“When Hawking received it, he was pleased, honored and interested in how it was made,” said Martin Curley, vice president of Intel Labs Europe, who presented Hawking with a one-of-a-kind wafer as a 71st birthday gift. The 300-millimeter silicon wafer that read “Happy Birthday Stephen Hawking” 100 times in letters 10 times smaller than the width of a human hair. The letters were etched on the wafer at Intel’s Fab D1C in Hillsboro, Ore. employing the same 32-nanometer technology used for Intel smartphone chips.
Hawking said there are a lot of plaques in the halls of his research facility, but this one is going straight to his office, according to David Fleming, manager of the Intel Innovation Open Lab in Ireland. “He also joked that his initials already appear in massive galactic graffiti visible in the afterglow of the Big Bang, referencing a NASA image from 2010, but now his name exists in the smallest of dimensions,” said Fleming.
The full story: Stephen Hawking Celebrates with Silicon.
I’ve been watching every minute of Curiosity. What excites me is to think that I get to participate in what is really inspiring the next generation of scientists. As a kid, I watched Apollo and “Star Trek.” I wanted to be Captain Kirk. Being part of these missions to Mars is pretty close to being Captain Kirk. It’s a very inspiring thing for me and humanity.
—Mike Deliman, senior technical staff, Wind River
When the space agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) needs to run stress tests or simulations forupgrades and fixes to the OS, Wind River’s Mike Deliman gets the call. In a recent interview, Deliman, a senior member of the technical staff at Wind River, which is owned by Intel, gave a peek at the legacy technology under Curiosity’s hood and recalled the emergency call he got when an earlier Mars mission hit a software snag after liftoff.
This video describes the software that guided the U.S. space agency’s Mars Science Laboratory to its bulls-eye landing on Mars was written by Wind River, an Intel subsidiary. Wind River Senior Technologist Mike Deliman talks about the software that operated the craft’s controls from its liftoff in November 2011, to its descent in a swirl of red dust at 10:21 p.m. (PDT) Sunday.
“Wind River’s VxWorks is the software platform that controls the execution of all of Curiosity’s functions — from managing avionics to collecting science data and sending the experimental results back to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Earth using satellite telemetry,” said Mile Deliman, senior member of the technical staff at Wind River.
The computer technology behind NASA’s latest high definition photograph of Earth.
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center scientist Norman Kuring, who created the images, said that he did his data crunching on a custom-built 64-bit Linux desktop system powered by an Intel Core 2 Quad CPU. “It’s just a grey box by my desk,” he said.
Kuring says his Intel-based machine began chewing through the tens of gigabytes of raw satellite data for each image when he went home to eat dinner. About 4 hours later the job was done.
Full story: Mother Earth in High-Def
What a lovely “Blue Marble.”
And a story about an amateur astronomer who captures high resolution images of the Milky Way using a laptop connected to camera pack he built using off-the-shelf equipment.
Risinger’s subjects were the millions upon millions of stars and solar systems and galaxies filling the night sky. The single astounding panoramic image he has created — stitched together into a seamless 5,000-megapixel shot — is riveting astronomers and sky watchers worldwide.
And it’s online. With the click of a mouse, you can zoom through the eons to peer into pale yellow gas clouds, past purple nebulae, across vast belts of stars and then into the dim light of the distant universe fading gradually to infinity.