Tag Archives: Gadget News

iPhone 5 swipe glitch threatens Fruit Ninjas

The diagonal swiping glitch only shows up on the iPhone 5, not the iPhone 4S.


(Credit:
Screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET)

How many times have you been checking out a map of Flagstaff (or Salt Lake, Albuquerque, or Denver) in Apple Maps on your new iPhone 5 and then wanted to quickly swipe diagonally to the Four Corners monument only to find that
iOS 6 suddenly goes lag and unresponsive?

Never? Really? Guess I’m the only one obsessed with such geographical oddities. Well, some game developers have been reporting issues with the iPhone 5 not responding to rapid diagonal swiping. If the bug is more than just an iOS software glitch, it could limit the functionality of certain gestures.

The Next Web has surmised that because the glitch is not present on the
iPhone 4S, but is also seen on the 5th generation
iPod Touch, which uses the same new touch hardware as the iPhone 5, the issue is likely not with iOS 6 and not solved with a simple software update.

Check out the video demonstration below from Recombu, and don’t be surprised if the skills of Fruit Ninjas who play on Android begin to far exceed those who slice melons on iOS.

I’ve reached out to Apple for a response, and will update this post once I hear back.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/FrW9SMgq0uM/

Toshiba Satellite U925t review: with its first Windows 8 convertible, Toshiba bets big on the slider

Toshiba Satellite U925t review

You can’t see our New York City office right now, but it’s something of a laptop menagerie. We just finished reviewing a laptop whose screen flips inside its hinge, and now we’re testing an Ultrabook with a touchscreen, along with a notebook whose screen folds all the way back. The Toshiba Satellite U925t ($1,150) is yet another breed of Windows 8 hardware. It’s a slider, to be exact, which is to say its 12.5-inch screen slides out and up to reveal a full-sized keyboard. It’s nice, in theory, because you can use it as a tablet without having to worry about packing a separate keyboard. But unlike the Dell XPS 12 or Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13, which can also be used in tablet mode, the screen here is always exposed. As you can imagine, too, that propped-up display has a very real effect on the typing experience. Given all that, is there any reason to consider this over other, similarly priced Windows 8 convertibles? Could there perhaps be any performance benefits, or advantages in screen quality? Meet us after the break where we’ll hash it out.


Look and feel

DNP Toshiba Satellite U925t review with its first Win 8 convertible, Toshiba bets big on the slider

It’s as if Toshiba gave up midway through the design process.

Back in June, if you recall, Toshiba announced an Ultrabook called the Satellite U845W. You might remember it as that funky-looking notebook with a 14.4-inch, 21:9 display, but we think of it a bit differently. To us, it’s simply the prettiest, most understated PC Toshiba has put out in a long, long time. It was the mix of materials that sealed the deal: a machined aluminum lid, soft-touch accents, a backlit keyboard and even a metal FCC plate. It was tactile, inviting and, most importantly, subtle.

The U925t isn’t an exact copy (it doesn’t even have a lid) but it does borrow some key design elements. This, too, has a textured, rubbery finish both on the underside and on the palm rest. As on the U845W, Toshiba went with an inoffensive shade of dark brown. These are also the same flat, chiclet-style keys, just shrunken down to fit a smaller deck. That said, this seems to be a clear step down in build quality. The whole thing is made of plastic, and while the soft-touch materials do a good job masking that, you can still feel it in the keyboard panel, which exhibits some noticeable flex. Also, Toshiba didn’t give much thought to how the back of the device looks once you slide out the display and prop it up. That backside has a bare, almost unfinished look — it’s as if Toshiba gave up midway through the design process. On another machine it might pass for industrial; here, it just doesn’t match the rest of the design.

As for that display, it’s coated in scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass, which is a fortunate thing since the screen is constantly exposed (unless you buy a sleeve for it, of course). We didn’t really consider this when we first got hands-on: at the time, we were more concerned with how sturdy the sliding mechanism was (pretty sturdy) or how comfortable the typing experience would be (just okay). It’s once you find yourself in possession of an $1,150 machine that you start to feel a bit nervous about sticking it in a bag with other items. As we’ve found on phones, tablets and other devices, though, the Gorilla Glass does a good job of keeping the screen pristine. So after spending a little time with it, we were able to relax and trust the panel wouldn’t get ruined.

