London's Kings Cross rail terminus

News in Numbers

This month’s new in numbers has a $35 computer, five fuel-cell locomotives and we hear Apple’s latest iPad has been doing rather well.


A new passenger concourse has opened at London’s Kings Cross rail terminus, with an eye-catching semicircular steel and glass roof. Over 1,000t of steel, one million specially made heritage bricks, five million ceramic tiles and five million metres of cabling were used in the construction, and more than 5,000 people worked on the £550m project.


A credit-card sized single-board computer with a headline price of $35 (£22) has proved a runaway success, with distributors Premier Farnell and RS Components reporting unprecedented demand for the Raspberry Pi in the weeks since its launch. Created for educators, programmers, developers and IT enthusiasts, it is the brainchild of the Cambridge-based Raspberry Pi Foundation, which wants to promote the development of computing skills in education around the world. Users will need a power supply, connection leads to a keyboard and monitor and an SD memory card, and may want a case, while shipping and tax (VAT) will also push up the cost.


ARM has launched what it claims is the world’s most energy-efficient microprocessor, intended to bring increased intelligence to wirelessly connected devices in the so-called ‘Internet of things’. The Cortex-M0+ consumes 9µA/MHz on a low-cost 90nm LP process - around one-third of the energy of any 8- or 16-bit processor available today. ARM hopes this combination of low power and high performance will encourage users of legacy architectures to migrate to 32-bit devices.


Anglo American Platinum is funding five fuel-cell locomotives for its Dishaba mine in Limpopo province, South Africa. US firm Vehicle Projects Inc. is prime contractor and responsible for engineering design, fabrication, and testing the fuel-cell power plant and reversible metal- hydride storage system. The power modules will be integrated into Trident locomotives, which will operate underground without emitting noxious gases.


A database of UK electric-vehicle charging points knows of over 2,000 charging points across 888 locations. Since its launch last May, Next Green Car’s Zap-Map has seen a sharp increase in ‘fast’' chargers. Initially nearly all the points used a standard 13A supply (6-8 hours for a full charge), the majority of the new points are ‘fast’ chargers using a 32A supply (3-4 hours). In addition to the 1,600 slow charging points, over 400 ‘fast’ ones have now been installed.

3 million

Apple announced that it had sold three million of the new iPad just three days after it launched the must-have device.This third-generation iPad incorporates Apple’s new A5X chip with quad-core graphics and a 5 megapixel camera with advanced optics. The Retina display has 3.1 million pixels, four times as many as its predecessor and so capable of showing movies at full 1080p HD-resolution.

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