The dream of ubiquitous technology revolves around cheaper materials, and polymer circuits could help make the dream a reality… if the solvents used to produce the circuits didn’t cause more problems than they cured, that is. The National Technical University of Athens has developed a more exacting technique that, like most good things in science, solves the crisis with lasers. The approach fires a laser at a polymer layer (covered by quartz) to throw some of that polymer on to a receiving layer; by moving the two layers, the scientists can print virtually any 2D circuit without resorting to potentially damaging chemicals. Any leftover worries center mostly around risks of changing the chemical composition as well as the usual need to develop a reliable form of mass production. Any long-term success with laser-printed polymers, however, could lead to more affordable technology as well as more instances of flexible and wearable gear — there might not be much of a downside to ditching the circuit status quo.
If you’re wondering if the iPad Mini had an effect on its competitors, it did. Just not the one you were thinking. The Kindle Fire HD actually had its biggest day of sales since its launch, the day after the iPad Mini was announced. More »
According to Asus executives, sales of the Nexus 7 are approaching 1 million units per month. Speaking during their quarterly earnings call, their CFO mentioned that during the first couple of months it was 500K units, then 600K, then 700K, with the most recent month closing in on seven figures.
Up until now, we have only been able to guess what sales have been like, because Google refuses to provide sales figures. Some predicted that the number was sitting around the 800K-1M mark, but those predictions seem to be way off. This news from Asus paints a much brighter picture than I think even I was willing to predict. If you go back to launch and tally up those numbers, you are looking at close to 3 million Nexus 7 units sold. While that’s not on iPad level, it’s impressive for an Android tablet.
Now, with 32GB versions with 3G coming, a price drop of the 16GB model, and the holiday shopping season around the corner, those number should only continue to climb.
Are you surprised by these sales figures? I know I am.
from Droid Life
A prototype of Parallella. The final version will be the size of a credit card.
A month ago, we told you about a chipmaker called Adapteva that turned to Kickstarter in a bid to build a new platform that would be the size of a Raspberry Pi and an alternative to expensive parallel computing platforms. Adapteva needed at least $750,000 to build what it is calling “Parallella”—and it has hit the goal.
Today is the Kickstarter deadline, and the project is up to more than $830,000 with a few hours to go. (UPDATE: The fundraiser hit $898,921 when time expired.) As a result, Adapteva will build 16-core boards capable of 26 gigaflops performance, costing $99 each. The board uses RISC cores capable of speeds of 1GHz each. There is also a dual-core ARM A9-based system-on-chip, with the 16-core RISC chips acting as a coprocessor to speed up tasks.
Adapteva is well short of its stretch goal of $3 million, which would have resulted in a 64-core board hitting 90 gigaflops, and built using a more expensive 28-nanometer process rather than the 65-nanometer process used for the base model. The 64-core board would have cost $199.
from Ars Technica
Whatever you think of the continual legal tussles between Apple and Samsung, a UK court’s decision to force the former into publicly acknowledging that the latter did not copy its design will have seemed a little egregious even to the most ardent sammy-sympathiser. Well, that post is now live — on Apple’s site at least — and as you might expect, is studiously manicured to almost not feel like an acknowledgement at all. The opening legalese notes that Samsung did not infringe “registered design No. 0000181607-0001,” before going on to point out in perfect lay-terms the positive comments Judge Colin Birss made about its own slates. While Apple does confirm that the UK decision was further upheld by the court of appeal, it is also keen to remind you that other European legal jurisdictions (namely Germany) don’t share this opinion. Head to source to read the statement in full.
Raspberry Pi-sized board called Parallella puts supercomputing power into a $99 package.
Chipmaker Adapteva wants to make parallel computing available to everyone, but there’s a good chance you’ve never even heard the company’s name. Founded in 2008, Adapteva focuses on building low-power RISC chips, which it sells to board manufacturers, and is trying to license its intellectual property to mobile processor vendors for use in smartphones.
“We’re way down the food chain,” Adapteva CEO and founder Andreas Olofsson told Ars. But Adapteva wants to bring its technology directly to the people who would actually use it, with a Kickstarter project to raise at least $750,000, and a stretch goal of $3 million.
Adapteva calls it “Parallella: A Supercomputer For Everyone,” a 16-core board hitting 13GHz and 26 gigaflops performance, costing $99 each. If the $3 million goal is hit, Adapteva will make a $199 64-core board hitting 45GHz and 90 gigaflops. (Adapteva seems to be counting GHz on a cumulative basis, adding up all the cores.) Both include a dual-core ARM A9-based system-on-chip, with the 16- and 64-core RISC chips acting as coprocessors to speed up tasks. The Adapteva architecture hits performance of 70 gigaflops per watt, and 25GHz per watt, the company says.
from Ars Technica
The world’s researchers have yet to build a quantum computer of any significant size. But maybe they just need a little Scotch tape.
Researchers at the University of Toronto recently used some two-sided Scotch poster tape — yes, two-sided Scotch poster tape — to transfer superconducting properties to a semiconducting material. That semiconductor is similar …
from Wired Top Stories