Fujitsu announced it is currently scoping out areas of Western Sydney, Australia hoping to find a location with enough power to build and run a new data center, TheWhir.com reports.
The IT services provider is already constructing new data centers in Perth and Melbourne, both of which address the lack of data center space in Australia. But one thing Fujitsu has found is that existing data centers in the country lack the necessary power to host boatloads of blade-based servers.
In addition to finding a location with the proper power requirements, Fujitsu wants an area with cooler temperatures in order to deploy new free cooling power reduction designs, just as it is currently doing in Perth and Melbourne.
IBM continues to focus on going green and is now hard at work developing technology that could lead to zero-emission data centers, according to a report at eWeek.com.
Bruno Michel, the guy in charge of Advanced Thermal Packaging at IBM's Zurich Research Laboratory, said he and his team have put their heads together trying to figure out new ways of reducing emissions and waste in data centers. Among the ideas being tossed around are chip stacking and liquid cooling.
"High-performance liquid cooling allows data centers to operate with coolant temperatures above the free cooling limit in all climates, eliminating the need to chillers and allowing the thermal energy to be reused in cold climates," Michel said.
According to Michel, his team has been able to remove 85 percent the heat load from high-performance compute nodes at a temperature of 60C.
As data centers continue to consume more energy, expect more companies to devote increasing amounts of R&D into reducing emissions.
Late last month, several owners of Intel's X25-M G2 solid state drives cried foul when a firmware update promising a 40 percent performance boost ended up bricking their drives instead. Oops! That marked the latest in a what's becoming a string of problems plaguing the 34nm SSDs, and once again, Intel says a fix is on the way.
"Intel has replicated the issue on 34nm SSDs -- X25-M -- and is working a fix," wrote Alan Frost of Intel's NAND Solutions Group. "Intel is pursuing the resolution of this as a high priority. Intel is seeking direct feedback on this issue from members of the [Intel Support Community]... asking them to send their drives directly to Intel to expedite the analysis of the issues. This action will enable us to more quickly generate a resolution for this issue."
Frost added that there have been no reports of related issues by users who were able to successfully upgrade to the 02ha firmware via the firmware upgrade tool, which would suggest the problem isn't the firmware itself, but a bug in the loader software.
The most capacious 1.8-inch hard drive on the planet now checks in at 320GB, says Toshiba, who just introduced a new line of tiny HDDs
Toshiba's targeting thin and light mobile PCs and portable external HDD contraptions with its new storage series, which also includes two other models sized at 160GB and 250GB. All three drives sport a perpendicular magnetic recording head, efficient power consumption, a high level of durability, and quiet seek operation, Toshiba says.
The new drives come equipped with a SATA interface and spin at 5400RPM. All three models also include a 16MB buffer. Combined with improvements to areal density, Toshiba claims you can expect data transfer rates to improve by 15 percent over previous drives.
Toshiba's tiny drives will start mass production in December. No word yet on price.
Like Wile E. Coyote after failing to catch the Road Runner for the umpteenth time, it's back to the drawing board for Intel, who must figure out what the heck is going on with its 34nm solid state drives (SSDs). Allow us to elaborate.
Earlier this summer, the chip maker halted shipments of its X25-M G2 drives when it was discovered that a BIOS bug could lead to data corruption. More recently, Intel released its new TRIM firmware, which was supposed to inject a 40 percent boost to sequential write speeds, but just one day after its release, Intel has pulled the update due to corruption issues in Windows 7. Apparently, the firmware has been doing more harm than good and managed to brick a few drives.
"Yes, we have been contacted by users with issues with the firmware upgrade for our 34nm SSDs and we are investigating. We take all sightings and issues seriously and are working toward resolution. We have temporarily taken down the firmware link while we investigate," Intel said in a statement to Engadget.
When Intel will have a new update is anyone's guess. In the meantime, there's a 6 page (and growing) discussion taking place on Intel's support form where you can keep up with the latest developments.
The U.S. Defense Department has decided to cautiously reinstate the use of USB thumb drives and other flash storage-based media. Flash storage -- and devices which use them, including memory sticks, digital cameras, media players, PDAs, and more -- were banned last November after thousands of military computers were infected by various malware, most of which was traced back to thumb drives.
That ban will soon be lifted, at least partially. Robert Carey, chief information officer of the U.S. Navy, said in a blog post that only "authorized individuals" are likely to be given permission to use thumb drives, and even then only for "mission-essential functions." And these won't be personal drives picked up off of Newegg or Best Buy.
