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IBS Researchers Developed New Catalyst That Produces Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) Using Only Oxygen and Water

A catalyst has been developed that can increase the production efficiency of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), a key material for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, by up to eight times. The research team with Hyun Teak-hwan (Chair-professor at Seoul National University, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering) and Sung Yeong-eun (Professor at Seoul National University, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering), who are the leader and vice leader of Nanoparticle Research Group of Institute for Basic Science respectively, collaborated with a team of Yoo Jong-seok professor at University of Seoul to develop an electrocatalyst that can produce hydrogen peroxide eco-friendly using only oxygen and water. As a result, hydrogen peroxide can be produced with a catalyst that is more than 2000 times cheaper than the existing noble metal catalyst, so it is evaluated as a ‘killing three birds with one stone’ technology that solves all of the cost, efficiency and environmental issues. ▲ Leader Hyun Teak-hwan (left) and Vice Leader Sung Yeong-eun (right) attended to present the major achievements. Hydrogen peroxide is widely used in household goods such as toothpaste and dish detergent, as well as in medical sites that require sterilization and in semiconductor processes that wastewater treatment and removal of impurities. Industrial hydrogen peroxide is mainly produced by the anthraquinone process. However, the anthraquinone process* uses expensive palladium catalysts, which not only consumes a lot of energy, but also has the limitation that organic substances are generated as by-products and cause environmental pollution. Therefore, as the demand for hydrogen peroxide increases with the development of ultra-precision semiconductors and mechanical parts, there is a need for a sustainable process that can produce hydrogen peroxide with cheap and high efficiency. * Anthraquinone process: A process of producing hydrogen peroxide by sequentially reducing and oxidizing anthraquinone dissolved in an organic solvent in the presence of a catalyst. Expensive palladium catalysts are required in large quantities, and excessive energy is consumed in each step, resulting in low energy efficiency. In addition, since organic solvents are generated as by-products, there is a limit that causes environmental pollution. ▲ Control of catalytic activity through structure control around cobalt atoms (Image provided by IBS) The research team devised an inexpensive catalyst that could electrically produce hydrogen peroxide using water (H2O) and oxygen (O2) without the need for complex steps. The catalyst, developed by the researchers, is in the form of putting a cobalt (Co) atom on two-dimensional graphene. Unlike conventional catalysts, they are inexpensive as they use cheaper cobalt atoms instead of precious metals such as platinum and palladium. When the developed cobalt atom/graphene catalyst is added to an aqueous solution of saturated oxygen and subjected to electricity, hydrogen peroxide can be produced without adding any other compound. This catalyst has produced up to eight times higher productivity than the expensive noble metal catalysts known to be the most efficient. With 1kg of catalyst, it is capable of producing 341.2 kg of hydrogen peroxide per day. In addition, it was confirmed that even after the experiment for continuously producing hydrogen peroxide for more than 110 hours, it maintains more than 98% of the initial performance. “The idea is based on the finding that an inexpensive atom such as iron, cobalt, or nickel effectively mediates electrochemical reactions when stabilized on graphene. It was confirmed that the activity of the catalyst could be controlled at the atomic level and even justified by calculation chemistry. Consequently, by changing the structure around the cobalt atoms, the team was able to develop a catalyst with world-class hydrogen peroxide production ability.” Said Sung Yeong-eun vice leader. ▲ Performance Comparison of Catalysts Developed by Researchers and Conventional Catalysts (Image provided by IBS) The catalyst developed by the researchers is a heterogeneous catalyst**, which is cheaper than a homogeneous catalyst and is eco-friendly because it does not generate waste catalyst and it can be recycled after the reaction. This work means a lot academically in the way of the world's first discovery of a principle for increasing the activity of heterogeneous catalysts at the atomic level. The researchers expect the catalyst to be used in a wide variety of chemical processes as it can synthesize products stably and environmentally at both room temperature and atmospheric pressure. **Heterogeneous catalyst: When a catalyst has the same form with the reactants and products, it is called a homogeneous catalyst. In this time, the reaction proceeds in the form of all catalyst, reactants and products dissolved in solvent. On the other hand, heterogeneous catalysts have the advantage that they can be recovered and recycled after the reaction as the reactants and products differ from each other in the gaseous or liquid state. “Hydrogen peroxide, the world's top 100 industrial chemicals, can now be produced environmentally and economically. It is expected to improve productivity by applying hydrogen peroxide production as well as many chemical reactions using catalysts.” Said Hyun Teak-hwan leader. Meanwhile, the results of the research were published in Nature Materials (IF 39.124), the world's leading journal in materials, on the January 14 in Korean time.

