Monday, August 30, 2004

The New York Times > Technology > A PC That Packs Real Power, and All Just for Me

The New York Times > Technology > A PC That Packs Real Power, and All Just for Me "On Monday, Orion Multisystems, a start-up company based in Santa Clara, Calif., will announce a new desktop workstation computer for engineers and scientists who want more computing power than is easily available from Fry's, the local retail chain for personal computers. Orion is building a computer the size of a pizza box, intended for a single engineer or scientist, which will have 12 processors yet consume about the same amount of power as a standard desktop personal computer.
The company is hoping that it will be able to deliver about 10 times the performance of a desktop personal computer. Traditionally, such order-of-magnitude performance differences have been necessary in the computer industry to ensure the adoption of a new technology or a new strategy.
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They are initially introducing two systems, a 12-processor model that is priced under $10,000, and an under-the-desk model that will have 96 microprocessors, is priced below $100,000 and draws about 1,500 watts, about the maximum power deliverable from a standard electrical outlet.
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To achieve its low-power goal, the biggest gamble Orion is taking is building its system based on the Efficeon microprocessor, the newest chip from Transmeta. The chip maker pioneered the idea of ultralow power processors for mobile computers, but had until recently not been able to meet its performance goals."
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