Hardware Archive

Wind Rivers’ VXWorks Works on Mars Too

When your computer resides on another planet, service calls aren't an option. So when BAE Systems North America Inc. needed an extremely reliable operating system for the computational subsystem it was supplying for NASA's Mars rovers, it chose an industrial-strength, real-time operating system from Wind River Systems Inc., Alameda, Calif, VXWorks.

Television and Computer Convergence: Not when but if

At Genesi we do more than just alternative computers, we also have interests in the field of Digital Media and Digital Television, you'll see products targeted to these segments arriving in the future. Most people appear to think that the future of Digital Media is convergence, that it is inevitable that TVs and Computers are going to converge and become a single device. Some people however think that this will not happen, they may have good reason for thinking so.

Phoenix Sounds Death Knell for BIOS

Phoenix Technologies is sounding the death knell for BIOS - the bread and butter of its current operations. While Phoenix is comparatively the "Microsoft" of the BIOS world, it has spent years endeavoring to modernize the aging standard. If all goes according to plan, a new product the company dubs Core System Software (CSS) will serve as the foundation of PC architecture.

Desktop Supercomputing in a PCI Card

Wired has an interesting story on a PCI card from ClearSpeed technologies which contains "a processor capable of performing 25 billion floating-point operations per second, or 25 gigaflops. ordinary desktop PC outfitted with six PCI cards, each containing four of the chips, would perform at about 600 gigaflops (or more than half a teraflop)." Such a PC would qualify as one of the 500 most powerful supercomputers in the world, but only cost about $25,000.

A Chat with the Inventor of the Computer Mouse

Doug Englebart worked on a project for Stanford Research Institute to develop a manual method for manipulating data on a computer screen in 1963, with a grant from NASA. He'd been mulling over the idea since 1951. Bill English, who actually built the mouse (out of wood) based on Englebart's design, later moved to Xerox PARC, and refined the invention. It took a long time to catch on. Most people never heard of a computer mouse until Apple debuted the Macintosh in the 80's. And nobody can remember who first called it a "mouse."

No Great Enthusiasm For the 64 Bit Changeover

Back in the 80's when the PC world made its change from 16 to 32 bit processors, people were excited. They were probably most excited about what the hot new 32 bit OS (IBM/Microsoft's OS/2) promised to do on the new 386 class of processors from Intel. But the jump to 32 bits scratched some real itches, like a need for advanced multitasking and vivid graphics. Now that we're on the cusp of moving to 64 bits, the incentive for making the switch isn't there. A ZDNet article has more.

SkyEye 0.3.2 released; Now Supports XSCALE Simulation

SkyEye is a simulator for typical embedded computer systems. It can simulate Atmel AT91 based on the ARM7TDMI, EP7312 based on ARM720T, StrongARM SA1100/SA1110, and 8019as NIC, etc. Some operating systems, such as ARM Linux, uClinux, and uc/OS-II(ucos-ii), can run and be debugged and analyzed at the source level. This Skyeye snapshot version it can simulate the Xscale PXA 250 Lubbock developboard.

eCosCentric partners with SuperH; More Embedded News

eCosCentric today announced their partnership with SuperH Inc to deliver the eCos real-time operating system and RedBoot firmware on SuperH RISC CPU cores. The partnership will extend the existing eCos coverage of SuperH embedded development boards to include the SH-4 MicroDev Platform. On other embedded CPU news, both QNX and MontaVista Linux said that will support the new Motorola MPC5200 CPU while Samsung says it has developed the world's fastest mobile CPU, which runs at a speed of 533MHz, and outpaces Intel's CPU. Get similar news on our sister site, NewMobileComputing.

SkyEye-v0.3.0 Released

SkyEye is an ARM simulator. Now the newest Skyeye Ver 0.3.0 Beta was released. It can simuate these ARM based CPUs & boards:StrongARM SA1100/SA1110, Atmel AT91, Cirrus Logic EP7312. uC/OS-ii(ucos-ii), uClinux 2.4.x, armlinux 2.4.x OSes can run on skyeye.