Intel Developer Forum shows off some cool stuff!

22 09 2009

This year, the Intel Developer Forum has some pretty neat stuff to talk about. I’ve been reading their site today and the article from AnandTech about it.

The move from 4 to 6 cores with Gulftown.I’d highly recommend reading the AnandTech article since it has a lot better description (and pictures) than I could do, but the one thing that I’m really excited about is the new 32nm Gulftown chips. There supposed to have 6 cores and will come in 2010. Even better, they will drop right into my X58 motherboard after a quick BIOS update. That will save me a lot of money since I won’t have to buy a new motherboard.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my quad-core i7 cpu, but 6 cores is better than 4, right?


First steps with an FPGA!

21 09 2009

For my research group at Purdue, we’ve decided we want to do some work with FPGA (or Field Programmable Gate Arrays). These are essentially chips that you can use to program very complex, very fast circuits. They are superior to other sorts of chips, such as DIP integrated circuits, because they are smaller, relatively cheap for all the power they have (~$10-$20), fully customizable, and FAST.

This is Xilinix Spartan FPGA, the kind I'm using.

This is Xilinix Spartan FPGA, the kind I'm using.

This was my first foray into FPGAs and it drove me crazy getting my tools all set up properly. I thought I’d post some thoughts.

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