Friday, March 29, 2013

#CHIPS: "Budget Supercomputers for Everyone"

Budget supercomputers are allowing business to move from data-mining the past to predicting the future, thanks to inexpensive coprocessor cards that turn almost any server into a high-performance computer (HPC). By modeling the future, HPC simulations can predict what new products are needed, then model them with virtual prototypes thereby speeding their way to market: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

High performance computers (HPCs) are moving from banks of independent processors to more cost effective racks of coprocessors using the Xeon Phi.
Further Reading

#CHIPS: "Xeon Phi Accelerates Supercomputer Usage"

Supercomputers used to cost $1 million and up, but no more now that massively parallel coprocessor cards can turn any server into a high performance computer (HPC). Already a $11 billion market, HPCs are moving into every business sector: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

IDC’S worldwide high-performance computing (HPC) technical server market revenue forecast predicts the market will grow from $11 billion today to almost $14 billion by 2015.
Further Reading

Thursday, March 28, 2013

#ISPD: Contest winners advance state-of-the-art"

Winners of the annual design contest at the Association of Computing Machinery's (ACM's) International Symposium on Physical Systems (ISPD) have advanced the state-of-the-art in semiconductor engineering: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Comparisons of leakage current results for the top three contest entries in the Discrete Cell Sizing Contest normalized to the winning Team South Brazil (red) compared to Team Trident (green) and Team GoodTime (blue) on the nine primary evaluations.
Further Reading

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

#ISPD: "Next Generation Chips Face Hurtles"

Even though Intel has already proven it is possible, the FinFET technology its perfected is years away for competitors who detailed the hurtles they face at the International Symposium on Physical Systems: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Further ReadingMulti-gate 3-D FinFETs will be an essential element in achieving the 14 nanometer process technology node, according to IBM research scientist James Warnock.
Further Reading

#MEMS: "Smarphone oscillators adopt sensor process"

MEMS sensors have already wooed users worldwide into adopting smartphones with accelerometers, gyroscopes, altimeters and magnetometers. Now MEMS oscillators have been added to the list of micro-electro-mechanical systems, this time displacing legacy quartz crystals: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

SiTimes' tiny MEMS oscillator's provides realtime clock functions for mobile devices like smartphones.
Further Reading

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

#MEMS: "Mechanical oscillators boost 10Gbit Ethernet"

The next generation of 10Gbit Ethernet routers and switches can take advantage of the same MEMS technology that has already revolutionized the smartphone, thanks to the debut of ultra high precision micro-electro-mechanical systems at Integrated Device Technologies' (IDT, San Jose, Calif.): R. Colin Johnson

World's lowest jitter MEMS oscillator offers smaller size, fewer bit errors and lower cost than traditional quartz crystal solutions.
Further Reading

#DESIGNWest: "Machine Vision Goes Embedded"

Consumer, automotive and industrial applications have already been enhanced by embedded vision capabilities, but now the rest of the world is adding the ability to see what its machines are doing: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Using 3-D sensors such as Primesense's Carmine (licensed and popularized by Microsoft as the Kinect for Xbox) has brought down the expense of embedded vision solutions by estimating the distance from the sensor to objects in the scene (pictured). At the Embedded Vision Summit, Texas Instrument's Goksel Dedeoglu will present techniques for low-cost implementation of stereoscopic 3-D vision.
Further Reading

Monday, March 25, 2013

#ISPD: "3-D Integration on Center Stage"

3-D has crept into every aspect of technology, and will revolutionize the semiconductor industry too, according to presenters including Xilinx here at the annual International Symposium on Physical Systems (ISPD): R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Xilinx's Virtex-H580T combines two FPGAs with a high-speed transceiver and the necessary analog functions on in a single package by virtue of a 3-D silicon interposer.
Further Reading

Friday, March 22, 2013

#MATERIALS: "How-To Unveil Green Chemistries"

Green chemistries will be essential to the continued progress in semiconductor manufacturing, as green-house gases continue to fuel global warming debates. To the rescue is the Semiconductor Research Corp. (SRC) which has convinced the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) that computer simulations can discover new green chemistries faster than trial-and-error. Using supercomputer simulations, the SRC-funded Engineering Research Center for Environmentally Benign Semiconductor Manufacturing (ERC) at UCLA promises to unveil safer materials: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Further Reading

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

#MEMS: "Movea/ST create motion-aware TV"

STMicroelectronic--the Swiss electronics giant--has added motion-awareness to it Orly set-top box system-on-chip. By licensing the SmartMotion Server from Movea, ST's motion-aware TV now simplifies adding motion awareness to set-top boxes, thereby enabling users to control their TVs using free-air gestures: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Movea's SmartMotion Server has been integrated with ST's "Orly" set-top box systems-on-chip enabling OEMs to easily create motion-aware apps for TV.
Further Reading

