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09 Apr 08. Sun Microsystems Inc. is announcing a big jump in the performance of its small server systems, the latest example of a trend to push computer chips to do many jobs at once. The company says the new servers can simultaneously carry out up to 128 computing instructions, known as threads. Not all programs can take advantage of such “multithreaded” chips, but some customers are reporting impressive results. Using one of Sun’s new servers, however, IT.com was able to process about 50 gigabytes of data an hour — compared with four to seven gigabytes using conventional machines — without any changes to its software. “It’s just incredible,” said Mark Cordover, the company’s founder and chief executive. Companies are using several technologies to do more computing jobs in parallel. One technology puts the core circuitry of multiple calculating engines on each piece of silicon, creating what are called multicore chips. Multithreading technology allows each processor core to do multiple tasks at the same time. (Source: WSJ)

10 Apr 08. TENET is pleased to announce the latest release of its map development toolkit. MapLink Pro 5.4 contains a host of new capabilities, with enhanced SDKs and new interfaces. This is the latest addition of MapLink Pro, which is built to provide high performance and flexible components for the most demanding of geospatial systems, and provides an environment for rapid development whilst leaving the programmer in complete control of their application. With over a decade of development, it offers a large range of API’s; organised around Software Development Kits (SDKs). The SDKs provide support for a variety of capabilities, including Terrain Analysis, Geometry Editing, 3D and Web Services.

10 Apr 08. IBM races to make hi-tech memory. Handheld gadgets storing thousands of hours of film footage could soon be a reality thanks to IBM scientists. Researchers for the computer giant are working on a technology known
as racetrack memory which uses tiny magnetic boundaries to store data. In a paper in the journal Science, the team at IBM’s Almaden lab in California outline ways to make the building blocks of the novel storage medium. The capacity of MP3 players could increase 100 times from present levels. But the IBM team say racetrack memory is still seven to eight years away from commercial use. Currently most desktop computers use flash memory and hard drives to store data – both have their advantages and disadvantages. Hard drives are cheap but their moving parts mean they are not very durable. They are also slow in that they typically take a few milliseconds to find and fetch data. By contrast flash memory is more reliable and data can be read from it much faster though it has a finite lifespan and is expensive compared to hard drives. 10 April 2008 19:20 UK
Researchers for the computer giant are working on a technology known
as racetrack memory which uses tiny magnetic boundaries to store data. In a paper in the journal Science, the team at IBM’s Almaden lab in California outline ways to make the building blocks of the novel storage medium. The capacity of MP3 players could increase 100 times from present levels. (Source: BBC)

14 Mar 08. Spraydown achieves step change in spray suppression. Wet weather spray caused by heavy goods vehicles is amongst the most serious everyday driving hazards with which road users have to contend. Now, a patented innovation by a British company, Spraydown Limited, has achieved a major reduction in spray obscuration – over and above the performance of existing mandatory spray suppression equipment. The device, which will make its debut appearance at the Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham, has been granted full type approval under EU regulations. In tests carried out and verified by Britain’s Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) at Crowthorne, Berkshire, vehicles equipped

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