February 13, 2007 in Business

New chip makes trillion calculations a second

From Wire Reports The Spokesman-Review
 

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Intel Corp. has designed a computer chip that promises to perform calculations as quickly an entire data center — while consuming as much energy as a light bulb.

The world’s biggest chipmaker said Sunday it developed a programmable processor that can perform about a trillion calculations per second, or deliver a performance of 1.01 teraflops. It accomplishes this feat while consuming 62 watts of power when the chip is running at a frequency of 3.16 gigahertz.

A similarly powerful supercomputer in 1996 at Sandia National Laboratories took up more than 2,000 square feet, used nearly 10,000 Pentium Pro processors, and consumed more than 500 kilowatts of electricity.

Intel’s latest chip is still in the research phase, but it marks an important breakthrough for an industry obsessed with obtaining the highest amount of performance for the lowest energy consumption.

•Shareholder activists named 10 U.S. companies as the top laggards in their industries in responding to global warming, arguing they have failed to plan for the possibility of new greenhouse gas regulations that could cost them money.

A list to be released to by Ceres, an environmental investment group, criticizes energy firms such as Exxon Mobil Corp. and ConocoPhillips, and even retailer Bed Bath & Beyond Inc., accusing them of failing to adequately address the industrial causes — and consequences — of climate change.

Oil and gas producers and utilities emit large quantities of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that gets trapped in the atmosphere and, most scientists believe, contributes to global warming.

MTV Networks, a unit of the media conglomerate Viacom Inc., is cutting 250 jobs, or about 6 percent of its work force, as the cable network operator seeks to cut costs and refocus its resources on the Internet.

Judy McGrath, the chief executive of MTV Networks, told staff in a memo on Monday that the company would “refine our business and organizational models” and build up some areas such as online and new networks while reducing resources in others.

As a result, the company will eliminate about 250 jobs in the United States across MTV Networks, a unit that includes MTV, VH1, Comedy Central and Country Music Television. News of jobs cuts had been reported earlier Monday by The Financial Times.

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