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Articles about Efficiency

Google co-founder Sergey Brin in front of crossed out HAL 9000 eye

Google crafts neural network to watch over its data centers

Google has put its neural network technology to work on the dull but worthy problem of minimizing the power consumption of its gargantuan data centers. By doing this, the company says it has created a bit of software that lets it predict with 99.6 per cent accuracy how efficiently its data centers consume electricity, allowing …
Jack Clark, 28 May 2014

Ethernet boffins get ready to kick off 400G development

After a year of discussion and setting of baseline specifications, the hard work of creating 400G bps Ethernet is about to begin. This month, according to the acting chair of the IEEE's 400G Ethernet study group, Dell's John D'Ambrosia, the group will be seeking approval of the project documentation it's been developing since …
Stanford's Neurogrid board

Boffins build billion-synapse, three-watt 'brain'

A top-notch supercomputer can beat humans at many things, but they're also energy hogs – which is one reason so much work goes into neural simulation as the basis for computers. Now, Stanford scientists have demonstrated a neural simulation which they say has a million neurons, multi-billion synapse connections – and runs on …
channel

Stealth Carbon 'efficiency' tax could close UK data centres

Almost half of the UK's data centre operators believe the UK's Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) efficiency scheme tax could drive UK data centre investment offshore, with one-third saying it would send UK data centres overseas as well. The findings are from a survey of Britain's largest data centre operators by Datacenter …
Chris Mellor, 03 Nov 2010

Fibre Channel Industry Association extends roadmap to 128G bps

It's all about speed: the industry association behind Fibre Channel has laid out its acceleration timeline, with 32G bps 128G bps now nailed to the calendar. The Fibre Channel Industry Association has set down its Gen 6 standard, and its timeline puts shipment of kit following the spec at 2016. The basic channel in the …
Samsung PM835T TLC SSD

Hey, Samsung: Why so shy about your 960GB flash drive's endurance?

Samsung has gone and used cheap-to-make triple-level cell NAND chippery to make an SSD for data centre use. Will it catch on? Triple-level cell (TLC) flash chips mean fabs can extract more flash capacity from a silicon wafer, and so production costs are lower than for two-level cell MLC technology. Samsung says it gets "a 30 per …
Chris Mellor, 29 Apr 2014
Festo's "mechanical roo"

Mechanical monster macropod LEAPS out of the lab

If you want evidence for the sad state of science in Australia, here it is: the world's first bionic kangaroo has been developed in Germany. Tool-maker turned industrial automation specialist Festo is responsible for the two-year project that's given the world the robot 'roo. Not only has the mechanical macropod a movement …
AMD FirePro S9150

High five from AMD: New supercomputer GPU maxes out at 5.07 TFLOPS

AMD has upped the ante in its battle with Nvidia for the data center and high-performance computing (HPC) markets, with the launch of two new GPU cards for servers. The company's new big gun is the FirePro S9150 card, which maxes out at a blistering 5.07 TFLOPS peak single-precision floating-point performance and 2.53 TFLOPS …
Neil McAllister, 06 Aug 2014

1.5 MW 'demonstrator' solar plant hits the grid

The ribbon's been cut on a 1.5 MW concentrating solar facility at Carwarp, near the Victorian town of Mildura, and the builder hopes the site will one day be expanded to a 100 MW power station. The Solar Systems deployment began delivering power to the grid in pilot mode in late June, with 40 concentrating photovoltaic dishes …
FlashRay slide 1

Psst, keep this under your hat, but NetApp's new flash wunderkind will be unveiled on...

NetApp is holding an Insight event in Las Vegas in October – and its new all-flash box FlashRay is set to steal the show. FlashRay is a designed-from-scratch solid-state storage array, and we’ve written about it here. Now it's likely to be fully unveiled before or in time for the Vegas event on 28 October, The Reg storage desk …
Chris Mellor, 09 May 2014
Wheat harvest

Customisation is BAD for the economy, say Oz productivity wonks

Australia's Productivity Commission is complaining that high-value, highly-customised – artesan, in fact – products are a drag on national productivity. In its latest productivity report, the nation's flint-eyed economists have decided that the best thing for the economy is for every possible product to sink into an identical …
LTFS EE

IBM's GPFS marries LTFS: You may now kiss the enterprise

IBM's General Parallel File System (GPFS) will soon “see” files on tape cartridges through an enterprise edition of LTFS, Big Blue's Linear Tape File System. LTFS comprises a self-describing tape format, with metadata on the material at a known location defining the tape’s file contents. LTFS supports LTO5, LTO6 or TS1140 tape, …
Chris Mellor, 18 Jul 2014

