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Processors

Sun UltraSPARC T2 "Niagara 2"

This morning Sun Microsystems will officially introduce their Niagara 2 processor, which consists of eight processing cores and is capable of handling 64 threads simultaneously. It's official name is the Sun UltraSPARC T2 and it will be unveiled at their Executive Briefing Center in Menlo Park, California. We were invited to this event, but we had run into scheduling problems at the last minute though we do have some information to share with you in this technical brief.
7 August 2007

Linux 2.6.23-rc2 Kernel Performance

While the Linux 2.6.23 kernel is only weeks into development, it's already generated quite a bit of attention. From the merging of the Completely Fair Scheduler (CFS) to the -rc2 kernel being "the new -rc1", the Linux 2.6.23 kernel is certainly in store for being an ornate release. Adding to this attention has been a stable user-space driver API and virtualization improvements (KVM, Xen, and LGuest). With all of this activity surrounding the Linux 2.6.23 kernel we've decided to conduct a handful of benchmarks comparing the Linux 2.6.20, 2.6.21, 2.6.22, and 2.6.23 kernel releases so far.
6 August 2007 - 11 Comments

Intel Threading Building Blocks 2.0

Last night at a media party during OSCON and Ubuntu Live 2007, Intel had announced the release of Intel Threading Building Blocks 2.0, which marks the GPLv2 open-source availability of the code. James Reinders had made this presentation going through a look at multi-core processors and parallel programming followed by this announcement. To drive interest in TBB 2.0, Intel has announced an open-source competition for integrating TBB into open-source projects where you can win a multi-core laptop. With the Intel party just ending a few hours ago, we have enclosed many of Reinders' slides and we will be sharing more information shortly. One extra tid-bit is that Intel is working with multiple (yet to be named) game developers on integrating Threading Building Blocks 2.0. Several distributions will also be shipping Intel's TBB 2.0.
24 July 2007

Sun Microsystems Check Tool

It wasn't until last week during a meeting with Sun that some new light was shed on the Solaris Check Tool and as a result we decided to explore this tool further. Sun's Check Tool is a bootable CD that lets the user know whether the hardware they have installed is likely to work with Solaris or not. If a third-party driver is needed for a particular piece of hardware, the Sun Check Tool will even provide a link to the driver needed. There are currently a few rough spots with the tool, but improvements are planned and in this article we will share more information on this program that can tell you in a matter of minutes whether you'll face a hardware compatibility nightmare or will be running Solaris/Solaris Express with ease.
11 June 2007

Pervasive Software DataRush

Let's face it, humans are expensive. The cost of humans combined with the dominance of single-threaded applications in the market place spells trouble for companies wishing to seek the greatest return on investment for their latest multi-core servers. Pervasive Software, however, has developed an alternative for companies not wishing to spend valuable man hours on rewriting their software in order to benefit from a symmetric multi-processing environment. DataRush from Pervasive Software is a Java framework that allows software developers to quickly and easily create new or existing applications that are hyper-parallel. Pervasive's DataRush had made its debut last week at JavaOne 2007 and in this article, we have a few words about this unique framework.
12 May 2007

Intel Core 2 Duo E6400

We've been meaning to deliver benchmarks from the Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 for some time now, but with the new site, the upcoming Solaris hardware support, quad/octal core benchmarking, and the variety of different articles we have been working on, things have been quite hectic around here. However, with Fedora 7 Test 4 now being available, we have finally published our Core 2 Duo E6400 Linux results.
29 April 2007 - 3 Comments

Intel Penryn & Nehalem Information

This afternoon the Intel camp is sharing some new public information in regards to Penryn and Nehalem. The Penryn family will support increased performance per given clock cycle, increased power frequencies, extended energy efficiency, a 45nm High-K metal gate process technology, and a range of processors against all target markets. The Intel 45nm High-k process will result in new features and an elevated level of performance while sticking with cost effective die sizes. These new processors will also introduce the SSE4 instruction set and deliver new levels of energy efficiency.
28 March 2007

The Impact Of A Tickless Kernel

In this article we will be looking at the impact of CONFIG_NO_HZ/Dynamic Ticks, which will be found in the Linux 2.6.21 kernel. The option has been available as a patch for quite a while, but not until Linux 2.6.21-rc1 had it been merged into the upstream kernel. When enabled, there will only be timer ticks when they are needed. The end-user benefit is cooler-running processors and increased power savings. We have investigated this change with a notebook and desktop computer.
24 February 2007 - 2 Comments

Overclocking, The Natural Way

Over the weekend a blizzard has hit Michigan causing sub-zero temperatures, inches of snow, and zealous winds. This winter weather has caused the closing of shopping centers and community activities; public transportation systems and the Gerald R. Ford International Airport have also come to a halt. However, we took this opportunity to make the best of it with natural sub-zero overclocking. With the Abit AW9D i975X motherboard, an Intel Pentium 4 processor, 2GB of OCZ's Flex XLC PC2-9200 memory, and cooling provided by Mother Nature, we set off on a spontaneous overclocking adventure. Have you ever seen a motherboard in a snow-bank?
3 February 2007

Linux Virtualization Performance

For only being a release candidate the Linux 2.6.20 kernel has already generated quite a bit of attention. On top of adding asynchronous SCSI scanning, multi-threaded USB probing, and many driver updates, the Linux 2.6.20 kernel will include a full virtualization solution. Kernel-based Virtual Machine is a GPL software project that has been developed and sponsored by Qumranet. In this article we are offering a brief overview of the Kernel-based Virtual Machine for Linux as well as offering up in-house performance numbers as we compare KVM to other virtualization solutions such as QEMU Accelerator and Xen.
8 January 2007 - 7 Comments

114 processors articles published on Phoronix.
10
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