more than just a mask / Smart Stuff

more than just a mask / Smart Stuff


The COVID-19 epidemic has shaped new ideas about life, ways of working and learning, and also forced to rethink the attitude towards their own health and safety. And although the latter in our country, for one reason or another, is not so noticeable, in Europe, the USA, China and most other countries of the developed and developing world, most of the population seems to be concerned about health. In such a situation, it is not only the developers of all kinds of applications and services for remote work, manufacturers of webcams and other equipment necessary for online broadcasts, that benefit. After all, there are also those who are directly involved in medical devices, or at least those household devices that can literally give you a breath of fresh air. Yes, we are talking about purifiers, humidifiers and air ionizers, the demand for which has grown since the beginning of the pandemic all over the world, including Russia.

But such a device cannot be taken with you to the store or to work. It is sad to admit it, but it turned out that mankind for protection from viruses for decades of technological progress did not come up withnothing better than an ineffective sheet mask. Of course, there are more effective masks and respirators, but most of them are not designed for long-term wear, and, frankly, they are very uncomfortable. The disposable mask that has become habitual does not provide full adherence to the face, so air through the cracks around it still enters your nasopharynx, albeit not in such an amount as it would be without the mask. And the difficulty in breathing with the mask causes most people to wear it, freeing their nose, making this already dubious protection completely useless.

LG Electronics decided to challenge this state of affairs. South Korean engineers have not invented a new vaccine or a unique device to kill viruses around their owner, but they did what was long overdue – a portable air purifier. The LG Puricare electronic mask is designed for individual wear in the same place where it is usually recommended now to wear a simple disposable mask, that is, in public transport and in crowded places. But viruses are not the only thing that LG Puricare fights against. This universal air purifier can be recommended for allergy sufferers during the flowering period, people with various diseases of the lungs and respiratory tract (this, of course, at the discretion of the doctor), as well as absolutely everyone who does not want to breathe city smog, construction dust and other harmful impurities. which our civilization generously endows the air with.

⇡ #Contents of delivery

Packing and delivery of personal air purifier LG Puricare

The device comes in a small cardboard box, in which, in addition to the mask itself, we found a whole set of various accessories:

  • silicone pillow for a snug fit of the mask to the face;
  • two HEPA filters PuriCare;
  • set of nine disposable internal valves (liners);
  • plastic strap extension;
  • USB-A to USB-C cable for battery charging;
  • bag-case for storage and transportation of the device;
  • printed user manual for getting started in Russian and other languages.

We will find out the purpose of each component a little later, but for now we note the presence of a large fabric cover in the delivery set, into which the cleaner itself and all accessories can easily fit. It is sewn from a very dense fabric, and inside there is a pocket for storing replaceable inner liners.

Disinfecting case UVnano

Disinfecting case UVnano

Additionally, you can purchase a special case UVnano, which, according to the manufacturer, removes up to 99.99% of bacteria within 30 minutes of storing the cleaner in it. Apparently, it uses ultraviolet sterilization. The cost of the case is almost the same as that of the cleaner itself: about 17 thousand rubles.

⇡ #Specifications

Lg Puricare (AP300AWFA)

A type

Wearable Air Purifier

Filtration system

2 × H13 grade HEPA filter

Air consumption, l/min

20–55

Noise level, dB

43-54

Motor

2 × inverter

Battery

Li-Ion, 820 mAh, USB-C port

Battery life, h

up to 8

Full charge time, h

2

Features of the

3 fan speed modes

Breath sensor

Wi-Fi

Dimensions, mm

165 × 110 × 63

Weight, kg

0.126

Warranty, month

12

Average retail price *, rub.

18,000

* Average price for “Yandex.Market” at the time of this writing.

At the heart of the device are two inverter-driven fans that force air into the mask through a pair of H13 class HEPA filters. The latter indicates the degree of penetration of particles up to 0.06 microns through it – in this case, this value does not exceed 0.05% of the total number of passing particles. Such a filter should successfully fight both ordinary dust in the air and allergens, bacteria and even most viruses, the size of which is still slightly larger than 60 nm. So, the particle size of the notorious COVID-19 virus is 100-120 nm, that is, more than 0.1 microns.

The manufacturer claims that, according to the test results, the effectiveness of LG Puricare against bacteria is 93.5%, and against viruses – 97.3%. Strange, but against bacteria, whose size is larger, the filter efficiency turned out to be lower. Testing was carried out under the supervision of a special commission TUV Rheinland Korea. The same tests also confirmed the fact that LG Puricare filters retain 99.1% of allergens (for example, Humulus japonicas pollen).

