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Tech-news archive: May-June 2008

Supercomputer sets petaflop pace
(Jun 9, 2008)

A supercomputer built with components designed for the Sony PlayStation 3 has set a new computing milestone. The IBM machine, codenamed Roadrunner, has been shown to run at "petaflop speeds", the equivalent of one thousand trillion calculations per second. The benchmark means the computer is twice as nimble as the current world's fastest machine (shown here), also built by IBM.

Read more. Source: BBC

Google to get new space age home
(Jun 7, 2008)

Google is to get a new home after signing a 40-year lease to build a high-tech campus on land owned by NASA. The 1.2m sq ft site will include a huge office complex, and research and development facilities. The search giant will pay an initial base rent of $3.66m a year for the undeveloped land at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View.

Read more. Source: BBC

Microsoft demos 'touch Windows'
(May 28, 2008)

Microsoft's next operating system (OS) will come with multi-touch features as an alternative to the mouse. It is hoped the successor will have a better reception than the much-maligned Vista OS, released last year. Scheduled for release in 2009 the new fingertip interface lets users enlarge and shrink photos, trace routes on maps, paint pictures or play the piano.

Read more. Source: BBC

Vulcan mirror
Laser heats up the fusion future
(May 19, 2008)

The world's most powerful laser has heated matter to 10 million Celsius, hotter than the surface of the Sun. The Vulcan laser concentrated energy equivalent to 100 times the world's electricity production into a spot just a few millionths of a metre across. Writing in the New Journal of Physics, scientists said they could create the conditions for fractions of a second.

Read more. Source: BBC

simulation of a black hole collision
NASA, Intel, SGI plan to 'soup up' supercomputer
(May 8, 2008)

NASA, Intel Corp., and SGI today announced the signing of an agreement establishing intentions to collaborate on significantly increasing the space agency's supercomputer performance and capacity. These organizations will work together on a project called Pleiades to develop a computational system with a capacity of one Petaflops peak performance (1,000 trillion operations per second) by 2009 and a system with a peak performance of 10 Petaflops (10,000 trillion operations per second) by 2012.

Read more. Source: NASA

electronic chips
Electronics' 'missing link' found
(May 1, 2008)

Details of an entirely new kind of electronic device, which could make chips smaller and far more efficient, have been outlined by scientists. The new components, described by scientists at Hewlett-Packard, are known as "memristors". The devices were proposed 40 years ago but have only recently been fabricated, the team wrote in the journal Nature.

Read more. Source: BBC


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