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IBM Scientists Demonstrate Computer Memory Breakthrough

For the first time, scientists at IBM Research have demonstrated that a relatively new memory technology, known as phase-change memory (PCM), can reliably store multiple data bits per cell over extended periods of time. This significant improvement advances the development of low-cost, faster and more durable memory applications for consumer devices, including mobile phones and cloud storage, as well as high-performance applications, such as enterprise data storage.

With a combination of speed, endurance, non-volatility and density, PCM can enable a paradigm shift for enterprise IT and storage systems within the next five years. Scientists have long been searching for a universal, non-volatile memory technology with far superior performance than flash – today’s most ubiquitous non-volatile memory technology. The benefits of such a memory technology would allow computers and servers to boot instantaneously and significantly enhance the overall performance of IT systems. A promising contender is PCM that can write and retrieve data 100 times faster than flash, enable high storage capacities and not lose data when the power is turned off. Unlike flash, PCM is also very durable and can endure at least 10 million write cycles, compared to current enterprise-class flash at 30,000 cycles or consumer-class flash at 3,000 cycles. While 3,000 cycles will out live many consumer devices, 30,000 cycles are orders of magnitude too low to be suitable for enterprise applications (see chart for comparisons).

Intel Equipped to Lead Industry to Era of Exascale Computing

At the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC), Kirk Skaugen, Intel Corporation vice president and general manager of the Data Center Group, outlined the company’s vision to achieve ExaFLOP/s performance by the end of this decade. An ExaFLOP/s is quintillion computer operations per second, hundreds times more than today’s fastest supercomputers.

Reaching exascale levels of performance in the future will not only require the combined efforts of industry and governments, but also approaches being pioneered by the Intel Many Integrated Core (Intel MIC) Architecture, according to Skaugen. Managing the explosive growth in the amount of data shared across the Internet, finding solutions to climate change, managing the growing costs of accessing resources such as oil and gas, and a multitude of other challenges require increased amounts of computing resources that only increasingly high-performing supercomputers can address.

IBM Microprocessors to Power the New Wii U System from Nintendo

IBM today announced that it will provide the microprocessors that will serve as the heart of the new Wii U system from Nintendo. Unveiled today at the E3 trade show, Nintendo plans for its new console to hit store shelves in 2012.

The all-new, Power-based microprocessor will pack some of IBM's most advanced technology into an energy-saving silicon package that will power Nintendo's brand new entertainment experience for consumers worldwide. IBM's unique embedded DRAM, for example, is capable of feeding the multi-core processor large chunks of data to make for a smooth entertainment experience.

IBM and Samsung Announce Joint Research into New Semiconductor Technology

IBM and Samsung today announced they will collaborate on basic research into new semiconductor materials, manufacturing processes and other technologies. The agreement calls for the two companies to jointly develop new semiconductor process technology that can be used in a broad range of applications -- from smart phone handsets to communications infrastructure.

For the first time, Samsung researchers will join IBM scientists in the Semiconductor Research Alliance at the Albany Nanotech Complex, Albany, N.Y., where researchers will investigate new materials and transistor structures, as well as innovative interconnect and packaging solutions for next-generation technology nodes. The research developments from this joint activity are planned to enable the delivery of industry leading silicon solutions that are optimized for performance, power consumption and size.

Oracle in Market for a Major Chipmaker

Oracle corporation is on a big buying spree after this year's acquisition of Sun Microsystems, a prominent server builder. Oracle wants to strengthen its enterprise IT business with the acquisition of a major chip-maker, right now AMD, IBM (its processor division), and NVIDIA are being named by prominent analysts. “You’re going to see us buying chip companies,” Ellison, 66, said yesterday at Oracle’s annual meeting in San Francisco. Currently its subsidiary, Sun Microsystems has its own processor architecture, the SPARC. Gleacher & Co. analyst Doug Freedman predicts Oracle is chasing AMD, IBM (chip division) and NVIDIA. “You’ve got to think it’s focused on enterprise hardware, on the server,” he said. “AMD jumps off the screen.”Source: Bloomberg

Samsung Unveils First 16GB ‘Very Low Profile’ Module in IBM’s Newest Blade Server

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced memory technology, announced today that it will demonstrate for the first time a 16-Gigabyte (GB), very low profile (VLP) memory module at the VM World 2010 in an IBM H22V blade server, running on Intel Xeon™ 5600-series processors.

Based on 4-gigabit (Gb), 40 nanometer (nm)-class DDR3, the new modules use 18 4Gb dual-die packaged (DDP) chips, and operate on 1.35 volts of electrical current. The 16GB 40nm-class DDR3 memory provides a powerful green solution, consuming 70 percent less power than four 4GB DDR3 modules and over 40 percent less than two 8GB modules, in setting a new “standard” for lower power consumption in servers. The module’s very low profile (18.75 mm high) allows it to be used in extremely compact blade servers.

