Archive for August, 2007

Engineers construct 220 million pixel computer display
August 25, 2007

Engineers at the University of California, San Diego have constructed the highest-resolution computer display in the world – with a screen resolution up to 220 million pixels.

The system located at the UCSD division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) is also linked via optical fiber to Calit2’s building at UC Irvine, which boasts the previous record holder. The combination – known as the Highly Interactive Parallelized Display Space (HIPerSpace) – can deliver real-time rendered graphics simultaneously across 420 million pixels to audiences in Irvine and San Diego.

“We don’t intend to stop there,” said Falko Kuester, Calit2 professor for visualization and virtual reality and associate professor of structural engineering in UCSD’s Jacobs School of Engineering. “HIPerSpace provides a unique environment for visual analytics and cyberinfrastructure research and we are now seeking funding to double the size of the system at UC San Diego alone to reach half a billion pixels with a one gigapixel distributed display in sight.”

Kuester is the chief architect of the systems deployed in both Calit2 buildings. Until last week, UC Irvine’s Highly Interactive Parallelized Display Wall (HIPerWall) – built in 2005 with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) – held the record of 200 million pixels for a tiled display system. It is located in the Calit2 Center of Graphics, Visualization and Imaging Technology (GRAVITY), which Kuester directs. When Kuester’s group moved to UCSD in 2006 they began work on the next generation of massively tiled display walls, which now serve as a prototype for ultra-high resolution OptIPortal tiled displays developed by the NSF-funded OptIPuter project (led by Calit2 director Larry Smarr).

The new HIPerSpace system between Irvine and San Diego is joined together via high-performance, dedicated optical networking that clocks in at up to two gigabits per second (2Gbps). The systems use the same type of graphics rendering technology, from industry partner NVIDIA. The “graphics super cluster” being developed at……. Read the full Article from the source: physorg.com

Engineers construct 220 million pixel computer display
August 25, 2007

Engineers at the University of California, San Diego have constructed the highest-resolution computer display in the world – with a screen resolution up to 220 million pixels.

The system located at the UCSD division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) is also linked via optical fiber to Calit2’s building at UC Irvine, which boasts the previous record holder. The combination – known as the Highly Interactive Parallelized Display Space (HIPerSpace) – can deliver real-time rendered graphics simultaneously across 420 million pixels to audiences in Irvine and San Diego.

“We don’t intend to stop there,” said Falko Kuester, Calit2 professor for visualization and virtual reality and associate professor of structural engineering in UCSD’s Jacobs School of Engineering. “HIPerSpace provides a unique environment for visual analytics and cyberinfrastructure research and we are now seeking funding to double the size of the system at UC San Diego alone to reach half a billion pixels with a one gigapixel distributed display in sight.”

Kuester is the chief architect of the systems deployed in both Calit2 buildings. Until last week, UC Irvine’s Highly Interactive Parallelized Display Wall (HIPerWall) – built in 2005 with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) – held the record of 200 million pixels for a tiled display system. It is located in the Calit2 Center of Graphics, Visualization and Imaging Technology (GRAVITY), which Kuester directs. When Kuester’s group moved to UCSD in 2006 they began work on the next generation of massively tiled display walls, which now serve as a prototype for ultra-high resolution OptIPortal tiled displays developed by the NSF-funded OptIPuter project (led by Calit2 director Larry Smarr).

The new HIPerSpace system between Irvine and San Diego is joined together via high-performance, dedicated optical networking that clocks in at up to two gigabits per second (2Gbps). The systems use the same type of graphics rendering technology, from industry partner NVIDIA. The “graphics super cluster” being developed at……. Read the full Article from the source: physorg.com

Via announces one-watt processor
August 25, 2007

Via Technologies has unveiled its 500MHz Eden CPU which it claims is the most power-efficient x86 processor yet produced.

The new chip draws a single watt of power when in use, and just 0.1 watt when idle, and joins Via’s ultra-low voltage processor family designed primarily for ultra-mobile applications.

Because of its very low power draw the CPU does not require a fan, reducing the power requirements even further and opening up design options for developers.

Richard Brown, vice president of corporate marketing at Via, claimed that Eden’s design “defines our ‘small is beautiful’ strategy” and “provides a way for embedded developers to push the market forward”.

The new processor is powerful enough to run portable media devices and UMPCs, while still enabling system platforms to maintain a maximum power drain of less than 10 watts, greatly improving battery life.

Eden will be showcased at the Embedded System Conference in Taipei on 23-24 August 2007 along with several customer boards.

Written by: an Williams, vnunet.com

Fujitsu’s ‘Nanohole’ Tech Could Triple Hard Drive Capacity
August 11, 2007

Last November, we reported on Fujitsu’s efforts to overcome a curious problem with the physics of hard disk drives: storing magnetic data at densities that are smaller than the grains of the underlying ferromagnetic medium should physically allow. The company’s solution involved a combination of lasers to locate precise locations on the drive, and also to pre-heat data spots to make them more conducive to holding data at precise locations.

