Computing 022612


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  • Sources from Apple's supply chain have claimed that there will be two versions of the new iPad, one targeting the high-end segment and the other the mid-range. Digitimes Research believe the two new iPad models will both be equipped the A6 (quadcore) processor with high-end model coming with a high resolution panel (2048x1536) and the mid-tier model featuring the same grade of panel as iPad 2 (1024x768). The speculation is the mid-tier model would be priced as low as $299. So if you are about to buy an iPad you may want to wait a few months.. VR contact lens are contact lenses that enhance normal vision by allowing a wearer to view virtual and augmented reality images without the need for bulky apparatus.Over the past months we have demonstrated contact lens enabled eyewear for mobile devices including smartphones, portable game devices and media players that deliver panoramic, high-resolution experiences for entertainment and planned Augmented Reality (AR)* applications”, said Steve Willey, Innovega CEO. “During this same period, we collaborated with partners to finalize initial specifications of launch platforms which include a screen size that is equivalent to a 240 inch television (viewed at a usual distance of 10 feet)”.Willey added, “Unless the display industry can deliver transparent, high-performance and compact eyewear, developers of AR and other compelling media applications will simply fail to create the excitement that consumers crave and the functionality that professional users absolutely need”.Unclear to me that would work well as a virtual computer display. Innovega’s new and natural interface comprises familiar, light-weight eyewear working with advanced contact lenses. One hundred million global consumers, including more than 20% of America’s 18 to 34 year-old, already wear contact lenses. With low switching costs, Innovega expects many will join other early adopter groups who wish to access rich media while remaining fully involved in their real-world activities. Management believes that consumers will be thrilled to wear and benefit from its new lens-based eyewear given the unique combination of benefits that this new interface offers.Glass House is on its way. Fiber-optic screen connection saves 30% of laptop power“Slim as a hair, powerful as 100 LEDs”: the advantages of this technology have the allure of a slogan. “Currently, half the consumption of energy in laptops is connected to the screen and particularly its lighting,” explains YannTissot, the founder of the company, L.E.S.S. (Light Efficient SystemS). Transporting light through fiber-optics, as this newly created start-up wishes to do, permits the reduction of energy use by more than 30%.3D Camera for cellphonesClever math could enable a high-quality 3-D camera so simple, cheap and power-efficient that it could be incorporated into handheld devices.At MIT, researchers have used the Kinect to create a “Minority Report”-style computer interface, a navigation system for miniature robotic helicopters and a holographic-video transmitter, among other things. large sceen TVLG will show off a demo of a 55 inch OLED TV at CES 2012The 5-millimeter-thick display is light, pencil-thin, and promises high definition with no after image--that motion-induced blur you may see in an LCD screen. In addition, it boasts a contrast ratio of over 100,000:1. LG is setting up a stepped-up pricing war, strongly hinting that its world's-largest OLED display will be far more affordable.3D TV TV Networks, Inc. announced that it will unveil its new Ultra-D technology at CES 2012. Ultra-D is a next generation 3D without glasses display technology that surpasses all 3D viewing experiences offered to date.Developed by Stream TV Networks, Inc., the producer of the eLocity brand of mobile tablets launched first in 2010, the Ultra-D technology is strictly proprietary and leverages custom hardware, middleware techniques and software algorithms to create unprecedented autostereoscopic 3D imagery. This technology will provide consumers with access to unlimited 3D content by enabling real-time conversion of:* 2D content into 3D autostereoscopic (without glasses)* 3D stereoscopic content (with glasses) to 3D autostereoscopic (without glasses)The Ultra-D technology thus supports the immediate adoption of 3D consumer hardware despite limited availability of 3D content. Real-time conversion of 2D to 3D and 3D with glasses to 3D without glasses works seamlessly with various content formats including Blu-ray, DVD, PC gaming, Internet, cable and satellite content.NVIDIA phone CNET - Nvidia is eying a market for inexpensive dual-core smartphones that underprice the iPhone 4S by 4 or 5 times. The "1,000 RMB phone" in China, will use Nvidia's dual-core Tegra 2 processor paired with a 3G modem. RMB 1,000 is about 80 percent less than the price of an iPhone 4S, which currently retails for RMB 4,988 in China.Quad-core Tegra 3 production is ramping now and Nvidia expects 50 percent growth in its Tegra business quarter to quarter. The Tegra 3 powers the Asus Transformer Prime tablet. More tablets with Tegra 3 are coming. Huang also intimated that HTC would bring out a quad-core phone. Information about other phones, such as the LG X3, have leaked separately.UltrabookTechnology Review - Touch, voice control, and even gesture control—the latter popularized by Microsoft's Kinect gaming controller—will be coming to lightweight laptops dubbed "ultrabooks," said Mooly Eden, Intel's vice president for sales and marketing, at Intel's press conference this morning. dominates the market for desktop, laptop, and server processors, but has been a spectator to the rapid growth of smart phones and tablets. Worse for the Santa Clara, California, chip maker, high-powered smart-phone and tablet processors based on designs from U.K.-based ARM are beginning to show potential in Intel's traditional realm.Smart phones, tablets, and Apple's super-lightweight MacBook Air have made conventional laptops look rather staid in recent years, threatening a major source of revenue for Intel. Eden's presentation made it clear that Intel has spent considerable effort in its labs developing new technologies to refresh the notebook. Touch, voice recognition, and novel hybrid tablet-laptop designs have all been developed and will be licensed to partners such as Asus, Acer, and HP, which make ultrabooks.
