SC'05 begins …

At 7pm PST the network was officially lit with the traditional cutting of the optical fibre, then a ribbon was cut with a large pair wooden handled scissors.
Long lines were formed, and much food was consumed.
The best thing I saw at the show today is the LightSpace Technology display. The molecular display demo is great, as was the visual human work. The way it works is a very bright digital light pipe technology coupled with diffusive planes for drawing images. These plans are scanned in an order that allows your brain to perceive depth. You can move around the display, and watch as elements move in front of others as you do. I haven’t seen any other 3D display as realistic as this. I tried taking pictures and movies of the display, but they simply did not do it justice.
Some highlights I learned this day:
Orion is not out. They are going to do a processor transition as Transmeta has exited the processor market in favor of licensing technology. Their transition is quite interesting, as it is different from what we had originally heard.
While Ammasso is out, the folks at L5 networks may have a good solution of their own which does similar things.
Sun is ramping their offerings up. Their offerings still include Sparc, but going forward, they are aggressively pushing Opteron offerings.
In fact, the Opteron appears to be the processor of choice for many of these system builders. Some vendors have announced long term committements to this technology platform.
The IBM folks were busy assembling their Blue Genes, and didn’t have much time or patience for me. Well, maybe next time.
The Panasas booth was quite busy. This is great for them, as they have a good product.
I also noti ced that Starbucks closed early in the conference center. I wonder if they ran out of coffee. This might happen as a direct result of the high density of compter techie types. Supercomputer techies are the uber-geeks, so they must consume coffee with abandon. We may need a new acronym for the individual consmpution rate. Say Giga Micro Liters Per Second. Remember that Micro is usually written as a greek letter mu, which looks like a funny “u”, I think we can talk about coffee consumpution in “GULPS”.
Ok, I won’t quit my day job. I promise.

2 thoughts on “SC'05 begins …”

  1. By the way, since Orion is gone now (at least for the moment, rare chance someone buys the assets), what was the “Processor Transition” that Orion was going to do ?

  2. I had heard two possible transitions, one from an external source, one from an internal source. External rumor was pentium 4M (the mobile chip). This made some sense, would have been a simple software shift. Hardware shift would have been the major challenge. The other one (more recent, from an internal source) was a low power Athlon64 unit. This would have required some software engineering as well (32->64 bit transition).

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