Engineers at IBM (www.ibm.com) have recently squeezed performance
gains out of their new 64-bit Power PC processors by using silicon to insulate
the transistors, and by replacing the aluminum wiring with highly conductive
copper. But until now, the only customers who've enjoyed the higher performance
have been those using the high-end servers for business and Internet
applications and CFD calculations.
At a Tokyo trade show Thursday, the video game company Nintendo
(http://www.nintendo.com) announced it was
supercharging its latest releases with the fast chips, code-named "Gekko."
Nintendo will use the chips in its powerful GAMECUBE console.
The machine packs a 405-MHz processor and 40 Mbytes of memory into
a slim 6 x 6 x 4.3-inch box. The GAMECUBE packs storage media onto a 1.5 GB, 8
cm-diameter, Matsushita optical disk, and features accessories like a 56K modem
and wireless controls. It launches in Japan in July 2001, and in North America
three months later. For specs on the GAMECUBE check http://www.nintendo.com/spaceworld/ngc_specs.html.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
Using Siemens NX software, a team of engineering students from the University of Michigan built an electric vehicle and raced in the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. One of those students blogged for Design News throughout the race.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.