  • The InnovegaiOptikTM architecture meets the demanding performance requirements of AR by eliminating the focusing optics that tend to limit the field of view of displayed media. Innovega replaces them with micro- and nano-fabricated optical elements that are integrated into otherwise conventional contact lenses. The recent demonstration of stylish, megapixel eyewear has proven the power of this proprietary architecture.Innovega will provide the new system to media and consumer electronics OEMs who wish to design natural display interfaces that consumers want and need. Innovega believes that its new personal display interface will become an essential social media and entertainment accessory.
  • Depth-sensing cameras can produce 'depth maps' like this one, in which distances are depicted as shades on a gray-scale spectrum (lighter objects are closer, darker ones farther away). Image: flickr/DominicLike other sophisticated depth-sensing devices, the MIT researchers’ system uses the “time of flight” of light particles to gauge depth: A pulse of infrared laser light is fired at a scene, and the camera measures the time it takes the light to return from objects at different distances.Traditional time-of-flight systems use one of two approaches to build up a “depth map” of a scene. LIDAR (for light detection and ranging) uses a scanning laser beam that fires a series of pulses, each corresponding to a point in a grid, and separately measures their time of return. But that makes data acquisition slower, and it requires a mechanical system to continually redirect the laser. The alternative, employed by so-called time-of-flight cameras, is to illuminate the whole scene with laser pulses and use a bank of sensors to register the returned light. But sensors able to distinguish small groups of light particles — photons — are expensive: A typical time-of-flight camera costs thousands of dollars.The MIT researchers’ system, by contrast, uses only a single light detector — a one-pixel camera. But by using some clever mathematical tricks, it can get away with firing the laser a limited number of times.
  • LG Display is able to achieve low fabrication costs by using oxide thin-film transistors for the panel replacing amorphous silicon. In contrast, Low Temperature Poly Silicon (LTPS) TFTs are generally used in existing small-sized OLED panels. The Oxide TFTs type produces identical image quality to high performance of LTPS base panels at significantly reduced investment levels, according to LG Display.By using White OLEDs (WOLED) which vertically accumulates red, green, and blue diodes LG Display claims to achieve a lower error rate and a clearer resolution screen.