EBS Well-Made Documentary ‘Singers – Laugh and Cry with the Times’ Press Conference

On December 22, EBS (CEO Kim Myung-Joong) announced a specially designed documentary ‘Singers – Laugh and Cry with the Times’ (10 episodes) during the press conference held at Sookmyung Women's University. ‘Singers – Laugh and Cry with the Times’ (hereinafter ‘Singers’) is a music & interview documentary that intensively sheds new light on the great singers who soothed the anxiety and sorrows of the people and sometimes encouraged their hope and courage throughout the turbulent modern history. In particular, ‘Singers’ is a biography with a bold line that finds the value of musical DNA and rediscovers the singers who have comforted people in the ages before the BTS craze that swept the world today. ▲ ‘Singers’ Season 1, which recorded Korean modern and contemporary history with singers' voice and songs, was revealed on 22. ‘Singers’ is composed of only singers’ songs and real interviews without narration. EBS produced a teleprompter for video for the first time in Korea and performed a special shooting where the performer looks directly at the camera. And it made viewers feel like they are vividly meeting stars through TV. In addition, high-quality audio, such as a hyper-cardioid condenser mic, was used to show the music as if we are at the live concert of the singers. ‘Singers’ first episode, aired at 9:35 pm on Sunday, December 22, was opened by a folk singer Song Chang-Sik. After a long absence, Song Chang-Sik, who slugged the 70s as a symbol of youth culture, such as <Whale Hunting> and <Why Do You Call Me?>, talked about a story which has never been done in front of the camera. ▲ Singer Hye-Eun-Yi ▲ Singer Lee Eun-Ha ▲ Singer Jeon Young-Rok ▲ Han Sang-Ho, CP at EBS and General Director of ‘Singers’ ■ “I wanted to play my music with our words and language, just like writing an old poem pleasantly.” We can meet Song Chang-Sik, who pursued Korean colors in a series of hit songs, including <Ga Na Da Ra>, <A Day of Sparrow>, <Azure Days>, <We are>. The second episode, which will be broadcasted on December 29, will be handed by Yang Hee-Eun, who presented a deep resonant sound to the times. Yang Hee-Eun found an echo in all ages’ hearts through the folk songs like <Morning Dew> and <Evergreen Tree> as well as popular songs with unique emotions such as <About the Loneliness Called Love> and <Han Gye Ryeong>. This time, she will present another impression with serious interview. Besides the broadcaster Yang Hee-Eun who is loved by various entertainment programs and radio, the true character of the singer Yang Hee-Eun and the reason why she is a godmother of folk song will be revealed through the ‘Singers’. Korea’s first singer for video, Hye Eun-Yi, had taken the love of the whole nation by causing ‘Hye Eun-Yi Syndrome’ with a series of hit songs such as <You Wouldn’t Know>, <I Really Really Like You>, and <Third Han River Bridge>. Her popularity as a fashion icon, such as a short cut hair craze called ‘wind hair’, was greater than any other female singers. Still singing with a little girl’s heart, Hye Eun-Yi can be confirmed through the third episode of ‘Singers’. ▲ EBS first developed and introduced a teleprompter designed to keep viewers and interviewers at the same eye level. ■ “The movie is my father, and the song is my mother. My musical and sensory talent came from 98% of my family's genes. I do not want to deny my roots.” Jeon Young-Rok, who is known as an all-round entertainer and the originator of a huge fan base of teenage girls called ‘Oppa Budae’, is the one who always meets fans at the front line. Recently, he has challenged fishing life through the evening program of public TV and is expecting his second heyday. He said that ‘Singers’, which looks back on the song life, is a welcome program like rain for a drought. Meanwhile, Jeon Young-Rok's music diary, such as holding a concert at Cheongju CJB Media Center on December 29, 2019, is still in progress. ■ “I like to challenge myself. My heart is as excited as waiting for a loved one. ” The confession of disco queen and singer Lee Eun-Ha, who has challenged various genres such as ballad, disco, rock and jazz, is beautiful. Overcoming the illness and restoring the current health, she boasts colorful colors like a chameleon. In addition, you will be able to meet 10 great singers, including Lee Eun-Ha, Han Dae-Soo, Kim Soo-Chul, Song Dae-Gwan, and Lee Jang-Hee until February next year. ▲ PD Jeon Young-Geon also attended the joint interview and told the story behind the production. ▲ EBS exhibited photographs of moments during filming and paid tribute to the singers who shed light on an era.

