Context aware computing

Never drunk dial again. That is the promise from Intel CTO, Justin Rattner, as he discussed context aware computing and the next generation of personal devices, at the annual Intel Develop Forum in San Francisco. Combining GPS technology with data from microphones, cameras, heart monitors and brain scans, new apps could track and document your every move. Don’t worry about takingRead More

Extending Moore's Law

According to Science News, researchers at Rice University have created the first two-terminal, pure silicon memory chips, easily adaptable to nanoelectric manufacturing. Researchers discovered that silicon oxide could replace carbon in the process. When an electric charge is sent through silicon oxide-an insulator-between semiconducting sheets of polycrystalline silicon, it forms a conductive pathway as small as 5 nanometers (billionths ofRead More

Will China's CPUs soon overtake Intel and AMD?

Like the antiquated American cars still driving on Cuban roads, China’s economy still runs on Five-Year Plans. With China’s growing wealth, the last few Five-Year Plans have been able to fund projects from the Chinese space program to developing green energy. The latest Five-Year Plan is named China Next Generation Internet (CNGI). China is seeking to broaden its use ofRead More

Making computers that think like us

In 1944, several of America’s most advanced  bomber planes, the B-29 Superfortress, landed in the Soviet Union. Years ahead of anything that the Soviets had in the way of strategic bombers at the time  (the B-29 was the plane used to drop the atomic bombs on Japan) Stalin hastily ordered that the design of the American airplane be understood. OverRead More

Probability processing: moving beyond the 0s and 1s

For the past few years, processing technology has been steadily trying to break out of the typical x86 CPU mold that has been the standard since the 1970s. Since GPUs (graphics processing units) have emerged, traditional processing methods have been augmented with the vector computing approach of those units working in conjunction with CPUs. Now, new types of processors areRead More

Supercomputers "give birth" to the first synthetic cell

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports (accessed via HPCwire) that scientists, with the help of supercomputers, have made the first ever synthetic cell. J. Craig Venter led a team that extracted DNA from existing bacteria and redesigned the entire genetic code on a computer. Then, the scientists spliced together pieces of real DNA to create in real life the genetic codeRead More

Microsoft to integrate technical applications, HPC and the cloud

HPCwire reports that Microsoft has gathered a new team called the Technical Computing Group with the ambition of “modeling the world”, that is, creating a software/hardware package that makes it easier than ever for scientists, researchers, doctors, designers, analysts, and engineers to run their mathematical models. Microsoft already has a set of software tools that help scientists in their tasks,Read More

HPC and lithium-air electric cars

HPCwire featured an article last week about how supercomputers are helping to produce an economical battery for the next generation of electric cars. According to the article, a new type of rechargeable battery is being developed that will rival the current standard of lithium-ion. These batteries, called lithium-air batteries, have a much greater energy density than lithium-ion batteries and canRead More

GPUs in the news – medicine

NVIDIA, a maker of GPUs, reports that it has launched AMBER 11, a new version of a program that is frequently used by scientists to aid in the discovery of new medicine. This version of the program is optimized for GPUs, allowing scientists to use private workstation computers instead of public supercomputers to run the same computational load. From theRead More

GPUs in the news – computer gaming and the human brain

Just over the weekend, I have discovered (through my RSS feeds) fascinating new uses for GPU computing. I thought I would describe one of them in short detail here for your interest (others to come later this week). GPUs have their origin in computer gaming, where graphics cards were equipped with their own micro-processors to handle large quantities of simpleRead More

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