Sun Microsystems (San Jose, CA) isn't going to be left behind. The company developed a four-way embedded SPARC(TM) multiprocessor board, the Ultra AXmp, using Sun's new Computer Core Technology (CCT). CCT combines core system ASICs, memory, and SPARC CPUs in a modular package. "This is the first time this building-block approach has ever been done," says Sun's Jeff Veis. With a modular approach, people can pick any flavor of I/O they want and design accordingly. "CCT allows designers to get back in the game," he says. By partitioning the core components of Sun's four-way architecture in a dense and modular package, the company can offer three times the computer density or one-third the size of an average office system, while increasing the integration flexibility for the embedded market. The Ultra AXmp can be deployed in an industrial, rack-mount chassis in either a horizontal or vertical orientation. The board, specifically targeted for telecommunications and networking OEMs, will be available in the second half of 1998. Embedded configurations start at $7,500 in volume quantities. FAX: (408) 544-0180.
Two researchers from Cornell University have won a $100,000 grant from NASA to continue work to develop an energy-harvesting robotic eel the space agency aims to use to explore oceans on one of the moons of Jupiter.
Is the factory smarter than it used to be? From recent buzzwords, you’d think we’ve entered a new dimension in industrial plants, where robots run all physical functions wirelessly and humans do little more than program ever more capable robotics. Some of that is actually true, but it’s been true for a while.
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