Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saturday Mobile Headliners - White Spaces and Nvidia Mobile GPU

First up, white spaces update.

As expected, broadcasters have asked the Federal Communications Commission to hold back the vote on use of white spaces for broadband access.  Earlier in the week, we discussed with excitement about the FCC finding that white spaces can be used to provide wireless broadband with limited (we could have "no" but that would not be accurate) interference.

I'm sure there are things that still must be worked out but if the FCC, which I regardless as somewhat evil at times, thinks this can work, heck, talk is over.  Let's get this game started!

Still, I do agree broadcast concerns should be addressed.  Nevertheless, I doubt the FCC went ahead and endorse white spaces without input from them.

Source:  NY Times 

Nvidia's New 9400M:

Now, something very exciting may be going on with respect to using the GPU to help with video encoding.  Macrumors has posted a report from an user (now with more confirmations) that when playing 1080p trailers, the new Macbook was able to handle the video with the CPU not having to work as hard as an older Macbook Pro.

The main different here as far as anyone can tell is the Nvidia chipset.  Speculations in the forum now is that a special version of Leopard, the current name for the Mac OS 10.5, along with the GPU allows HD video to be played without taxing the CPU as hard as older Macs.  If true, many, not only Mac machines, will benefit from this new architecture.  

An user from the Macrumors forum said, "also, of note, playing the same H.264 trailer on a Quad Core (2.66GHz, 12MB L2 Cache, 1333MHz FSB) produces 40-50% CPU usage, whereas the MacBook Pro produces 100-110% CPU usage and the MacBook does not exceed 20% CPU usage".

Keep in mind this is far from a confirmation.  While it may be argued that if this development is true, Steve Jobs and Apple would have made this announcement at last week's unveiling of the new Macs.  We're keeping an eye on this development.  Apple's forthcoming OS update, Snow Leopard, boasts the ability to use OpenCL to make certain processes faster with the help of the GPU.  Also, Nvidia has heavily promoted CUDA.

Stay tuned as we monitor this welcoming news, if true.

Source:  Macrumors

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