MediaFile

Micron enlists IBM to speed up memory chips

Micron has enlisted IBM to help build smart memory chips that could drastically speed up the high-performance computers and networking systems that make up the Internet.

Engineers in recent years have run into a “memory wall” as the increasing efficiency of computer processors outpaces the speed that memory chips can deliver, limiting the overall performance  improvemement of high-end computers.

And one key bottleneck keeping memory chips from being more efficient has been the pathway they use to move data to computers’ processors and back again. 

Micron’s new Hybrid Memory Cube architecture connects controllers to stacks of up to eight memory chips, making the movement of data across that pathway more efficient and making the memory chips 15 times faster than current widely-used technology allows, according to Micron technology strategist Mike Black.

IBM, using its 32 nanometer logic technology, is making the controller chips, which are then intricately connected to a stack of Micron’s memory chips.

Microsoft raises bet on motion-sensing tech

MICROSOFT/SPECIAL-REPORTMicrosoft has acquired Canesta, which designs microchips that it says enable computers to see images in three dimensions, according to the privately-held Sunnyvale, California-based company.

The purchase comes as Microsoft prepares to launch its Kinect motion-controller next month, hoping to spark sales of its xBox video game consoles. Buying Canesta, whose technology focuses mainly on consumer applications, suggests Microsoft is already eyeing more and better movement-recognition products down the line for its video game system as well as other applications.

Kinect’s camera-based system, built into cameras, lets players control games with body and hand gestures, letting gamers ditch the hand-held controllers they have been tied to for decades.

A perfect date machine?

The world’s biggest microchip company, known for some of the most dramatic advances in the tech world, this week decided to ask software developers and salespeople for help.

At its annual developers’ conference in San Francisco this week, Intel Corp put up a dozen or so whiteboards across the Moscone Center venue,  soliciting answers to the big questions: from how tech might improve business to what you might want technology to do, if it could do anything.

But the answers, scribbled in blue marker, were a mix of practical suggestions like a handheld portable video conferencing device, perennial gripes and whimsy – perfect date machine, anyone?

Football in 3D, coming to a theater near you

The first-ever 3D broadcast of an NFL game was rushed into movie theaters in three U.S. cities last night, kicking off what many hope could be a new way of generating revenue for theater operators.

We attended the event in Los Angeles, where a throng of football fans, reporters and Hollywood executives donned black plastic 3D glasses and crammed into a stadium-style theater for kickoff between the Oakland Raiders and the San Diego Chargers.

In an interview the day before the game, Michael Lewis, chief executive and co-founder of 3D system provider RealD 3D, said of the experience: “You feel like you are really on the field in the middle of the action,” and called the event “the dawn of live events at your local theater.”