LJ Archive

New Products

James Gray

Issue #257, September 2015

The Qt Company's Qt

The motto for the Qt Company is simple: “Code less. Create more. Deploy everywhere.” It's a sensible leitmotif given that the company made the new Qt 5.5, the upgraded C++-based framework of libraries and tools for developing powerful, interactive and cross-platform applications and devices. Qt's support for multiple desktop, embedded and mobile operating systems allows developers to save significant time on application and device development simply by reusing one code. The most notable innovations in Qt 5.5 are the following: full Bluetooth Low Energy for Internet of Things deployments, a pre-built version of Qt for RHEL 6.6 and preliminary support for upcoming Windows 10 (full subsequent support to follow with a patch release). Other new features include extended support for multimedia and graphics creation with 3D capabilities as well as new multi-screen and IoT development features that strengthen overall performance across applications and devices.


IBM Research Alliance's 7nm Node Chips

The secret to packing a whopping 20 billion transistors onto a fingernail-sized chip involves a combination of Silicon Germanium (SiGe) channel transistors and Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) lithography integration. This formula, championed by an alliance led by IBM Research, is billed as the semiconductor industry's first 7nm node chip with functioning transistors. Today, microprocessors leverage 22nm and 14nm technologies, and 10nm is on its way to maturity. The new 7nm technology in the IBM consortium's test chips is considered critical to meeting the anticipated demands of future cloud computing and Big Data systems, cognitive computing, mobile products and other emerging technologies. Other partners in the public-private consortium include GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Samsung and the SUNY Polytechnic Institute's Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.


Astragon Software & kunst-stoff's TruckSim

Who knows which side of you will like TruckSim best—the truck geek, the sim lover, the Europhile or maybe all three equally! TruckSim is a new truck simulation game for Android and iOS devices from the team of game publisher and sim specialist Astragon Software and game developer kunst-stoff. In TruckSim, players play the role of a small freight forwarder seeking to build a company and vehicle fleet into a dominating agency by fulfilling steadily bigger delivery orders from customers throughout Europe. Varied missions will lead “simmers” across miles of highway to metropolises all over the continent, each easily recognizable by faithfully re-created landmarks. The biggest attention to detail, however, is of given to the faithfully modeled trucks and trailers in the TGX and TGS model range from popular German maker MAN.


Chalmers University of Technology's Graphene-Based Cooling Film

Linux Journal's “Future New Products” desk is reporting on a new development out of Sweden's Chalmers University of Technology: a graphene-based film for efficiently cooling electronics that is attachable to components made of silicon. The graphene film has a thermal conductivity capacity that is four times that of copper. Until recently, the methods in place for utilizing graphene for cooling have proven problematic, such as with adhesiveness, when presented with high amounts of heat. This advancement at Chalmers involves the creation of strong covalent bonds between the graphene film and the silicon surface through the addition of property-altering (3-Aminopropyl) triethoxysilane (APTES) molecules. Moreover, functionalization using silane coupling doubles the thermal conductivity of the graphene. While copper has a thermal conductivity value of 401 W/mK, the Chalmers graphene-based solution boasts 1600 W/mK. The results were recently published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.


Brian McLaughlin's The BeagleBone Black Primer (Que)

If you're looking for a comprehensive, hands-on guide to creating projects on the slick BeagleBone Black embedded development platform, your moment has arrived. Brian McLaughlin, a developer at NASA, has penned said guide: The BeagleBone Black Primer from publisher Que. Millions of DIYers, makers, hobbyists and engineers are discovering the fun and utility of BeagleBone Black. Users of the platform can boot a full Linux operating system in less than ten seconds and start developing in less than five minutes with just a single USB cable. Author McLaughlin first reviews the basic embedded programming concepts and techniques that every hardware developer needs to know and then introduces the BeagleBone Black hardware. In the course of the book, McLaughlin guides readers step by step to mastery of increasingly advanced BeagleBone Black programming techniques using the Cloud9 IDE and BoneScript. Throughout, McLaughlin offers both “starter” and “advanced” projects, as well as “jumping-off points” carefully conceived to encourage the reader's own creativity.


Arduino Srl's Arduino Studio

In the dynamic open-source development platform space there is also a “birth” to announce. Arduino Srl (aka Arduino.org), the maker of the popular Arduino microcontroller-based open-source board kits, recently announced the release of a new, bouncing-baby integrated development environment called Arduino Studio. Arduino Studio is a development environment that is completely open source and dedicated to the Arduino programming language. The company describes the IDE as “simple, practical and versatile, enabling [users] to take advantage of the characteristics and potential of Adobe Brackets Editor”. Arduino Studio is an IDE for all environments, and it is available for Linux, Windows, Mac OS or as a Bracket extension. Furthermore, the IDE can be utilized not just on standalone PCs, but also in Web/cloud mode, via browser or embedded on Arduino boards. Arduino Studio is open to contributions from the community for new functions, libraries and themes.


Rick Umali's Learn Git in a Month of Lunches (Manning Publications Co.)

Make the hour spent stuffing your face with food productive time with Rick Umali's new book Learn Git in a Month of Lunches. In this novel “study while dining” format, Umali helps those hungry for knowledge of the diverse and sprawling beast that is Git, the source code control system preferred by distributed development teams. Each easy-to-follow lesson on the discipline of source code control using Git is designed to take an hour or less. The author's goal is to distill Git down to the essential concepts and techniques that users need to get the most out of it with a focus on stuff they'll likely use every day. Rather than cover a shallow introduction to Git's massive surface area, readers will find a road map to the commands and processes that they need to be instantly productive.


NVIDIA OpenACC Toolkit

It is not that computing cores aren't getting faster. Instead, processors are getting more parallel, which is a trend that is likely to continue. To harness advances in parallel computing, NVIDIA and its partners developed the OpenACC standard, which NVIDIA says “simplifies parallel programming for modern processors, like GPUs”. In order to simplify access to OpenACC for researchers, NVIDIA has released the new NVIDIA OpenACC Toolkit, a free, all-in-one suite of OpenACC parallel programming tools. NVIDIA claims that scientists can do “more science, less programming” from the solution, which features “the industry-leading” PGI Accelerator Fortran/C Workstation Compiler Suite for Linux. The compiler is free to academic developers and researchers. The toolkit also includes the NVProf Profiler, which gives guidance on where to add OpenACC “directives”—that is, simple compiler hints to accelerate code, as well as simple, real-world code samples.


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