One nice thing about this form factor is that you can set it in your lap with the display propped-up and not have to worry about the whole thing toppling backward. The hinge on the backside anchors the display in such a way that you needn’t worry about the weight distribution, as you might with a dockable tablet. Of course, too, that slider form factor means you can use the U925t as a tablet when you want to. As we said with the XPS 12, though, you wouldn’t want to use a 3.35-pound, 12-inch tablet for long periods of time. Your arms would get tired. If you’re hanging out on the couch, however, and can rest the PC against your legs, it makes for a nice lean-back sort of device.

At 3.35 pounds, the U925t is naturally a bit heavier than 12-inch machines that don’t have a touchscreen, but it’s the exact same weight as the XPS 12, which can also be used as a tablet. Size-wise, the chassis measures 0.78 inch thick, which is just wide enough to accommodate an HDMI socket and two USB 3.0 ports, one of which supports Toshiba’s Sleep and Charge technology. Poke around further and you’ll find a volume rocker, a key for enabling screen auto-rotation, the power button, a volume rocker and two vents around back. There’s even an SD card reader, something you won’t find on the Dell XPS 12 Windows 8 convertible. Finally, being a PC you can use as a tablet, this has not one, but two cameras: an HD webcam up front, and a 3-megapixel, autofocusing shooter on the back.

Keyboard and trackpad

Toshiba Satellite U925t review

We’re grading on a curve here. When we first got hands-on with the U925t, we said it had a roomier keyboard than most sliders we’ve seen. And that’s true; an inherent problem with this form factor is that when the display is propped up, the hinge ’round back eats into the usable deck space, leaving the keyboard area unusually cramped. We still say the U925t has a better keyboard than the new MSI Slider S20, but that isn’t saying much. The layout here still feels crowded compared to the XPS 12, or any other ultraportable with a fully usable keyboard deck.

All told, we were able to type the brunt of this review on it, but we did make plenty of typos along the way. It’s a shame the propped-up display takes up so much space, because with a little more room this would have been a great typing experience. Though the keys are a bit shallow, they have a soft finish that feels nice under the fingertips, and we like how the keyboard makes relatively little sound, even when you’re typing furiously. The gentle backlighting, too, is a nice touch. (You can turn it off at any time by pressing Fn-Z.)

If you thought the keyboard was crowded, imagine how squat the touchpad is. To its credit, it’s wide; it’s just not very tall. That’s mainly an issue when you’re trying to click the built-in touch button (which you might resort to if you’re in File Explorer or some other desktop app where precision is needed). In that scenario, it’s tough to fit both your thumb and index finger on the trackpad at the same time; your index finger might well brush up against the top of the touchpad, and hit the spacebar.

Fortunately, the touchpad is big enough so that you can comfortably do two-finger scrolling, which works smoothly on this device. You probably won’t need the touchpad for pinch-to-zoom because, you know, you can just reach up and use the touchscreen for that.

Display and sound

Toshiba Satellite U925t review

In addition to Gorilla Glass protection, the 12.5-inch display offers some good viewing angles, thanks to in-plane switching (IPS) technology. Given that this isn’t the sort of machine you’re likely to crowd around with friends, you might appreciate the viewing angles most when using the PC in your lap. Using it that way, we had plenty of leeway when adjusting the screen. As for the 1,366 x 768 resolution, that’s quite standard among Windows machines, especially models with small screens. It’s perfectly adequate for watching movies and getting work done, but it’s worth noting that there’s a growing number of 1080p offerings out there, including the Dell XPS 12 and the Acer Aspire S7, a 13-inch Ultrabook with a touchscreen. Indeed, we happen to have both of these other machines lying around, and as you’d expect, their screens look crisper, and the difference is noticeable in both the desktop and in Microsoft’s Modern UI.

The U925t’s two speakers are located on the bottom side of the device, just underneath the palm rest. As you might expect, given the size of the laptop and also the location of the speakers, the sound never gets very loud, even at max settings. Like so many other laptops, too, the sound is decidedly tinny, with clipped bass notes. Those low tones sound especially distorted at top volume, so you might want to keep the volume at a more moderate setting, even if it means making do with a more subdued audio experience.

