MojoKid writes "For over 10 years, the desktop and mobile graphics space has been dominated by two players: Nvidia and AMD/ATI. After 3dfx collapsed, there was a brief period of time when it looked as though Imagination Technologies might establish itself as a third option. Ultimately, that didn't happen — the company's tile-based rendering solution, Kyro, failed to gain mass-market support and faded after two generations. Now, there's a flurry of evidence to suggest that Imagination Technologies plans to re-enter PC market, but from the opposite direction. Rather than building expensive discrete solutions, IT is focused on deploying GPUs that can challenge Nvidia and AMD solutions in tablets, mobile phones, and possibly netbooks. Over the past two weeks, Imagination Technologies has announced new, higher-end versions of its Power VR Series 6 GPU, claiming that the new Power VR G6230 and G6430 go '"all out," adding incremental extra area for maximum performance whilst minimising power consumption.' There's a new ray-tracing SDK out and a post discussing how PowerVR is utilizing GPU Compute and OpenCL to offload and accelerate CPU-centric tasks." Update: 06/17 17:53 GMT by T : Related: An anonymous reader adds a link to a new project from the FSF to reverse engineer the PowerVR SGX.
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An anonymous reader writes "A 56-page leaked document details Microsoft's plans to build a Project Glass competitor. Kinect Glasses is marked as a 2014 project designed to connect to a future Xbox 720 console. The document also includes potential pricing for the next Xbox — $299 with a Kinect 2."
An anonymous reader writes "Phoronix constructed a low-cost, low-power 12-core ARM cluster running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and made out of six PandaBoard ES OMAP4460 dual-core ARMv7 Cortex A9 chips. Their results show the ARM hardware is able to outperform Intel Atom and AMD Fusion processors in performance-per-Watt, except it sharply loses out to the latest-generation Intel Ivy Bridge processors." This cluster offers a commendable re-use of kitchenware. Also, this is a good opportunity to recommend your favorite de-bursting tools for articles spread over too many pages.
Glasswire writes "ComputerWorld reports that Microsoft will announce a Microsoft-branded tablet on Monday running the Win RT (ARM-based) subset version of Win 8. MSFT choose not to offer a x86 Win 8 version, which could have given them a performance advantage over ARM-based Apple iPads. A PCMag opinion piece titled 'A Microsoft Tablet Would Be Dumb' says, 'The only real reason to introduce a Microsoft-branded tablet is because Microsoft couldn't get anyone else to make a Windows RT tablet.' No reaction yet from Microsoft's system OEM customers that it will now be competing with."
An anonymous reader writes "Sometimes, it's the oldest machines that are the most fascinating. PC & Tech Authority has posted this gallery of photos of the first automatic electronic stored-program computer in Australia and one of the first in the world — CSIRAC. The photos show a machine massive in size — the main system comprised nine steel cabinets containing 2000 valves that weighed over 7000kg. Using valve technology and World War II radar systems as a starting point, the machine was used for various purposes including weather forecasting, forestry, loan repayments and building design. It boasted a 1000Hz memory clock and a serial bus that transferred one bit at a time. The system generated so much heat, cool air needed to be blown up through the cabinets from the basement below. In addition to being Australia's first computer, it is also said to have been the first computer to play digital music anywhere in the world. When CSIRAC was turned off for the last time, a witness described it as 'like something alive dying.'" Museum Victoria has some short but informative pages about CSIRAC, too, including this one about programming the thing, and another about the dangers and annoyances of working on it.
ArmageddonLord writes with this news from the IEEE Spectrum, reporting on display industry gathering Display Week: "Liquid crystal displays dominate today's big, bright world of color TVs. But they're inefficient and don't produce the vibrant, richly hued images of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens, which are expensive to make in large sizes. Now, a handful of start-up companies aim to improve the LCD by adding quantum dots, the light-emitting semiconductor nanocrystals that shine pure colors when excited by electric current or light. When integrated into the back of LCD panels, the quantum dots promise to cut power consumption in half while generating 50 percent more colors. Quantum-dot developer Nanosys says an LCD film it developed with 3M is now being tested, and a 17-inch notebook incorporating the technology should be on shelves by year's end."
Lucas123 writes "New numbers show hybrid drives, which combine NAND flash with spinning disk, will double in sales from 1 million to 2 million units this year. Unfortunately for Seagate — the only manufacturer of hybrids — solid-state drive sales are expected to hit 18 million units this year and 69 million by 2016. Low-capacity, cache SSDs, which typically have 20GB to 40GB of capacity and run along side hard drives in notebooks and desktops, will see their shipments rise even more this year to 23.9 million units, up by an astounding 2,660% from just 864,000 units in 2011. Shipments will then jump to 67.7 million units next year, cross the hundred-million-unit mark in 2015, and hit 163 million units by 2016, according to IHS iSuppli. If hybrid drives are to have a chance at surviving, more manufacturers will need to produce them, and they'll need to come in thinner form factors to fit today's ultrabook laptops."
coondoggie writes "It's not one-of-a-kind, but it's pretty darn close. Sotheby's this week auctioned off a rare, working Apple 1 computer for $374,500 to an unnamed bidder. The price was more than double the expected price listed on the Sotheby's web site. Sotheby's notes about the Apple 1 say it is one of six thought-to-be-operational boxes and one of about 50 known to exist."
