2015-11 AMD on Track, Warkworth Observatory
October 2015
Compucon CPD Programme
Compucon House Albany
4 November 2015 Wednesday

4:00 – 5:00pm Transition from Moore to Post PC Era- AMD (TN)
5:00 – 6:00pm Warkworth Observatory (Stuart Weston)
6:00 – 7:30pm Wine and Cheese

We pointed out in the last 2 seminars that all big boys are gearing up for the post PC era with revolutionary technologies that Compucon has been examining for 2 years.  Among these big boys is a smaller and humble one who has been a seasoned sailor in the Moore-led PC Sea (which is drying up) and once made a big splash with their acclaimed K7-architecture server technology.  We plan to examine what AMD is doing currently and envision why AMD will attain a leading position in the transition to the post PC era. We will look at their APU (used in Compucon Thunderbird) and discrete GPU products (newly introduced for high powered workstations) and compare their pros and cons with Intel for CPU and Nvidia for GPU.  Nvidia cleverly added the low wattage ARM into their product design whereas Intel has Atom in that space already.  What does AMD do?  At the top end, Intel and Nvidia have been doing well.  Will AMD ever make it there?  AMD will create a niche during the transition to the Post PC era and Compucon is placing the bet on it.

Warkworth is the site hosting the only major radio astronomy observatory in New Zealand, and Stuart is the senior software engineer there.  The observatory owns 2 dishes for collecting radio signals from the sky.  They have a diameter of 12m and 30m respectively.  The 30m dish is inherited from Telecom and obviously Telecom did not use it for universe observations.  The 30m dish has started to be used for Science after several years of technical conversion efforts.  Stuart has previously talked about VLBI (very long baseline interferometry) for observations of the deep universe as well as the measurement of tectonic plate movements on Earth.  On this occasion, Stuart will present an update on the 30m dish as well as work being done with the 12m, the installation of new recorders with FlexBuff vs Mk6 being the software choice, the start of real time online transfers of data to the correlator which is not in New Zealand and what Stuart envisages for the future with the 12m and 30m from a technical computing and network aspect (enabling the dishes to allow astronomers and scientists to get more juice).