Performance and battery life

PCMark7 3DMark06 3DMark11 ATTO (top disk speeds) Toshiba Satellite U925t (1.7GHz Core i5-3317U, Intel HD 4000) 4,381 4,210

E989, P563

521 MB/s (reads); 265 MB/s (writes) Dell XPS 12 (1.7GHz Core i5-3317U, Intel HD 4000) 4,673 4,520 N/A 516 MB/s (reads); 263 MB/s (writes) Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 (1.7GHz Core i5-3317U, Intel HD 4000) 4,422 4,415

E917, P572

278 MB/s (reads); 263 MB/s (writes) Acer Aspire S7 (2.4GHz Core i7-3517U, Intel HD 4000) 5,011 4,918 E1035 / P620 / X208 934 MB/s (reads); 686 MB/s (writes)

This might be the most straightforward performance comparisons we’ve ever published. Each of the Ultrabooks listed in that table up there runs Windows 8, and three of them have the same Ivy Bridge Core i5 processor. All have Intel’s latest integrated graphics solution, the HD 4000 chipset. Appropriately, then, benchmark scores in PCMark 7, 3DMark06 and 3DMark11 are all on par with one another. The one exception is the Acer Aspire S7, which we tested with a Core i7 CPU and RAID 0 SSD setup. So, there aren’t many indications that the U925t is either faster or slower than its competitors. Its max disk speeds, as measured by ATTO, were very close to what we got with the XPS 12. Its read speeds are considerably faster than the Yoga 13’s (521 MB/s versus 278 MB/s), but that seems to say more about the Yoga, since the XPS 12 also notched read speeds in the 500 MB/s range.

In real-world use, the U925t boots up quickly: eight seconds to the log-in screen, and then another two seconds to load the Start screen. That’s even faster than the XPS 12, which took 12 seconds to boot. We did notice that certain Windows 8 apps such as the Windows Store were slow to load, but we didn’t notice any lag as we toggled through open apps and browser tabs. If anything, the biggest red flag was fan noise: the machine gets awfully loud, particularly while running games. At one point, the sound coming from the fans was so loud that we worried we were annoying other people in the office. That’s a subjective measure, of course. So here’s a more practical question: will that fan noise annoy you while you’re trying to concentrate?

Battery Life

Toshiba Satellite U925t 5:10 Samsung Series 9 (15-inch, 2012) 7:29 Lenovo ThinkPad X230 7:19 Samsung Series 9 (13-inch, 2012) 7:02 MacBook Air (13-inch, 2012) 6:34 (OS X) / 4:28 (Windows) Dell XPS 14 6:18 HP Folio 13 6:08 HP Envy Sleekbook 6z 5:51 Toshiba Portege Z835 5:49 Sony VAIO T13 5:39 Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 5:32 MacBook Air (13-inch, 2011) 5:32 (OS X) / 4:12 (Windows) Dell XPS 12 5:30 HP Envy 14 Spectre 5:30 Toshiba Satellite U845W 5:13 Toshiba Satellite U845 5:12 Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M3 5:11 Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 5:07 Samsung Series 5 Ultrabook (14-inch, 2012) 5:06 Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M5 5:05 Dell XPS 13 4:58 Lenovo IdeaPad U310 4:57 Acer Aspire S5 4:35 Samsung Series 9 (13-inch, 2011) 4:20 ASUS Zenbook Prime UX21A 4:19 Acer Aspire S7 4:18 Acer Aspire S3 4:11 Vizio Thin + Light (14-inch) 3:57

When it comes to testing battery life on Windos 8 laptops, we’re in the middle of a disappointing streak: the U925t lasted little more than five hours in our standard rundown test, which involves looping video with WiFi on and the brightness fixed at 65 percent. As taxing as that test is, we’ve seen some non-touch-enabled Ivy Bridge Ultrabooks last upwards of six hours, if not seven. And yet, the best showing we’ve seen so far from a touchscreen Windows 8 Ultrabook is the Lenovo Yoga Ideapad 13, which lasted five hours and 32 minutes in the same test. (Full review coming soon, promise!) Likewise, the Dell XPS 12 lasted five hours and 30 minutes. By those standards, the U925t’s battery life isn’t surprising, per se, but it still isn’t great.

