Stories by Gary Anthes

US innovation: On the skids

It would be hard to exaggerate the angst that has gripped the US in recent months as the election nears, markets churn and assets melt. But the headlines that have made us dread picking up the newspaper mask a long-term problem that may shape the fut...

Supercomputer race: Tricky to boost system speed

Every June and November, with fanfare lacking only in actual drum rolls and trumpet blasts, a new list of the world's fastest supercomputers is revealed. Vendors brag, and the media reach for analogies such as "It would take a patient person with a h...

Happy birthday, x86! An industry standard turns 30

Thirty years ago, on June 8, 1978, Intel introduced its first 16-bit microprocessor, the 8086, with a splashy ad heralding "the dawn of a new era." Overblown? Sure, but also prophetic. While the 8086 was slow to take off, its underlying architecture ...

What's next for the x86?

It's impossible to look at the x86 family of microprocessors without wondering if, after three decades of dominance, the architecture might be running out of steam. Intel, naturally, says the x86 still has legs, while hastening to add that its battle...

Different engines: The return of the mechanical computer

In the 19th century, British mathematician Charles Babbage invented the "difference engine," a mechanical computer that had an enormously complex arrangement of levers, ratchets and gears. Had this prototypical chunk of steampunk machinery ever been ...

Intel CTO: Computing's future in multicore machines

For much of his 34 years at Intel, Justin R. Rattner has been a pioneer in parallel and distributed processing. His early ideas didn't catch on in the market, but the time has come for them now, he recently told Computerworld's Gary Anthes.

Happy birthday, Sputnik! (Thanks for the Internet)

Quick, what's the most influential piece of hardware from the early days of computing? The IBM 360 mainframe? The DEC PDP-1 minicomputer? Maybe earlier computers such as Binac, ENIAC or Univac? Or, going way back to the 1800s, is it the Babbage Diffe...

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