  • MSNBC - security researcher Brendan O’Connor is trying a different approach to spy hardware: building a sensor-equipped surveillance-capable computer that’s so cheap it can be sacrificed after one use, with off-the-shelf parts that anyone can buy and assemble for less than $50. the Shmoocon security conference Friday in Washington, D.C., O’Connor presented the F-BOMB, or Falling or Ballistically-launched Object that Makes Backdoors. Built from just the hardware in a commercially-available PogoPlug mini-computer, a few tiny antennas, eight gigabytes of flash memory and some 3D-printed plastic casing, the F-BOMB serves as 3.5 by 4 by 1 inch spy computer. And O’Connor has designed the cheap gadgets to be dropped from a drone, plugged inconspicuously into a wall socket, thrown over a barrier, or otherwise put into irretrievable positions to quietly collect data and send it back to the owner over any available Wifi network. With PogoPlugs currently on sale at Amazon for $25, O’Connor built his prototypes with gear that added up to just $46 each
  • Xprize is now officially launched. Medical diagnosis made much much cheaper and immediate obviously has a huge impact on overall medical cost and quality of care both in developing and developed nations. Many routine tests can be done by consumers directly when such devices reach maturity. Imagine a portable, wireless device in the palm of your hand that monitors and diagnoses your health conditions. That’s the technology envisioned by this competition, and it will allow unprecedented access to personal health metrics. The end result: Radical innovation in healthcare that will give individuals far greater choices in when, where, and how they receive care.In virtually every industry, end consumer needs drive advances and improvements. Except in healthcare. Very few methods exist for consumers to receive direct medical care without seeing a healthcare professional at a clinic or hospital, creating an access bottleneck. Despite substantial investment to improve the status quo, even average levels of service, efficiency, affordability, accessibility, and satisfaction remain out of reach for many whom the system was intended to help. A prize is thus sorely needed.Voice understanding understanding opens new visas in Human Computer Interface and in human-human communication and knowledge capture and context aware computing. Androidandme - Google’s response to Apple’s Siri voice assistant is codenamed Majel, which comes from Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, better known as the voice of the Federation Computer from Star Trek.Majel is an evolution of Google’s Voice Actions that is currently available on most Android phones with the addition of natural language processing. Where Voice Actions required you to issue specific commands like “send text to…” or “navigate to…”, Majel will allow you to perform actions in your natural language similar to how Siri functions.Supercomputing on demand in the cloud 42nd fastest supercomputer on earth doesn’t exist.This fall, Amazon built a virtual supercomputer atop its Elastic Compute Cloud — a web service that spins up virtual servers whenever you want them — and this nonexistent mega-machine outraced all but 41 of the world’s real supercomputers.Yes, beneath Amazon’s virtual supercomputer, there’s real hardware. When all is said and done, it’s a cluster of machines, like any other supercomputer. But that virtual layer means something. This isn’t a supercomputer that Amazon uses for its own purposes. It’s a supercomputer that can be used by anyone.This not only shows the breadth of Amazon’s service. It shows that in the internet age, just about anyone can run a supercomputer-sized application without actually building a supercomputer. “If you wanted to spin up a ten or twenty thousand [processor] core cluster, you could do it with a single mouse click,” says Jason Stowe, the CEO of Cycle Computing, an outfit that helps researchers and businesses run supercomputing applications atop EC2. “Fluid dynamics simulations. Molecular dynamics simulations. Financial analysis. Risk analysis. DNA sequencing. All of those things can run exceptionally well atop the [Amazon EC2 infrastructure].”And you could do it for a pittance — at least compared to the cost of erecting your own supercomputer. This fall, Cycle Computing setup a virtual supercomputer for an unnamed pharmaceutical giant that spans 30,000 processor cores, and it cost $1,279 an hour. Stowe — who has spent more than two decades in the supercomputing game, working with supercomputers at Carnegie Mellon University and Cornell — says there’s still a need for dedicated supercomputers you install in your own data center, but things are changing.Helping the poor’s startup boom.Technology Review - Last year College Senior Njenga and three classmates developed a program that will let thousands of Kenyan health workers use mobile phones to report and track the spread of diseases in real time—and they'd done it for a tiny fraction of what the government had been on the verge of paying for such an application.The problem he had tackled was critical in a nation where one in 25 is HIV-positive (10 times the U.S. rate) and AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria are among the leading killers. In 2010, the Kenyan government realized it had to do something about its chaotic system for tracking infectious diseases in order to improve the response to outbreaks and report cases to the World Health Organization. Handwritten reports and text messages describing deaths and new cases of disease would stream in from more than 5,000 clinics around the nation and pivot through more than 100 district offices before being manually entered into a database in Nairobi. The health ministry wanted to let community health workers put information into the database directly from mobile phones, which are ubiquitous in Kenya. The ministry initially sought a solution the usual way: it explored hiring a multinational contractor. It drafted a contract with the Netherlands office of BhartiAirtel, the Indian telecommunications giant that also operates a mobile network in Kenya. The company proposed spending tens of thousands of dollars on mobile phones and SIM cards for the data-gathering task, and it said it would need another $300,000 to develop the data application on the phones. The total package ran to $1.9 million.Mobile phones are lifelines for Kenyans. Some 26 million of the nation's 41 million people have phones, and 18 million use them to do their everyday banking and conduct other business; most use a service called M-Pesa, which is offered by the country's dominant wireless provider, Safaricom. If mobile phones could play as big a role in Kenyan health care as they do in Kenyan financial transactions, the effects could be profound. A growing body of research worldwide is showing that beyond disease surveillance, mobile phones can improve public health by connecting people with doctors for the first time, reminding people to take medications or bring children in for vaccinations, and even enabling doctors in remote areas to view, update, and manage crucial clinical records.