CoolerMaster 900W PSU grabs top energy efficiency rating

PC power supply specialist CoolerMaster has become the first manufacturer of gaming-friendly PSUs to win a Silver rating from US energy efficiency monitor 80 Plus. CoolerMaster's RS-900-AAAA-A3 - part of its Ultimate line - is rated at 900W. That's the sort of power output you need to run a top-of-the-line processor and a couple …
Tony Smith, 26 May 2008

SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud

It's tough being a victim of your own business strategy, especially if you're Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. After spending twenty years applying a combination of price cuts, smart logistics, and ruthless efficiency to the publishing and music industries, Bezos' Amazon has grown into a vast company. But now the company's …
Jack Clark, 26 Jul 2014

Dubai to get HUGE climate-controlled DOMED CITY and giga-mall

The ruler of Dubai has announced that the Gulf state is soon to build the world's first climate-controlled city, which will feature the largest area yet contained under a single transparent dome. The project is referred to by its organisers as "Mall of the World", and is intended to produce an city which can be traversed …
Lewis Page, 08 Jul 2014

Taiwanese spill on Zuck's racks: Servers powering Facebook REVEALED

Facebook runs on four different server designs, each created to fulfil a specialist task, according to Mike Yang, a general manager and vice president of Taiwanese OEM Quanta. Quanta makes about a quarter of the world's laptop computers and has, of late, branched out into custom servers for big operators like Facebook. Speaking …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Aug 2013
Arcola fuel cell developers kit

Inventors: Feast your eyes on fuel cell tech that'll power up Internet of Thingies

There was more than just talk on offer at Twickenham's Future World Symposium this week. Although there was much to hear about the so-called internet of the things, the connected home, autonomous systems and connected intelligence, there was also plenty to see - and you'll be happy to know we took pictures. The event hosts a …
Bob Dormon, 01 May 2014
australia

Australia ponders 160,000-seat ERP possibilities

Australia's government has released an information paper titled “Investigation into optimising ERP Systems across the public service” that will consider how the nation's government can best procure, and wield, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. The release of the information paper (regwalled PDF here should come as no …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Sep 2013
HPApollo8000

HP targets supercomputers with Project Apollo

HP is imprisoning powerful Intel Xeons inside water-cooled cages ... for science! The company announced on Monday that it has developed two new classes of server for high-performance computing workloads as it prepares to go against traditional supercomputer makers like Cray, Fujitsu, IBM, SGI, and others for the lucrative high- …
Jack Clark, 10 Jun 2014
Cryptophytes

POND SCUM shine a path to more efficient solar cells

Researchers looking at the way algae use quantum mechanics in photosynthesis have found a genetic switch that turns the critters' “quantum coherence” on or off. It's been known for some time that photosynthesis takes advantage of quantum mechanics to improve light harvesting. As this IOP Science article explains in some depth, …
The Register breaking news

Entangled matter the next big thing in qubits

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute are trumpeting as a breakthrough the successful teleportation of quantum information over 21 metres. To be fair, however, the record they're claiming to have set is for “matter-matter teleportation” – rather than merely carrying a quantum state such as polarisation between a pair of …
Broken CD

Still watching DVDs? You're a PLANET-KILLING CARBON HOG!

Here's one idea to get the world moving on carbon abatement: close the remaining DVD video industry and get everybody onto streaming. Of course, in countries like Australia, where rights-holders routinely hold back streaming availability in favour of TV broadcasters, where BitTorrent will get you Game of Thrones sooner than …
A person measuring her waistline

Kiss my DRaaS: Actifio reckons its virty gear will shrink your storage

Actifio is using its copy data virtualisation technology to provide application recovery and test environment creation in a data centre or up in the cloud, and management at VM-level instead of storage LUN level. The Resiliency Director works with Activio's CDS and Sky products to do this. Actifio's CDS product makes a “golden …
Chris Mellor, 04 Jul 2014
eyeofSauron

US judge: Our digital search warrants apply ANYWHERE

Microsoft has been told by a US District Court that it must hand over e-mail details to an unnamed law enforcement agency, even though that data is held offshore. In a case that will exacerbate concerns in non-American countries about the extra-territorial reach of US laws, a magistrate in the District Court of Southern New York …
arrow pointing up

EMC offers storage efficiency guarantee

EMC is offering a guarantee with its Celerra unified storage arrays, saying you will need 20 per cent less raw capacity than from other suppliers, even though previously its bloggers have said such gimmicks are abhorrent. EMC Capacity Calculator You've got to use EMC best practices and there's no direct performance guarantee …
Chris Mellor, 20 May 2010
Stradivarius violin reproduction

Violin's arrays play in Concerto - but they can't hit the dedupe notes yet

In a major architectural extension Violin Memory has revealed its new Concerto 7000 array. This uses Violin's existing 6200 hardware and gives it a separate high-availability controller front end, with software to provide business continuity, data management and protection features - but not deduplication. Let’s just recap …
Chris Mellor, 24 Jun 2014

