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Processing

The IBM Blue Gene/P ('Intrepid') supercomputer (Photo: Argonne National Laboratory)

There’s a lot of scientific research projects out there that could produce some interesting results, if only they had access to a supercomputer. With that in mind, this week the US Department of Energy (DoE) announced that it has awarded 57 deserving projects with a total of almost 1.7 billion processor hours on two of its (and the world’s) most powerful computers. It’s part of the DoE’s cleverly-acronymed Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program, the aim is of which is primarily “to further renewable energy solutions and understand of the environmental impacts of energy use.” That said, the program is open to all scientists in need of heavy-duty data crunching.  Read More

The new method for processing agricultural waste and any available biomass into biofuels t...

Biofuels are seen as a more environmentally friendly fuel source than petroleum-based fuels, but transporting the bulky biomass used to produce them is expensive because of their volume. It’s much more economical to transport the liquid fuel after it has been processed but this isn’t possible if the processing facilities are located far from the source of the biomass. A new method to process agricultural waste and other biomass could enable the creation of mobile processing plants that would rove the Midwest to produce fuels where the biomass is sourced.  Read More

Anobit unites the best of two worlds for faster, cheaper SSDs

Solid state drives (SSD) have been around for some time. Unlike other data storage devices, however, their cost per GB seems reluctant to drop quickly enough to make sense economically not just to consumers, but to enterprises as well. Using a recently patented technology, the Israeli startup Anobit has announced an SSD series that makes a huge step toward making SSDs a tangibly faster and more affordable solution for the enterprise world.  Read More

Researchers from North Carolina's State University have come up with a way to break up pro...

For some programs, the arrival of multi-core processing power has made little difference to how they operate. Some applications, such as word processors and web browsers, are unable to split process operation over a number of cores and instead pile everything onto just one. Researchers from North Carolina's State University have come up with a way to break up such programs into different threads, resulting in a 20 percent increase in run speed.  Read More

The ZMS-08 media processor from ZiiLabs offers full 1080p, Blu-ray quality playback on a l...

With the development of the ZMS-08 system on a chip, ZiiLabs is aiming to bring high performance media processing to low power devices. As well as allowing full Blu-ray quality 1080p video playback, the chip supports simultaneous HD encode and decode, 3D and 2D image processing and advanced audio.  Read More

Ricoh's new GXR digital camera system, where the lens and sensor are made into an intercha...

After weeks of speculation and the accidental pre-announcement release of a demonstration video, the Ricoh GXR digital camera system has finally been officially announced. Not only is it claimed to be the smallest and lightest digital camera that allows lenses to be changed, but as the lens and sensor comprise one interchangeable unit, photographers can now choose different sensor/lens combinations for different photographic conditions.  Read More

SEM image of carbon nanotube bundles (Image: Materialscientist via Wikipedia Commons)

Carbon nanotubes promise to revolutionize everything from medicine to electronics and power generation. Unfortunately nanotubes are notoriously hard to work with and chemists worldwide have struggled for years to even make them. Now researchers have unveiled a method for the industrial-scale processing of pure carbon nanotube fibers that builds upon the tried-and-true processes that chemical firms have used for decades to produce plastics.  Read More

Plasmonics devices could soon make dreams of light-speed data processing come true

Plasmonics is a promising emerging technology that attempts to put together the best of two worlds — optics and electronics — to achieve faster computation and communication by making optical devices significantly smaller. In recent research, a team of European scientists has solved a long-standing problem in this field by sending signals over a long distance in a breakthrough that brings this technology much closer to mass production.  Read More

Native Instruments Komplete 6 brings together seven powerful digital music applications fo...

Native Instruments has just announced a recession-busting update to its impressive arsenal of digital musical instruments and effects - Komplete 6. The bundle not only comes with improved versions of amp and effects simulator Guitar Rig, the powerful sound manipulator Absynth and over 44Gb of sampling joy in the form of Kontakt, but it's also being offered at a significantly reduced price too.  Read More

The camera, flash and color swatches

As technology becomes available to help those wishing to avoid the annoying flash photography of the paparazzi get some payback, researchers Dilip Krishnan and Rob Fergus from New York University have developed a system for taking dazzle-free photos in poor lighting conditions which could result in celebs not even knowing they're being photographed. Named dark light flash photography by its creators, the system uses light waves beyond our visible range and special software and algorithms to produce photos comparable in quality to a long exposure shot.  Read More

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