Rambus Sues IBM Despite USPTO Intervention

Patent troll Rambus is at it again, this time suing IBM to reverse ruling on a memory system patent dispute after the US Patent and Trademark Office intervened in an earlier case ruling that IBM's patent 2002 memory controller-related patent applications weren't infringing on its IP. Rambus maintains that US Patent Office's ruling that gave a clean chit to IBM was in error.

In a lawsuit filed Monday in the federal court in San Jose, California, Rambus said the US Patent and Trademark Office erred through a series of decisions in finding that a patent application assigned to IBM did not interfere with its own patent obtained at the end of 2002. "The board committed errors of fact and law in its orders, decisions, and judgment," Rambus said in its complaint.Source: Reuters

Intel Introduces 2010 Core i7 Extreme, and Most Secure Data Center Processors

Combining unprecedented security, performance and energy efficiency, Intel Corporation today launched the Intel Xeon Processor 5600 series. The new processors deliver two new security features -- Intel Advanced Encryption Standard New Instructions (Intel AES-NI), and Intel Trusted Execution Technology (Intel TXT) -- that enable faster encryption and decryption performance for more secure transactions and virtualized environments, providing data centers with a stronger foundation for cloud security.

These are also the first server and workstation chips based on the groundbreaking, new Intel 32nm logic technology, which uses Intel's second-generation high-k metal gate transistors to increase speed and decrease energy consumption. The Intel Xeon Processor 5600 series supports up to six cores per processor and delivers up to 60 percent greater performance than the 45nm Intel Xeon processor 5500 series. In addition, data centers can replace 15 single-core servers with a single new one, and achieve a return on their investment in as little as 5 months.

IBM Research Sets New Record in Magnetic Tape Data Density

IBM researchers today announced they have demonstrated a world record in areal data density on linear magnetic tape - a significant update to one of the computer industry's most resilient, reliable and affordable data storage technologies.

This breakthrough proves that tape technology can increase capacity for years to come, which has important implications, as tape storage systems are more energy efficient and cost-effective than hard disk drive storage systems. As the physical world becomes increasingly networked with sensors, vast amounts of data are amassed in various formats from medical images to security camera feeds to supply chain sensors to financial records. All of this data needs to be archived, replicated for disaster recovery, and/or retained or regulatory compliance.

NVIDIA Unveils Next Generation CUDA GPU Architecture – Codenamed ''Fermi''

NVIDIA Corp. today introduced its next generation CUDA GPU architecture, codenamed “Fermi”. An entirely new ground-up design, the “Fermi” architecture is the foundation for the world’s first computational graphics processing units (GPUs), delivering breakthroughs in both graphics and GPU computing.

“NVIDIA and the Fermi team have taken a giant step towards making GPUs attractive for a broader class of programs,” said Dave Patterson, director Parallel Computing Research Laboratory, U.C. Berkeley and co-author of Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach. “I believe history will record Fermi as a significant milestone.”

IBM Scientists Use DNA Scaffolding To Build Tiny Circuit Board

Today, scientists at IBM Research and the California Institute of Technology announced a scientific advancement that could be a major breakthrough in enabling the semiconductor industry to pack more power and speed into tiny computer chips, while making them more energy efficient and less expensive to manufacture.

IBM researchers and collaborator Paul W.K. Rothemund, of the California Institute of Technology, have made an advancement in combining lithographic patterning with self assembly - a method to arrange DNA origami structures on surfaces compatible with today's semiconductor manufacturing equipment.

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Breaks Ground on World's Most Advanced Semiconductor Foundry

GLOBALFOUNDRIES today announced it officially broke ground on the construction of Fab 2, a new semiconductor manufacturing facility located at the Luther Forest Technology Campus in Saratoga County, New York. Once completed, Fab 2 will stand as the most technologically advanced semiconductor manufacturing facility, or fab, in the world and the largest leading-edge semiconductor foundry in the United States. The construction and ramp-up phases for the new $4.2 billion facility are expected to take approximately three years to complete, with volume production expected in 2012.

"Semiconductors are the building blocks of technology innovation and are present in everything from mobile phones to kitchen appliances and solar panels," said Hector Ruiz, chairman of GLOBALFOUNDRIES. "As today's chip designers push the boundaries on the next generation of products, there is a growing need for a new approach to design and manufacturing rooted in collaboration and innovation. With Fab 2, GLOBALFOUNDRIES moves the semiconductor industry away from the traditional model of isolated regional development and into an era of global hubs of manufacturing and technology expertise."

