Marking the first significant update to the SPARC line since 2007, Sun Microsystems and Fujitsu are updating their jointly developed line of servers with the SPARC64 VII. Sun and Fujitsu look to position the new processor to compete against IBM's Power processor and Intel's Itanium chip. To help them do that, SPARC64 VII will boast four cores clocked at 2.4GHz or 2.5GHz, with each core sporting two instructional threads for a total of eight per chip, and 6MB of L2 cache. SPARC64 VII will also see a die shrink from 90nm to 65nm.
With an estimated $4 billion to go around in the high-end Unix business, Sun has struggled against IBM and HP, and has had to cut employees in an attempt to offset some of the losses. Even so, Sun and Fujitsu will revamp several of their systems to support the quad-core SPARC VII, including two midrange, rack-mount systems -- the M4000 and the M5000 -- both of which support up to four and eight dual- or quad-core processors respectively. Starting price of the M4000 with a quad-core SPARC VII will check in at just under $35,000.
There are numerous companies that are currently working on technologies they hope would revolutionize the computer navigation landscape. Amongst the audacious researchers pioneering the touchless revolution is John Underkoffler, who owns a gesture tech start-up called Oblong Industries that recently raised $8.8 million in funding. Underkoffler has to his credit the honor of counseling the Minority Report crew regarding the depiction of futuristic technology in the movie.
Forbes reports that he is spearheading an utterly secretive project that deals with a touchless, gesture-based computer interface. All applications would be controlled merely by gestures.
But Oblong is not alone as alternative navigational interface industry leader Gesture Tek and gaming hardware manufacturers like OCZ Technologies, Neurosky, and Emotiv are also in the reckoning. Some of the researchers are really pushing the envelope with technologies that allow users to control applications and games using their gaze and even thought.
There's never been a better time to be in the market for a keyboard. On the lower end of the pricing spectrum, OCZ recently announced its Elixir, an über affordable keyboard as part of the company's Alchemy line aimed at gamers on a budget. And for those running out of Swish bank accounts to store obscene amounts of of cash, Art Lebedev Studios' OLED Optimus Maximus has finally emerged from the depths of vaporware to become a shipping product.
In between both extremes, many still consider Metadot Corporation's Das Keyboard the tour de force of keyboard construction, which Maximum PC awarded a 9/Kick Ass verdict back in 2005. The original plank broke the mold by blanking out the keys rather than saddling them with peksy labels, and now three years later, Metadot looks to jump back in the peripheral market with a pair of updated models.
Click the jump to learn more about the Das Ultimate and Das Professional, and how they compare to the original.
Is bigger always better? Not necessarily. Qnap’s TS-409 Pro is packed with the same features as the company’s TS-109 Pro (http://tinyurl.com/yomys5) but includes twice as much memory and supports four hard drives rather than just one. And it rocks, but only if we compare it to similarly sized foes, such Buffalo’s four-drive TeraStation Live.
But how does it stack up to single-drive NAS boxes? Find out after the jump.
It looks like a partnership with Netflix isn't the only thing Microsoft has planned for its Xbox 360 console. Coming this fall, the Redmond company announced it will be giving the console a complete software face-lift.
And new it is. The updated Dashboard will sport 3D interface, including 3D avatars that will look familiar to anyone who's ever used a Nintendo Wii, and will be integrated into your GamerCard. New emphasis will be placed on the community with IM, video chat, photo sharing, and a nifty-looking 3D slide interface for the main Dashboard screen, along with an 8-people party system.
The console wars just got a whole hell of a lot more interesting. Earlier today at E3, Microsoft and Netflix announced an exclusive partnership that will give Xbox 360 owners the ability to stream movies and TV episodes included with their Netflix subscription to their living room TV set. The new service will launch in late fall and be available to LIVE Gold members who are also Netflix subscribers at no additional cost.
The partnership with Microsoft not only comes as a bonus to existing Xbox 360 owners, who prior to the update had to either buy a $99 set-top player through Roku or deal with unofficial (and buggy) workarounds, but also presents potential console owners a compelling incentive to pick up an Xbox 360 over the Blu-ray capable Playstation 3.
Back in April, Australian PC maker Pioneer Computers leaked details on the processors Intel will use in its Centrino 2 mobile platform, and now the Aussies are back at it again. This time, Pioneer Computers is taking preorders for laptops built using unreleased quad-core mobile processors from Intel, claiming the CPUs will be available within one to two weeks.
The upgrade doesn't come cheap, with Pioneer Computers charging $1,390USD to boost its DreamBook Style 9008 laptop from a Core 2 Duo P8400 to a Core 2 Extreme QX9300. The upgrade alone more than doubles the cost of the laptop in its default configuration - ouch!
Intel hasn't yet listed the QX9300 on its most recent price list, but the high end part will pack four cores clocked at 2.53GHz each, along with a beefy 12MB of on-chip cache, according to Pioneer.
Intel declined to comment, as it does with all "unannounced products," but that doesn't mean you can't. Would you be willing to double up the cost of your notebook for twice as many cores and more cache?
While not on par with what R2D2 has been doing on the big screen since 1977, an ambitious team of Japanese researchers are hard at work on a gadget capable of displaying 3D images without any special glasses. The gCubik, still at the prototype stage, is a 3.9-inch cube built using liquid crystal displays containing "many tiny lenses." The team envisions the gCubik being used to beam images of love ones into your hand.
"The ultimate image we have in mind is having a small person in your palm. Suppose you have a picture of your girlfriend smiling on your desk. She could be smiling as a 3D image in a cube," said Shunsuke Yoshida, one of the researchers.
Hit the jump to learn more about the gCubik, including when it might be available for mass consumption.
Citing un-named sources who mingle behind the scenes at motherboard makers, DigiTimes claims first-tier mobo manufacturers are keeping conservative with third-quarter shipping estimates. Blaming a drop in the worldwide economy, Asus, Gigabyte, and MSI are expecting to maintain sequential shipments growth of just 15 percent while focusing on the mid- to high-end markets.
The forecast gets even bleaker in the entry-level to mid-range segments. Both ECS and Foxconn have been suffering through a shipments decline since the beginning of the year, and DigiTimes reports it will be more of the same in the second half of 2008.
Asus and MSI both expect the continued expansion of their notebook business to pick up the slack and result in a surge in third quarter performance.
British tech news site The Register claims to have taken a peek at some IBM internal documents detailing the company's upcoming Power7 chip. If the report holds true, the new chips will sport eight cores per processor and some "very, very large IBM boxes based on the chip."
It gets even better. According to the report, the internal documents show the octocore Power7 being arranged in dual-chip modules, or 16 cores per module. That translates to a combined 256 gigaflops of performance, roughtly twice as much as today's Power6 parts. Still haven't satiated your server fetish? Picture four of the Power7 processor in a 2U system, which equates to 64 cores hitting 2 teraflops. Mmmm.
The Register says IBM will ship the 45nm Power7 processors clocked at 4GHz in 2010.