But all that assumes that the precise locations in question…already exist. Yesterday, we learned from Fujitsu how they intend to accomplish that, and we also got a peek at some areal density goals.

The problem facing HDD engineers has been that perpendicular recording – the process that has already led us to the one-terabyte era for desktop storage – can only go so far. Even higher-capacity drives will be needed soon, not for storing spreadsheets but for serving media…unless CE manufacturers expect every digital home in the 2010s decade to drive their own SANs.Fujitsu’s next big idea literally came from those aluminum “hologram” stickers you frequently see on the front of cereal boxes, and the certification tape of sealed software cases. Making those pretty colors onto aluminum uses a process called anodization, which is a kind of electrolytic “washing” that leaves pits beneath its surface. The non-pitted regions become oxidized to form what’s called alumina.

This pitting can change the color of aluminum, but it also increases its corrosion resistance. The size of those pits has already been known to be “nanoscale.” What if the location of those pits could be predetermined, so a manufacturing process could place pits in an exact arrangement? Then those pits could be exploited for use as bits, in the data sense. Read the full post from the Beta news

Macs are more secure: official
August 4, 2007

Apple’s recent campaign claiming its machines were more secure and less likely to crash or pick up a virus than Windows PCs has been cleared by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

No word on whether the smugness of comedians Mitchell and Webb is likely to break acceptable bounds though.

A national press campaign included a picture of Webb holding a sign reading in part: “I run Mac OS X so you don’t have to worry about the viruses and spyware that PCs do”.

The ASA received 14 complaints, nine of which considered the virus claims misleading and irresponsible because viruses attack operating systems rather than machines and some PCs could run on operating systems, like Linux, which were just as safe as Mac OSX. Apple said the advert was meant to refer to PCs running Microsoft Windows and provided evidence that 97 per cent of home PCs – targeted by the ad – run Microsoft Windows. Apple identified 114,000 viruses that target PCs and that it did not claim Macs were entirely immune to viruses.

A second advert shown in cinemas and online showed Mitchell sneezing and warning his Mac mate Webb that he had a virus. The third advert subject to complaint was a cinema advert which showed the PC character played by Mitchell repeatedly freezing to illustrate a crashed PC.

The ASA ruled in Apple’s favour in each of the three complaints.

Apple, you’ll be relieved to hear, will not be running the adverts again.

The ASA ruling is available here.

Written by: John Oates

AMD’s War with Intel Becomes a Street Brawl
August 4, 2007

The war between Intel and AMD this week became almost entirely rhetorical, following the European Commission’s action last week, charging Intel with abuse of its dominant power status on that continent. While US antitrust law holds companies to a higher standard of conduct once they have attained monopoly power through non-illegal means, EU law sets the bar somewhat lower, where the test is dominant power.

But just what is dominant power, legally speaking? A Wall Street Journal editorial last Tuesday raised the question. It’s easy to call Intel’s 80% market share there “dominant;” but the article asked, why should a company expect to compete its little heart out using any means necessary, until it reaches 80% or some such point, after which time it can no longer be allowed to compete the same way?
“This leaves companies in the absurd position of being free to compete as hard as possible until they reach a certain market share – at which point their hitherto legal behavior becomes unlawful.”

That got AMD’s blood boiling. In a response statement, AMD’s Executive Vice President for Legal Affairs Thomas McCoy said, “Here’s where the history of American antitrust law comes in. In the 2004 Trinko decision, Justice Scalia made a careful distinction: Mere monopoly status is not illegal. But the use of anticompetitive conduct to gain or to maintain a monopoly is illegal, because such practices block the dynamic potential of competition.

This is the distinction employed by the European authorities in their statement of objections against Intel. They did not base their case merely on the size and success of Intel. Rather, the authorities concluded that Intel waged a sustained campaign to leverage its monopoly status to coerce computer makers into boycotting AMD.

“Thus, as the European Commission explained, Intel’s conduct is ‘bad for competition and consumers,”‘ McCoy continued. “And that’s exactly the kind of conclusion that justified the century of landmark U.S. antitrust decisions spanning the decades from Standard Oil, through Alcoa and AT&T, to Microsoft.”

It’s important to note here that the European Commission has not actually reached a conclusion – not in the legal sense – about Intel’s conduct. It can only reach a conclusion after it has given Intel a chance to make its case heard at an oral hearing, which Intel has indicated it wishes to do.

Equally important is the fact that the EC, time and again with various antitrust and competitiveness cases, has chosen to distinguish itself from US antitrust law by saying it does not borrow EU statutes from US code. Much of the EC’s incentive for pursuing Microsoft over the past few years is believed to have been sparked by that company’s settlement with the US Justice Dept., after a district court judgment that would have seen the company broken in two, fell apart.

But AMD’s rhetoric didn’t end there this week. Yesterday, the company released what it claimed to be an economic study concluding that Intel “extracted monopoly profits” from the sale of microprocessors worldwide, during the ten-year period between 1996 and 2006, estimated at $60 billion.

AMD released a summary of a report from Dr. Michael Williams of ERS Group, which includes the…. Read it all from the source : Beta news