MojoKid writes: "NVIDIA has decided to disclose more information regarding their next generation GF100 GPU architecture today. Also known as Fermi, the GF100 GPU features 512 CUDA cores, 16 geometry units, 4 raster units, 64 texture units, 48 ROPs, and a 384-bit GDDR5 memory interface. If you're keeping count, the older GT200 features 240 CUDA cores, 42 ROPs, and 60 texture units, but the geometry and raster units, as they are implemented in GF100, are not present in the GT200 GPU. The GT200 also features a wider 512-bit memory interface, but the need for such a wide interface is somewhat negated in GF100 due to the fact that it uses GDDR5 memory which effectively offers double the bandwidth of GDDR3, clock for clock. Reportedly, the GF100 will also offer 8x the peak double-precision compute performance as its predecessor, 10x faster context switching, and new anti-aliasing modes."
WesternActor writes: ExtremeTech has an interview with a couple of the folks behind Nvidia's new RealityServer platform, which purports to make photorealistic 3D images available to anyone on any computing platform, even things like smartphones. The idea is that all the rendering happens "in the cloud," which allows for a much wider distribution of high-quality images. RealityServer isn't released until November 30, but it looks like it could be interesting--the article has photos and a video that show it in action.
Hugh Pickens writes: "Space shuttle Atlantis is slated to lift off Monday on the fifth and final servicing mission to Hubble with four mission specialists alternating in two-astronaut teams will attempt a total of five spacewalks from Atlantis to replace broken components, add new science instruments, and swap out the telescope's six 125-pound (57-kilogram) batteries, original parts that have powered Hubble's night-side operations for nearly two decades. "This is our final opportunity to service and upgrade Hubble," says David Leckrone, senior project scientist for the Hubble Space Telescope. "So we're replacing some items that are getting long in the tooth to give Hubble longevity, and then we'll try to take advantage of that five- to 10-year extra lifetime with the most powerful instrumental tools we've ever had on board." Some of the upgrades are relatively straightforward and modular: yank out old part, put in new. But they're big parts: The "fine guidance sensors" sound delicate but weigh as much as a grand piano back on Earth. But what's different this time is that the astronauts will also open up some instruments and root around inside, doing Geek Squad-like repairs while wearing bulky spacesuits and traveling around the planet at 17,000 mph. "We have this choreographed almost down to the minute of what we want the crew to do. It's this really fine ballet," said Keith Walyus, the servicing mission operations manager at Goddard. "We've been training for this for seven years. We can't wait for this to happen.""