Hardware

Blogs about hardware

Some cabinets of the Frontier supercomputer (Photo courtesy Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy)

The American Frontier supercomputer has been crowned the new king of the Top 500 ranking. It has a speed that is more than twice that of the Japanese Fugaku, the previous king. This is the first exascale supercomputer, which means that it’s capable of exceeding the calculation capacity of 1 exaflop with 10^18 floating point operations per second. Frontier reaches 1.102 exaflops per second.

Hock E. Tan (Photo courtesy Broadcom)

Semiconductor giant Broadcom Inc. announced that it has reached an agreement to buy virtualization and cloud software maker VMware in a deal worth approximately $61 billion that will be paid partly in cash and partly in shares. Broadcom takes over VMware’s debts, which amount to approximately $8 billion. Broadcom Software Group, the software subsidiary, will be integrated into VMware. With this acquisition, Broadcom can extend its business solutions offering.

Rene Haas

The leading graphics processor company NVIDIA and the Japanese telecommunications holding SoftBank Group Corp. have reached an agreement to end the deal to acquire the British microprocessor company Arm Ltd. that was reached in September 2020. Negative or at least concerned opinions expressed repeatedly over time by the USA, UK, and EU antitrust authorities resulted in NVIDIA’s inability to proceed with the acquisition. Arm CEO Simon Segars resigned and was replaced by Rene Haas, who was already the company’s president. The new plan consists of an IPO for Arm, perhaps at the London stock exchange.

Linus Torvalds in 2014

On August 25, 1991, Linus Torvalds (photo ┬ęKrd) announced in a message on the comp.os.minix newsgroup the project of a new operating system that actually diverged considerably from Minix. Unhappy with the Minix license, Torvalds adopted a license from the GNU project, the GPL, which seemed to him free enough. After a few weeks, the first Linux kernel was released. The availability of various components released by the GNU project and the contributions of several people who joined the project helped to spread it. Thirty years later, Linux is being used by virtually everyone in one way or another, even if only a small minority realize it.

PlasticARM

An article published in “Nature” reports the creation of a flexible microprocessor based on plastic materials instead of silicon. A team of ARM researchers developed this processor that was called PlasticARM also because its Cortex-M0 core is based on ARM architecture, precisely ARMv6-M. It’s an extremely limited processor in its performance, as it has a frequency of 30 kHz and supports up to 128 bytes of RAM and 456 bytes of ROM. The aim was to produce a fully functional flexible processor so this is a starting point from which to develop processors for use in fields where flexibility is important such as wearables and other products connected via the Internet of Things such as medical devices.