Meet Solaris 11.2, where SDN means 'Software-Defined Net profit'

Larry Ellison’s Oracle bowled out Solaris 11.2 last week – and what does this member of the Unix family give us? Cloud computing, yes, but also a stab at a datacenter-in-a-(large)-box. It's not too far off the database-as-a-box idea Larry's been banging on about since 1998. Oracle’s Solaris 11.2 announcement is larded with the …
Gavin Clarke, 05 Aug 2014
Google Lenoir datacentre with Oracle tape libraries

NABERS ... every server needs good NABERS

New South Wales' Office of Environment & Heritage has released a version of its National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) standard for data centres. The Office oversees NABERS, a standard that “measures the energy efficiency, water usage, waste management and indoor environment quality of a building or tenancy …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Feb 2013

Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices

Australia last week repealed its carbon tax, a wildly controversial piece of legislation that required the nation's largest polluters to pay up for the privilege of pumping CO2 into the atmosphere. But data centre operators don't think the repeal will see their prices fall. The nation's government has promised that the tax's …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jul 2014
BSC is the Church of the Ceepie-Geepie, quite literally

Ken Brill, 'the father of data centers', powers down at 69

Ken Brill, founder of the Uptime Institute and the man who literally set the standards for modern data center design, has died at the age of 69 after developing cancer. "Ken Brill was inspired in his thinking, and resolute in his principles. As a personality and an innovator, he left an indelible imprint on the IT and data …
Iain Thomson, 02 Aug 2013

Supercomputers take efficiency up another notch

More than the hand-wringing over parallel computing, the mounting electricity bill is the limiting factor holding back the growth of petascale systems. The recurring joke at the SC10 supercomputing conference last week was that we cannot build exascale systems that require their own nuclear power plant to juice them up. And that …

NetApp shows off tech specs of FAS array BIZ BEAST

NetApp's coming FAS8000 is a mid-range array designed for scale-out clustering, with the latter becoming as important if not more important to the firm than having bigger-than-FAS6000 boxes in its product range. Ahead of its launch we managed to get a look at the product's datasheet. It sets the scene by saying: "Traditional …
Chris Mellor, 14 Feb 2014
A microscopic view of the biometric shark skin. Pic: James Weaver

Boffins 3D-print biomimetic shark skin

Scientists from Harvard University have used 3D printing to reveal just how sharks lower their energy consumption in a cruise thanks to miniature teeth-like "denticles" on their skin. Sharks are coated with million of these "overlapping tooth-like scales", known to reduce drag, but until George Lauder, James Weaver and Li Wen …
Lester Haines, 15 May 2014
Oculus Rift being tested by the Norwegian army

Atten-hut! Linux Foundation welcomes three new recruits

Two companies that represent the profound changes rippling through the tech industry have joined The Linux Foundation. Distributed Linux OS company "CoreOS" and networking software specialist Cumulus Networks announced on Monday that they had joined open source advocacy, collaboration, and support group. These two companies …
Jack Clark, 19 May 2014
By michandryan  http://www.flickr.com/photos/49291777@N05/  licensed under creative commons attribution

Dell disputes 15k layoff figure: Only a few staffers accepted 'voluntary separations'

Dell has denied it is laying off north of 15,000 people, and told The Register today that our sources' numbers are "inaccurate". Here is Dell Round Rock spokesman David Frink’s email to us in full: Your story this morning reporting that Dell is laying off 15,000 employees this week/imminently is wildly inaccurate. I can confirm …
Chris Mellor, 03 Feb 2014
Opportunity in clean room

Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning

The winds on Mars have been scouring the surface of the Opportunity rover, and NASA says the plucky little robot is now cleaner than it has been in nearly a decade. Opportunity selfie What a difference a few months of wind makes (click to enlarge) Back in January, Opportunity took a selfie using its panoramic camera, …
Iain Thomson, 18 Apr 2014
Nimbus Data cup cakes

All-flash array flogger Nimbus Data: We COINED IT in 2013

All-flash array firm Nimbus Data released results from the year to date, saying it had had a great 2013. It claimed: Revenue more than doubled compared to 2012, Net income grew more than 4 times compared to 2012, Headcount grew 125 per cent compared 2012, More than 500 Nimbus Data storage arrays are now in production …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jan 2014
Cygnus constellation position

Permabit: Our flashy dedupe is everywhere, heh heh. Thanks Pure!

