Hardware Archive

Processor Fabrication: How a CPU is Built

While it's nice to just look at the finished product itself, sometimes it's useful to go back and look at how it's made. Especially today in the silicon industry, where both major players in the x86 desktop market are having issues with their top end products. Another large member of the industry, IBM, is also finding the going at 90nanometer a lot harder than they predicted. Today on Sudhian, we'll take a look at just how a processor goes from essentially sand to a fully functioning integrated circuit, and all the steps in between.

Gumstix and eInk – A glimpse of future plans?

Gumstix is something I've ran into during my ever-continuous search for high tech gadgets in the embedded world. I like staying up to date with Via Mini- and NanoITX boards, iPaq's running Linux and things like Sony Librie and their restrictive DRM. It is an ever changing world out there, especially with the recent rise of iTunes and the MS-music store. These too try new techniques for a good balance between security and piracy. But I wasn't going to go into this. Too deeply. To get back on the road I'll tell you a little secret.

ARM unveils multi-processor core with Linux SMP support

ARM Ltd. will unveil a unique multi-processor core technology, capable running Linux SMP, at this week's Embedded Processor Forum in San Jose, Calif. The "synthesizable multiprocessor" core -- a first for ARM -- is the result of a partnership with NEC Electronics announced last October, and is based on ARM's ARMv6 architecture. ARM's new "MPCore" multiprocessor core can be configured to contain between one and four processors delivering up to 2600 Dhrystone MIPS of aggregate performance, based on clock rates between 335 and 550 MHz.

TiVo’s New Product, New Challenges

TiVo finally launched its High Definition-capable unit. Designed by TiVo for DirecTV, it sports a 250 GB Hard drive and four tuners for $999. But neat new products aside, TiVo faces some daunting challenges. It has not made inroads with cable companies, many of whom have commissioned cheap TiVo knock-offs from companies like Scientific Atlanta. Many owner of these off-brand DVRs don't even know that they aren't TiVos, and, having never used the real thing, don't know the difference.

64-bit processor can handle more games, DVD copying

Personal computing is about to undergo a fundamental transformation, if industry cheerleaders are to be believed -- and to stunning effect. Rebounding basketballs or ricocheting bullets in today's computer games, shown only as rough approximations of reality, will become more true-to-life. Voice recognition, now so error-prone as to be scarcely usable, will morph into a dependable tool as computers become able to understand and execute complex verbal commands.

The 64-bit Question: AMD64 vs. i386

In an effort to determine what the true performance benefit of 64-bit computing is, TheJemReport designed this benchmarking project using FreeBSD. The article can be found here. The article compares the performance of three test cases (Intel P4 Prescott 3.2E and Athlon64 3200+ in 32-bit mode and 64-bit mode) using stopwatch tests, openssl, and two synthetic benchmarks from the Ports system.

Reporting from the VLSI Symposium

This very short summary will look at the "Future of Computing" from a more fundamental level, that being what researchers and research is being done in the area of Very Large Scale Integration. In particular, what is on the horizon, at least at the college research level, and why we must eventually change direction.

OS Experiences While Upgrading my PC

I am currently dual booting Windows XP and Fedora Core 1. I recently upgraded my PC, actually, I more or less bought a new PC. New processor, new motherboard, new graphics card, new memory and so on. Basically, only my soundcard, hard drive and DVD-Rom made the cut into the new PC.