Considering that ATI and NVIDIA
don't seem to be making any substantial strides in reducing the amount of energy required to run their products, it's a tad surprising to hear of an entire supercomputer
running a bit leaner than the competition. Hoping on the ever-growing green
bandwagon, University of Edinburgh
developers are at it again
, this time crafting an uber-speedy machine that's reportedly "ten times more energy efficient and up to 300 times faster than its traditional equivalents." Based on field programmable gate arrays (FPGA), the chips are not only very difficult to program, but they can currently only be used "to perform very specific tasks." Of course, the creators are more interested in the extreme number crunching and power saving abilities than anything else, and while no commercial uses have been identified just yet, the machines could purportedly be used in fields such as "drug design, defense and seismology."