Sandeep Venugopal’s Weblog

August 11, 2008

Intel Larrabee, own graphic chip line!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sandeep @ 7:39 pm
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Intel has unveiled details of the chip that will spearhead its move into computer graphics. It has revealed blueprints for the Larrabee chip that is scheduled to first appear in finished products in late 2009 or early 2010. Larrabee will be a stand-alone graphics processor unlike the onboard chips it produces for many PC makers. The move will bring Intel into direct competition with graphics specialists Nvidia and the ATI division of AMD. Intel is aiming to put Larrabee into graphics cards for PCs that help show games and video in very high detail. Like existing graphics chips from Nvidia and ATI, Larrabee is expected to have many separate processing cores onboard.

So far Intel has not said how many processing cores Larrabee will have onboard at launch or in subsequent generations. Future Nvidia and ATI graphics chips are expected to be made up of several hundred cores. While Intel will initially target the PC graphics card market, it expects the raw computer power in the chip to help with oil and gas exploration, medical imaging and financial services in the future. Many scientists and researchers already use coupled graphics cards as a desktop supercomputer that helps them carry out simulations far faster and cheaper than on a larger dedicated machine. Intel said it would release more details about Larrabee at the upcoming Siggraph computer graphics conference due to be held in Los Angeles from 12-15 August.

Source: BBC,  Martin

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July 20, 2008

Intel’s profit rises by 25%, notebooks help!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sandeep @ 8:37 pm
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Intel Corp said on Tuesday quarterly net income rose 25 percent, helped by strong sales of microprocessors used in notebook computers, and gave a revenue forecast that topped expectations. The world’s biggest chipmaker also reported an improved gross margin for the second quarter, but it was slightly below the midpoint of its own forecast range due to price pressures. For the current quarter, Intel said it expects revenue of $10.0 billion to $10.6 billion, compared with the average analyst forecast of $10.0 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

Intel has been benefiting from brisk sales of notebook PCs, which are on track to outpace sales of desktop PCs this year. On Monday, Intel rolled out the latest generation of its Centrino wireless chip after a delay of several months. Shares of Intel ticked higher following the results, after gaining 1.2 percent in regular Nasdaq trading. “I like the revenue outlook and the gross margin outlook,” said Doug Freedman, an analyst with American Technology Research. “The only slight negative is the spending level on marketing and general administration is slightly higher.”

Source: Reuters, Martin

June 21, 2008

List of world’s TOP 500 computers released! WoW!

The latest TOP500 list – a collection of the fastest supercomputers in the world – has been released by its creators, and there’s some big wins for certain manufacturers. The list, published this week on the TOP500 site, gives the number one spot to IBM’s Roadrunner (we informed about this supercomputer a while ago), built for the United States Department of Energy and hitting a staggering 1.026 petaflops/s – the first supercomputer to break the petaflop milestone. According to IBM, the key to this remarkable achievement was the use of Cell Broadband Engine processors – the same chips that are used in Sony’s PlayStation 3 console.

In fact, this 31st incarnation of the list has been extremely kind to Big Blue – IBM systems account for almost half the systems listed. Intel has been doing well, too: 75 percent of the systems present in the list use one or another of their processors, and systems based around quad-core processors use Intel almost exclusively. Intel’s growth has come at a cost to its main competitor, however: AMD sees its share of the list drop from 15.8 percent back in November last year to just 11 percent in this latest compilation. With Intel storming the charts, and IBM’s radical Cell Broadband Engine proving its mettle, it’s clear that AMD is going to have to pull something pretty special out of the R&D hat if it doesn’t want to concede the high-performance computing market.

Source: bit-tech, Martin

June 19, 2008

RoadRunner, the world fastest supercomputer! Beep…beep…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sandeep @ 6:39 pm
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A US military supercomputer has broken the petaflop speed record by performing one thousand trillion calculations per second. The ‘Roadrunner’ machine was developed at the Los Alamos Laboratory and uses AMD Opteron chips and the Cell processors found in PlayStation games consoles. It will be used to model climate systems before being classified by the Army to work on nuclear explosion modelling. “We replace our high-performance supercomputers every four or five years,” said Andy White, leader of supercomputer development at Los Alamos.

“They become outdated in terms of speed, and the maintenance costs and failure rates get too high.” White explained that the use of two kinds of chips represents a revolution in supercomputing. ‘Roadrunner’ uses fewer than 20,000 processors while the next fastest computer, IBM’s Blue Gene/L, uses over 200,000 and runs at half the speed. The Los Alamos machine uses 7,000 multi-core Opteron processors and parses the data to 12,960 enhanced Cell processors using 57 miles of fibre-optic cabling. The device consumes three megawatts of power, enough to run 1,000 homes. Damn, can you imagine encoding a movie on such a machine? It would be done within few miliseconds. Warez scene dream. )

Source: Vnunet, Martin

June 3, 2008

Microsoft signed a PC search deal with HP!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sandeep @ 9:38 pm
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Ramping up its efforts to build search market share, Microsoft signed a deal to embed a Live Search toolbar on all Hewlett-Packard consumer PCs in North America starting next year. In addition, Live Search will be the default search engine on browsers on the computers, the companies said. Both features will be included in HP PCs in January 2009. While the deal could boost use of Microsoft’s search platform, it could also boost support of Silverlight, Microsoft’s new browser plug-in and development runtime for adding multimedia to Web applications. That’s because the Live Search toolbar will be built using Silverlight, meaning that the browser plug-in, which is required to view multimedia content built with the tool, will come with the computers.

Microsoft is concurrently trying to improve the distribution of Silverlight by building some of its own Web pages with the technology and requiring visitors to download the browser plug-in to view the Web pages. The toolbar will also include buttons that HP will be able to customize to direct computer users to Web sites such as Snapfish, HP’s online photo-sharing and printing service, and HP customer service. Microsoft called the agreement the most significant distribution deal for Live Search that the company has done. HP is the world’s largest PC manufacturer, the companies said. They did not mention whether the agreement might be extended outside of North America. I’ve had the honor to work with few completely new computers from HP and they are a total mess, swamped by tons of completely useless applications, significantly slowing down the whole PC. Too bad there will be another one…

Source: PC World, Martin

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