"The days of using personally owned flash media or using flash media collected at conferences or trade shows are long gone," Carey said.
Instead, the drives will be "government-owned and procured," and will also contain built-in encryption chips that may require both a password and a fingerprint scan to decrypt the data, among other safeguards that are yet to be worked out.
Solid state drive technology still has a few hurdles to overcome before it supplants traditional hard drives as the mainstream storage medium of choice -- and according to a recent study, HDDs still have at least a decade left -- but as prices come down, more users are finding that it makes sense to boot off of an SSD for a little extra pep. Targeting those consumers, Kingston today released its SSDNow V Series 40GB Boot Drive.
The 'V' as you might have guessed stands for 'Value' and the 'Boot Drive' nomenclature is pretty self-explanatory. The low capacity is a dead giveaway on that latter part, too.
"The SSDNow V Series 40GB Boot Drive offers instant performance enhancement coupled with reliability and lower power consumption at a fraction of the cost of a new system," said Areil Perez, SSD business manager, Kingston. "The 40GB Boot Drive is the latest offering in our V Series SSD line. It provides a low-cost upgrade solution that complements the installed hard disk drive to extend the life cycle of existing desktop computers and workstations in homes and offices."
From a performance standpoint, the 40GB Boot Drive comes rated at up 170MB/s sequential read, but only 40MB/s sequential write. Even still, Kingston claims its new drive muscled a 13,883 score in PCMark Vantage Advanced HDD Suite, compared to just 3,708 for an un-named 7200RPM hard drive during internal testing.
Kingston's 40GB Boot Drive will carry an MSRP of $115 and will begin shipping on November 9, 2009. The company adds you'll be able to find one for as low as $85 after mail-in-rebate when it launches.
After a flurry of activity in the solid state drive market, it's been comparatively quiet the past few weeks, but we finally have some new developments to report. As you may recall, the controllers used in SSDs can have a significant impact on performance, and Micron thinks it has a winner on its hands with its just-developed JFM612 NAND flash controller chip.
Micron's first controller ran into some pesky performance problems, some of which they fixed with the JMF602B controller. But the initial hiccups left the door open for competitors to step in, like Indilinx did with its Barefoot controller. Like Barefoot, Micron's new chip is able to use 32nm flash chips, which helps lower the cost of SSDs.
After a few initial issues with the new controller, DailyTech reports that Micron has finally begun mass producing JFM612 chips. The first SSDs to utilize them will be Active Media with the launch of their Predator-X7 series. Along with Micron's new controller, the Predator-X7 will come with 128MB of DRAM cache to eliminate any chance of stuttering, and boast sequential read and write speeds of up to 230MB/s and 180MB/s, respectively.
Six months ago, the the Predator-X7 would have been a real barn burner, but it's tough to get too excited over 180MB/s writes anymore. However, more SSDs built around Micron's new controller are on the way, and you can probably expect these to give today's offerings a run for their money.
Now that the spec has been finalized and controllers in mass production, we expect to see a lot of USB 3.0 devices in the coming weeks and months, particularly as companies look to brand their products as the "world's first" in their respective categories. Enter Dane-Elec, who claims its new line of external hard drives is the first to take advantage of the new spec (Freecom would disagree).
Plenty of storage options abound in the So SuperSpeed line, ranging in capacity from 500GB to 2TB. The series will also include Intel-branded USB 3.0 solid state drives (SSDs) with data transfer speeds of up to 250MB/s, Dane-Elec says. At full-bore, that's almost 10 times faster than currently available USB 2.0 devices.
Pricing for the new drives will start at $45 on the lower end and work its way up to $800. Catch a glimpse of the full lineup (with prices) here.
If the pen is mightier than the sword, then where does that leave Livescribe's new 4GB Pulse? Not only can you write and take notes with it, but you can record audio too. And with the new higher capacity model being added to the lineup, you can capture 400 hours worth of lectures, presentations, or whatever else it is you plan to record. Other notable specs include an audio jack, integrated speaker, OLED display, and a USB connector.
The multiplatform pen added Mac support last November, and courtesy of a recent software update, the Pulse now boasts support for Windows 7. In addition, Livescribe says it plans to add an app store for the Pulse sometime this year, though the company didn't say what kind of apps will be offered.
Available in black or silver, the new 4GB Pulse carries an MSRP of $200. As a result, the 2GB model has been knocked down to $170.