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cross pond high tech
light views on high tech in both Europe and US
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Mac Pro: Seymour Cray Would Have Approved by @gassee

Mac Pro: Seymour Cray Would Have Approved by @gassee | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

The original 128K Mac was 13.6” high, 9.6” wide, 10.9” deep (35.4 x 24.4 x 26.4 cm) and 16.5 lb (7.5 kg). Today’s Mac Pro is 9.9″ by 6.6″ (25 by 17 cm) and weighs 11 lb (5 kg) — smaller, shorter, and lighter than its ancient progenitor. Open your hand and stretch your fingers wide: The distance from the tip of your pinky to the tip of your thumb is in the 9 to 10 inches range (for most males). This gives you an idea of how astonishingly small the Mac Pro is.

At 7 teraflops, the new Pro’s performance specs are impressive…but what’s even more impressive is how all that computing power is stuffed into such a small package without everything melting down. Look inside the new Mac Pro and you’ll find a Xeon processor, twin AMD FirePro graphics engines, main memory, a solid-state “drive”, driven by 450W of maximum electric power… and all cooled by a single fan. The previous Mac Pro version, at only 2 teraflops, needed eight blowers to keep its GPU happy.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Interesting story linking energy density, Seymour Cray, the Bell Labs and the 64bit A7 chip... not mentioning the Mac Pro's real size.

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Apple Said to Be Exploring Switch From Intel Chips for the Mac

Apple Said to Be Exploring Switch From Intel Chips for the Mac | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

While Apple is now committed to Intel in computers and is unlikely to switch in the next few years, some engineers say a shift to its own designs is inevitable as the features of mobile devices and PCs become more similar, two people said. Any change would be a blow to Intel, the world’s largest processor maker, which has already been hurt by a stagnating market for computers running Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)’s Windows software and its failure to gain a foothold in mobile gadgets.


As handheld devices increasingly function like PCs, the engineers working on this project within Apple envision machines that use a common chip design. If Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook wants to offer the consumer of 2017 and beyond a seamless experience on laptops, phones, tablets and televisions, it will be easier to build if all the devices have a consistent underlying chip architecture, according to one of the people.

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New Chip Is Next Step in 3D Gesture Control Phones

New Chip Is Next Step in 3D Gesture Control Phones | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it
The clickwheel of the first iPod worked by measuring electric field disturbances in one dimension. The first iPhone touch screen functioned similarly, but in two dimensions.

This week, Microchip Technology, a large U.S. semiconductor manufacturer, says it is releasing the first controller that uses electrical fields to make 3D measurements.

The low-power chip makes it possible to interact with mobile devices and a host of other consumer electronics using hand gesture recognition, which today is usually accomplished with camera-based sensors. A key limitation is that it only recognizes motions, such as a hand flick or circular movement, within a six-inch range.
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