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

#CHIPS: "Automotive Weight Cut by In-Vehicle Net"

First it was drive-by-wire which cut the mechanical linkage between the gas pedal and the engine, now all the rest of the subsystems on a car are getting networked, thus eliminating the need for dedicated wires, potentially saving up to 150 pounds by nixing the need for four miles of copper wire. By using Freescale's smarter Qorivva processors--announced today at Semicon China 2013--connected by Ethernet to satellite 12-MagniV microcontrollers, almost every electronic subsystem in a vehicle can be networked: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Freecale's latest Qorivva MPC5748G provides support for Ethernet with Audio Video Bridging, FlexRay, Media Local Bus, USB, CAN FD and up to 18 LIN controllers, allowing its MagniV devices to reduce printed circuit board sizes by as much as 30 percent.
Further Reading

Monday, March 18, 2013

#DESIGNWest: "Android certification gets hands-on"

Android--the Google operating system based on an open-source Linux kernel--is turning everybody's smartphone and tablet into a control-panel for embedded systems. Learn how to integrate Android into your next embedded system design at DESIGN West, where its Android Certification Program will give you the knowledge a credentials you need: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

The Android Certificate Program is a hands-on tutorial showing engineer how to design embedded systems using Google's popular application framework.
Further Reading

Friday, March 15, 2013

#QUANTUM: "Harnessing a MEMS mechanical memory"

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST, Boulder, Colorado) has demoed a MEMS version of a delay-line memory which it claims will be a viable scratchpad memory for future quantum computers. By converting quantum encoded microwave photons into acoustic phonons in a mechanical medium--and back again--the MEMS memory can store intermediate quantum-bit (Q-bits) values during calculations: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

MEMS micro-drum and circuit on a sapphire backing. JILA researchers demonstrated that the drum might be used as a memory device in future quantum computers.

Further Reading

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

#AWARDS: "Turing Award Goes to MIT Cyptographers"

Moving cryptography into the modern age, MIT pioneers Shafi Goldwasser and Silvio Micali were given the Turing Award today. Before Goldwasser and Micali, cryptography was based on secret code-books that held absolute keys to decoding encrypted data, but by introducing the concept of computational security depending on difficult calculations that provide various levels of security, Goldwasser and Micali modernized cryptography for the Internet age: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Shafi Goldwasser (left) and Silvio Micali of MIT.
Further Reading

#CHIPS: "Renewable Energy Lab Water-Cools Xeon Phi"

The newest supercomputer at the National Renewable Energy Lab will be water-cooled by HP using Intel's Xeon Phi massively parallel processors. As the Department of Energy (DoE) showcase for renewable energy, NREL's new $10 million supercomputer was designed in collaboration with Intel and HP to be the world's first peta-scale supercomputer to use warm-water liquid cooling: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

NREL director of its Computational Science Center, Steve Hammond, at its Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) where warm-water liquid cooled HP servers housing Intel Xeon processors and Xeon-Phi coprocessors were designed to reduce its annual average power usage effectiveness (PUE) to 1.06. Credit: Dennis Schroeder
Further Reading

#AWARDS: "Ivan Sutherland Wins Kyoto Prize"

Known as the "father of computer graphics," Ivan Sutherland has won the Kyoto Prize in Advanced Technology, presented to him yesterday at the Kyoto Symposium (San Diego, Calif.) Sutherland was lauded for his "pioneering achievements in the development of computer graphics and interactive interfaces." Known best for his pioneering Sketchbook which defined computer graphics (CG) for a new generation, EETimes has discovered that he is currently working on revolutionizing semiconductors with asynchronous logic at the Asynchronous Research Center at Portland State University (Oregon).

Ivan Sutherland, the 2012 Kyoto Prize Laureate in Advanced Technology, receives his medal at the Kyoto Prize Gala.
Further Reading

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

#DESIGNWest: "Mars ate my spacecraft"

Hear tales of woe and wonder when billion dollar spacecraft fly to their doom as a result of simple software safeguards that programmers skipped. Don't be a bad programmer--learn from your colleagues mistakes in the DESIGN-West session Mars Ate My Spacecraft: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

The Clementine mission to fly from the moon to a nearby asteroid was just one failure of many caused by overworked embedded software teams that did not write the code to use their watchdog timers.
Further Reading

Monday, March 11, 2013

#CHIPS: ""IBM's 'electronic blood' both cools and powers"

The future will require exascale speeds for the realtime analysis of Big Data streaming in from the Internet and from massive new sensor networks like the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) radio telescope to be completed in 2024. To meet the need, IBM is partnering to create "electronic blood" that not only cools 3-D chips, but also to powers them configured as cognitive computers: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

