Sandia directs Option Red super-computer
for peaceful pursuits
Sandia National Labs will demonstrate a variety of high-performance computing applications at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. on June 26. The event, entitled "Leading the Revolution in Engineering," will demonstrate how Sandia is using its supercomputing capabilities in such diverse areas as manufacturing, health care, transportation, energy and the environment, and personal safety. Sandia currently possesses what it regards as the most powerful computer in the world, the so-called Option Red. The teraflops-capable machine was developed to pursue the labs' primary mission of ensuring a safe, secure, and reliable nuclear weapons stockpile. Examples of problems supercomputers can and are being used for include designing drugs, predicting weather, testing aerodynamics and safety of virtual cars, modeling the atomic structure of new materials, modeling the performance of aircraft designs in 3-D, and simulating the interactions among complex molecules in biological systems. Nevertheless, a computer that can consistently beat Garry Kasparov at chess remains out of reach! For more information, call Nigel Hey, Sandia public affairs at (508) 844-7015, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
SLDRAM technology demonstrator coming soon
Siemens AG, a member of the SLDRAM consortium (formerly known at SynchLink), Cupertino, CA, announced the group is scheduled to complete the first SLDRAM in early 1998. The SLDRAM is the next generation of DRAMs (Dynamic Random Access Memory) and is intended as a low-cost, high-performance memory product based on open standards. Recently, the consortium approved Siemens quarter-micron production process for the SLDRAM. The process is based on technology jointly developed by Siemens, IBM, and Toshiba. "DRAMs are commodity products and therefore need open standards," says Andreas von Zitzewitz, vice president, memory products, Siemens Semiconductor Group. For more information call David Gustavson, SLDRAM Consortium secretary at (415) 961-0305, e-mail: dbg@SCIzzL.com.
Hit the beach and pass the pretzels
Veterans of many a video campaign secretly believe they could out-sly the Desert Fox if given half a chance. Apparently, the U.S. Marine Corps thinks there is some merit in these presumptions. Under a DOD-sponsored Small Business Innovation Research program, MÄK Technologies, Cambridge, MA, is developing an amphibious assault computer game that will be used to train marines and be available on store shelves. The simulation, called MEU-31 (after a real-life elite Marine Expeditionary Unit), will have two settings: a "real" mode enabling detailed tactics and logistics; and a "fun" mode where the player basically gets to blow stuff up. MEU-31 promises to provide a richly detailed digital battlefield with equipment and missions to match. MÄK Technologies has developed a number of simulation products for the defense and entertainment markets. Many use the DOD's Distributed Interactive Simulation standard, enabling games to be networked with other games, even over the Web. MEU-31 is tentatively scheduled for commercial release by Christmas, 1999. For more information, call Sue Hoxie at (617) 876-8085, e-mail: email@example.com.
PDM projected to reach $2 billion by the year 2000
According to CIMdata, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI, the worldwide product data management (PDM) market grew by 31% in 1996, and is expected to top $1 billion in 1997. North America accounts for 44% of the total market, and is home to the largest vendors of PDM products and services. Ed Miller, president of CIMdata, says early investment among North American manufacturers in the technology infrastructure required to track, integrate, and leverage design and supporting data is driving the industry to the next phase of its evolution. "In the growing list of companies considering PDM, most are not asking 'if' but 'when,'" Miller says. "As a result, where PDM was once viewed as the preserve of large firms with significant resources, many new vendors are entering the market with products and services directed at mid-sized companies and departmental work groups." For more information on CIMdata's PDM research, call Patrice Romzick at (313) 668-9922.
Internet-ready printers in the pipeline
Pipeline, Tokyo, Japan, has developed an HTML interpreter chip that will accept documents directly from the Internet. The PowerPage Internet Printing System (PIPS) is designed for embedded printer applications or as a host-based system and could enable a new category of output devices capable of printing directly from the Web without intermediate conversion. Possible applications include Internet-ready printers that work in conjunction with Internet-ready telephones or consumer products, such as Web TV. The PowerPage HTML interpreter supports printing in B&W as well as 8-bit color at the printer's rated resolution. For more information call Michael Tangreti, director of US marketing, at (201) 428-1700, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.