IBM Launches Advanced Analytics Center in Tokyo

IBM today announced the launch of its Tokyo-based IBM Analytics Solution center which is part of a recently announced global network of analytics focused centers. Through these centers, IBM is addressing the growing demand for advanced analytics capabilities need to help clients build smarter business systems and drive improved decision-making.

The new center is co-located at IBM's Marunouchi office in Tokyo as well as at IBM's Yamato Lab in Kanagawa Prefecture. It will draw on a wealth of global IBM expertise, including more than 150 mathematicians and software engineers at IBM Research - Tokyo and Yamato Software Development Laboratory to help companies turn data into predictive intelligence. Initially, the center will be staffed by up to 500 IBM Japan consultants, researchers and software experts, with additional expertise added over time.

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Announces New Fab 2 Executive Leadership Team

GLOBALFOUNDRIES today announced the appointment of Norm Armour as vice president and general manager and Eric Choh as vice president of operations to lead an expanding team dedicated to developing Fab 2, the company’s next semiconductor fabrication facility, or “fab,” at the Luther Forest Technology Campus in Saratoga County, New York. Once constructed, Fab 2 is expected to be the world’s most advanced semiconductor foundry, creating more than 1,200 new direct jobs plus an additional 5,000 spin-off jobs in the region.

“Norm and Eric bring a wealth of semiconductor manufacturing experience to GLOBALFOUNDRIES and will play critical leadership roles as we build and operate the most sophisticated semiconductor manufacturing facility in the world,” said Douglas Grose, chief executive officer, GLOBALFOUNDRIES. “With a wealth of industry expertise in fab build-out and global operations, we now have the leadership team in place to create a cluster of semiconductor manufacturing and technology innovation in upstate New York that will bring the next wave of chip innovation to the marketplace.”

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Details Advanced Technology Aimed at 22 nm and Beyond

GLOBALFOUNDRIES today described an innovative technology that could overcome one of the key hurdles to advancing high-k metal gate (HKMG) transistors, bringing the industry one step closer to the next generation of mobile devices with more computing power and vastly improved battery life.

The semiconductor industry is celebrated for overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds to continue the trend toward smaller, faster, and more energy-efficient products. Performed in partnership with IBM through GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ participation in the IBM Technology Alliance, the new research is designed to enable the continued scaling of semiconductor components to the 22 nanometer node and beyond.

Intel Previews Intel Xeon 'Nehalem-EX' Processor

Intel Corporation today previewed a new Intel Xeon processor codenamed "Nehalem-EX." The processor will be at the heart of the next generation of intelligent and expandable high-end Intel server platforms, which will deliver a number of new technical advancements and boost enterprise computing performance.

In production later this year, the Nehalem-EX processor will feature up to eight cores inside a single chip supporting 16 threads and 24MB of cache. Its performance increase will be dramatic, posting the highest-ever jump from a previous generation processor.

IBM and Intuit Help Small and Medium Businesses Work Smarter

IBM today announced a first time agreement with Intuit aimed at simplifying the technology and business requirements of small and medium businesses. As part of the news, IBM will deliver an automated appliance together with Intuit’s accounting software, with no manuals required.

The agreement combines IBM's Smart Business solution -- including hardware, software and technical support -- with Intuit's QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions financial management software in a pre-integrated, automated appliance that can be up and running in four easy steps. Available starting at less than $8,000, it includes all of the fundamental capabilities needed to run a small or medium business including email, calendaring, security and finances.

IBM Announces Availability of 28 nm Semiconductor Technology

In a move that signals a firm and ongoing commitment to advanced semiconductor technology leadership, IBM, Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd., GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Infineon Technologies, Samsung Electronics, Co., Ltd., and STMicroelectronics have defined and are jointly developing a 28-nanometer, high-k metal gate (HKMG), low-power bulk complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) process technology.

The low-power, 28nm technology platform can provide power-performance and time-to-market advantages for producers of a broad range of power-sensitive mobile and consumer electronics applications, including the fast-growing mobile Internet device market segment. The favorable leakage characteristics of the HKMG technology result in optimized battery life for the next generation of mobile products.