IBM's exascale computer analytics will be both powered and cooled by a liquid electrolyte that flows between die in 3-D chip stacks.
Further Reading

Friday, March 08, 2013

#ENERGY: "Hydrogen Economy Touted in Coast-to-Coast Ralley"

By adopting hydrogen over gasoline, all current internal-combustion engines in automobiles and trucks could simply be converted over to a cleaner, sustainable home-grown fuel--hydrogen produced by solar-powered electrolysis from water--according to Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). This weekend, using a converted Toyota Tercel, MTSU will drive 2600-miles coast-to-coast in their hydrogen-powered vehicle to demontrate the safety and efficiency of the hydrogen economy: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Professor Cliff Ricketts inspects his Toyota Tercel converted for hydrogen fuel in the coast-to-coast demonstration planned this weekend.
Further Reading

Thursday, March 07, 2013

#MARKETING: "Moore's Law Superseded by Wright's Law"

Moore's Law is not obsolete, but still applies to semiconductors and to virtually every other major product category with appropriate modifications. However, Moore's Law is not universal, and in fact recently lost a competition with Sinclair-Klepper-Cohen's, Goddard's and Wright's Law: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Growth of prediction errors for competing laws to Moore's Law shows Wright's Law the best at long-time horizons, Goddard's Law as the worse at short time horizons, and Sinclair-Klepper-Cohen the worst for long-time horizons.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has done a definitive study comparing the accuracy of Moore's, Sinclair-Klepper-Cohen's, Goddard's and Wright's Law, claiming that their determination will boost the accuracy of futurists who make predictions about the pace of technological change, which alternative candidate technologies to promote, and both corporate and government policies for global change.
Further Reading

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

#CHIPS: "Financial Predictions Harness Xeon Phi"

Intel’s many-integrated core (MIC) technology has prompted dozens of scientific- and engineering-benchmarks, but the massively parallel Xeon Phi co-processor can also boost financial predictions, according to new benchmarks recently published by Xcelerit Computing Ltd. (Dublin, Ireland): R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

The Intel Xeon Phi co-processor (red and blue) ran up to three-times faster than the traditional Xeon E5s (black) for parallel processing paths over 128k, offering up to three-times the performance for parallel paths as high as 1024k. SOURCE: Xcelerit

Xcelerit ran the financial benchmarks on a Xeon Phi coprocessor manages by twin Xeon E5-2670 main processors, each with 8 cores. By comparing the 16 Xeon E5 cores at 2.5-GHz to the 60 Xeon Phi cores running at 1-GHz, the benchmark puts to rest the question of whether more is better...
Further Reading

#WWIII: "China's Cyber-Espionage Defense Rings Hollow"

Often the best defense is a good offense, but not this time, since China's "moral equivalency" argument defending its U.S. cyber-espionage attacks rings hollow. Cyber-security experts Mandiant recently detailed thousands of civilian cyber-casualties inflicted by China's military, but China's defense is that the U.S. is attacking China's military computers--a non-sequitur. The U.S. military is one of the acknowledged world leaders in cyber-espionage, but it has yet to even be accused of indiscriminate targeting of civilian computers like China, Iran and other U.S. adversaries: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

China's People's Liberation Army (left) is being pitted against the U.S. Cyber Command (right) which was quietly started in by the Obama administration and put on par with Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines by reporting directly to nuke-shepherds, the United States Strategic Command.

In David Sanger's recent book "Confront and Conceal: Obama's Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power" he accuses the U.S. of attacking Iran's centrifuges to slow down their head-long run to acquire nuclear weapons. However, Iran's reported response has been to attack U.S. civilian computers at Bank of America, JP Morgan, Chase and Citicorp. And thus the stage is set for the U.S. to conduct cyber-attacks on military targets, while its adversaries, from Iran to China, retaliate by attaching civilians. Get all the details by clicking "Further Reading" below.
Further Reading

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

#ENERGY: "Roadmap to Sustainability Revealed"

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) recently unveils a roadmap for creating sustainable energy generation within every household, business and industry, by mimicking photosynthesis. By converting light into hydrogen fuel locally, with specially treated photovoltaic cells that split water molecules, its roadmap-to-sustainability establishes baselines for efficiency and the milestones that need to be achieved in order to make the technology practical and inexpensive: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

MIT's artificial photosynthesis prototype coats a PV cell with catalysts that efficiently produce hydrogen fuel from water using electrolysis.

MIT laid out its "roadmap to sustainability" at the prestigious National Academy of Sciences (NAS) this week, you can read all about the milestones coming for artificial photosynthesis by clicking Further Reading below.
Further Reading