  • University of Illinois materials scientists have developed a new reactive silver ink for printing high-performance electronics on ubiquitous, low-cost materials such as flexible plastic, paper or fabric substrates. printed on low-cost, flexible materials hold promise for antennas, batteries, sensors, solar energy, wearable devices and more. Most conductive inks rely on tiny metal particles suspended in the ink. The new ink is a transparent solution of silver acetate and ammonia. The silver remains dissolved in the solution until it is printed, and the liquid evaporates, yielding conductive features.The reactive ink has several advantages over particle-based inks. It is much faster to make: A batch takes minutes to mix, according to Walker, whereas particle-based inks take several hours and multiple steps to prepare. The ink also is stable for several weeks.The reactive silver ink also can print through 100-nanometer nozzles, an order of magnitude smaller than particle-based inks, an important feature for printed microelectronics. Moreover, the ink’s low viscosity makes it suitable for inkjet printing, direct ink writing or airbrush spraying over large, conformal areas.
  • is amazing. The General Robotics, Automation, Sensing, and Perception (GRASP) lab at UPenn posted a video with nanoquadcopters showing remarkable agility and the ability to perform as a team. CNet - The quadcopters are able to flip over and maintain flight. More amazing (unnerving?) is their operation in formation. Based on commands, 16 quadcopters change direction, land, navigate past obstacles, and even fly in a figure-eight formation.Another impressivebot movie of a hexpod is at
  • world's technological capacity to store information grew from 2.6 (optimally compressed) exabytes in 1986 to 15.8 in 1993, over 54.5 in 2000, and to 295 (optimally compressed) exabytes in 2007.The world’s technological capacity to receive information through one-way broadcast networks was 432 exabytes of (optimally compressed) information in 1986, 715 (optimally compressed) exabytes in 1993, 1,200 (optimally compressed) exabytes in 2000, and 1,900 in 2007.[2]The world's effective capacity to exchange information through two-way telecommunication networks was 0.281 exabytes of (optimally compressed) information in 1986, 0.471 in 1993, 2.2 in 2000, and 65 (optimally compressed) exabytes in 2007In 2004, the global monthly Internet traffic passed 1 exabyte for the first time. In January 2007, Bret Swanson of the Discovery Institute coined the term exaflood for a supposedly impending flood of exabytes that would cause the Internet's congestive collapse.[3][4] Nevertheless, the global Internet traffic has continued its exponential growth, undisturbed, and as of March 2010 it is estimated at 21 exabytes per monthAccording to the June 2009 update of the Cisco Visual Networking Index IP traffic forecast, by 2013, annual global IP traffic will reach two-thirds of a zettabyte or 667 exabytes. Internet video will generate over 18 exabytes per month in 2013. Global mobile data traffic will grow at a CAGR of 131 percent between 2008 and 2013, reaching over two exabytes per month by 2013The global data volume at the end of 2009 has reached 800 exabyteAccording to an IDC paper sponsored by EMC Corporation, 161 exabytes of data were created in 2006, "3 million times the amount of information contained in all the books ever written," with the number expected to hit 988 exabytes in 2010According to the CSIRO, in the next decade, astronomers expect to be processing 10 petabytes of data every hour from the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope.[11] The array is thus expected to generate approximately one exabyte every four days of operation. According to IBM, the new SKA telescope initiative will generate over an exabyte of data every day. IBM is designing hardware to process this information.According to the Digital Britain Report,[13] 494 exabytes of data was transferred across the globe on June 15, 2009.----Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) made news yesterday by announcing it will deploy a revolutionary new Cray XK6 supercomputer based on 18,000 NVIDIA GPUs. This is an important milestone on the path to Exascalecomputing.Titan will have the potential to deliver over 20 petaflops of peak performance, making it more than twice as fast (and three times more energy efficient) as today’s fastest supercomputer, Japan’s K computer. have historically improved performance with a combination of device scaling and Instruction Level Parallelism (ILP). With leakage power emerging as a constraint in the mid 2000s, supply voltage could no longer be lowered, said Dally. Benefits of device scaling reduced. ILP benefits were "mined out" around the year 2000 too. New ideas are therefore needed for future computing systems. "To build an ExaScale machine in a power budget of 20MW requires a 200-fold improvement in energy per instruction: from 2nJ to 10pJ", noted Dally. "Only 4x is expected from improving technology as per the semiconductor roadmap. The remaining 50x must