January 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

amd launched its new g-series platform codename ebrazos. it’s a continuation of the amd fusion family of apus (accelerated processing unit.) the platform can have a single or dual low power bobcat cpu, with a powerful gpu capable of supporting microsoft directx 11, unified video decoder 3.0 (h264, mpeg2, vc-1, wmv and divx hardware decode accelerator), 3d visual effects and open-gl and open-cl. a distinguishing feature of ebrazos is the low power consumption (9 watts for single core and 18 watts for dual) together with a very high end gpu. the target market is the digital signage, laptops, casino gaming, set top boxes, etc.

the recommended controller hub for this platform is a55e which provides gigabit ethernet, mac and raid support.

amd g-series block diagram

courtesy of amd


congatec provided conga-baf in com-express form factor, fujitsu d3003-s in mini-itx form factor, and also kontron announced the debut of its g-series support on com-express in embedded world trade show in nuremberg.



December 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

vvvv is a toolbox to simulate and prototype the models and ideas in a very short time, effectively. the tool is very easy to use due to the graphical interface, and drag and drop functionalities. in less than couple of hours from downloading it i designed an audio to visual conversion utility (something like a media players’ visualizations) using fast fourier transform (basically that was why i downloaded it in the first place.) it has a lot of different mathematical/graphical functionalities like a small, portable, easy to use and also free matlab. it also has the capability of running on multiple computers to facilitate the heavier tasks. it also utilizes the direct-x capabilities on windows.

below is snapshots of the visualization.

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solar dynamics observatory

December 8, 2010 § Leave a comment

found the sdo site of nasa which has up to date images from the sun in different frequency ranges and colours. you can watch sun as it changes (it is like every half an hour or so). beside all the serious stuffs in the site there are also fun links, for example, the site has a pick of the week photo which makes a very nice background for your computer (choose here from different colours). the solar flares and solar corona makes an unreal and unbelievable image of the sun, which is very different from the image that most of us have in mind. it also gives us another different mental image, a sense of how changeable the sun is.

pick of the week

pick of the week courtesy of nasa

another fun to read part of the site is the facts section, which blows your mind away, read this one for example: it takes 200,000 years for light to make it from the core to the surface of the sun but then only 8 minutes to reach the earth!

ok now the serious stuffs,which i excerpt from the sdo guide on the site!

the sdo mission is to study and observe the solar activities and their effects on the earth climate. the data is gathered from the sun’s interior, its magnetic field, the hot plasma of the solar corona and the radiations. beside influence on the weather, the solar flares and coronal mass ejections can also cause the disabling of the satellites and cut off communications. the sdo instruments are taking photos from sun continuously.

the sdo spacecraft has three main instrments; atmospheric imaging assembly (aia) which consists of four telescopes that photograph the sun on 10 different frequency ranges and colours, extreme ultraviolet variability experiment (eve) which measures the ultraviolet radiation of the sun that affects the upper layers of the earth’s atmosphere, and helioseismic and magnetic imager (hmi) which maps the magnetic field beneath the sun’s surface.

sdo spacecraft

sdo spacecraft courtesy nasa

sdo was launched on february 11, 2010 at 10:23 am est. it is part of a nasa’s living with a star program (lws) that is to provide the scientific understanding needed for the united states to effectively address those aspects of heliophysics science that may affect life and society.


December 2, 2010 § Leave a comment

i was recently introduced to qseven technology. qseven is a form factor just like the other computer on modules such as com express, nano itx and so on. the size of the form factor is 7×7 cm and it is connected through a high speed mxm connector. mxm connector is also used for pci express graphic cards in laptops. some of the i/o buses that qseven provides includes: 4 x pci express lanes, 8 x usb 2.0, 2 x sata, gigabit ethernet, and express card to name a few. the board has a very low power usage.


courtesy of qseven standard website

the latest revision for the qseven standard is 1.2, which you can download from here.

among the recent boards is conga-qa6, which utilizes the intel atom e6xx series together with eg20 chipset, 2 gb on board ddr2 and  a set of i/o buses.

quantum hard drives

November 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

caltech demonstrated the proof of concept for the quantum hard drives. they demonstrated the use of quantum entanglement based memory to store and retrieve data, which is an introduction to a whole new concept of storage, pushing the traditional optical storage into the history. the new storage utilizes the electromagnetically induced transparency to reduce the speed of light to zero for storage. here is a link to the report.

below is an explanation of the eit as i understood it in layman terms.

electromagnetically induced transparency (eit) is a way to eliminate the effects of the medium on a broadcasting beam. to achieve this, the frequency of the beam of light has to be concentrated narrowly around a specific frequency and at the same time one needs to freeze the electrons at that specific frequency. this happens for example if the electrons receives two or more sinusoidal forces with opposite phases. one of the side effects of the eit is the drastic change in refractive index which is usually close to unity, over a very narrow frequency spectrum, which in turn results in very slow and close to zero group velocity of the beam. various research papers reported the reduction of the speed of light in different materials and frequencies. a result of 50 cm/s was reported, and shown theoretically that it is possible to stop the light completely inside a medium.


November 24, 2010 § Leave a comment

intel’s first ever configurable atom processor, that combines the intel atom e6xx series (a.k.a tunnel creek) with an altera arria ii gx fpga chip. this way intel opened up a new door to support multiple i/o skus for different applications using the power and flexibility of an fpga, which also reduces the concept to implementation time drastically.

stellarton block diagram from intel site

stellarton block diagram from intel site

intel e6xx series, which uses a 45nm high-k process to reduce power consumption,  was itself a revolutionary design for intel as they moved away from their traditional proprietary front side bus and direct media interface connection to an open pci-e to connect to the chipset. also the other new features of interest, especially for the companies in audio/video production, are the audio and video encode/decode acceleration capability, and 2d/3d graphics in the cpu (graphic media acceleration 600), as well as the memory controller which reduces the design footprint manifold.

the arria ii gx chip in stellarton seems to go as big as ep2agx65. these chips are low-cost family of altera chips using 40nm technology, and come pre-packaged with a variety of interfaces and i/o options like pci-express, ethernet, ddr3 and so on, which facilitate the use cases in the stellarton package.

kontron announced a new sbc using this new chip on a pcie/104 form factor, called msmst. the board uses an e655ct/1.3ghz which includes 2gb soldered ram. the card has pci-e connection as well as altera hsmc connection.

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