Archive for the ‘Commercial Applications’ Category

HP cuts include hit at Labs

Thursday, July 21st, 2005

And now to dovetail with our ongoing discussion of shrinking long-term R&D efforts, word from one of the few desktop computing companies to invest in R&D at all that its staff will be reduced by 10 percent. The AP reports (via Technology Review) that: “As part of a massive restructuring that includes 14,500 job cuts companywide, Hewlett-Packard Co. is discontinuing four research projects at HP Labs…About…70 of HP Labs’ 700 employees worldwide will receive layoff notices.”

Among those cut was Alan Kay, “best known for his work in graphical user interfaces while working at Xerox’s research lab in the 1970s.”

Cray touts HPC Challenge benchmark results

Thursday, June 16th, 2005

Cray announced today that the Cray XT3 and Cray XD1 have posted leading overall results on the HPC Challenge benchmark tests. With the XT3, they’re claiming victory on seven of the 10 tests. According to Cray:

In comparing customer-reported HPC Challenge results for three large-scale systems of about the same size, an 1,100-processor Cray XT3 supercomputer had the best scores on seven of the 10 “condensed results” tests, compared to an SGI Altix 3700 system with 1,008 processors and an IBM Blue Gene system with 1,024 processors. In the seven tests, the Cray XT3 typically outperformed the next-best system by a factor of two to five times, and was up to 17 times faster than the third-ranking system.

Mulitcore developer info from Intel

Thursday, June 9th, 2005

Presentations from Spring Intel Developer Forum, including a great deal of talk about multicore processor plans, are available for download from Intel. (Search for “Dual/Multicore” under “Technology Topics.”)

According to ExtremeTech, an Intel exec at the forum said the company “has no less than 15 dual-core development plans underway…Moreover, Intel intends to combine 64-bit processing and dual-core capabilities in its “Extreme Edition” processor family, offering the best of both worlds.”

Truly useable hi-speed wireless soon?

Monday, June 6th, 2005

When we talk about grid computing, we often talk about bringing computing power to those who need it at a price point they can afford. Nevermind that sharing large data files produced from this computing power still requires wires and often long ones. What if such data sharing could be handled wirelessly? With so much focus on optical networking research, the efforts of the wireless crowd sometimes tend be overlooked. We may be years away from achieving ubiquitous ultra hi-speed, low latency networking using wireless technology, but recent reports make it clear that progress is being made within the mobile telecom/IT industry.

After initial tests in Israel, high speed downlink packet acess (HSDPA), a wireless broadband technology, has just been demonstrated in Japan at the Networld+Interop 2005 in Tokyo. Achieving throughput rates of 14.4 Mbps, which is fast enough for streaming DVD quality video, the demonstration greatly exceeded current commercial-grade wireless capacity. While paltry compared to current wired networks, NASA regularly tests network capabilities, which reveal that

end–to-end file transport from major scientific data repositories to end users laboratories across the shared internet is…typically 50-100 mbps (see the Introduction of the May issue of CTWatch Quarterly)

Technology News Daily has a piece about the Japan demonstration.

Grady Booch on life at IBM

Friday, May 27th, 2005

InfoWorld has published an interesting Q & A with Grady Booch, known as a co-creator of the unified modeling language (UML). In the interview, Booch fields several questions about a variety of topics, including parallelizing software and what happens when Moore’s law expires. Though towing the company line, Booch nevertheless shares his insight into future application development and open source issues as well.

Technical report on Blue Gene/L from IBM

Wednesday, May 4th, 2005

The latest issue of IBM’s Journal of Research and Development is devoted to Blue Gene/L. It includes an overview of the architecture, reports on various subsystems, and a rundown of the software environment. Not yet available for order! Operators are not standing by! Just look at it online, you goon.

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