come from improvements in architecture and circuits." With this exciting preamble, Dally started talking ideas. --------Funding European Commission last week said it is doubling its investment in the push for exascale computing from [euro]630 million to [euro]1.2 billion (or the equivalent of $1.58 billion). The announcement comes even as European governments are imposing austerity measures to prevent defaults.The Europeans announced the plan the same week the White House released its fiscal year 2013 budget, which envisions a third year of anemic funding to develop exascale technologies. Last year, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) asked for nearly $91 million in funding for the efforts in the current fiscal year; it received $73.4 million. That was up from $28.2 million spent on exascale the previous year.In the budget proposal delivered to Congress, the White House has asked for $89.5 million - although there's additional money for exascale tucked away in other DOE budgets as well as in defense budgets.SupercomputerraceEurope plans exascale funding above U.S. levelsCray courts the big-data marketRussia building 10-petaflop supercomputerNvidia: Gaming systems to reach 'tens of teraflops' by 2019U.S. HPC lead in dangerQ&A: Exascale now a global race for techIntel's 'Knights Corner' chip hits supercomputing speedIntel pushes 50-core chip, mulls exascale computingAmazon Web Services adds supercomputing service to its cloudFujitsu to team with Whamcloud in Lustre developmentMore in Supercomputers That level of investment, according to Earl Joseph, a high-performance computing (HPC) nalyst for IDC, is "peanuts" for a program that may require billions of dollarsMeanwhile, China is moving ahead with its own plans and has the financial resources and human talent to make progress in exascale computing. The Europeans may be particularly worried about China."Their biggest threat is that China is just going to bury them," said Joseph, referring to Europe. "With this level of investment, it gives them a chance to hold their own and maybe get a little bit a head of the game."Major parts of the U.S. investment will go to fundamental research leading to new types of processors, memory, operating systems and compilers -- research breakthroughs that could also be applied commercially, said Joseph.
  • The Echelon architecture consists of multiple throughput optimized stream processors (called SM0... SM127) that are simple, in-order cores and a few latency optimized cores (LC0...LC7) that are optimized to maximize utilization of ILP with superscalar, out-of-order execution. The latency optimized cores burn 50x the energy per operation compared to throughput optimized cores for 3x the performance, and are utilized just for critical paths in the program.A network-on-chip architecture is utilized to manage interconnect resources efficiently. The most interesting part of Echelon, in my opinion, is the memory system that is completely configurable based on the needs of the application. Applications can have flat or hierarchical memory systems based on what is optimal for them. This unique memory system places data close to computation elements and minimizes the interconnect energy required to load operands from memory.The biggest challenge with 1000 core chips such as Echelon will be programming them, said Dally. He recommended developing programming languages which describe parallelism and locality, but which are not specific to hardware implementations. Compilers and auto-tuners would then map programs to the specific hardware based on parallelism and locality considerations.  "We are about to see a sea change in programming models," said Dally. "In high performance computing we went from vectorized Fortran to MPI and now we need a new programming model for the next decade or so," he said. "We think it should be an evolution of [Nvidia's] CUDA," said Dally. "But there are CUDA like approaches such as OpenCL, OpenMP and [Microsoft's] DirectCompute or a whole new language," he said.
  • Computing 022612

    1. 1. Computing News 02 26 12
    2. 2. Personal Computing• Super iPad• Virtual reality contact lens• 30% saving in laptop power consumption• 3D camera for cell phones• 55 inch OLED TV• 3D TV without glasses• First netbooks, then tablets, now ultrabooks• NVIDIA Tegra 2 (soon 3) smartphones
    3. 3. F-Bomb throwaway hacking• Cheap surveillance computer package• Dropped from planes or drones
    4. 4. Societal Impactors• $10M Medical Tricordor XPRIZE• Voice understanding• Supercomputing on demand from the Cloud• Helping the poor via technology – Medical – Education – Knowledge – Market access – computation
    5. 5. Printable high-performance electronics
    6. 6. Swarming formations of quadcopters
    7. 7. Exascale computing• How fast is exasclace? – Global data storage is aroung 300 exabytes (2007) – So processing of entire global data store in 5 minutes?• GPU based exascale computing• The problem of software for 100 – 1000 cores• Europe funds exascale research at higher level than US
    8. 8. nVIDIA Echelon architecture