Sunday, December 20, 2009

ignite slides #millicomputing updated predictions

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

4G LTE Wireless data at 43Mbit/s

LTE trials have started in Sweden, and a laptop data card shows this data rate, with 5Mbit/s upload and 43Mbit/s download. At this point we are 1 to 2 years away from this in the USA.

Monday, September 7, 2009

ARM CPUs for power efficient Web Servers - James agrees...

James Hamilton highlights the power efficiency of ARM for general purpose web servers. It's almost two years since I gave the first talk on Millicomputing at the HPTS Workshop (which is where I met James for the first time) so its great to see him talking up the principles. He also makes the important point that ARM uses error correcting (ECC) memory, while the Intel Atom doesn't, and thus the Atom is actually less suitable for configuring large numbers in low power enterprise server applications.

The systems at are relatively inefficient blades, they have archaic spinning rust storage attached which must dominate the power consumption. A flash based storage subsystem would make much more sense to me. Web content delivery workloads are very well suited to low cost read-mostly flash storage. They do have a 1.2GHz ARM CPU and 1.5GB of RAM per blade, which is the biggest and fastest ARM configuration I've seen so far.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Wireless HD Video at 60GHz

GiGaOM has an update on wireless HD video It seems that the UWB standard stalled, but alternatives are on the way.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Augmented reality for the iPhone

from Metaio just a demo, but heading in an interesting direction...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

TI Sees multi-core phones in 2011

Like I said at Ignite #velocityconf yesterday - see ARM Cortex A9 - which is 4x the iPhone 3GS

Friday, June 19, 2009

iPhone 3GS Graphics

The new hardware is a huge leap forward, the 3GS is in Xbox territory according to Noel - details: and RoughlyDrafted
My order is in :-)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ignite talk at Velocity Conference

I'm at the Velocity Conference next week in San Jose, Mon-Wed. On Monday evening there is an Ignite session where we get 5 minutes to talk about something using 20 slides that auto-advance every 15sec. I've been accepted to do an update on Millicomputing, so I have to figure out how to get a slide deck together. I'm going to look back at what I predicted in 2007 and 2008, see how accurate I was, and look forward a couple of years for what low power devices we should expect to have in our pockets and our datacenters in 2010 and 2011.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Qualcomm Snapdragon - 1.3GHz Arm Cortex A8

The performance of ARM architecture chips continues to increase, this announcement bumps the clock rate up to 1.3GHz and has a long list of integrated features.

The new chipset supports multi-mode UMTS and CDMA 3G connectivity in the same 15 x 15-mm package as well as featuring enhanced 2D acceleration and 3D graphics core, integrated GPS, high-def video recording and playback, Bluetooth 2.1, WiFi, and support for WXGA (1280x800 pixels) displays pumping out your choice of MediaFLO, DVBH, or ISDB-T digital mobile television.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Spacial audio

Another example of an idea I mentioned in my Millicomputing talk turning up at NTT. This is something that could be programmed on an iPhone using OpenAL I think. It's really the idea of using stereo sound to carry conversations, which depends upon people using stereo headsets. I think there needs to be additional value in the headset such as video capture of what I'm looking at, and into-eye video display like the MyVue, then spacial audio is an add-on not the main feature.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Renesas Low power HD Video processor

Sighted at engadget mobile, where they think it could turn up in mobile devices that do both input and output of HD video at 1080p, 30fps

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Andy Bechtolsheim on the Solid State Storage Revolution

At the MySQL conference Andy gives a talk that is up on YouTube.

He gives a good overview of the hardware changes, but doesn't talk about the software challenges, where many of the assumptions and algorithms that are built into all the common operating systems, filesystems and databases are simply wrong. There is a lot of work to be done here. My own work at Sun involved several attempts to point this problem out over the years, and if I had done a better job of getting traction for my ideas, there would be a lot more preparation and research in this area by now. The specific examples include trying to explain the benefits of embedding NVRAM products into servers during the 1990's, and doing extensive testing with solid state disks around 2002. The current size and cost benefits that we see were very predictable, and so are the problems. The SSD's at the time were very expensive, but they were perfectly capable of supporting research and development of new algorithms, and an opportunity was missed.

The next thing that is coming is non-volatile RAM (all the RAM in the system), in case anyone is listening. There need to be fundamental changes in operating systems (user level memory protection models etc.) and we then have the ability to build truly diskless database servers, with safely persistent in-memory databases, in user space, no device drivers.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wireless Video standards war

A bunch of references from GigaOM - it looks as if UltraWideBand 480Mbit USB is in trouble, and the alternatives are a dedicated Wireless HD video standard and Wifi based video streaming. UWB has some nice characteristics, but perhaps the ubiquity of WiFi wins again.... (There have been many cases over the years of technologies losing to Ethernet and IP based networks in the end).

I just want to be able to stream video from my iPhone to my TV set without any wires, don't care what the technology is, and I'm thinking of getting a WiFi enabled TV with Netflix embedded in it around the end of this year.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

iPhone 3.0 hardware interface implications

An insightful posting by Daniel Eran on the iPhone 3.0 hardware interface controller, and its significance.

All I would like to add is that I really hope wideband/wireless USB is a feature of the next iPhone hardware. 480Mbits/s without any wires, and with wireless video output, so your pocket can drive your projector sunglasses, TV, meeting room projector or computer screen without even leaving your pocket.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Intel licenses Atom to TSMC

Intel licenses low power Atom CPU design to TSMC. This is another step along the road of bringing the Intel x64 architecture down into low power embedded devices to compete with ARM.

Monday, February 16, 2009

TI OMAP4 is based on ARM Cortex A9

Nice summary on GigaOM about the new chip just launched by TI.

This continues along the direction I outlined two years ago, high def video and graphics processing, very long battery life, high speed networking and lots of CPU capacity in a multicore chip, sampling soon, and in products in 2010.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Extended iPhone cookbook XML parser

Erica Sadun published a tree based XML parser for the iPhone that works quite well. I needed to extend it to parse attributes and I posted my code back to Erica's google code forum. This works quite efficiently, my app parses complex XML for 100 movies in less than a second as it picks out the instant format ones.