress in March 2016.
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Everyone is agreed that China’s rapid economic development has now slowed, but by how much? According to the World Bank, growth in China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stood at 14.2% in 2007, but that has now fallen to 7.4% in 2014.
Robotics is instantly one of those “gee whiz” fields of technology that prod the imagination into the realms of fiction. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or ‘drones’ and driverless ‘autonomous’ cars are two recent headline-grabbing developments that seem to push at the limits of the robotically possible.
At the end of July 2015, Intel Corp. and Micron Technology, Inc. announced a jointly-developed non-volatile memory they are calling 3D XPoint™. The claims they are making for the technology (pronounced “Crosspoint”) are quite sweeping. Although several commentators have suggested it’s probably a form of resistive RAM (ReRAM), Intel and Micron’s joint press release of 28th July 2015 says that 3D XPoint is “…the first new memory category in more than 25 years.” Micron’s website specifically states, “3D XPoint™ technology is an entirely new class of nonvolatile memory.” So much for ReRAM!