Xilinx-SK Telecom Held Press Conference to Present FPGA-Based AI Accelerator Implementation Cases

Xilinx and SK Telecom held a press conference at the Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas Hotel in Gangnam-gu, Seoul on November 1st, and SK Telecom announced the adoption of Xilinx Alveo data center accelerator card to strengthen its real-time AI-based physical intrusion detection service. SK Telecom's AI inference accelerator (AIX) implemented on Xilinx Alveo cards provides efficient and accurate physical intrusion detection using deep neural networks. ADT CAPS CO., LTD. licenses and commercially deploys the physical intrusion detection service. SK Telecom's AI-based physical intrusion detection service, T view™, monitors hundreds of thousands of customers' commercial and home camera systems in real-time and dispatches security guards under physical intrusion circumstances. Processing a large volume of data from thousands of cameras using deep neural networks necessitates a powerful AI accelerator that can provide enough throughput and accuracy. T view uses SK Telecom's AI inference accelerator (AIX), implemented on Xilinx Alveo U250 cards. Running on servers in SK Telecom's data center, Alveo U250 cards have demonstrated high throughput and accuracy in theft detection services. Built on the Xilinx 16nm UltraScale+ architecture, Alveo accelerators are adaptable to changing algorithms and acceleration requirements, enabling domain specific architectures that optimize performance for a range of workloads without changing hardware, and while reducing overall cost of ownership. Xilinx Alveo accelerator cards are designed to meet the performance and flexibility needs of data center AI workloads, providing 10X higher performance for AI-based speech translation and over 3X higher throughout for video analytics pipelines compared to GPUs. ▲ Sam Rogan, Vice President of APAC Regional Sales at Xilinx ▲ Jin-hyo Park, Head of ICT Technology Center at SK Telecom Sam Rogan, vice president of APAC regional sales at Xilinx, introduced that the key to meeting the growing demand for computing is ‘performance’, and there are many ways to define it. And the definition of this performance and the way to improve it are changing. Starting with competing simple processor speeds, parallel processing, a combination of multicores and heterogeneous cores have been made as well as a lot of performance gains in the process. However, we are now faced with the limitations of performance improvements again. And Xilinx has proposed a ‘domain-specific architecture’ in the form of next-generation system configurations. This ‘domain-specific architecture’ is drawing more attention in the hot topics such as artificial intelligence and machine learning applications. Since 2012, about 20 to 30 models of neural networks have invented, and compared to the earlier models, the current models are able to use parallel processing or non-sequential processing, which greatly increases processing performance. In addition, the neural network model for these AIs requires the optimal architecture to boost the performance, and also requires customized precision, datapaths, and memory hierarchies to get the highest performance from the architecture. At this time, the hardware that can be used to implement these features is GPU, ASIC, FPGA. Of these, the GPU is flexible but has a problem of high-power consumption and latency. In addition, ASIC/ASSP, which locks logic on hardware to overcome the drawbacks of the GPU, takes long time from design to production, and sometimes the neural network model is already devalued at the start to production. FPGAs, however, overcome the challenges of GPUs and ASICs, and provide an environment to quickly keep up with the ever-changing neural network model. Xilinx highlighted that it develops tools and libraries that users can easily access, and provides a way of using high-level languages that can be used for the existing model development on FPGAs. Jin-hyo Park, Head of ICT Technology Center at SK Telecom, explained that the existing telecommunications company thought that it would be necessary to use 'artificial intelligence' in areas that can differentiate itself from the existing operators in expanding the scope as a ‘service’ other than telecommunications. And he commented that SK Telecom has an artificial intelligence service called ‘NUGU’, which requires the development of algorithms and software for artificial intelligence, and an appropriate infrastructure to use the developed software and algorithms well. Hence, SK Telecom has focused on accelerators using FPGAs in researching infrastructure for artificial intelligence services, which is the third application for SK Telecom. In addition, he stated that AI and accelerators will be used for MEC in the future, and cooperation with Xilinx is important to create new converged services. ▲ Kang-Won Lee, Head of Cloud Labs at SK Telecom ▲ AIX, an accelerator for high-performance AI inference environments Kang-Won Lee, Head of Cloud Labs at SK Telecom, introduced that SK Telecom's “AIX” was the project name for the inference accelerator for AI services. He explained that SK Telecom is currently the largest mobile network operator in Korea, and is conducting business in various areas such as media, e-commerce, security, and semiconductors. Also, in all those areas, AI is used for various purposes, and AI is not a technology for a specific area, but a technology that can provide value to customers and society in every area. Moreover, in the application of AI, there are AI technologies that become 'cores' such as image analysis, data analysis, and natural language processing. SK Telecom believes that these technologies will be the core competency of the business, and has been developing accelerators. In general, the