AMD Says Upcoming Zen CPU Will Outperform Intel Broadwell-E

Slashdot - Thu, 18/08/2016 - 2:43pm
Reader MojoKid writes: AMD has been talking about the claimed 40% IPC (Instructions Per Clock) improvement of its forthcoming Zen processor versus the company's existing Excavator core for ages. Zen's initial availability is slated for late this year, with lager-scale roll-out planned for early 2017. However, last night, at a private press event in San Francisco, AMD unveiled a lot more details on their Zen processor architecture. AMD claims to have achieved that 40 percent IPC uplift with a newly-designed, higher-performance branch prediction and a micro-op cache for more efficient issuing of operations. The instruction schedule windows have been increased by 75% and issue-width and execution resources have been increased by 50%. The end result of these changes is higher single-threaded performance, through better instruction level parallelism. Zen's pre-fetcher is also vastly improved. There is 8MB of shared L3 cache on board now, a unified L2 cache for both instruction and data, and separate, low-latency L1 instruction and data caches. The new archicture offers up to 5x the cache bandwidth to the cores versus previous-gen offerings. However, after all the specsmanship was out of the way, AMD actually showcased a benchmark run of an 8-core Zen Summit Ridge procesor versus Intel's Broadwell-E 8-core chip, both running at 3GHz and processing a Blender rending workload. In the demo, the 8-core Zen CPU actually outpaced Intel's chip by a hair. Blender may have been chosen for a reason but this early benchmark demo looks impressive for AMD and its forthcoming Zen architecture.

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Categories: Science

Natural scale caterpillar soft robot is powered and controlled with light

Science Daily - Thu, 18/08/2016 - 2:26pm
Researchers, using the liquid crystal elastomer technology have demonstrated a bioinspired micro-robot capable of mimicking caterpillar gaits in natural scale. The 15-millimeter long soft robot harvests energy from green light and is controlled by spatially modulated laser beam. Apart from traveling on flat surfaces, it can also climb slopes, squeeze through narrow slits and transport loads.
Categories: Science

Venus-like exoplanet might have oxygen atmosphere, but not life

Science Daily - Thu, 18/08/2016 - 2:26pm
The distant planet GJ 1132b intrigued astronomers when it was discovered last year. Located just 39 light-years from Earth, it might have an atmosphere despite being baked to a temperature of around 450 degrees Fahrenheit. But would that atmosphere be thick and soupy or thin and wispy? New research suggests the latter is much more likely.
Categories: Science

Female forensic scientists more stressed than males

Science Daily - Thu, 18/08/2016 - 2:26pm
Women may be at the forefront of the fast-growing forensic science field, but they're also more stressed than their male counterparts, indicates new research.
Categories: Science

High-tech imaging reveals precolonial Mexican manuscript hidden from view for 500 years

Science Daily - Thu, 18/08/2016 - 2:26pm
Researchers have used high-tech imaging to uncover the details of a rare Mexican codex dating from before the colonization of the Americas. The newly revealed codex, or book, has been hidden from view for almost 500 years, concealed beneath a layer of plaster and chalk on the back of a later manuscript known as the Codex Selden, which is housed at the Bodleian Libraries.
Categories: Science

Flexitime works better for men than women, study finds

Science Daily - Thu, 18/08/2016 - 2:25pm
Flexitime and having autonomy over working hours -- known as schedule control -- impacts differently on men and women and may increase the gender pay gap.
Categories: Science

Here’s What’s Happening in This Volcanic Explosion at Guatemala’s Santiaguito

Wired News - Thu, 18/08/2016 - 2:00pm
Even smaller explosions can have a big impact and it's all thanks to the dynamics of the eruption. The post Here’s What’s Happening in This Volcanic Explosion at Guatemala's Santiaguito appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Uber's First Self-Driving Fleet Arrives in Pittsburgh This Month

Slashdot - Thu, 18/08/2016 - 2:00pm
Ride-hailing app Uber will introduce self-driving cars in Pittsburgh as soon as this month, Bloomberg reports citing many officials and engineers at the company. The move is the first part of a pilot program to explore the future of the technology, the report added. The company plans to test 100 Volvo XC90s outfitted to drive themselves. Still, the cars will be accompanied by two humans: an engineer who can take control of the vehicle when needed and a co-pilot who takes note. Bloomberg reports: The Volvo deal isn't exclusive; Uber plans to partner with other automakers as it races to recruit more engineers. In July the company reached an agreement to buy Otto, a 91-employee driverless truck startup that was founded earlier this year and includes engineers from a number of high-profile tech companies attempting to bring driverless cars to market, including Google, Apple, and Tesla. Uber declined to disclose the terms of the arrangement, but a person familiar with the deal says that if targets are met, it would be worth 1percent of Uber's most recent valuation.