Software and warranty

Compared to some other PC makers, Toshiba included quite a bit of bloatware, including: Netflix, eBay, Amazon, Vimeo, Encyclopedia Brittanica, the Merriam-Webster dictionary, iHeartRadio, iCookbook, Origin (EA’s game store) and a 30-day trial of Norton Internet Security 2013. Toshiba also threw in some items of its own, including Book Place, News Place and a support guide. Fortunately, at least, crapware in Windows 8 takes the form of an extra cluster of Live Tiles on the Start Menu; none of this will litter the desktop. Annoyingly, some of these programs come pinned to the Taskbar, but you can of course un-pin them if you so choose.

Like most consumer laptops, the U925t comes with a one-year parts-and-labor warranty. The battery also has one year of coverage.

Configuration options and the competition

Toshiba Satellite U925t review

With so many other Windows 8 convertibles available or arriving soon, we suspect your money would be better spent elsewhere.

The U925t is sold in one configuration on Toshiba’s site: the same $1,150 model we tested with the Core i5-3317U processor, 128GB SSD and 4GB of RAM. Those are fairly typical specs, as far as Ultrabooks go, though some power users might lament that they can’t configure it with a Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM or 256 gigs of storage.

We’ve already mentioned the U925t’s most similar competitors: the Dell XPS 12 and the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13. Why do we choose these? Well, we were looking for Ultrabooks that could be used as tablets — specifically, Ultrabooks with 12- or 13-inch screens. Anything bigger would mean making some serious compromises in mobility. For the purposes of keeping things brief, we also won’t dwell on regular old touchscreen notebooks, because you can’t really use those as tablets, even if you are tapping the display with your finger. So, that leaves us with a fairly small group of machines, with the XPS 12 and Yoga 13 being the most prominent.

If you can get past the XPS 12’s odd form factor (that’s the one whose screen flips inside the hinge) it’s actually a solid little touchscreen Ultrabook. At $1,200 and up, it costs about the same as the U925t, and comes with nearly the same specs, including 4GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD and that Core i5-3317U processor. The big difference is the display: the XPS 12 comes standard with a 1080p IPS panel and yes, it is as lovely as it sounds. The XPS 12 offers nearly identical battery life to the U925t and weighs the same. It can also be configured with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. Its design and build quality are excellent too, but there is one catch: it’s missing an SD reader.

As for the Yoga 13, we need to tell you up front that we’re still testing it, and aren’t ready to weigh in decisively. That said, we’re enjoying its comfortable keyboard and solid build quality. As you can see in the above performance tables, its battery life is slightly better than the U925t’s, and on par with the XPS 12’s. The performance across these three machines seems to be comparable. As for specs, it currently starts at $1,000 with a Core i3 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD and a 1,600 x 900 display. To get the same Core i5 CPU offered in the U925t and XPS 12 you’d have to pay $1,100, which is still slightly less expensive than the Toshiba model.

Wrap-up

Toshiba Satellite U925t review

If Toshiba got one thing right with its first Windows 8 flagship, it’s this: there is indeed a market for PCs that can be used as tablets. It’s convenient to tuck your Ultrabook’s keyboard away when the moment strikes, and turn it into a slate (a big, heavy slate, but a slate nonetheless). That’s a nice option to have when you’re hanging out on the couch, half-watching TV: you might want to glance at your email or stream Netflix, but you probably aren’t going to make much use of the keyboard. Not when you’re acting like a couch potato, anyway.

The more we use the Satellite U925t, though, the more we’re convinced Toshiba took a gamble on the wrong form factor. That propped-up display eats into the available deck space, making for a compromised typing experience. The trackpad, too, is unnecessarily small, which might bother folks who are trying to get work done on the desktop and can’t really get by on finger input. Meanwhile, the Dell XPS 12 and Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 cost about the same and weigh about the same, except they approach that tablet transformation in such a way that you never lose out on keyboard space.

