Intel announces 'Jasper Forest' chip

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Intel has just announced a new chip based on its Nehalem-EP architecture called “Jasper Forest”. It’s aimed at storage products and embedded applications and the I/O hub has been integrated right onto the chip.

Jasper Forest is named after a petrified forest in Arizona, pictured above. Intel often names its chips after geographical locations, with Nehalem named after an Oregon-based tribe of American indians.

(via Macworld UK)

GPS gets 25% smaller, thanks to Epson

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Epson’s Infineon XPOSYS chip is 25% smaller than any other A-GPS chip on the market, measuring just 2.8 x 2.9mm. That’s about the same size as a matchhead, as you can see in the picture.

The new smaller chip will also consume half as much power, meaning that location-based features will start becoming common on even the cheapest handsets. Will you ever be able to hide from anyone ever again? If this trend continues, then it’s unlikely.

I wrote an editorial the other day explaining why that doesn’t bother me. If you’re interested, then you can read that here. In the meantime, how much does being tracked bother you? Share your opinion below.

(via Engadget)

$250 kit lets you clone passport RFID chips just by driving past

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Chris Paget isn’t a hacker, but he’s got the means to clone the RFID chip in your passport. Think of it as him doing you a favour. Using $250 of off-the-shelf components, Chris built a machine to sniff and clone RFID tags. During a 20-minute drive in downtown San Francisco, he managed to copy two passports completely unbeknownst to their owners.

Paget claims he only built it to show that it’s possible:

“It’s one thing to say that something can be done, it’s another thing completely to actually do it. It’s mainly to defeat the argument that you can’t do it in the real world, that there’s no real-world attack here, that it’s all theoretical.”

For a video of the device in action, click over the jump.

Freescale Semiconductor planning 1GHz, low-power netbook chip

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At CES this week, chip makers Freescale Semiconductor will be launching a ARM chip architecture-based i.MX51 processor, that Freescale reckon could bring about $199 (¬£140ish) 1GHz netbooks. It’ll be a competitor to Intel’s Atom chip, which powers many of the netbooks in the market today.

However, Freescale don’t see themselves as competing with Intel, because their product is targeted at the lower end of the market, with machines running Linux rather than Windows XP. You’ll start to see machines with these chips in entering production towards the middle of the year, and showing up to buy in time for Christmas 2009.

Freescale Semiconductor (via Cnet)

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Scientists develop "Sex Chip" to stimulate pleasure in the brain

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Technology previously used to treat Parkinson’s Disease has been directed elsewhere. Scientists claim to have developed a chip that can be implanted into the brain and used to deliver “feelings of pleasure”.

The target of the chip is the Orbitofrontal Cortex. Just behind the eyes, it’s the bit of your noggin that’s associated with pleasure derived from food and sex. The implementation is still a bit clunky at the moment – you have to run a wire from the chip in the brain to a heart pacemaker, which I imagine isn’t too comfortable. Neurosurgery professor Tipu Aziz, said:

“There is evidence that this chip will work. A few years ago a scientist implanted such a device into the brain of a woman with a low sex drive and turned her into a very sexually active woman. She didn’t like the sudden change, so the wiring in her head was removed.”

(via the Telegraph)

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Intel chip roadmap emerges, "Medfield" and "Pineview" promised

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Exciting news from the world of processors! Open the champagne, because the details have turned up about Intel’s forthcoming processors. There’s the “Medfield”, and the “Pineview”, not to be confused with residential homes for the elderly.

The Pineview is expected to be a full “System-on-a-chip”, where all the functions of the PC – the memory controller, I/O, graphics chip, etc, are all on one chip. There are dual-core and single-core versions, and it’ll be built from a 45nm process, just like Intel’s current little champ, the Atom, which powers most netbooks in the market today.

The Medfield will take the same system-on-a-chip approach, but will be built from a 32nm process. It’s expected sometime in 2010, and will be preceded by the Pineview, which is due in 2009. Intel has confirmed that “Medfield” is an Intel codename, but won’t say any more than that.

Intel (via vnunet)

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