Asus is about to make a big change to their Eee PC line of products. The netbook pioneer has announced that all their future Eee PCs will come equipped with Nvidia ION instead of the slower Intel solution most netbooks and nettops use now. Nvidia claims that ION is ten times faster than Intel’s integrated solution.
ION is famous for being capable of outputting 1080p video without using much power. The ION platform is also able to run Aero cleanly on Windows 7. “These PCs will run circles around most Atom-based systems, so they are an excellent solution,” said Industry analyst Jon Peddie. With the upcoming Flash 10.1 supporting video acceleration, you can expect smooth flash video at long last.
Moore’s Law states that approximately every two years, the number of transistors that can be placed on an integrated circuit doubles. This has held true for the last 50 years. But there will come a point one day when physics puts a stop to that. Eventually the boundaries of atomic scale will limit transistor density. However, a new breakthrough in the field of quantum computing may provide hope for future advances. Until now, a quantum computing device had to be designed for one, and only one, operation. But scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have constructed the first programmable quantum processor.
Quantum processing units are fundamentally different in a number of ways. First, where a regular bit can be only 1 or 0, a quantum bit (or qubit) only assumes a value of 1 or 0 when it is observed. Additionally, Quantum computers aren’t bound by Boolean operators like ‘and, ‘or’ and ‘not’. Finally, two qubits can be “entangled”, meaning they will always have the same value when observed, even if separated.
The NIST computer consists of two quantum gates, one single qubit gate and an entangled two qubit gate. The gates utilized two beryllium ions stimulated with UV lasers to represent operations. The test programs run came back with 79% correct results. Certainly not perfect, but a huge step forward. You won’t be dropping one of these into a socket on your motherboard anytime soon, but maybe someday.
Intel has announced a new version of its Nehalem-EX series CPUs for use in supercomputers. The chips are part of the Xeon family and are optimized for use in supercomputers. The new six-core chips will run at higher clock speed than the current eight-core versions. A single computer will be capable of running 256 of the new CPUs. The new Nehalem-EX chips should be available next year.
Intel also made it known that they were partnering with NEC to develop new supercomputing technologies. In a joint statement, the two tech giants said they would, “push the boundaries of supercomputing performance.” Initially, the two companies will focus on boosting memory speed and scalability.
NEC plans to use advances gleaned from their work with Intel in future supercomputers that utilize Advanced Vector Extensions (AVX), an extension of the x86 architecture. A vector processor design is capable of processing multiple operations simultaneously. Current Xeon chips have strong scalar processing, meaning they run operations one at a time. AVX will also be used in Intel’s Sandy Bridge microarchitecture expected in 2011.
In this episode, the gang discusses the implications of Intel's $1.25 billion anti-trust settlement with AMD, the release of the Motorola Droid, and the Modern Warfare 2's record-breaking launch. We also answer a few doctor questions, and Gordon fumes about replacable laptop batteries, headshots, and games that play themselves in his most hilarious rant of the week yet.
Do you have a tech question? A comment? A tale of technological triumph? Just need to get something off your chest? A secret to share? Email us at email@example.com or call our 24-hour No BS Podcast hotline at 877.404.1337 x1337--operators are standing by.
IBM's Roadrunner system at the U.S. Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico is no longer the planet's most powerful supercomputer. That distinction now belongs to a Cray supercomputer named "Jaguar" at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which regained the performance crown over the weekend, ComputerWorld reports.
Jaguar, which benefited from a few recent upgrades, is now capable of 1,759 petaflops per second courtesy of 224,162 processor cores. That's enough to jump ahead of IBM's Roadrunner, which dropped to 1,042 petaflops per second after it was repartitioned.
Number three on the list of supercomputers is Kraken at the National Institute for Computational Sciences at the University of Tennessee. Kraken is capable of churning out 832 teraflops per second and was ranked No. 6 in June.
One of the more interesting supercomputers belongs to China. The hybrid Intel-AMD Tianhe-1 in the city of Tianjin pushes out 563 teraflops per second, putting it in fifth place. China's supercomputer combines Intel's Xeon processors with AMD-brand GPUs as accelerators. Each node contains two Xeon chips attached to two AMD GPUs.
With the $1.25 billion settlement between Intel and AMD the talk ot the tech industry, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang used the situation as an opportunity to take more potshots at Intel and call out its business practices in the mobile sector.
