Information Monoculture

How Instant Access to Information Might be Making Us Dumber

by Jim Turley

A reference book about reference books. It doesn’t sound like page-turning summertime beach reading, but Jack Lynch’s book, “You Could Look It Up,” is actually pretty interesting. In it, he describes the historical attempts to create dictionaries, encyclopedias, atlases, codices, and every form of reference work, catalog, compendium, list, and litany that you could think of.

The overarching theme of Lynch’s book is that all such attempts at creating a definitive reference work are, and always have been, doomed. It’s impossible to write down “everything worth knowing,” in part because knowledge keeps moving and changing. At best, you can capture a snapshot of your local culture’s view of the world at a certain point in time. But such works are often out of date even before they’re published (the first Oxford English Dictionary took 44 years to compile its 15,487 pages). Old dictionaries, medical references, and schoolbooks instead become time capsules, of more value to historians and anthropologists than to their intended audience.

 

Sequential and Parallel Universes

The Real Challenge of Next-Generation Computing

by Kevin Morris

There are two alternative realities out there in computation: the sequential universe - which is where our brains naturally conceptualize most algorithms, and the parallel universe - which is the way actual hardware works. These two realities have always co-existed, but the von Neumann architecture shielded us from them. Since our processor architecture was based around a program counter, we could conceive that our machine was doing one instruction at a time.

 

Green Hills/Integrity Premiers as Vehicular CA

Car Certificates Will Be Different from Browser Certs

by Bryon Moyer

Green Hills, the company known more for embedded systems and real-time OSes and such, is now a Certificate Authority (CA). Or, more accurately put, their Integrity Security Services subsidiary is the CA.

“What??” you say. Does this put them into competition with the likes of Verisign and Symantec? Actually… no. For this we need to dig deeper into the world of security and certificates. Because Integrity isn’t a CA for the types of certificates we’re used to; they’re going to serve the automotive market, which will work differently.

 

Realizing Your Silicon Dreams in the Age of Big Data

Open-Silicon and the Business of Semiconductor Advancement

by Amelia Dalton

We are the music makers,
A
nd we are the dreamers of dreams...
-- Arthur O'Shaughnessy (1873)

Some of us dream that we can fly. Some of us dream that we’re swimming in an endless ocean. Some of us dream we’re in high school again and can’t remember the combination to our locker or how to get to seventh period math class. In this week's episode of Fish Fry, we're talking about how we can make our silicon dreams into semiconductor reality. Taher Madraswala (CEO and President, Open-Silicon) joins Fish Fry to discuss how Open-Silicon is helping engineers realize their dreams and translate those ideas into silicon. Taher and I also chat about the trends and challenges facing the semiconductor industry today and the new developments that Open-Silicon is working to create custom SoCs for high bandwidth memory applications. 

 

IPUs – A New Breed of Processor

Machine Learning Platforms for AI

by Dick Selwood

Last year, Jim Turley wondered why we have ranges of different processors. Now I want to bring another TLA to the processor table – the IPU (Intelligent Processing Unit). This is the brainchild of Graphcore, a company that came out of stealth mode last November with the announcement of $30m Series A funding from investors including Bosch, Samsung, Amadeus Capital, C4 Ventures, Draper Esprit, Foundation Capital, and Pitango Capital.

 

Making Your Phone Prettier

New PowerVR 8XE Plus Adds Guts to Previous Glory

by Jim Turley

In the automotive industry, it’s called a model-year midcycle refresh. In the fashion trade, it’s an update. Cosmetic surgeons call it a facelift. In the software world, it’s a patch, an upgrade, or a “user-focused feature enhancement.”

For Imagination Technologies and its PowerVR line of GPUs, it’s simply called Plus.


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