There are other issues with the U925t, too. Battery life is shorter than on those two competing models we mentioned, and the build quality isn’t as robust. What’s more, the XPS 12 comes standard with a 1080p screen, while the Yoga 13 has a 1,600 x 900 panel. The display would have been one of the few saving graces for the U925t, but it has lower resolution (1,366 x 768). And while the viewing angles are good, they’re no better than what other machines are offering. That’s not to say the U925t has no redeeming qualities in its own right, but with so many other Windows 8 convertibles available or arriving soon, we suspect your money would be better spent elsewhere.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/11/09/toshiba-satellite-u925t-review/

My non-touch Windows 8 world


(Credit:
Sarah Tew/CNET)

Unlike most of my colleagues, my recent
Windows 8 experiences have been distinctly non-touch. As it turns out, the only two laptops I’ve reviewed with Microsoft’s new operating system pre-installed both lacked touchscreens: the Sony Vaio E17, and the Toshiba Satellite U845W. Both are what you’d consider “classic” laptops–although the U845W has an unique, extra-wide screen.

Based on these early experiences with two “Windows 8-optimized” laptops, I’m not a fan of the non-touch Windows 8 world.

Escaping The Grid

Honestly, it’s hard to be a fan of non-touch on Windows 8, because there are precious few non-touch enhancements to get excited about. The big exciting part of Windows 8 is its tile-grid of touch-friendly apps. It’s begging for a
tablet, or at least a bendy touchscreen, to appreciate. Without either, I feel like I’m missing out on the fun.

But it’s more than that. Windows 8 favors touch, and then bends back to accommodate everyone else. Sure, underneath it all is a pretty standard Windows 7-esque desktop environment…but it’s not all exactly the same. Certain apps and controls are hard to find, or even begin to know how to find. Some apps don’t update perfectly. But Windows 8 pushing this all to the back end feels like the opposite of
Mac OS X, which takes all the iOS-like app grids and the Mac App Store itself and pushes it back, out of sight. A Mac starts up like a Mac. A Windows 8 PC starts up like something very different than a Windows 7 PC.

Sure, it just takes a button-press to hop out of The Grid (as I like to call it), or you can tweak settings to avoid this interface. But it’s an alienating first few hours.

Satellite U845W: large trackpad, but still not comfortable.


(Credit:
Sarah Tew/CNET)

The Importance of Trackpads

Bad trackpads get shown up in Windows 8. With all the extra gestures, improved accuracy is a must. And, there’s the oddity of off-pad swiping: it brings up Charms and helps find the search bar in Explorer; it switches apps. Many trackpads are recessed, and pulling off an off-edge swipe onto the pad feels uncomfortable…or worse, the move doesn’t register. If you’re a new Windows 8 user, you don’t need the added confusion of gestures that work sometimes, and don’t work other times. It’s all a new enough world as it is.

The Vaio E17 trackpad: way too small.


(Credit:
Sarah Tew/CNET)

Unfortunately, a lot of Windows laptops have lousy trackpads. It’s the rare machine that offers a surface large enough, and smooth-responding enough, to do Windows 8 justice.

Both the Sony Vaio E17 and Toshiba Satellite U845W are fine laptops in terms of battery life, performance, and construction. They just lack stellar trackpads. The E17’s is far too small, and the U845W’s is large enough but wasn’t super-responsive. This is common enough in the laptop world, but those trackpads are becoming far more important. I’d also prefer that no Windows 8 trackpad ever be recessed: to pull off the moves requested of you, the user, a flush trackpad with extra room around it is really the way to go.

Would I plug in a larger trackpad or use a mouse? I could, but that feels like the laptop equivalent of orthotic shoes. I don’t want added gear. I want a normal, fast, fun laptop that doesn’t make me want to tear my hair out.

Lenovo’s IdeaPad Yoga 13: archetypal touch convertible laptop.


(Credit:
Sarah Tew/CNET)

Who Needs Touch?

Most people don’t need a laptop that swivels into a tablet. I’m not even sure I want one. But if were to buy a Windows 8 laptop, I’d seriously consider giving that a lot of thought.

You can adjust to Windows 8 without a touchscreen. I certainly did. But I don’t know if “adjusting” is the best way to experience a new-feel operating system. As more touch-oriented Windows 8 apps get released, I worry that the touchless world will become ever more alienating. And, as I reached up to instinctively paw at the non-touch screen in the hopes of speeding up my Windows 8 experience and help me escape from odd, full-screen, confusingly minimalist apps, I wondered how long I’d want to live with a brand-new Windows 8 PC that lacked touch.