It's been a long haul but Permabit, which licenses its Albireo deduplication technology to storage-related suppliers, is finally seeing its fortunes rise. Wayne Salpietro, Permabit's marketing director, said: "We are seeing significant upswing in our activities, particularly with Tier 1 customers and prospects. We believe this …
Chris Mellor, 22 May 2014
The prospective main menu of the Dyson Halo (N066)

Google Glass? Feh. Behold Dyson's 2001 pocket 'puter techno specs with own 'Siri'

Blighty’s best-known modern inventor James Dyson is famous for his vacuum cleaners, fans and hand-dryers, but apparently he could have branched out into smartglasses and fuel cells years ago. Guy models the prototype Dyson Halo (N066) HOW FREAKIN' COOL AM I? Over 10 years ago, the Brit’s eponymous firm started working on an …

Webcast follow-up: HP makes the case for convergence

One of the things that surprised many in our recent Regcast on converged infrastructure (CI) was the claim by HP’s Clive Freeman that hardware optimisation for well-defined workloads far outstrips the performance you would get for the same price using software optimisation on a standard platform. Afterwards, I asked Clive how HP …
Tim Phillips, 05 Sep 2014
The Register breaking news

Plasma space-drive aces efficiency numbers: Set for ISS in 2014

Top boffins working at a NASA spinoff company are thrilled to announce that their plasma drive technology – potentially capable of revolutionising space travel beyond the Earth's atmosphere – has checked out A-OK in ground tests. The VX-200 blasting Argon at full bore in ground trials. Credit: Ad Astra Rocket Co What …
Lewis Page, 25 Nov 2010
SGI supercomputer with liquid cooling

Eco-friendly fluid keeps SGI supercomputer cool and moist

Intel and SGI have built a new supercomputer using an advanced coolant from 3M flowing directly over the hardware to slash the running costs of such systems, and possibly to boost performance. SGI supercomputer with liquid cooling Don't try this with water The SGI ICE X system uses Intel Xeon E5-2600 processors for grunt, and …
Iain Thomson, 09 Apr 2014

Battery vendors push ultracapacitor wrappers to give Li-ions more bite

A pair of battery vendors are hoping that a new design which incorporates the use of an ultracapacitor material will help to improve and extend the life of lithium-ion battery packs. Paper Battery Company and TWS say they have developed a system which wraps a conventional lithium-ion battery pack in a sheet of ultracapacitor …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Mar 2014

Google said to have hired Calxeda's chief fabric architect

Google has hired one of ARM chip designer Calxeda's chief architects, according to a source with knowledge of the matter. By hiring Prashant Chandra, formerly Calxeda's Chief Fabric Architect and before that an influential technical figure at chip titan Intel, Google will be able to further its various chip design schemes as the …
Jack Clark, 01 May 2014
Sky_3d_football

BSkyB sees first half pre-tax profit tumble as sales climb

BT's intense campaign to draw more eyeballs away from BSkyB failed to hit the pay-TV company's revenues during the first six months of its financial year. But, while BSkyB - which is around 39 per cent owned by Rupert Murdoch - drove sales up more than 6 per cent to £3.7bn for the period ended 31 December, it did report a …
Kelly Fiveash, 30 Jan 2014
Eyjafjallajökull eruption 2010 by Árni Friðriksson

CANNIBAL CLOUD found devouring enterprise bit barns – report

Data center providers are expanding as enterprise facilities experience budget cutbacks, according to the bit-barn experts at the Uptime Institute. In the Institute's annual data center census, which surveyed 1,000 providers across the world, 63 per cent of third-party data centers – cloud, hosts, co-location facilities, and so …
Jack Clark, 09 Aug 2013
Photo of Kim Jong-un using an archaic computer

North Korea to switch on the interwebs

North Korea has agreed to allow internet access within its borders, or at least within the bounds of an industrial park run jointly with firms from the South. Pyongyang officials have agreed to open a business centre in the Kaesong Industrial Complex in the first half of the year, which will initially house 20 internet-connected …
Phil Muncaster, 11 Feb 2014

0.5mm2 ARM chip offers 5X energy efficiency, jacks up performance

ARM's new energy efficient Cortex-A7 processor will bring computing to a billion more people, its CEO claimed yesterday. Which may or not be a good thing. For the rest of us, harnessed to one of their most powerful processors, the A15, it will also form the basis for a System on a Chip that will make two processors work as one …
Anna Leach, 20 Oct 2011
Bounty hunters

How much is a security bug report worth to Facebook? About $2,100

Facebook wasn't the first to offer security researchers bounties for reporting vulnerabilities – but the social network reports it paid out $1.5m in 2013 for bug reports, and says it is increasing the amount of cash on offer in the coming year. According to the advertising giant, it received 14,763 reports of suspected flaws …
Iain Thomson, 03 Apr 2014
M.2-and M SATA form factors

Cold storage, Facebook style? Flash FPGA controller to knock your SoCs off, vows upstart

Startup NxGnData Stepping onto the flash controller stage from its stealth phase comes with an FPGA-based SoC promising hyperscale cold data storage using cheap, short-life TLC flash and in-situ processing. NxGnData NxGnData home page Its home page promises: In-Situ processing for computational data, EndExt with advanced …
Chris Mellor, 31 Jul 2014