Archive for April, 2005
Scientists say they have achieved small-scale nuclear fusion in a tabletop experiment, using tried and true techniques that are expected to generate far less controversy than past such claims.
This latest experiment relied on a tiny crystal to generate a strong electric field. While the energy created was too small to harness cheap fusion power, the technique could have potential uses in medicine, spacecraft propulsion, the oil drilling industry and homeland security, said Seth Putterman, a physicist at the University of California at Los Angeles.
A very thorough analysis of the server offerings from AMD and Intel. AMD’s Opteron offerings (single and dual-core) take the crown beating Intel’s Xeons. The verdict is that AMD has a far better product line-up and it will take Intel at least a year to play catch up. Of course, AMD has already started talking about quad-cores to deal with that, the cool thing is that AMD’s x86-64 architecture was designed from the ground-up for scaling to multiple cores and high memory bandwith (something Intel architectures are choking up on).
AMD’s President Hector Ruiz is interviewed about AMD’s innovation 64bit x86 technology, dual-core processors and $100 computers. My favourite line from the interview is:
…AMD isn’t planning to do something like Intel Inside?
Ruiz: No. We prefer to be on our customers’ side rather than on the inside.
A nostalgic piece about summer vacationing in India. It sounds like its autobiographical and has some light, humourous moments.
AMD becomes the first x86 dual-core manufacturer. Intel is meekly trying to follow as usual. Right now Intel’s financial figures are good…but good times may not always like. Intel already has been rapped by the Japanese Fair Trade Commission for unfair trade. Anyway, competition is good, I am happy with a AMD laptop which beats the crap out of any Intel junk. BTW, have you seen Intel’s ads never talk about performance? and how Intel used to criticise AMD’s performance numbers and now itself only uses model numbers ?
Check out the nice AMD presentation about multi-core: No change in hardware required, no change in software, no change in power requirements. Extremetech has done a comparision of AMD and Intel dual-core processors and this is what they had to say:
There’s really no other way to say it—this is a huge win for AMD. We expected major improvement in multi-threaded applications and multi-tasking tests, but at only 2.2GHz we weren’t sure it would actually perform better than Intel’s dual-core Pentium Extreme Edition 840. ….Some 3D modeling and rendering tasks, video encoding, gaming…all these areas were simply dominated by the dual-core Opteron. Given the single-threaded nature of today’s games, we were shocked to find the Opteron outpacing even the single-core 3.73GHz P4EE in those benchmarks. In our heavy multitasking tests, the Opteron 875 proved the equal or better than the dual-core Pentium. It’s not quite a “clean sweep,” but it’s close.
Though the Opteron 875 is a very expensive server-bound chip, we restricted ourselves to a single-CPU configuration that closely mimics a desktop configuration. If anything, our test results here are lower than what you could expect from an Athlon 64 X2 when they ship. With non-registered RAM, a desktop performance-tuned motherboard, and a speed bump to 2.4GHz, the dual-core Athlon 64 CPUs should run every single one of our tests more quickly than our Opteron 875 did.
Considerable performance advantages aside, AMD has another feather in their cap: the convenience factor. Dual-core Pentium chips require new motherboards, while every socket 940 motherboard built to the 80-amp spec (everything in the last year or more) can support a dual-core Opteron with only a BIOS upgrade. In the majority of cases, you won’t even have to use a different CPU cooler. The same goes for the eventual release of Athlon 64 X2 processors. Those will work in almost any socket 939 motherboard made in the last year or more with only a BIOS upgrade. …Looking at the data, it’s hard not to recommend AMD.
News Flash! This Inquirer story talks about a 4 processor dual-core Opteron system beating a 16 processor Intel Xeon 3Ghz machine by a 20% margin.
With recent stories about hardware products for the developing world – namely the MIT Media lab’s $100 laptop and the Simputer, its interesting to see a software solution to the problems of internet access. Aidworld, a Cambridge (UK) based organisation specialising in ICTs for the developing world have created a free internet service to speed up web browsing in low bandwidth environments: loband. Using server-side compression and by filtering images, scripts and plugins while retaining content and basic formatting, loband reduces bandwidth requirements by between 5 and 50 times. Its making waves in development circles but it also seems to make for a much leaner browsing experience in this world of heavyweight websites. Could this be a much needed stepping stone for users in developing countries? Do high bandwidth consumers find the sites they view could look much cleaner?”