Archive for May 7th, 2010

Scramjet Launch

X-51 Scramjet Will Launch Later This Month.

New Scientist (5/7, Courtland) reported, “In the last week of May, thousands of square miles of airspace above the Pacific Ocean will be cleared to make way for a skinny, shark-nosed aircraft called the X-51.” The scramjet will be dropped from a jet, where it will attempt to maintain hypersonic speeds for minutes. Boeing X-51 Program Manager Joe Vogel said, “No one has successfully flown a vehicle of this nature for more than a few seconds.” NASA’s X-43 was “the last US hypersonic scramjet to fly successfully…managing only 10 seconds of powered flight. Unlike its predecessor, the X-51’s engine uses novel active cooling systems and uses standard jet fuel.”

Reposted from the May 7, 2010 ASEE First Bell


Microprocessor Power Use


SPEAKER: Antonio González, Director, Intel Barcelona Research Center

TOPIC: Software to the Rescue of Power

DATE: Monday, May 10

TIME: 1:00 p.m.

PLACE: Olsson Hall Room 009

Abstract:  Power has become the main limiting factor for the scalability of microprocessors.  This limit is different for different systems (e.g. servers, desktops, laptops, MIDs, etc.), but in all of them it is already constraining the computing capabilities of the microprocessor.

Moore’s law will continue to provide us with the capability to integrate more devices in the same area, but the benefit of this ever increasing power density is jeopardized by the difficulties to dissipate the increased power it requires.  This clearly indicates that innovative solutions to reduce power are needed to harness the benefits of Moore’s law in order to keep delivering an increased performance to the end user.

To address this challenge, in this talk we will explore an approach based on implement microprocessors based on hardware/software co-design.

The main advantages of this approach are dramatic reductions in power and area without compromising performance when compared with traditional approaches.  This approach has other important advantages in the areas of scalability, reliability, legacy code and prototyping of new techniques that will be discussed.

Special Needs Shelter

High-Tech Dwellings For The Elderly Garner Praise, Concern.

The Washington Post (5/6, Kunkle) reports on “the MEDcottage, a portable high-tech dwelling that could be trucked to a family’s back yard and used to shelter a loved one in need of special care.” The shelter is the brainchild of the Rev. Kenneth Dupin of Salem, Virginia, who wanted to give the aged the option to “avoid a jarring move to the nursing home by living in small, specially equipped, temporary shelters close to relatives.” Critics, meanwhile, refer to the product as “the granny pod,” and “some local officials warn that Dupin’s dwellings — which have been authorized by Virginia’s state government — will spring up in subdivisions all over the state, creating not-in-my-back-yard tensions…and perhaps being misused.” The Post notes, “The enterprise has received backing from the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center,” and VT engineering professor Janis P. Terpenny said the shelter “could have a huge impact on revolutionizing health care.”

Reposted from the May 6, 2010 ASEE First Bell

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