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Data Storage

Western Digital Working On a 20,000 RPM Drive 194

MrKaos writes "Western Digital seems to be preparing for the onslaught of solid-state drives set to impact its market by developing a 20,000 rpm hard drive. Similar to the VelociRaptor line of drives, the new drives are speculated to be offering lower capacity as a tradeoff for faster seek and write times." This report out of Taipei is the only word on the rumored WD 20K drive. It's said to be a 2.5" drive in a 3.5" enclosure, for efficiency of cooling — the arrangement the Register enjoyed poking fun at when the 10K drive was upgraded last month.
Transportation

How We Might Have Scramjets Sooner than Expected 674

loralai writes "Recent breakthroughs in scramjet engines could mean two-hour flights from New York to Tokyo. This technology, decades in the making, could redefine our understanding of air travel and military encounters. 'To put things in context, the world's fastest jet, the Air Force's SR-71 Blackbird spy plane, set a speed record of Mach 3.3 in 1990 when it flew from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., in just over an hour. That's about the limit for jet engines; the fastest fighter planes barely crack Mach 1.6. Scramjets, on the other hand, can theoretically fly as fast as Mach 15--nearly 10,000 mph.'"
Hardware

NEC Develops World's Fastest MRAM 95

Gary writes to tell us that NEC has developed a new SRAM compatible MRAM. The new memory module is capable of speeds up to 250MHz, the world's fastest to date. "MRAM are expected to generate new value and applications for future electronic devices thanks to their nonvolatility, unlimited write endurance, high speed operation, and ability to cut memory power dissipation in half. For example, these features could enable instant start up of PCs and prevent drive recorders from losing data after a sudden break in power in the future. As substitutes for system LSI-embedded SRAM, MRAM can provide even more value as they are expected to enable extremely low power dissipation of system LSIs because they can sleep when they are not in use and wake up instantly."
The Internet

Japanese Online Connectivity Ahead of EU/US 259

An anonymous reader writes "The experience of getting online in North America and Europe is years behind the internet connectivity options in Japan, the New York Times reports. While here in the US cable and DSL options are still struggling to reach rural areas, eight million Japanese consumers are now enjoying fiber optic speeds at home for comparable prices. The article explores the fiber-to-the-doorstep approach the country's telecoms are taking, with examination of both the ups and downs of such an ambitious project. 'The heavy spending on fiber networks, analysts say, is typical in Japan, where big companies disregard short-term profit and plow billions into projects in the belief that something good will necessarily follow. Matteo Bortesi, a technology consultant at Accenture in Tokyo, compared the fiber efforts to the push for the Shinkansen bullet-train network in the 1960s, when profit was secondary to the need for faster travel. "They want to be the first country to have a full national fiber network, not unlike the Shinkansen years ago, even though the return on investment is unclear."'"
Toys

Germany To Build New Maglev Railway 297

EWAdams writes "According to the BBC, the Bavarian state government has announced that it has signed an agreement with Deutsche Bahn, the German state railway system, and the Transrapid consortium, to provide a maglev railway between central Munich and its airport. The only other maglev in full operation at the moment is in Shanghai, again as a city-to-airport service. The cost of the system is estimated at $2.6 billion. No completion date has been announced."
Data Storage

USB 3 in 2008, 10 Times as Fast 381

psychicsword writes "Intel and others plan to release a new version of the ubiquitous Universal Serial Bus technology in the first half of 2008, a revamp the chipmaker said will make data transfer rates more than 10 times as fast by adding fiber-optic links alongside the traditional copper wires." "The current USB 2.0 version has a top data-transfer rate of 480 megabits per second, so a tenfold increase would be 4.8 gigabits per second." This should make USB hard drives easier and faster to use."
Power

Electric Motorcycle Inventor Crashes at Wired Conference 337

not5150 writes "The inventor of the electric 'KillaCycle" motorcycle was taken to the hospital for x-rays after demonstrating the vehicle to reporters. Bill Dube, a government scientist during the day and bike builder at night, attempted a burnout in front of the Los Angeles Convention Center during the Wired NextFest fair. Fueled by the "most powerful" lithium-ion batteries in the world, the bike accelerated uncontrollably into another car. There's a video interview (thankfully before the crash) and footage of Dube crashing."
Supercomputing

Student and Professor Build Budget Supercomputer 387

Luke writes "This past winter Calvin College professor Joel Adams and then Calvin senior Tim Brom built Microwulf, a portable supercomputer with 26.25 gigaflops peak performance, that cost less than $2,500 to construct, becoming the most cost-efficient supercomputer anywhere that Adams knows of. "It's small enough to check on an airplane or fit next to a desk," said Brom. Instead of a bunch of researchers having to share a single Beowulf cluster supercomputer, now each researcher can have their own."
Networking

World's Fastest Broadband Connection — 40 Gbps 416

paulraps writes "A 75-year-old woman from Karlstad in central Sweden has been given a scorching 40 Gbps internet connection — the fastest residential connection anywhere in the world. Sigbritt Löthberg is the mother of Swedish internet guru Peter Löthberg, who is using his mother to prove that fiber networks can deliver a cost-effective, ultra-fast connection. Sigbritt, who has never owned a computer before, can now watch 1,500 HDTV channels simultaneously or download a whole high definition DVD in two seconds. Apparently 'the hardest part of the whole project was installing Windows on Sigbritt's PC.'" An article in Press Esc notes an analyst study of the increasing demand for fiber-to-the-home in Europe.
Communications

FastTCP Commercialized Into An FTP Appliance 156

prostoalex writes "FastTCP technology, developed by researchers at CalTech, is being commercialized. A company called FastSoft has introduced a hardware appliance that delivers 15x-20x faster FTP transmissions than those delivered via regular TCP. Says eWeek: 'The algorithm implemented in the Aria appliance senses congestion by continuously measuring the round-trip time for the TCP acknowledgment and then monitoring how that measurement changes from moment to moment.'"
Data Storage

100x Faster Hard Drive In Lab 180

Gary lets us know about research out of the Netherlands that has succeeded in reading and writing a hard disk using polarized laser light. The researchers claim this offers a 100-times speedup over reading/writing using magnets. People have been trying for years to write data using polarized light; the secret of the current work's success lies in its disk's materials — gadolinium, iron, and cobalt. Working prototype drives should be available within a decade.

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