tech planet

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Jaguar supercomputer gaining speed

Titan will be at least twice as fast as today's fastest supercomputer, which is located in Japan
File photo shows a staff member of Japan's national Riken institute opening a rack of supercomputer, "K Computer", at Riken's laboratory in Japan on June 21, 2011. Cray Inc. said it has sealed a deal to overhaul the US Department of Energy's "Jaguar" supercomputer, making it faster than any other machine on the planet. The new supercomputer will be renamed "Titan".
Cray Inc. said it has sealed a deal to overhaul the US Department of Energy's "Jaguar" supercomputer, making it faster than any other machine on the planet.
2.5" HDD Server & Chassis - Supermicro's Intel® Xeon® System. energy and cost-efficient solutions
The supercomputer at the DOE Oak Ridge National Laboratory will be renamed "Titan" after it is beefed up with speedy, powerful chips from California companies NVIDIA and .
"All areas of science can benefit from this substantial increase in , opening the doors for new discoveries that so far have been out of reach," said associate lab director for computing Jeff Nichols.
"Titan will be used for a variety of important research projects, including the development of more commercially viable biofuels, cleaner burning engines, safer nuclear energy and more efficient solar power."
NVIDIA specializes in GPU () chips used to enable seamless, rich graphics and smooth action in videogames by processing myriad tasks simultaneously through parallel computing.
Rival company AMD will provide powerful chips that process data in sequence as is standard in home or work computers.
"Oak Ridge's decision to base Titan on Tesla GPUs underscores the growing belief that GPU-based heterogeneous computing is the best approach to reach exascale computing levels within the next decade," said NVIDIA  Steve Scott.
Cray valued the multi-year contract at more than $97 million and said that Titan will be at least twice as fast and three times as energy efficient as today's , which is located in Japan.

Solar-powered air-conditioning system for vehicles

Solar-powered air-conditioning system for vehicles
Solar private car. Credit: Partnership Development Office
Great news for drivers! They can now continue to keep the air-conditioning system on during the hot sunny days even when they stop the vehicle and switch off the engine. In collaboration with Green Power Industrial Ltd, PolyU's Department of Electrical Engineering has developed an innovative air-conditioning system for vehicles that can turn scorching summer heat into cool air without a single drop of gasoline.

Motorists are so used to turn on the engine for air-conditioning. Our solar-powered air-conditioning system for vehicles (SAV) will break this convention. Featuring photovoltaic technology and intelligent power control, SAV switches on-board air-conditioner to  when petrol engine shuts off, and the switch-over is automatic and seamless.
Principal investigator of this project Prof Eric Cheng explained, "Drivers of minibuses or taxis can now switch off the engine but continue to stay cool while waiting for passengers at the station. In fact, our system helps extend the operation of air-conditioner for two more hours." Prof Cheng further stressed that this device can also give good power output even during cloudy or .
Similar to a big , this system has  on the rooftop of the vehicle to collect power for storage in a battery to support a stand-alone electric air-conditioning unit when the  is not running. The solar panel is made from bendy materials which can fit perfectly on any vehicle rooftop, giving it a sleek appearance. It also serves as a good thermal insulation for the interior and other valuable equipments inside the vehicle.
Idling not only pollutes the air, but is also bad for the engine as it may contaminate and accelerate the deterioration of  components due to higher operational temperature and unnecessary prolonged operation. According to recent statistics, leaving a vehicle on idle for as short as 10 minutes a day will consume an average of 100 litres of petrol in one year. In other words, adopting our SAV can help save drivers' petrol and fuel cost.
PolyU's President Prof Timothy W. Tong hailed the device as a practical solution that could benefit thousands of professional drivers and pedestrians in the city. The installation of our SAV on a Swire Coca-Cola Hong Kong truck was first announced in October last year. A series of testing on the road have proven the system robust and effective. To make another milestone on the road to green transport, the system is now being widely deployed in public transport such as minibuses and taxis, as well as some commercial vehicles including an operation truck of the Airport Authority Hong Kong.
"We look forward to having more fruitful collaboration with Green Power Industrial Ltd and other industrial partners to build a low-carbon city. Together, we can jointly make a contribution for sustainable development of our community," said Prof Tong.
As part of an on-going mission in advancing technology that safeguards natural resources and our ecosystem, SAV is the latest from a stream of PolyU's green innovations with an aim to reduce harmful emissions and eliminate the effects of climate change. This system has also brought home two international awards from the 39th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva in April this year. This accolade will certainly serve as recognition of the hard work, the know-how and the dedication that PolyU researchers have put in creating meaningful innovations that move us towards a sustainable society.
Provided by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University