Sun's grid shares CPUs
Ever since the first computers shrank to desktop size, engineers have been looking for more computational power. Networking the PCs to servers helped, but it wasn't enough. Predictions of the next step include: "the network is the computer," and "getting compute power from the wall socket."
We're not there yet, but Sun Grid Engine software, from Sun Microsystems (San Francisco, CA), gets pretty close.
Grid computing is based on shared resources, but unlike parallel computing, each job runs on its own machine, says Fred Kohout, director of marketing in Sun's technical market products group. Companies control this sharing with distributed resource management (DRM) software—such as Sun Grid Engine, available as a free download from www.sun.com.
Facing market pressure for faster design cycles, companies are trying to squeeze maximum productivity from their engineers, says John Tollefsrud, product manager of Sun's Grid Engine Software. Grid computing lets the busiest engineers use any idle CPUs. There are three levels—first and simplest is the cluster grid, where a single owner (typically a team or department) uses linked workstations, servers, data storage, and networking gear.
The second stage is a campus grid, when different departments share their computing resources. For example, Motorola's U.S. plant has 500 Sun Blade servers, each with two CPUs, Tollefsrud says. At night, the DRM software instructs idle computers to accept jobs in the pool.
The third stage is a global grid, sharing compute power between companies. Existing outside a single firewall, this adds the hurdles of security, user identification, and data co-location. As of November, the company claimed its Sun Grid Engine was powering more than 118,000 CPU worldwide.
Sun Microsystems, www.sun.com. Enter 595
The PIXI™ Receipt Printer offers up to 2.0 inches/sec print speed, control board, paper supply and transport mechanisms, a direct thermal printhead, and a 1,000,000 cut paper cutter. The graphics-capable thermal printer may be mounted horizontally or vertically. Applications include self-service terminals, kiosks, and ticket vending systems.
HECON, www.hecon.com. Enter 596
Browser-based solution suite
OneSpace Select, a browser-based collaborative product design suite, uses simultaneous information-sharing to improve real-time problem resolution and product design analysis. Users may position, rotate, measure, add/delete, and highlight 2D and 3D data. Independent of CAD, this hosted product provides a 128-bit encryption environment and requires no IT assistance nor upfront implementation expenditure.
CoCreate Software Co., www.cocreate.com. Enter 597
The 10.4-inch diagonal High Brightness thin film transistor (TFT) transmissive LCD module is intended for applications in ATMs, POS displays, instrumentation and gaming machines. Offering 550-nit brightness, it has a screen resolution of 800 × 600 and contrast ratio of 180:1. The 6-bit color depth presents 262,144 colors, with a wide viewing angle of ±45° horizontal and +40°/-15° vertical.
Optrex America Inc., www.optrex.com. Enter 598
Keyboard and controller
The company's miniature keyboard and standalone cursor controller are both designed with up to ten levels of intensity of either red or green LED back-lighting. The miniature keyboard is NEMA 4 sealed, with full 101/104 key functionality using full size keys, measuring 8.70 × 6.15 inches. The ARROWMOUSE™ standalone cursor controller offers six keys in place of mouse functions. Operating drift-free, it meets requirements for OEM small footprints.
CTI Electronics Corp., www.ctielectronics.com. Enter 599
I-deas® 9 is the latest in the company's PLM Solutions line of CAD/CAM/CAE software. Designed to ease collaboration, the software features an XML viewer to support more file types; a customizable user interface; functions for machine simulation, machining connections, pencilmill machining, and more; and compatibility with I-deas Enterprise Release 2.0 to allow for event notification, expanded data migration tools, and access control for certain data items.
EDS, www.eds.com. Enter 600
COSMOS/Motion mechanical design simulation software uses ADAMS motion technology, allowing users to distinguish moving interferences between CAD and assembly parts. Based on Dynamic Designer/Motion, it presents CAD mechanical assemblies in motion for behavior analysis. Software automatically interfaces with COSMOS/DesignSTAR and COSMOS/Works.
Structural Research and Analysis Corp., www.srac.com. Enter 601