04 January 2006

Just because it's really cool. The David Rumsey Map Collection is one of the world's largest private collections of historical maps. Focuses on 18th and 19th Century maps of the Americas, brought to you by way of some very nifty browsing and viewing tools. Also check out the Visual Collections page, which links to a wide variety of other collections using the same tools.

Posted 01:58 PM

03 January 2006

I always like to take the week between Christmas and New Year's off. The industry is pretty quiet that week, and it lets me wrap up the old year and figure out where I'm going in the new year.

The time off didn't happen this year due to a pressing deadline. I'll do my main annual review in a week or so once I clear a few things up. I have set my word count goal for the year, though: 300,000 words.

That was my 2005 goal, too, but it got abandoned some time in July. Which, I think, contributed to a productivity breakdown and thus, indirectly, to the aforementioned deadline crunch.

So. 300,000 words. Goal for January is 1,000 words a day. Onward!

Posted 10:47 AM

01 January 2006

Interesting times

One of the highlights of the IEEE Electron Device Meeting in early December was Intel's presentation of what the company claimed was the highest low power drive current ever reported. (IEDM paper 3.4, for those with access to the proceedings) The company reported 0.38mA/micron for PMOS transistors, and 0.66mA/micron for NMOS, with only 100pA/micron of off current. The transistors had 55nm gate length and 1.7nm oxide thickness.

The paper was seen as a signal that Intel plans to attack the portable electronics market in a big way, no doubt having noticed that rapidly growing segments like music players and cellphones consume few Intel chips.

The next step comes at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show. Intel is planning to announce a new low power microprocessor and a new home entertainment platform. Rumor has it that Apple will be the first to announce systems based on the new platform.

Intel has tried and failed to enter the electronics market before, so success is by no means guaranteed this time. Still, things are about to get very interesting for the likes of TI, Motorola, and AMD.

Posted 10:00 PM


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