The iPad worked for me because it had no alternatives: touch is its only interface, and I had no other choice. Windows 8 is admirably flexible, but keeping options open will result in some options being better than others. In the NFL, they say having two starting quarterbacks means you have no starting quarterback. I wonder if that’s the case here with touch and non-touch.

Of course, this is just my opinion. You may find it fine. In fact, installing Windows 8 on an existing laptop is the most likely path for a lot of people. Non-touch laptops are also more affordable, and less experimental hardware tends to be more reliable. But if I were investing in a Windows 8 computer, I’d find it hard not to heavily consider a touchscreen.

Read my reviews of the Sony Vaio E17 and Toshiba Satellite U845W-S430.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/RsXrKGf_XWE/

Urine-powered generator produces six hours of electricity per bathroom break

DNP Nigerian teenagers urinepowered generator produces up to six hours of electricity

We’ve all heard the expression “haste makes waste,” but how about waste making energy? At the fourth annual Maker Faire Africa in Lagos, Nigeria, a quartet of teenage girls ages 14 through 15 have created a urine-powered generator. This eco-friendly energy source cranks out six hours of electricity for every liter of human bodily fluid by separating the excretion’s hydrogen with an electrolytic cell. While this method of human waste disposal seems promising, the device has the potential to be a pee-powered biobomb and will need more than its limited safety measures before you’re able to pick one up at your local hardware store. However, if this can help us save a few bucks on our energy bill, then we need to introduce these girls to these guys posthaste.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/11/08/urine-powered-generator/

Microsoft brings Windows 8 tiles to crazy life

And then the wall came down.


(Credit:
Video screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

You know that Microsoft is all about the noise now, don’t you? Oh, and the color.

So here is a delightful stunt the company pulled in Oslo, Norway, in order to, well, blow the side of a building off with the sheer excitement of the new operating system.

I am grateful to PSFK for alerting me to this very alive tile experience.

It consisted of hiring a famous Norwegian band, Datarock, building a fake wall, and then placing a live tile in the street.

Casual passersby (one hopes they were) came along and stepped on it to see what would happen. They were then confronted with pandemonium.

The wall collapsed, the world changed, the scales were removed from their eyes, and they grabbed their Macs from their messenger bags and smashed them against the nearest parked
cars.

I exaggerate slightly, of course.

This is just one more example of Redmond trying, trying, trying to behave like the little engine that could, rather than the big machine that could really get on your nerves.

It makes for heartening entertainment.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/ISRN7kdthig/

Cray unleashes 100 petaflop XC30 supercomputer with up to a million Intel Xeon cores

Cray Unveils the Cray XC30 Supercomputer — the Next Generation of Its High-End Supercomputing Systems

Nov 08, 2012 — Global supercomputer leader Cray Inc. (NASDAQ: CRAY) today announced the launch of the Company’s next generation high-end supercomputing systems — the Cray XC30 supercomputer. Previously code-named “Cascade,” the Cray XC30 supercomputer is the Company’s most-advanced high performance computing system ever built.

The Cray XC30 combines the new Aries interconnect, Intel® Xeon® processors, Cray’s powerful and fully-integrated software environment, and innovative power and cooling technologies to create a production supercomputer that is designed to scale high performance computing (HPC) workloads of more than 100 petaflops.

“After several years of incredibly hard work focused on completing the most ambitious RD program in our company’s history, today’s unveiling of the Cray XC30 supercomputer is an exciting moment for Cray employees and our customers who have been eagerly anticipating what is an amazing new system,” said Peter Ungaro, president and CEO of Cray. “As a follow on to our most successful, productive line of supercomputers, the Cray XC30 is the realization of our Adaptive Supercomputing vision and will provide researchers, scientists and engineers with a system that can adapt to fit their most demanding applications. We’re off to a great start with more than $100 million in contracts for this system, and we believe the Cray XC30 series of supercomputers will allow a broader base of users to leverage the world’s most advanced supercomputing technology.”

