Thursday, December 27, 2012

#SECURITY: "Disaster Recovery Technologies Bloom"

There are at least 10 new technologies available to mitigate the impact, search, rescue and recovery operations after natural disasters. Check them out by clicking "Further Reading" below for a slideshow: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog
Run from the Army's Universal Ground Control Station, the blimp can carry communications equipment payloads over 2,500 pounds and travel at almost 100 miles per hour.
Further Reading

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

#CHIPS: "Low-Power Micro-Servers Greening Data Centers"

In 2013 Intel's Atom will power a second-generation of greener micro-servers, following Intel's first-generation green datacenter processor in 2012, the Xeon E5-2600. The new 22-nanometer Atom "Avoton" S1200 will run on just six watts in 2013 and when shrunk down to 14-nanometer in 2014, just five watts. R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog
Intel’s evolving both Xeon E3 and Atom processors down parallel paths to 22-nanometer sizes in 2013, called the Xeon “Haswell” and the Avoton “Silvermont”. Both will ride the wave of Intel’s 3-D tri-gate ultra-low-power process down to 14-nanometer dimensions by 2014. SOURCE: Intel
Further Reading

Friday, December 21, 2012

#ALGORITHMS: "Grid Engine+MIC Beats IBM Supercomputer"

A $10,000 many-integrated-core (MIC) based cluster computer running the Univa’s Grid Engine distributed resource management software can perform in the same class as a $10 million IBM supercomputer, according to the algorithm's original programmer: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog
Grid Engine works with Univa’s analytics and reporting metrics which track processor utilization for maximizing speed and energy efficiency of cluster computers. SOURCE: Univa
Further Reading

Monday, December 17, 2012

#CHIPS: "Immersion litho still beating EUV"

Repeated predictions about the end-of-the-road for semiconductor immersion lithography have been greatly exaggerated. In fact, the current lithographic techniques may be good enough to last all the say to additive self assembly for the next generation: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog
Light at 193 nm has a resolution limit on the order of 65 nm, but immersion lithography uses the same light source and yet realizes a semiconductor process at precisions as high as 40-45nm. (Source: Nikon)
Further Reading

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

#CHIPS: "Intel's Atom Extends Mobile Battery Life"

Intel is still the number one chip maker worldwide, but not for long if trends keep pushing new users to smartphones and tablets instead of traditional PCs and laptops, since most of these mobile devices use ARM cores. The tide may turn in 2013, however, if Intel can deliver on the ultra-low-power Atom processor it unveiled today at IEDM: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Intel's FinFET transistors use three-dimensional (3-D) fins to increase the surface are of its gates, thus lowering leakage and increasing field strength for lower voltage power supplies--both of which boost battery lifetime for mobile devices.

Here is what GoParallel says about Intel's Atom: Intel is aiming to upgrade its Atom processor for the biggest growth areas were in mobile chips. The new low-power process for its mobile Atom processors was described at the International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM 2012, San Francisco, Dec. 10-11). The new ultra-low-power Atom will extend the battery life of smartphones, tablets, netbooks, embedded systems and other wireless devices, according to Intel...
Further Reading

Monday, December 10, 2012

#MATERIALS: "MIT integrates InGaAs in 22-nm design flow"

Intel and others have been experimenting with integrating III-V semiconductors into the silicon design flow for years, but now MIT claims to have a process that could best silicon altogether: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Cross-section transmission electron micrograph of the fabricated transistor shows the V-shaped inverted gate (center) with the indium gallium arsenide channel (light color) under the molybdenum source and drain contacts on either side.

