Saturday, January 27

Intel announces replacement for Silicon Dioxide

Betanews reports that Intel has announced that they are going to change the material used in the transistors on their semiconductors, as they move to a 45nm process.

The new materials are a hafnium based gate oxide (replacing the SiO2) and a metal gate (alloy undisclosed, replacing polysilicon).

They are planning on releasing CPU's using this new process in the second half of 2007, with higher clock speeds and similar thermal characteristics to the current Core 2 Duo processors.

"For Penryn, we're going to deliver some micro-architectural features that will improve performance, and separate from that and orthogonal to that, we're going to deliver some clock rate improvements," Intel's Smith told reporters. "You can expect some frequency increase within the same thermal envelopes; we know that is possible, and that's our plan for these."

Smith also confirmed that the new Penryn series will implement the long-anticipated fourth set of Streaming SIMD extensions to its instruction set - its next generation of single-instruction, multiple-data instructions that have steadily improved Intel CPUs' capability to manage multimedia and streaming data. "We already see those running in our lab successfully," he stated, "and what we're seeing is excellent, multiple-double-digit performance gains on media-type applications. So we're seeing the result we expected there from SSE4 in our initial evaluations."

On power consumtion, Jim McGregor says (from the same article):

"As we've seen, more miniaturized components should require less power to operate, as the Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad series have clearly demonstrated. But at layer thicknesses of just one or two molecules, conventional materials behave differently, leaking current and thus using more power. HK+MG solves Intel's problem today, In-Stat's Jim McGregor believes, but it might crop up again later."

Monday, January 22

Books in a Minute - SF/F

Books in a Minute:

Don't have time to read it all?
Let's face it. There's a lot of science fiction and fantasy out there and very little time to read it in. Well sit back and relax, because your troubles are solved! We here at Book-A-Minute SF/F have come up with a solution. We've taken several great speculative fiction novels and extracted the important stuff, cutting out all the filler. (You'd be surprised how much filler there is sometimes.) With our ultra-condensed versions of your favorite speculative fiction, you can read entire books -- entire series, even -- in just one minute! You can have your books and read them too!
And it costs nothing!

Spoliers may be contained (briefly) in the links below...

Books In a Minute - The list of abreviated books

Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb

Illuminatus Trilogy!

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

and an ultra-condensed version of Anne Rice's Interview With the Vampire

Thursday, January 11

iPhone drool

No, not the device by InfoGear in 1999, but Apples new toy.

What thorne says. I agree. There is a really nice Demo that steve jobs gave at MacWorld that looks pretty sweet.

I especially like the scrolling with you finger, and the slide to unlock. The pincer action to zoom into the photos is nice too (but wouldn't be used as much).

With Samsungs new NAND memory doubling in capacity all the time, I wouldn't be surprised to see a 16GB model late this year.

The first model only has GSM + EDGE + WiFi + Bluetooth.... 3G is "comming".