Several leading HPC centers have signed contracts to purchase Cray XC30 supercomputers, including:

The Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) in Lugano, Switzerland
The Pawsey Centre in Perth, Australia, owned by CSIRO and operated by iVEC
The Finnish IT Center for Science Ltd. (CSC)
The Department of Energy’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) in Berkeley, Calif.
The Academic Center for Computing and Media Studies (ACCMS) at Kyoto University in Kyoto, Japan
The University of Stuttgart’s High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS) in Germany

The first customer to sign a Cray XC30 contract was HLRS in Stuttgart back in 2010. “The Cray XC30 system will be a valuable supercomputing resource for our researchers and scientists, as well as for our industrial partners in the automotive and aerospace industries,” said Prof. Dr. Michael Resch, director of HLRS. “We have worked closely with Cray over the years to ensure our users are equipped with innovative supercomputing systems that are built with leading-edge supercomputing technology, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with the Cray XC30.”

The first in a family of products that will span from technical enterprise computing to the largest systems in the world, the Cray XC30 supercomputer has been engineered to meet the real-world performance challenges of HPC users. Cray’s new high-end system features the new HPC-optimized Aries system interconnect; a new Dragonfly topology that frees applications from locality constraints; an innovative cooling system that utilizes a transverse airflow to lower customers’ total cost of ownership; the next-generation of the scalable, high performance Cray Linux Environment that also supports a wide range of ISV applications; Cray’s HPC optimized programming environment; and the ability to handle a wide variety of processor types including the Intel® Xeon® processors — a first for Cray’s high-end systems.

“Today’s launch of the new Cray XC30 supercomputer is an exciting moment for Cray, Intel and more importantly, the vast HPC user community, which will be able to take advantage of the computational resources of Cray supercomputers powered by Intel® Xeon® E5 processors and Intel® Xeon Phi™ coprocessors and supported by Intel’s investments in fabric,” said Raj Hazra, Intel VP and general manager of Technical Computing Group. “The Cray XC30 system is specifically designed to deliver sustained performance and scalability, providing researchers and scientists with a powerful, reliable and productive tool for achieving breakthrough innovations and discoveries.”

The Cray XC30 will utilize the Intel® Xeon® processors E5-2600 product family and with these Intel processors, Cray XC30 systems can scale in excess of one million cores. Additionally, future versions of the Cray XC family of supercomputers will be available with the new Intel® Xeon Phi™ coprocessors and NVIDIA® Tesla® GPUs based on the next-generation NVIDIA Kepler™ GPU computing architecture. With these accelerator and coprocessor options, Cray customers will be able to customize a Cray XC supercomputer with the innovative processor technologies that best meets the HPC needs of their scientific applications.

Early shipments of the Cray XC30 are starting now, and systems are expected to be widely available in first quarter of 2013.

“Cray is a leader in the high-end of the supercomputing industry, and the Cray XC30 system promises to continue the Company’s strong standing in the market for designing, building and installing leadership-class supercomputers, such as the ‘Titan’ system at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the ‘Blue Waters’ supercomputer at the University of Illinois’ National Center for Supercomputing Applications,” said Earl Joseph, IDC program vice president for HPC. “The Cray XC30 supercomputer also advances Cray’s Adaptive Supercomputing vision, which aims to boost application performance for their customers by exploiting hybrid processing.”

The Cray XC30 supercomputer is made possible in part by Cray’s participation in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) High Productivity Computing Systems program.

Additional information on the Cray XC30 supercomputer, including product collateral, technical details and a Cray XC30 networking whitepaper can be found on Cray XC30 system page on the Cray website.

About Cray Inc.
As a global leader in supercomputing, Cray provides highly advanced supercomputers and world-class services and support to government, industry and academia. Cray technology is designed to enable scientists and engineers to achieve remarkable breakthroughs by accelerating performance, improving efficiency and extending the capabilities of their most demanding applications. Cray’s Adaptive Supercomputing vision is focused on delivering innovative next-generation products that integrate diverse processing technologies into a unified architecture, allowing customers to surpass today’s limitations and meeting the market’s continued demand for realized performance. Go to www.cray.com for more information.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/11/08/cray-launches-100-petaflop-xc30-supercomputer/