Still among the 25 fastest supercomputers in the world, the $121 million Roadrunner at Los Alamos National Laboratory was decommissioned Sunday. Roadrunner, constructed with the help of IBM, was the first to break the petaflop barrier in 2008, and was unusual at the time for being entirely built out of commercially available parts. Its replacement is smaller, cheaper, and faster.
Unlike the building blocks of conventional hard disk drives and memories, resistive...
Still among the 25 fastest supercomputers in the world, the $121 million Roadrunner at...
Two years ago, a research team in Switzerland revealed the promising electronic...
A variety of solid-state systems are currently being investigated as candidates for quantum bits of information, or qubits. One such qubit, a quantum dot, is made of semiconductor nanocrystals embedded in a chip, but the quality of photons generated from solid-state qubits can be low due to decoherence. Now, researchers in the U.K. have generated single photons with tailored properties from solid-state devices that are identical in quality to lasers
Stretched-out clothing might not be a great practice for laundry day, but in the case of microprocessor manufacture, stretching out the atomic structure of the silicon in the critical components of a device can be a good way to increase a processor's performance.
Researchers at Columbia University are attempting to build self-powered systems using nanoscale devices that can transmit and receive wireless signals using so little power that their batteries never need replacing. Some of the chips built so far are 100 times more energy efficient than most standard technologies, and they rely on tiny bits of ambient solar energy to recharge themselves.
Scientists from the University of Cambridge, U.K., have created, for the first time, a new type of microchip which allows information to travel in three dimensions. The chip’s design relies on spintronics, a technology that makes use of an electron's tiny magnetic moment, or “spin”, to store information. Currently, microchips can only pass digital information in a very limited way—from either left to right or front to back.
NVIDIA today unveiled the NVIDIA Tesla K20 family of graphical processing unit (GPU) accelerators, which are the fastest and most efficient accelerators ever built. The chip technology powers Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s recently completed Titan, the world’s fastest supercomputer according to the TOP500 list released on Monday at the SC12 supercomputing conference.
A European research team has recently been able to demonstrate that germanium, under certain conditions, can function as a laser material. Together with silicon, the researchers report, germanium lasers could form the basis for innovative computer chips in which information would be transferred partially in the form of light.
In attempt to achieve better control of heat flows in electronic devices, a researcher in Finland has invented two new mesoscopic devices based on the behavior of single electrons in a constructed system. The inventions, which include a diode, or rectifier, specifically address the heat carried by an electron and help produce a strongly asymmetric heat flow. The next step will be to manage larger currents.
On Tuesday IBM introduced a new line of mainframe computers the company calls its most powerful and technologically advanced ever. The zEnterprise EC12 mainframe server is designed to help users securely and quickly sift through massive amounts of data. Running at 5.5 GHz, IBM said the microprocessor that powers the mainframe is the fastest chip in the world.
A critical element in any microchip is an inverter—an electronic component that spits out zeros when it is given ones, and vice versa. Complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor, or CMOS, is the industry standard for this type of component, but still requires billions of dollars to achieve production scale. Researchers have recently pioneered a room-temperature additive process that creates a nanoscale inverter quickly and at low cost.
A research team at the University of Santa Barbara has designed and fabricated a quantum processor capable of factoring a composite number—in this case the number 15—into its constituent prime factors, 3 and 5. Although modest compared to, say, a 600-digit number, the algorithm they developed was right about half the time, matching theoretical predictions and marking a milestone on the trail of building a stronger quantum computer.
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute in Germany have developed a complex network computer that is equally capable of performing arbitrary calculations as conventional computer, but does this under completely different conditions. Instead of a 0s and 1s in a binary system, this computer can in principle compute from, or be built from, any oscillating system, like a pendulum.
Memory-chip maker Micron Technology Inc. has agreed to buy Elpida Memory Inc. for approximately $750 million in cash in a deal that would boost its wafer manufacturing capacity by about 50%. Elpida specializes in dynamic random access memory chips used in mobile phones and computers, and has been developing a plan of reorganization since filing for the largest manufacturing bankruptcy ever in Japan earlier this year.
Using a variety of techniques in the IBM labs, scientists have established three new records for reducing errors in elementary computations and retaining the integrity of quantum mechanical properties in quantum bits, the basic units that carry information within quantum computing. Their results were presented at the annual American Physical Society meeting this week in Boston.
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new technique that allows graphics processing units and central processing units on a single chip to collaborate—boosting processor performance by an average of more than 20%.
The microchip revolution has seen a steady shrinking of features on silicon chips, packing in more transistors and wires to boost chips' speed and data capacity. But in recent years, the technologies behind these chips have begun to bump up against fundamental limits, such as the wavelengths of light used for critical steps in chip manufacturing. Now, a new technique offers a way to break through one of these limits.
Molybdenite, a mineral of molybdenum disulfide, was shown earlier this year to be an effective band gap semiconductor and a possible competitor to graphene. EPFL scientists have now made the first molybdenite microchip, boasting smaller and more energy-efficient transistors than traditional silicon.
Following on the news that the Japanese K computer topped other high-performance computers at the SC11 conference, the National Nuclear Security Administration’s IBM Blue Gene/Q prototype has topped the Graph500, an increasingly competitive ranking that stresses supercomputer performance on “big data” scaling problems rather than purely arithmetic computations.
After topping both the June and November 2011 TOP500 fastest computers list, RIKEN and Fujitsu’s “K” computer has bolstered its status as an all-around performer but ranking at the top in all four benchmarks of the 2011 HPC Challenge Awards at SC11 in Seattle.
The 32-bit event-driven processor architecture from XMOS offers an alternative approach to embedded computing solutions. Instead of the operating system managing and servicing interrupts, the processor creates and looks for events.
A supercomputer capable of performing more than 8 quadrillion calculations per second is the new number one system in the world, putting Japan back in the top spot for the first time since the Earth Simulator was dethroned in November 2004. The system, called the K Computer, is at the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science (AICS) in Kobe.
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed two new techniques related to common efficiency strategies like prefetching and bandwidth allocation to help maximize the performance of multi-core computer chips by allowing them to retrieve data more efficiently, which boosts chip performance by 10 to 40%.
The breakthrough 3-D tri-gate transistor Intel showcased on Wednesday is a breakthrough, mainly because chip designers have nowhere else to go on a 2-D surface. The miniscule fins add computing power without adding chip size, just as skyscrapers maximize use of land. Intel's advance does not add a complete third dimension to chip-making, but that remains a distant but hotly pursued goal of the industry.
Watson, which took 25 IBM scientists four years to create, is more than just a trivia whiz, some experts say. IBM’s work is changing the way people think about artificial intelligence and how a computer can be programmed to give conversational answers — not merely lists of sometimes not-germane entries. Watsons in the future could do far more than win trivia contests.
So far, the human vs. machine bout is a tie. Originally filmed in January, the three “Jeopardy!” episodes airing this week are a test of IBM’s Watson computer and its ability to deal with the many subtleties, puns, and riddles that make Jeopardy! a great deal harder to program for than, say, the famous 1997 chess matches between Garry Kasparov and Deep Blue. The outcome of the matches is still under wraps.
Electronic systems and components have been in a constant state of evolution for nearly 50 years. Moore’s Law—the doubling of transistor density every two years—started it all in 1965, and the trend is now expected to continue through 2015 and beyond. Current hardware technology development responds to growth in cloud computing, Internet servers, mobile computing, pervasive wireless, embedded everything, integrated power supplies, satellite-based communications, flexible circuits and displays, many-core processors, carbon nanotube circuits, printed circuits and more.