How many graphics boards does it take to let engineers view digital prototypes? Hewlett-Packard (Palo Alto, CA) answers that question with a scalable visualization center called sv6, displayed with 16 processors and boards at Siggraph 2001. Even at huge format size, the photo-realistic resolution showed clearly, such as on the 6- by 71/2-ft Fakespace Portico Work Wall.
The sv6 consists of a cluster of graphics-enabled workstations housed on racks with hp j6000 and j6700 system PA-RISC processors, boasting clock speeds of 552 MHz and 750 MHz respectively. HP reports that the sv6 can support "virtually unlimited numbers of graphics pipelines" because of the modular nature of the system. A high speed LAN interconnects the processors, and a digital image compositor takes multiple digital video streams, and integrates its data into a single image. The j6000 and j6700 workstations can also perform general-purpose compute cycles.
Artificially created metamaterials are already appearing in niche applications like electronics, communications, and defense, says a new report from Lux Research. How quickly they become mainstream depends on cost-effective manufacturing methods, which will include additive manufacturing.
Sharon Glotzer and David Pine are hoping to create the first liquid hard drive with liquid nanoparticles that can store 1TB per teaspoon. They aren't the first to find potential data stores, as Harvard researchers have stored 700 TB inside a gram of DNA.
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