CEA/Leti and IBM to Collaborate on Future Nanoelectronics Technology

CEA/Leti (the Electronics and Information Technology Laboratory of the CEA, based in Grenoble), and IBM today announced that they will collaborate on research in semiconductor and nanoelectronics technology. This five-year agreement is focused on advanced materials, devices and processes for the development of complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) process technology for the production of microprocessors and integrated circuits at 22nm and beyond.
With this agreement, CEA/Leti becomes a research associate of IBM and IBM’s semiconductor Joint Development Alliance ecosystem centered in Albany, N.Y. CEA/Leti will reinforce this ecosystem through its specific expertise in low-power CMOS (such as SOI technologies), in e-beam lithography and in nanoscale characterization and modelling. This agreement strengthens the links between the IBM and Crolles-Grenoble ecosystems, following STMicroelectronics’ decision to join the IBM Alliance in 2007, for the development of core CMOS and value-added application-specific derivative technologies and industrialization of these processes.

Sun Microsystems Rejects IBM Buyout Offer

In March IBM was reported to be in the midst of negotiating to acquire Sun Microsystems. On the time of the publication there was no more to talk about, but on Saturday IBM finally made a formal bid of $9.40 a share for Sun, or a deal that would have been valued at about $7 billion. Unfortunate for IBM, Sun rejected the offer and has terminated IBM's right for exclusive merger talks, making Sun open for other merger candidates. IBM, in return, withdrew its buyout offer. Two reasons stay behind Sun's decision, one being the belief that the bid was too low, and the other being the terms of agreement, which give IBM too much flexibility in walking away from the deal. It is unclear if a second bid will be proposed by IBM, or will the negotiation between the two companies continue. Representatives from both IBM and Sun declined to comment on an unannounced information.Source: CNET News

IBM Announces New Generation of Intel Xeon 5500 Based Servers

IBM today unveiled a new generation of Intel Xeon processor 5500 series-based System x servers and software that enable customers to more easily roll out virtualized computing and significantly reduce growing operating costs with higher performance, simplified management and increased utilization.
With the new systems, IBM engineers addressed key challenges in today's data center, where hefty costs for power usage and IT management pile-up, while processors sit idle or under-utilized. To help enable a more dynamic infrastructure, IBM's four new x86 rack servers and blades feature unique designs -- such as lower wattage requirements -- that can slash energy costs up to 93 percent. At the same time, the new System x servers boast double the compute performance in some models, and support more memory, storage and I/O to help customers of all sizes ease the transition to highly efficient virtualized computing resources. System x blades and racks lead the industry with 96 GB to 1 TB memory options.

IBM to Supply US Government with 20 Petaflops Supercomputer

IBM will be supplying the US Government with two new supercomputers for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to handle analysis of the U.S. nuclear stockpile. The first is a 500 teraflops supercomputer called the BlueGene/P which the lab will receive by April, the second being the 20 Petaflops supercomputer which is due by 2012. It is estimated to perform up to 10 times greater than the current most powerful systems. More information follows:

IBM Faces Monopoly and Anti-Competition Charges

IBM has been accused of monopoly and anti-competition practices with the mainframe market. A complaint of the same has been filed with the European Commission on Tuesday. T3, a small American supplier of mainframes who, in the past, dealt in IBM products, alleges the company the company to have abused its market-position and monopoly power in the industry.

IBM is accused of engaging in several anti-competitive offenses, that include the prevention of the sales of competing mainframe hardware products by making its operating system exclusive to its mainframe hardware. IBM is further accused of withholding patent licenses and certain intellectual property to the detriment of mainframe customers, according to a statement by T3. In the same statement, T3 says that it dealt with IBM mainframes in the past, but it took to selling its own products developed by Amdahl (now part of Fujitsu). An IBM spokesperson responded saying that the company is yet to see a complaint, and that it was inappropriate to comment on specifics relating thereto.Source: ZDNet

ARM, Chartered, IBM and Samsung Collaborate to Enable 32nm and 28nm Systems-on-Chip

IBM, Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing, Samsung Electronics, and ARM today announced they will develop a comprehensive 32 nanometer (nm) and 28nm Systems-on-a-Chip (SoCs) design platform based on high-k metal-gate (HKMG) technology from the IBM-led joint-development alliance. Under this multi-year collaboration, ARM will develop and license a design platform of physical intellectual property (IP) including logic, memory and interface products for the Common Platform technology alliance of IBM, Chartered and Samsung for distribution to their customers.

IBM, ITRI Collaborate to Advance New Solid-State Memory

IBM announced today that it has entered into a joint development agreement with Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) to further explore "Racetrack Memory," an entirely new approach to solid state memory. Racetrack Memory was conceived by IBM Fellow Dr. Stuart Parkin at IBM’s Almaden Research Center in San Jose, CA. Racetrack Memory is an exciting and highly innovative concept that builds upon IBM’s significant accomplishments in the research and development of nanomaterials and nanodevices based on the manipulation of spin-polarized electrical current," said Dr. T.C. Chen, IBM Fellow and Vice President, Science & Technology, IBM Research.
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