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Sun Microsystems Wireless Networking Hardware Technology

Sun Working to Obsolete Motherboards 228

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the look-ma-no-solder dept.
perl_camel_jockey writes "Sun is developing a new technology that promises to increase computing power by eliminating the need for physical, soldered chip-to-chip connections on the motherboard. Called 'proximity communications', it portends the ability for chips to talk to one another wirelessly just by being next to each other. Potential applications in computer design abound. Apparently this is part of Sun's Hero program, recipient of a $50 million grant from DARPA's High Productivity Computing Systems program to rejuvenate supercomputing in the US and regain the lead lost to Japan, in particular to NEC's Earth Simulator, ranked as the most powerful supercomputer in the world."
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Sun Working to Obsolete Motherboards

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  • by ca1v1n (135902) <<snook> <at> <guanotronic.com>> on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:15AM (#9897434)
    Actually, since the system uses capacitive coupling, you'd have a much bigger problem with the ionized particles released by the vacuum cleaner. The $200 cabinet should keep your system running quite happily.
  • Tripe, actually (Score:1, Informative)

    by epexegesis (733596) on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:24AM (#9897464)
    here [slashdot.org] and here [slashdot.org].

    As pointed out by jdb2 here [slashdot.org]

    Probably best to go read Sun's paper [sun.com] on the topic.

  • by Julian Morrison (5575) on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:38AM (#9897497)
    It's about increasing chip-to-chip bandwidth by using capacitative coupling instead of (comparatively huge) physical wires. This means the chips would have to be more closely connected, probably slotting together like lego bricks.
  • Re:Pride (Score:2, Informative)

    by ahfoo (223186) on Friday August 06, 2004 @04:03AM (#9897543) Journal
    I doubt that part about stem cells.
    You may be surprised how close this already is to reality. Mainland China has already commercialized a form of gene therapy that has had powerful results on a broad range of cancers. It has a brand name even, it's called Gendicine. Google it if you doubt it could be real and you could have not heard of it.
    In fact, Bush's science advisor has publicly stated that he thinks mortality is essential for human dignity. This is an extension of the belief that human morality is based on Christain principles in which death is a reward for those who live according the Christain version of morality in which heaven is a reward.
    Hey, I wish I was making this up. This is all far too real. It's also true that both the East Coast and the West Coast urban population centers along with the Chicago area are totally out of synch politically with the rest of the country which is where the federal government is controlled. I wish it were otherwise, but this is a fact.
    If Russia had stem cell therapy that worked today to cure Diabetes, Heart Disease and Parkinsons I would not expect to see it in the US any time soon. However, I expect such therapies are already quite feasible.
  • Re:Worried... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Asic Eng (193332) on Friday August 06, 2004 @04:27AM (#9897604)
    You have many hundreds of transmitters next to each other in the space of just a few square milimeters. Their transmission power needs to be so low that they don't interfere with their neighbours. The mix of signals which radiate off from that arrangement should be close to impossible to decode.

    In any case, in conventional devices the pins will also work as (very low-power) transmitters, too. So once you've found a method of decoding this signal mix, you can probably get at the information on conventional chips, too.

  • Re:Worried... (Score:3, Informative)

    by songbo (614466) on Friday August 06, 2004 @04:49AM (#9897653) Journal
    Actually, there are already methods available to figure out what the chip does currently. I have heard of one that tries to measure the power usage, at each fetch-execute cycle, and based on that, can figure out what kind of instructions have been run. The CPU already gives out EM radiation which can be detected. It may be just a matter of figuring out what kind of signal is radiated when each instruction is being executed to know what instructions are being run. So the same security concerns already exist today.
  • Re:Worried... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 06, 2004 @04:55AM (#9897661)
    All electronic equipment is already wireless to a certain extent. If I play my bass guitar while directly facing my computer monitor, I can hear a buzzing hum through my amp. I used to have a poorly-shielded sound card where I could hear the CD-ROM, hard drive, and CPU (possibly just the fan). The signals are already being spammed through the air well enough to be detected from inside the case, and possibly outside it too. Making chips talk to each other through the air will probably not be a matter of boosting the signal strength, but reducing it to cut down on crosstalk and other sorts of interference. Otherwsie you'd have the onboard NIC hearing the CPU talk to the memory bus and getting confused. Perhaps not reducing the strength, but controlling it more precisely at least.
  • by njcoder (657816) on Friday August 06, 2004 @08:36AM (#9898395)
    I was just reading an article about their new amd workstations and it had a picture. I wish I could find it now but a quick search didn't turn it up. They have their cpu's on a seperate board, their chipset is also on another board. The two are connected to the main board. Makes it easier and cheaper to keep the workstation up to date. I wouldn't call that outdated.
  • Re:Pride (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 06, 2004 @11:44AM (#9900125)
    If Russia had stem cell therapy that worked today to cure Diabetes, Heart Disease and Parkinsons I would not expect to see it in the US any time soon. However, I expect such therapies are already quite feasible.

    There is a cure for type 1 in the works. Has nothing to do with stem cells, but type 1 diabetics would be excited. Funny it didn't get better press.

    http://www.ajc.com/health/content/shared-auto/he al thnews/diab/516027.html

    I know, I know, -1 offtopic me

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