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Fulcrum Microsystems has announced the FocalPoint FM6000 series of fully integrated wire-speed 10G and 40G Ethernet switch chips, which incorporate the company's new and innovative Alta high-speed Ethernet switching architecture.

One key new feature of the FM6000 series switches is Fulcrum's FlexPipe low-latency packet-processing pipeline, which can parse, modify and apply multiple rules to traffic at more than 1 Billion packets per second in a completely deterministic manner. FlexPipe also can be upgraded in the field to support future datacenter networking protocols as they emerge.

The FM6000 series devices are based on Fulcrum's Alta switch architecture that, in addition to FlexPipe, features flexible 10G and 40G Ethernet port logic and third-generation RapidArray output-queued shared-memory architecture. Alta-based FocalPoint devices achieve unprecedented performance while maintaining low cut-through packet latencies of less than 300nS, regardless of configuration or features enabled. Fulcrum's pioneering efforts in developing low-latency Ethernet switch technology has made FocalPoint the preferred datacenter fabric building-block for applications such as financial trading and computer clustering in today's virtualized and high-scale datacenters.

Virtualization is increasing the density of server farms and enabling datacenter operators to efficiently deploy cloud services. In addition, new server architectures include multi-core processors, increasing network bandwidth requirements. The FlexPipe packet-processing pipeline in the FM6000 series devices delivers full line-rate performance across up to 72 ports, offering non-blocking throughput for thousands of virtualized flows.

"Our Dell'Oro forecasting models show that 10GE server ports will grow dramatically in coming years, which will drive demand for high density 10Gb switches and also the demand for 40Gb Ethernet uplinks," said Alan Weckel, director of Ethernet research for Dell'Oro Group. "Given this expected demand, the launch of this switch from Fulcrum is very timely."

FlexPipe allows the functionality of several key logic blocks, such as the packet parser and egress frame modification unit, to be upgraded to support new datacenter networking standards or proprietary performance-enhancing application tags. With this functionality, switch manufacturers can sell switching systems that are field upgradable with support for emerging datacenter interconnect topologies such as TRILL and SPB, as well as emerging virtualized networking standards such as 802.1bg (Edge Virtual Bridging) and 802.1bh (Port Extenders).

There are nine devices in the FM6000 series, each offering a different port configuration and total bandwidth, ranging from 160Gbps to 720Gbps. FM6000 series switches can be used to build very high port-count top-of-rack or end-of-row datacenter switches with industry-leading latency, performance, and scale. With the ability to drive SFP+ direct-attach copper cable directly without the need for an external PHY, the FM6000 series reduces the latency, cost and power of these top-of-rack switch designs. To enable network convergence, the FM6000 supports the efficient mix of storage, HPC and LAN data traffic with extensive QoS and datacenter bridging (DCB) features such as PFC, ETS, and QCN, simultaneously supporting lossless operation alongside bandwidth and latency guarantees. Additionally, system-wide management features offer line rate per-flow monitoring and policing for clear visibility and a single point of management, reducing overall system complexity.

"Fulcrum is changing the game again by delivering standards-based switching solutions that provide advanced features and shatter all established benchmarks for high bandwidth, low latency and power efficiency," said Mike Zeile, Fulcrum Microsystems president and COO. "The FM6000 series, with our revolutionary Alta architecture, is helping define the future of virtual computing by delivering the performance needed for next-generation datacenter fabrics."

Configuration and Availability

All nine members of the FocalPoint FM6000 series will be generally available in 2Q 2011.

$15 million investment and alliance puts WuXi NextCODE's unrivalled genome analytics on DNAnexus' cloud platform, seamlessly linked to WuXi PharmaTech's China and global R&D platform

WuXi PharmaTech (Cayman) has announced that its wholly owned subsidiary WuXi NextCODE Genomics and DNAnexus have formed a strategic alliance that aims to accelerate the use of genomics to benefit patients worldwide. Now available via a single platform are the sequence data analysis suite that has analyzed more genomes than any other; pioneering Silicon Valley genomics cloud technology; and global, open-access drug discovery and development capabilities serving the life science industry:

    --  Bringing cloud-based genomics to China and Chinese genomics to the world
    --  Speeding the development and delivery of sequence-based diagnostics worldwide
    --  Expanding research with collaborations and datasets of unprecedented scope and size
    --  Streamlining the development of personalized medicine and companion diagnostics
    --  Leveraging WuXi's leading genomics and R&D through DNAnexus's global cloud

"This strategic investment and partnership bring together the world's best technologies to enable any company or institution to leverage the full power of genomics and our R&D capabilities at any time, from anywhere," commented Dr. Ge Li, Chairman and CEO of WuXi PharmaTech. "By connecting through a compliant cloud everything from CLIA sequencing to drug discovery and development to companion diagnostics, we are empowering clinicians, institutions and life science companies to use genomics to benefit patients more globally and effectively than ever before."

"This alliance with DNAnexus will fuel innovation across the science and business of genomics and make our collective capabilities even more valuable to the range of our customers on four continents," said Hannes Smarason, Chief Operating Officer of WuXi NextCODE. "We see this transforming the way large-scale sequence data is applied, underpinning virtual diagnostics enterprises, breakthroughs in rare disease and the rapid advance of more targeted, personalized medicine."

"Our customers are global in scope, and we're teaming with WuXi NextCODE to extend the power and geographic reach of our cloud solution to support our partners' efforts," said Richard Daly, CEO of DNAnexus. "China has 20% of the world's sequencing capacity and is a pillar of cutting-edge science worldwide. The DNAnexus platform enables research, drug development and clinical diagnostic testing worldwide, and this alliance and investment allows us to expand our global network for genomic medicine."