The fans of the purifier are powered by a built-in lithium-polymer battery. The manufacturer’s declared battery life of the mask is from four to eight hours. This is enough not to worry about charging all day. True, the new item’s battery, alas, is non-removable.

It is worth noting that the LG Puricare is equipped with a breathing sensor. What exactly does it do and how it works, the manufacturer does not say. Apparently, the sensor monitors the rate of breathing, and the processor, based on the data obtained, adjusts the fan speed.

External view

Appearance of LG Puricare

The cleaner is made of high quality plastic that is rough to the touch. There is not a trace of gloss and pretentious design, but at the same time the product looks very interesting. From the photographs and the description of the manufacturer, this is not felt, but when you take the mask in hand, it immediately becomes clear that this is a rather expensive product. Despite its rather large dimensions, the mask is very light. It’s hard to believe that somewhere inside the manufacturer managed to place not only fans, but also a battery with a minimum set of electronics.

Mask with fitted silicone pad

Mask with silicone pad removed

Silicone cushion

The shape of the mask is designed in such a way that, together with the silicone inner cushion, it fits exactly on any face. A soft, medical-grade silicone insert provides a snug fit, while movable loops and adjustable ear-hooks help mask hold tightly on the head.

Extension mask

For those who find this type of attachment inconvenient or too small, the manufacturer has provided a plastic extension cord. It redistributes the weight of the device, including to the back of the head, as, for example, on a ski mask. It is worth noting a very convenient system for adjusting the elastic bands. You can tighten and loosen them in one motion when the cleaner is already on your head. The only pity is that there are no replaceable rubber straps in the kit, and in fact they will probably become unusable after a couple of years of active use.

Air supply system

The fans are hidden in the purifier behind massive protruding pads on the front. Along the perimeter of the linings, you can see large gaps through which air is drawn in. The covers can be easily removed for filter replacement and fan cleaning. Under the right cover, in addition to the filter, there is also a button for controlling the power and operating modes of the cleaner with an LED indicator.

But here’s the strange thing … The manufacturer did not provide any seal between the pads and the body of the mask. But through a small slot, which is around the entire perimeter, air can enter the fan, bypassing the HEPA filter! Of course, its amount will probably not be so large, and the main stream will most likely go through the filter. But this flaw looks at least strange on such a relatively expensive device.

Mask with disposable liners

Mask with disposable liners

After passing through the HEPA filters, the air enters the air ducts and then under the silicone cushion. The latter is attached to the body of the mask with two magnets and is held firmly enough. Disposable liners are installed in the pillow, which catch the drops released during breathing.

Air ducts and breathing valve

In the central part inside the case, you can see a small hole. Apparently, this is where the breathing sensor is hiding. A breathing valve is provided at the bottom of the mask. This is a conventional check valve with a soft curtain that folds down when you exhale. The built-in battery charging port is located on the side edge of the case. Unfortunately, it is not covered by anything, so water can get there in rainy weather. It will also get into HEPA filters, which are not designed for this. In general, all this suggests that LG Puricare is not designed for walking in the rain. However, in the rain, all harmful suspensions in the air are already nailed to the ground, and it becomes easier to breathe even for allergy sufferers.

⇡ #Device in operation

The LG Puricare sits very firmly on the face. The silicone pillow itself adjusts to individual facial features, and the adjustments of the rubber ear straps allow you to wear the mask normally, even for a child. Contrary to expectations, the device does not feel huge and uncomfortable on the face. The mask is very light, does not pull, does not press and does not try to fly off even with intense walking or sharp turns of the head. One feels that the design has been carefully worked out.

The mask at work

The mask at work

But the most interesting thing is that in the crowd a man with LG Puricare on his face does not look like an outlandish beast. We wore a mask on the street, in the subway and in shops. At best, someone will hold their gaze for a second or two, but the overwhelming majority do not pay any attention at all. No sidelong glances or surprise. The only thing that gives out the electronic nature of the device worn is the LED indicator on one of the sides, which glows green when the air intake system is operating. But most people don’t notice it either.

Unlike any other mask or respirator, LG Puricare provides not only air filtration, but also its flow. The user can turn on one of three operating modes that differ in rotation speed fans… The first mode is the slowest. It will be enough if you are sitting quietly in an armchair or lying on the couch. But most likely, even in this case, you will want to activate the second mode of operation. The third mode is for walking, including fast walking. But for sports, including running, the fan power, even in the third mode, seemed to us insufficient.

