IBM now holds the world record for the highest SPECjbb 2005 benchmark ever achieved by a two-socket, x86 server, and Big Blue wants the whole world to know about it. You'll have to excuse us if we help them out a little.
A pretty remarkable feat, IBM's System x3690 X5 server clocked 1,015,260 business operations per second on the popular benchmark, which is used to evaluate performance of servers running typical Java applications. The benchmark record also gives IBM more ammunition to market its x3690 X5, which according to Big Blue is the only scalable two-socket server designed to support critical enterprise applications and external memory expansion.
Microsoft today reported results for the second fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2009. It managed to churn out strong results during the quarter thanks mainly to Windows 7. Both its profit and revenue soared to record levels in this period. During fiscal 2Q, the company reported earnings of $6.66 billion, or 74 cents per share, on revenue of $19.02 billion. This is way better than what financial pundits had predicted.
Microsoft claims it has sold 60 million Windows 7 licenses. While the phenomenal consumer interest in Windows 7 is clearly propelling Microsoft's growth, the lingering parsimony among enterprises is a cause for concern.
The division that makes its popular Office productivity suite was particularly hit by lack of corporate spending, with its revenue dropping 3 percent. The entertainment division did not fare too well, either. It only sold 5.2 million Xbox 360 consoles, 13 percent less compared to the previous year.
There’s sort of a guilty pleasure in seeing the ‘masters of the universe’ knocked down a notch or two. So the news that the record for calculating Pi, set by the T2K Open Supercomputer, was not just broken but smashed by a lowly Core i7 machine was warmly received.
The feat was performed by Fabrice Bellard. He pieced together a system built around a Core i7 CPU running at 2.93 GHz, 6 GB of RAM, and five 1.5 TB Seagate Barracudas. His operating system of choice was the 64-bit version of Red Hat Fedora 10, along with a software RAID-0 and ext4 file system. He then started up a Pi algorithm based on the Chudnovsky formula and let it rip. One hundred and three days later he had Pi calculated out to 2.7 trillion decimal digits, blowing by the old record of 2.5 trillion decimal digits. The resulting number took 1137 GB of storage space.
Bellard made use of this single CPU for the initial calculation, but did get some help from 'friends' when verifying his calculation. Using the Bailey-Borwein-Plouffe algorithm and a network of nine computers, he validated his result in 34 hours. (Using the PC would have taken 13 days--time Bellard didn’t want to use in case his record was broken before he got a chance to announce it.)
Mobile CPU shipments grew 35.7 percent in 3Q09 to bail the industry out from what is now a receding crisis. The Intel Atom processor merits a special mention as it led the industry's comeback during the quarter. But the low average selling price of Atom processors meant that the record growth in shipments did not quite translate into record revenue.
"While Atom processors led the PC processor market to reach record unit shipments, on the revenue side, their low average selling price led to notable price erosion, more than 7 percent." said Shane Rau, director of semiconductors for personal computing research at IDC.
"The market's growth has been due to shipments of inexpensive Atom processors being sold into markets like China, which is being stimulated by government incentives there," said Rau.
Last year it was Biostar -- and not Asus, DFI, or Gigabyte -- who set a frontside bus world record with its Biostar TPower I45 motherboard, and further blurring the lines between traditional enthusiast branding and companies better known for taking the budget end of the spectrum, A-Data -- not OCZ, Corsair, or Kingston -- has just broken a benchmarking record of its own.
"A-DATA® Technology Co., Ltd., a worldwide leading manufacturer in high performance memory products, announced today that its XPG™ DDR3 memory modules have broke a new world record on SuperPi 32m," A-Data stated in a press release. "The record was set by utilizing the DFI Lanparty UT X58 motherboard and XPG X Series v2.0 memory, the DDR3-2133X v2.0 2GBx3 triple-channel kit."
The new record now sits at 6min 40sec 360ms, which required overclocking A-Data's triple-channel DDR3-2133X v2.0 kit to 2237MHz with 8-7-7-21 latencies. A-Data didn't say how much voltage it took to reach that frequency, but if we had to guess, we'd say it ran high. The same kit comes rated at 2.05V-2.15V with 10-10-10-30 latencies at its stock frequency.
Recording to Blu-ray media looks to get a big boost from Sanyo, who announced the development of a new blue laser diode the company says is capable of burning 100GB of data in as little as 10 minutes.
Current Blu-ray media tops out at 50GB of storage space (dual-layer), but Sanyo's 5.6mm diode can emit a beam of 450 milliwatts, or roughly twice that of Sanyo's currently highest power laser for Blu-ray devices. The high power laser makes it possible to read and write data on up to four layers at a 12x speed. To put that into perspective, Sanyo says one disc could record up to 8 hours of high-definition content.
It will be awhile before the new diode finds its way into consumer products. Sanyo says it will be another 2 to 3 years before production takes place, and by then, who knows what the state of Blu-ray will be like.