With WuXi NextCODE's unique genomic database model and clinical and research interfaces directly available on the DNAnexus cloud, users will be able to store and interpret their sequence data and collaborate with colleagues around the world through one platform. The companies will also provide and host the same platform and capabilities within China, in full compliance with local regulations. Users will be able to use their genomic data seamlessly in tandem with the open-access capability and technology platform that WuXi offers to the global pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and medical device industry.

Particle beams are once again circulating in the world's most powerful particle accelerator, CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC). This news comes after the machine was handed over for operation on Wednesday morning. A clockwise circulating beam was established at ten o'clock this evening. This is an important milestone on the road towards first physics at the LHC, expected in 2010.

"It's great to see beam circulating in the LHC again," said CERN Director General Rolf Heuer. "We've still got some way to go before physics can begin, but with this milestone we're well on the way."

The LHC circulated its first beams on 10 September 2008, but suffered a serious malfunction nine days later. A failure in an electrical connection led to serious damage, and CERN has spent over a year repairing and consolidating the machine to ensure that such an incident cannot happen again.

"The LHC is a far better understood machine than it was a year ago," said CERN's Director for Accelerators, Steve Myers. "We've learned from our experience, and engineered the technology that allows us to move on. That's how progress is made."

Recommissioning the LHC began in the summer, and successive milestones have regularly been passed since then. The LHC reached its operating temperature of 1.9 Kelvin, or about -271 Celsius, on 8 October. Particles were injected on 23 October, but not circulated. A beam was steered through three octants of the machine on 7 November, and circulating beams have now been re-established. The next important milestone will be low-energy collisions, expected in about a week from now. These will give the experimental collaborations their first collision data, enabling important calibration work to be carried out. This is significant, since up to now, all the data they have recorded comes from cosmic rays. Ramping the beams to high energy will follow in preparation for collisions at 7 TeV (3.5 TeV per beam) next year.

Particle physics is a global endeavour, and CERN has received support from around the world in getting the LHC up and running again.

"It's been a herculean effort to get to where we are today," said Myers. "I'd like to thank all those who have taken part, from CERN and from our partner institutions around the world."

The Swiss National Supercomputing Centre – CSCS in collaboration with CEA of France and BAdW-LRZ of Germany organized the first European workshop on HPC infrastructures on 2–4 September 2009, in Origlio, Switzerland. This event brought together for the first time experts in construction and operation of supercomputing facilities from Europe and around the world, including members of the PRACE project.

Infrastructure managers of High Performance Computing (HPC) facilities around the world are increasingly facing challenges in accommodating the requirements of current and future generations of supercomputer architectures. Power consumption and energy density push infrastructures, cooling technologies and operational budgets to the limit. Due to this development, building infrastructures have become a strategic asset of supercomputing centres.

The goal of the first European HPC Infrastructure Workshop was to initiate an exchange of knowledge and experiences in this area. 55 experts came together to discuss topics such as building design, facility management and operation, energy efficiency, cooling technologies and computer cooling designs. Speakers from APC, ASHRAE, CEA, CSCS, EYP, Green Grid, Intel, NCSA, RZ Integral, the University of Illinois and the Uptime Institute shaped this event with presentations of high technical quality. Participants also had plenty of opportunities to network and exchange ideas and information.

Based on the success of the workshop and the interest demonstrated by the attendees, a second European Workshop on HPC Infrastructures will be hosted next year by CEA in France.

Asthma, Cancer, Weather Disaster-Related Illnesses Cited Among Concerns

The vulnerability of people to the health effects of climate change is the focus of a report released today by an NIH-led federal interagency group that includes NOAA. The report, “A Human Health Perspective on Climate Change,” calls for coordinating federal research to better understand climate’s impact on human health and identifying how these impacts can be most effectively addressed. The report was published by Environmental Health Perspectives and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. 

The report indicates what is known and the significant knowledge gaps in our understanding of the consequences of climate change on 11 major illness categories, including cancer, cardiovascular disease and stroke, asthma and other respiratory disorders, food-borne diseases and nutrition, weather and heat-related fatalities, and water and vector-borne infectious diseases.  

 “To mitigate and adapt to the health effects of climate change, we must first understand them. This report is a vital new roadmap for doing that,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “There is an urgent need to get started, and I am pleased that we can bring NOAA climate science and NOAA capabilities in linking ocean and human health and a range of other monitoring and prediction tools to the table.”    

 Health experts from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and NOAA contributed to the new report. Research recommendations include examining how diseases in marine mammals might be linked to human health; investigating how climate change might contaminate seafood, beaches and drinking water; and understanding the impact of atmospheric changes on heat waves and air-borne diseases. There are questions about the effects of increased rainfall and extreme weather events on sewage discharges and run-off and what this will mean to human health. Integrating human, terrestrial and aquatic animal health surveillance with environmental monitoring is recommended to better understand emerging health risks like Lyme disease, West Nile virus, malaria, and toxins from marine algae.  

 To address disaster planning and management, the report encourages research aimed at strengthening healthcare and emergency services, especially when events such as floods, drought and wildfires can affect human health both during and after an event. The report also identifies the need for more effective early warning systems providing, for example, an alert to those with cardiovascular disease on extreme heat days or when air pollution is high. Other issues include susceptible and displaced populations; public health and health care infrastructure; essential capacities and skills, particularly for modeling and prediction; the integration of climate observation networks with health impact and surveillance tools, and communication and education.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources. Visit us at http://www.noaa.gov

 

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