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Tuesday Night (6 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 23-June-2020  22:13:44 (GMT +10) - by Agg

I'm sure you all remember the Bitchin' Fast 3D 2000 video card from a zillion years ago. Gibbon pointed out a YouTuber who has finally tested one in the flesh! He's also managed to get his hands on a 3dfx Voodoo5 9000, an 8-way NV-Link RTX 2090 setup and even Intel's as-yet-unreleased Xe Gaming GPU. Brilliant stuff. :)

I dipped briefly into the world of ARM in my recent Raspberry Pi article, but the big news is that Apple are going to be moving from Intel to ARM soon. Apple has just announced its plans to switch from Intel CPUs in Macs to silicon of its own design, based on the ARM architecture. This means that Apple is now designing its own chips for iOS devices and its Mac desktop and laptops. Apple said it will ship its first ARM Mac before the end of the year, and complete the Intel -> ARM transition within two years. Discussion here.

It's been a big day for ARM news, with the world's new fastest supercomputer using ARM chips to take the top spot. At the heart of Fugaku is the A64FX, a custom Arm v8-A CPU-based chip optimised for compute. The total configuration uses 158,976 of these 48+4-core cards, running at 2.2 GHz peak performance (48 cores for compute, 4 for assistance). This allows for some substantial Rpeak numbers, such as 537 PetaFLOPs of FP64, the usual TOP500 metric.

Meanwhile quannum spotted a new version of Quake3 on a Raspberry Pi - at 100+fps! Martin Thomas is an NVIDIA engineer, and he has concocted something very cool that fans of retro games and tiny single board PCs will really appreciate. He has taken an inexpensive Raspberry Pi 3B+ and transformed it into a machine that is capable of running a version of Quake3 at over 100 fps. To get the game to run at that frame rate on the basic Pi hardware, Thomas created a new low-level Vulkan-based RPi-VK-Driver for the RPi platform and used it to power VkQuake3 on the Raspberry Pi.

That led me onto this, which is one of the coolest, nerdiest things I've seen in a while - a Threadripper Task Manager dancer. Given that Threadripper 3990X has 128 threads at its disposal, it’s enough "pixels" to present a somewhat discernible image when put in motion. In this case, it's a visual reproduction of the music video for the song “Bad Apple” by Alstroemeria Records. Given the amount of pixels that we're working with, it's by no means an "high definition" remake, but it's close enough to be impressively cool.

Australia has been under cyber attack recently. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australian organisations, including governments and businesses, were currently being targeted by a sophisticated foreign "state-based" hacker. More info here.

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All original content copyright James Rolfe. All rights reserved. No reproduction allowed without written permission.