Here is what EETimes says about MIT's III-V work: Integrating III-V transistors into the 22-nm design flow is possible today, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) which demonstrated indium-gallium arsenide (InGaAs) transistors recently at International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM, San Francisco)...
Further Reading

Thursday, December 06, 2012

#ALGORITHMS: "Data-Flow Cuts Multi-Thread Overhead for MIC"

Parallel processing is hard enough with quad-core chips, but the desktop supercomputers of the future will have thousands or even millions of cores, making most task schedulers obsolete. Data-flow techniques, however, promise to keep parallel processing on track by eliminating the bottlenecks of traditional scheduling techniques: R. Colin Johnson

MPI, OpenMP and OpenCL...treat each thread as an independent machine that runs for an arbitrarily length of time...Swarm's data-flow execution model (right) uses uniform-sized codelets with known control and data dependencies. SOURCE: ETI

Here is what GoParallel says about data-flow: For massively parallel processors...applications today can use a message passing interface (MPI) for internode communications and shared memory for coordinating tasks on a single node [but] all these techniques become less effective as more cores are added to a system...One promising solution: data-flow management techniques...performing dynamic scheduling that maps processor resources in real time.
Further Reading

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

#CHIPS: "Qualcomm overtakes TI in chip sales rankings"

Texas Instruments has been the legendary leader in semiconductor chips since the beginning of time, it seems, but not a relative youngster--Qualcomm--has booted them out of third place behind Intel and Samsung: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Despite the overall two percent drop in semiconductor sales worldwide, Qualcomm, Broadcom, Sony, NXP, nVidia and MediaTek all raised their ranking with positive growth in chips for mobile devices.

Here is what EETimes says about Qualcomm and TI: Despite the poor outlook for semiconductors this year, with more than 59 percent of 157 chip suppliers expected to experience revenue declines, one bright spot was booming mobile devices. At the top of mobile is Qualcomm, which is edged out Texas Instruments according to IHS iSuppli taking the third spot behind Intel and Samsung Electronics, which have been the top two chip makers for several years.
Further Reading

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

#SPACE: "Peter Diamandis revels in doing the impossible"

Peter Diamandis heard his calling when he was 12 years old--winning first place in the Estes Rocket Design Competition by creating a system capable of simultaneously launching three rockets. Later, while in college at MIT, he co-founded “Students for the Exploration and Development of Space” and later at Harvard Medical School he co-founded the Space Generation Foundation.

All Diamandis’ interest in space exploration culminated, however, when he founded the X Prize Foundation for which he is CEO today. Since then he co-founded with Ray Kurzweil the Singularity University for which he serves as chairman today, and in 2012 he co-authored with Steven Kotler the New York Times bestselling book “Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think” which sums up his pioneering attitude...
Further Reading

Monday, December 03, 2012

#DISPLAYS: "LCD inventor did so much more"

George Heilmeier began his career at RCA’s Sarnoff Research Center where he discovered that an applied voltage could change the color of dye-doped liquid crystals in the 1960s. Credited as the inventor of the LCD* by the US Patent and Trademark Office’s National Inventors Hall of Fame (Akron, Ohio), Heilmeier had secured his place in electronic history, alongside other hall-of-famers like Thomas Edison and Steve Wozniak, after working at RCA for only six years.

In the 1970s Heilmeier entered government service as a White House Fellow and special advisor to the Defense Department. Then in 1975 he was appointed Director of the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency. At DARPA he shepherded-in the modern era of high-tech weaponry including stealth aircraft, space-based lasers and smart-bombs using artificial intelligence (AI).
Further Reading

#CHIPS: "Stephen Hawkings 'Big Brain' Powered by MIC"

Stephen Hawkings Cosmos, based on SGI's ‘Big Brain’ platform, is the world's first shared memory supercomputer, according to Intel, powered by its new many-integrated-core (MIC) architecture: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Stephen Hawking’s Miracle Consortia’s Cosmos supercomputer uses SGI’s Big Brain chassis to house 32 Xeon Phi coprocessors in the world’s first MIC-powered shared memory supercomputer. Source: SGI

Here is what GoParallel says about Hawking's Cosmos supercomputer: The world’s first shared memory supercomputer is powered by Intel’s Many Integrated Core (MIC) architecture. Used in the latest incarnation of Stephen Hawking’s pioneering Cosmos supercomputer for the Miracle Consortia, SGI’s “Big Brain” houses 32 Xeon Phi co-processors utilizing over 1,800 cores in a shared-memory of nearly 15 terabytes (TB)...
Further Reading