Going in for active sports at LG Puricare is not very convenient for another reason – for this, the mask is not securely attached to the face. But if LG Puricare is not suitable for intense workouts, then for yoga, morning warm-up or leisurely cycling (in the latter case, it will also protect against city traffic smog) – quite. If you ask why the mask is in this case, then most likely you are not allergic, so consider yourself lucky.

With the active operation of the fans, air from the air ducts begins to seep somewhere at the joints between the mask body and the silicone cushion. As a result, he begins to blow not only in the nose, but also in the eyes. The latter circumstance is not so much unpleasant as it is dangerous. Allergens, dust and bacteria with viruses in the surrounding atmosphere will be sucked in by the flow of air coming out of the mask and fly straight into the eyes of the mask wearer, irritating the mucous membrane. To mitigate this negative effect, it is best to select a quieter fan setting that matches your current activity.

The capacity of the built-in battery the most productive mode is enough to work for four hours – quite enough for periodic wearing of a mask from home to work or walking to shops. In extreme cases, the mask can be used by connecting an external battery to it. But what you can’t do is use the LG Puricare without the fans turned on. You will not be able to suffocate in the mask, since it is still not airtight. But breathing without turning it on is only possible with difficulty.

conclusions

LG has a long history of developing and manufacturing a wide variety of air purifiers. So the fact that the first electronic mask immediately turned out to be interesting and attractive, and not some kind of experimental model, should hardly be surprising – the developers used all the accumulated experience in this area. However, the novelty still has a couple of shortcomings. The first is that there are no seals on the pads with HEPA filters, and the second is for blowing out the eyes when the fans are operating at maximum power. I would like the manufacturer to pay attention to these shortcomings and eliminate them in the next versions of the device.

And we really hope that these versions will appear in the foreseeable future. After all, the rest of the LG Puricare is a unique modern product, a new type of device that can make life easier for allergy sufferers, the elderly and just all those who care about their health. The cost of the device is considerable, but the price of restoring health is usually much higher than the 18 thousand rubles that the manufacturer asks for a novelty.

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TSMC to stop release of Arm-processors Phytium – the fate of the Chinese exascale supercomputer Tianhe-3 in question / ServerNews

REUTERS/Tyrone Siu


Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has suspended chip shipments for new orders from China’s Phytium, which was blacklisted by the US Department of Commerce last week by the US government. Inclusion of companies on this list means that US companies are prohibited from working with them and providing products or services without obtaining the appropriate licenses.

Foreign companies like TSMC could theoretically continue to work with blacklisted companies, but the US could pressure them through their US suppliers. For example, when the United States blacklisted Huawei, TSMC was forced to abandon its partnership because many of the key technologies underlying its manufacturing processes were developed by American firms.

REUTERS / Tyrone Siu

It is unclear whether TSMC has been under similar pressure now and whether it has cut off supplies to the remaining six blacklisted Chinese supercomputer firms. According to the South China Morning Post, TSMC will fulfill orders placed by Phytium before being blacklisted, but will no longer supply it with chips.

It is believed that Phytium is behind the deployment of high-performance computing systems for the Chinese military-industrial complex, using its developments to create hypersonic missiles. The company cooperates with the People’s Liberation Army Defense Science and Technology University of China (NUDT), which previously created the Tianhe-1 and Tianhe-2 supercomputers, which at one time occupied the first lines of the TOP500 rating.

Tianhe-3 prototype. Photo: Xinhua

Tianhe-3 prototype. Photo: Xinhua

Tianhe-3, one of three Chinese exascale supercomputer projects, was due to be completed last year, but it was announced in the fall that due to the coronavirus pandemic, deadlines are being shifted. In the summer of 2020, the researchers already had a prototype of a new machine at their disposal, with a theoretical performance of 3.146 Pflops. It included 512 boards with three Phytium MT2000 + processors and 128 boards with four Phytium FT2000 + processors.

The exact parameters of these 7nm Arm chips are not given, but a recent scientific publication mentions that for every 64-core FT2000 + in the Tianhe-3 prototype, there was 64GB of RAM. And each MT2000 + can be divided into four NUMA nodes with 32 cores and 16 GB of RAM, that is, judging by the description, this is a 128-core chip, which was previously unknown. Now the fate of these CPUs and the Tianhe-3 supercomputer is questionable.