DARPA showcases remote-control cars

GCN tech briefs

The biggest markets for remote-controlled vehicles today are farming and surface mining. But designers see the potential for such vehicles in military convoys and, eventually, even on our highways.

On April 11, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency spotlighted six top performers from the agency's Urban Challenge competition that took place in November (GCN.com/1031). The vehicles showcased at the Pentagon included the winner, a 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe customized by a team of engineers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

The Tahoe is loaded with radar- and laser-enabled sensors that collect data about the vehicle and its environment.

The data is processed by 10 2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo blades, each running custom-written code capable of evaluating more than 1,000 objects per second. The computer bank sits in the rear of the vehicle and requires its own generator and cooling system.


NVIDIA 9800 GX2 raises the bar

Nvidia is shipping what it claims is the world's fastest commercial graphics adapter ' the GeForce 9800 GX2. With more than 256 processing cores on a single board, Nvidia said the GeForce 9800 GX2 is as much as 60 percent faster than its closest competitor. By pairing two GeForce 9800 GX2 cards with Nvidia Quad SLI technology for Windows Vista, users can experience even better performance.

The 9800 GX2 has a suggested retail price of $599.


GrammaTech wins DARPA contract

GrammaTech, a developer of source-code analysis tools, has won a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency contract to develop static-analysis tools for testing multicore systems. The tools will be aimed at identifying programming defects in applications designed to run on multicore computers. The value of the contract was not disclosed.


SGI touts Virtu

SGI has launched the Virtu VN200, the first entry in what the company said is a new generation of visualization systems. The Virtu VN200 integrates hardware, software and services into a high-density, scalable visualization system for performance graphics environments.

The Virtu VN200 features the latest generation of Nvidia Quadro FX visual-computing technology, and it can be integrated into a compute cluster environment or used as part of custom visualization systems and consulting services from SGI Professional Services. The base Virtu VN200 node with two Intel Xeon E5420 processors, 8G of memory and an Nvidia Quadro FX5600 GPU has a list price of $10,575.


Razor RAID saves space

RAID Inc. is shipping its new Razor 1U 4G Dual Controller Redundant Array of Independent Disks. The product can be in 1U increments for a total of 60 drives, either SAS or Serial Advanced Technology Attachment. Touted as the world's first external Small Form Factor RAID subsystem, the Razor promises to deliver all advanced RAID functions in a 1U enclosure, which is ideal for small spaces such as cockpits, tanks, submarines and civilian applications with space constraints.


Kofax wins NARA contract

Kofax Image Products has won a $2.1 million contract to provide the National Archives and Records Administration with an enterprise-level solution for electronically capturing and processing millions of federal documents. NARA will use Kofax products ' including Kofax Capture, Kofax Transformation and VirtualReScan ' to capture paper and electronic documents and forms in a digital format, transform content into accurate data, and deliver the resulting information into organizational applications and repositories.


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