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from ZDNet: "The launch of the Orange San Diego, the first handset using an Intel Atom processor, marks a big milestone for the chipmaker: it's finally in the smartphone market. But does the market need Intel at all? ... Intel's scale and the reach of its other divisions gives [Mike] Bell's smartphone unit a boost; for example, it can reuse code optimizations for Atom done by the desktop team. ... Even so, the smartphone team has got a tough job on its hands — but it's one Intel has to tackle, according to Carolina Milanesi, mobile analyst at Gartner. 'This is certainly an attack strategy for Intel. The smartphone market is so large now that they need a piece of the pie,' she said. But will consumers care whether their handset runs on an Intel chip? Bell conceded that aside from the tech-savvy, most people probably don't know which chip is inside their phone. It's likely, given the lack of advertising on this, that most probably don't care — making Intel's job even harder."
MrSeb writes "In an interview with ExtremeTech, Mike Bell — Intel's new mobile chief, previously of Apple and Palm — has completely dismissed the decades-old theory that x86 is less power efficient than ARM. 'There is nothing in the instruction set that is more or less energy efficient than any other instruction set,' Bell says. 'I see no data that supports the claims that ARM is more efficient.' The interview also covers Intel's inherent tech advantage over ARM and the foundries ('There are very few companies on Earth who have the capabilities we've talked about, and going forward I don't think anyone will be able to match us' Bell says), the age-old argument that Intel can't compete on price, and whether Apple will eventually move its iOS products from ARM to x86, just like it moved its Macs from Power to x86 in 2005."
Barence writes "PC Pro's Davey Winder has written a first-hand account of how he overhauled his PC workstation to cope with a sudden deterioration of his eyesight. Winder contracted wet macular degeneration, a progressive disease that strikes very quickly, and turns items in the field of vision into a grey smudge. He explains how he continued his work as a journalist by changing his word processor, swapping his desktop monitor for a touchscreen, and by replacing his keyboard with an Accuratus Monster keyboard (or Big Freaky Yellow Keyboard, as he's renamed it). He also explains why he had to swap his favourite Chrome browser for Internet Explorer, and how a £3.99 iPhone app saved him from spending hundreds of pounds on a dedicated hardware reader."
New submitter beefsack writes "Thanks to the strong ARM support in the Ubuntu repositories, Ubuntu, along with Lubuntu and others have been ported to work on the new MK802 mini PC. Performance is very impressive, especially given that Mali GPU driver support in Linux is still lacking features such as hardware video decoding."
MrSeb writes "Neuroengineers at MIT have created an implantable fuel cell that generates electricity from the glucose present in the cerebrospinal fluid that flows around your brain and spinal cord. The glucose-powered fuel cell is crafted out of silicon and platinum, using standard semiconductor fabrication processes. The platinum acts as a catalyst, stripping electrons from glucose molecules, similar to how aerobic animal cells (such as our own) strip electrons from glucose with enzymes and oxygen. The glucose fuel cell produces hundreds of microwatts (i.e. tenths of a milliwatt), which is a surprisingly large amount — it comparable to the solar cell on a calculator, for example. This should be more than enough power to drive complex computers — or perhaps more interestingly, trigger clusters of neurons in the brain. In theory, this glucose fuel cell will actually deprive your brain of some energy, though in practice you probably won't notice (or you might find yourself growing hungry sooner)."
Vigile writes "Today AMD is making an announcement that is the first step in a drastic transition for the company by integrating an ARM Cortex A5 processor on the same die with upcoming Fusion APUs. Starting in late 2013, all AMD APUs (processors that are combinations of x86 cores and Radeon SIMD arrays) will also integrate an ARM Cortex A5 processor to handle security for online transactions, banking, identity protection and DRM integration. The A5 is the smallest Cortex processor available, and that would make sense to use it in a full APU so it will not take up more than 10-15 square mm of die space. This marks the first time AMD has licensed ARM technology and while many people were speculating a pure ARM+Radeon hybrid, this move today is being described as the 'first step' for AMD down a new road of dexterity as an IP-focused technology company with their GPU technology as 'the crown jewel.' So while today's announcement might focus on using ARM processors for security purposes, the future likely holds much more these two partners."
MrSeb writes "Late yesterday, Apple released a next-generation 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display. It has a 2880×1800 220 PPI display. The normal 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs have also been updated, but the 17-inch MBP has been retired, in effect replaced by the new Retina display MBP. Without a doubt, this new laptop is an engineering marvel in the same league as the original iPhone or MacBook Air. ... The Retina display MBP really looks nothing we've ever seen before. Here, ExtremeTech dives into the engineering behind the laptop, paying close attention to that new and rather shiny display — and the fact that this thing has no user-replaceable parts at all." Fleshing things out a bit more, iFixit has a teardown of the internals. Their verdict: effectively unrepairable by the user.