"Intel's tactics with Ion have been the most aggressive we've seen from a competitor. They have offered the Atom [a total of three chips] for $25, but when the one-chip Atom is used with Ion, it sells for $45," Huang said in a statement to CNet. "A customer can't even choose to resell the chipset and use Ion instead. What's the point of Nvidia getting an Intel bus license if it's impossible to overcome Intel's pricing bundles?"
Huang went on to say that "further action needs to be taken to protect consumers," but Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy says Nvidia's CEO is only telling part of the story.
"He's playing a trick of numbers," said Mulloy. "He's giving you a $45 list price -- that nobody pays -- for a part and then a negotiated price (which is more realistic). He's mixing apples and oranges. We have scrubbed and continue to scrub our pricing practices as it relates to chipsets and processors. It's all above cost. And that meets the legal standard worldwide."
Intel and Nvidia have publicly criticized the other on numerous occasions, most often relating to chipset licensing issues. Huang at one point went so far as to declare the CPU a decaying business, while Intel released a document bashing Nvidia's Ion platform.
Citing anonymous sources from notebook heavyweights, news and rumor site DigiTimes says we can expect Intel to launch four 32nm dual-core Arrandale CPUs (Calpella platform) by the second week of January 2010. These will include the Core i5 520M and 430M, and Core i3 350M and 330M.
Details weren't available on all four chips, but it looks like the Core i5 430M will come clocked at 2.26GHz and include Intel's Turbot Boost Technology, which could bump the clockspeed up to 2.53GHz for a single core. The Core i3 350M will also boast a 2.26GHz clockspeed, but no Turbo Boost.
The Core i5 will feature a graphics clock running at 500MHz and up to 766MHz with Turbo Boost, whereas the Core i3 will also run at 500MHz, but top out at 667MHz. All four chips will support DDR3 memory, come equipped with 3MB of L3 cache, and come rated with a TDP of 35W.
There are a lot of winners in the $1.25 billion settlement between Intel and AMD. The most obvious one is AMD, who can use the money to pay off debt and put this longstanding legal dispute behind them. As part of the settlement, AMD also benefits from a new five-year cross licensing agreement.
In some respects, Intel can also be considered a winner, in that the chip maker could have ended up paying much more than $1.25 billion had this lawsuit gone the distance. And like AMD, Intel can put this episode behind them. And with both Intel and AMD no longer distracted by a costly court case, the two chip makers can put their full attention towards R&D.
"It's really good for the industry in general," said Roger Kay, an analyst with Endpoint Technologies Associates. "Both companies had devoted a lot of top management to the fight. It's pretty distracting. You really want top executives concentrating on the business at hand."
OEMs like HP and Dell also come out ahead by being able to choose whichever processors and platforms they want, rather than which ones they're being told to use. And that's good for consumers, too.
It's not often that a bitter legal dispute ends up having so many winners, but that's certainly the case here.
Talk about vindication. AMD waited a long time for this day and took a lot of heat from the Intel faithful, but the chip maker finally got it was looking for: a huge settlement.
Finally putting to rest the longstanding antitrust dispute, Intel and AMD announced today a settlement agreement in which Intel will pay AMD $1.25 billion, as well as agree to "abide by a set of business practice provisions." In return, AMD will drop all pending litigation and withdraw all of its regulatory complaints worldwide.
"While the relationship between the two companies has been difficult in the past, this agreement ends the legal disputes and enables the companies to focus all of our efforts on product innovation and development," the chip makers said in a joint statement.
The dispute dates back to 2004 when AMD filed a case accusing Intel of unfair business practices that entailed snuffing the smaller chip maker out. Intel allegedly offered sizable rebates to key vendors in exchange for either dealing exclusively with Intel, or delaying the launch of AMD products.
While AMD has agreed to take its money and run, Intel might not be out of hot water completely. The settlement doesn't prevent governments from initiating antitrust cases against Intel.
Intel this week became the latest company to enter the e-book market, only Intel's is specifically intended for the visually impaired. The launch is being spearheaded by Ben Foss, a 36-year old who grew up with such a severe case of dyslexia that his mother used to read him books during his school years.
Not unlike other e-book readers, the Intel Reader is capable of reading digital files aloud. But it doesn't stop there. The Intel Reader can also capture images from any printed material and convert it to speech at a variety of listening speeds. It also boasts a high res camera used to convert printed text to digital text, and it can even capture words from Websites.
"We want people to experience the independence of being able to read on their own in a public place or anywhere they want to," said Foss. "A metaphor for this are the ramps that make buildings wheelchair accessible. This reader is like a ramp."
The reader's also worth its weight in gold, and then some. It's available now, but for $1,500.