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Categories: Science

What’s easier: Turning off water indoors or outside?

Science Daily - Thu, 18/08/2016 - 1:35pm
Apparently, it’s more convenient to Florida residents to save water while brushing their teeth than to cut back on lawn irrigation, according to a new report.
Categories: Science

Genetic influence in juvenile songbird babblings

Science Daily - Thu, 18/08/2016 - 1:34pm
Researchers have discovered familial differences in the earliest vocal babblings of juvenile songbirds, suggesting a possible genetic basis for the variations.
Categories: Science

Common cold viruses originated in camels, just like MERS

Science Daily - Thu, 18/08/2016 - 1:34pm
There are four globally endemic human coronaviruses which, together with the better known rhinoviruses, are responsible for causing common colds. Usually, infections with these viruses are harmless to humans. Researchers have now found the source of 'HCoV-229E,' one of the four common cold coronaviruses, to have originated in camels, just like the dreaded MERS virus.
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Canine babesiosis outbreak in UK under control, but needs monitoring

Science Daily - Thu, 18/08/2016 - 1:34pm
Scientists are using the health records of dogs to monitor the status of a potentially fatal tick-borne disease that appears to have been imported into the UK.
Categories: Science

Polyunsaturated fat in adipose tissue linked to lower mortality

Science Daily - Thu, 18/08/2016 - 1:34pm
The fatty acid linoleic acid (Omega 6) in subcutaneous adipose tissue was linked to lower mortality among older men followed over a 15-year period.
Categories: Science

Face changing tech showing sun damage is most effective at promoting sun safe behavior

Science Daily - Thu, 18/08/2016 - 1:33pm
Researchers examined the way sun safe messages are conveyed to young women, and found that visual communication using technology to age participant's faces to emphasis sun damage and premature aging is most effective.
Categories: Science

Urbanization affects diets of butterflies

Science Daily - Thu, 18/08/2016 - 1:33pm
Researchers have revealed that most tropical butterflies feed on a variety of flower types, but those that are 'picky' about their flower diets tend to prefer native plants and are more dependent on forests. These 'picky' butterflies also have wings that are more conspicuous and shorter proboscis.
Categories: Science

Not all tumor cells are equal

Science Daily - Thu, 18/08/2016 - 1:33pm
Scientists have found that colorectal tumors present epigenetic heterogeneity relates to the clinical course of the disease. This heterogeneity can be used as a predictive biomarker.
Categories: Science

Most island vertebrate extinctions could be averted, concludes new study

Science Daily - Thu, 18/08/2016 - 1:33pm
Eight of every ten species extinctions has occurred on islands, and invasive mammals are the leading reason for those losses. Currently, 40 percent of species at risk of global extinction are island inhabitants. In the most thorough study of its kind, scientists have now analyzed global patterns of island vertebrate extinctions and developed predictive models to help identify places where conservation interventions will provide the greatest benefits to threatened island biodiversity.
Categories: Science

Study identifies how Zika virus infects the placenta

Science Daily - Thu, 18/08/2016 - 1:33pm
In a new study, researchers demonstrate Zika virus infection of cells derived from human placentas. The research provides insight into how Zika virus may be transmitted from expectant mother to fetus, resulting in infection of the fetal brain.
Categories: Science

Reducing cost of producing supercapacitors

Science Daily - Thu, 18/08/2016 - 1:06pm
Using inexpensive biochar to coat electrodes and a new method to create the porous surface needed to capture electricity may reduce the cost of supercapacitors. Activating the biochar using plasma processing takes only five minutes with no external heating or chemicals needed.
Categories: Science

The math of earthquakes

Science Daily - Thu, 18/08/2016 - 1:06pm
A computational science doctoral student has successfully tied a new mathematical modeling process to the study of earthquakes.
Categories: Science