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18 Mar 05. The U.S. Army is buying over 8,000 electronic jammers to protect its troops in Iraq from improvised bombs but there is “no silver bullet” against the favored weapon of Iraqi insurgents, a top army general said Thursday. General Richard Cody, the army’s vice chief of staff, nevertheless said U.S. casualties from so-called “improvised explosive devices,” or IEDs, have dropped by 40 percent since a largely secret effort to develop defenses against them was launched 18 months ago. “There’s no silver bullet at this time,” he told reporters. “We do have a combination of things we’re doing. We are buying millions of dollars worth of jammers that are capable. So we’re not waiting for the silver bullet.” Members of Congress have criticized the army for being slow to equip troops with jammers. Cody said the army took money from other programs in December to buy 8,000 more jammers. The army has checked out all commercially produced jammers, but they vary in effectiveness, he said, adding that few U.S. industries were making jammers before Iraq. Statistics on every IED attack since October have been fed into a data base, yielding “great predictive pattern analysis,” he said. “We have seen a decline in effectiveness of the IEDs against us. But today or yesterday we lost two soldiers, and eight wounded. It’s still out there,” he said. (Source: Agence France-Presse)
25 Mar 05. Fastest supercomputer gets faster. Blue Gene snatched the crown from Japan in November Blue Gene/L, the fastest supercomputer in the world, has broken its own speed record, reaching 135.5 teraflops – a trillion calculations a second. That is double the speed it clocked up to take it to the number one spot in the Top 500 supercomputer league. The IBM Blue Gene machine that achieved the new mark is being assembled for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a US Department of Energy (DOE) lab. It did 70.72 teraflops last year to beat Japan’s NEC Earth Simulator. The Blue Gene/L is due to be completed for the Livermore labs in 2005.
WORLD TOP 5 SUPERCOMPUTERS
1. Blue Gene/L, USA
2. Columbia, USA
3. Earth Simulator, Japan
4. MareNostrum, Spain
5. Thunder, USA
Its peak theoretical performance is expected to be 360 teraflops, with the machine taking up 64 full racks. Blue Gene’s new record was achieved by doubling the number of current racks to 32. Each rack holds 1,024 processors, yet the chips are the same as those found in high-end computers on the High Street. The processors are special dual-processing engines, known as cores. The final machine will help scientists work out the safety, security and reliability requirements for the US’s nuclear weapons stockpile, without the need for underground nuclear testing. (Source: BBC)
22 Mar 05. Barco announces FlexiVision III. FlexiVision III is a unique video imaging platform that significantly improves situational awareness for the operator by combining visualization, networking and image processing into one fully functional system. Building upon the latest leading edge technologies, Barco’s FlexiVision III is capable of handling a wide range of image processing needs in airborne, ground based and naval systems.
FlexiVision III is used to mix multiple video sources for simultaneous presentation on situational awareness displays. The platform brings in a variety of graphics, camera and Electro-Optical (EO) sensor video inputs to be combined, processed and displayed in real-time for information and analysis. Barco’s multi-board FlexiVision III system consists of a main carrier board and various mezzanine boards that provide a variety of image enhancement functions. These board sets are available in PCI, VME, cPCI and conduction cooled form factors.
Thanks to its unique modular approach, FlexiVision III enables the cascading of multiple processing functions and provides an upgrade path for future capabilities. Cus