hamster_nz writes: Over at The Register there is talk of Intel's new Xeon/FPGA hybrid chips. Looks to be compelling:
There's evidence the company may be right. Earlier this week Microsoft announced a scheme named "Catapult". With this system, the company added FPGAs to over 1,600 servers used by its Bing search engine and, in doing so, had almost doubled throughput while only increasing power consumption by ten per cent.
hamster_nz writes: Hot topics for the maker community are things such as embedded vision, bitcoin mining, autonomous vehicle control, Arduino, Open Hardware, software defined radio, small ARM/Linux boards and reconfigurable computing, A current Kickstarter project, LOGi FPGA,is touching all these bases, Funding has been reached after just a day, and Kicktraq currently has it projected to reach over $133,000.
As a long time FPGA enthusiast I'm very interested to see what will happen when a thousand keen users get togeather to explore programmable logic.
hamster_nz writes: "The folks over at GadgetFactory (who specialise in open source FPGA development boards) have just released an add-on board, allowing first timers to explore digital logic without lifting a soldering iron. So if you ever wanted to have a breadboard with half a million logic gates on it, now is the time to get started.
You can even fit the entire hardware of 80s arcade games into them using Papilio Arcade."
hamster_nz writes: "I've been exploring binary division for implementing in an FPGA, and have discovered that division on my (cheap) AMD P320 laptop is slow, really slow. So slow that for 16 bit unsigned integers (commonly used in graphics and data acquisition) division can be done faster in C! one some tests it is over 60% faster to not use the '/' operator. Check it out..."
hamster_nz writes: Once you have worked in a dozen programming languages things become much "same stuff, different day", but recently I've done two things that have given me insights into programming. While experimenting with VHDL on a Nexys2 FGPA development board I developed a deeper understanding of loops and state machines, and when I porting TinyBasic from 68000 Assembler to an Arduino micro-controller I learnt a lot about the nature of the stack based paradigm that pervades programming — 'gotos' are truely useful. What projects have others undertook which revealed programming insights?
hamster_nz writes: I've played with Orbiter a while and managed to fly and dock with the ISS, but was left wondering just how hard can space travel really be.
Then I stumbled onto an equivalent of the Space Shuttle's Owners Manual. It looks to be very hard!
Great geek reading — just remember to use the switch on panel O8 to turn the right seat/center console lights off when you finish.