lifecycle of an AI service consists of 'training' and 'inference', of which 'training' takes place in a specific part of the data center during the development phase. It is not latency sensitive and is primarily deployed in GPU farm environments. And ‘inference’ is what the developed AI services actually provide, and when more parts become AI in the future, it is expected that there will be greater market opportunities related to inference. Furthermore, he stated that the service infrastructure for the AI inference environment is targeted at large users, and since cost and power consumption are important as well as performance, an accelerator that can satisfy both high performance and high efficiency will be effective. SK Telecom's AIX designs the Neural Processing Unit (NPU) for AI inference and mounts it on Xilinx FPGAs to use for the actual services. At this time, the AIX unit implemented in the FPGA can provide high performance with high performance memory such as HBM, and the FPGA is a configuration that is used in a commercial server in the form of a PCIe card. In addition, software stacks such as compilers, libraries, and runtime environment for AIX are prepared. In terms of software, it supports the framework environment that is widely used, and there are modules for performance optimization under it. It also provides a runtime environment that enhances users’ convenience. ▲ An example of speeding up the intrusion detection process with AIX, based on Alveo U250, was introduced. SK Telecom stressed that its AI services were not created at the laboratory level, and have been repeatedly used and improved in actual services. In addition, AIX has been used for voice recognition of 'NUGU' speakers to achieve higher performance and cost-effectiveness than existing GPU-based systems. SK Telecom also introduced that it provided a real-time speech-to-text (STT) service through AIX accelerator to the call center’s STT service, Vanessa Speech Note. Moreover, in the case of 'T view', AIX has expanded its use of video analysis. While there have been many false positives and inefficiencies until now, AI-based intrusion detection technology will provide more accurate detection and higher cost efficiency. The two hardwares used in the case of ‘T view’ are Alveo U250 and a custom card with two Virtex-based FPGAs. AIX utilizing FPGAs can expect to be more than twice as cost-efficient as GPUs, and can handle a lot of processing while reducing latency. Even removing some of the latency constraints, AIX provides more performance than GPU. In addition, by utilizing AIX for intrusion detection, the inefficiency of on-site dispatch caused by false positives was greatly reduced, and the environment where AI could send out dispatch requests was implemented with accurate and quick intrusion detection. Meanwhile, with the rise of 5G networks, the ‘edge cloud’ can place infrastructure and services closer to users and expect lower latency. By utilizing the edge cloud in 5G networks, the network and the edge cloud can handle the tasks that the devices had to handle because of latency until now. Consequently, it is expected to reduce the dependence on device performance and spread the use of “smart” devices. In particular, AI will also be handled at the network level, offering a wider variety of AI services to more users and adding new value to customers. ▲ Adam Scraba, Director of Product Marketing, Data Center and AI at Xilinx Adam Scraba, director of product marketing, data center and AI at Xilinx, introduced about 'Adaptive Platform' and Vitis Unified Software Platform. He stated that in the future, the demand for "real-time" AI services is expected to increase in voice-activated AI assistants, home security, and commercial environments, but achieving this goal is not so easy. And to achieve this, a processor-centric computing architecture would have to be transformed into a workload-specific form, and computing would have to evolve in the way of more closely integrating with storage and networks. To meet the high throughput, low latency, power efficiency, and fast adoption of modern algorithms that future services will demand, next-generation computing environments are also required to be transformed into ‘adaptive platforms’ that can be defined in both software and hardware. In addition, Xilinx stressed that the Alveo data center accelerator card enables companies such as SK Telecom to respond appropriately to problems, combines the latest architecture, performance, and connectivity, and can be used in various areas such as cloud services. Above all, Xilinx highlighted that it provides the 'adaptive' features in both hardware and software terms. Xilinx introduced that the company is providing solution stacks for its Alveo accelerator cards and platforms, and in terms of Alveo’s market entry, it can be used both on premises and in the cloud. Accordingly, various methods such as channel partners, cloud providers, and solution providers may be possible to provide. Moreover, in AI inference performance, Alveo can be used as an effective means of achieving performance goals in the presence of various algorithms and workflows. Even on HPC, Alveo can offer several to tens of performance improvements over traditional CPUs or GPUs, such as in financial risk modeling. In leveraging 'adaptive hardware' in these new workloads, Xilinx Vitis unified software platform enables developers to abstract better, develop applications based on industry-standard frameworks, and utilize Xilinx hardware in an optimal form, providing an environment that can speed up development. Furthermore, Vitis AI integrates the 'Domain Specific Architecture' development environment so that the customer’s AI models can be optimally used on Xilinx hardware through industry-standard frameworks and pre-trained AI models.