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Highest paid actors of 2009

September 27, 2009 Leave a comment

It was a good year for the top-earning men in Hollywood. Seven of our top 20 raked in more than $30 million. To figure out earnings we spoke to agents, managers, producers and lawyers to come up with estimated earnings between June 2008 and June 2009.

Harrison Ford

$65 million

After years of staying on the down low, Ford reemerged this year for Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, the fourth installment of the Indiana Jones series that started in 1981. Ford’s earnings on the movie come exclusively from his share of the profits of the film, which earned $786 million at the worldwide box office.

Adam Sandler

$55 million

The former Saturday Night Live star has proved himself to be a solid hit maker with movies like this year’s Bedtime Stories and You Don’t Mess With The Zohan, which earned a combined $413 million at the box office. Up next: Funny People, directed by his former roommate Judd Apatow.

Will Smith

$45 million

Smith proved once again that he owns July 4 with last summer’s Hancock. Despite middling reviews, the film grossed $624 million at the worldwide box office. Smith’s status as a global superstar helped keep his downer film Seven Pounds from being a total disaster. The movie earned almost $100 million overseas.

Eddie Murphy

$40 million
Despite the failure of Meet Dave (the film made only $50 million at the worldwide box office), Murphy continues to earn big paychecks for his work in family comedies. That could change if his two upcoming movies, Imagine That and A Thousand Words, don’t perform.

Nicolas Cage

$40 million

The actor doesn’t earn the same size paychecks as some of the other men topping our list, but he works twice as hard. Cage currently has six films scheduled for release over the next two years. Part of the reason for his work ethic could be the fact that he owes millions to the IRS.

Tom Hanks

$35 million

Hanks is one of the few stars who still earns $20 million upfront paychecks for his work in movies like Angels & Demons, which has grossed $407 million for Sony at the worldwide box office. Hanks also makes a nice living producing hits like last year’s Mamma Mia.

Tom Cruise

$30 million

Cruise managed to avoid any embarrassing tabloid moments over the last 12 months, and his movie Valkyrie did better than expected, earning $200 million at the worldwide box office. But the thing that most helped Cruise rehab his image this year was his cameo as an obnoxious Hollywood executive in Tropic Thunder.

Jim Carrey

$28 million

The funny man took a big risk this year on his film Yes Man. In lieu of his $20 million upfront pay, Carrey became an investor in the movie taking one-third of the film’s profits. The unusual deal turned out to be a good one for Carrey. By the time the movie has earned all its money he’ll pocket $35 million.

Brad Pitt

$28 million

Pitt was nominated for an Oscar this year for his work in The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button and also earned some cold cash from the film, which brought in $333 million at the worldwide box office. Up next: hunting for Nazi scalps in Inglourious Basterds.

Johnny Depp

$27 million

Depp falls to 10th place on our list after earning $72 million last year. The reason: no new Pirates Of The Caribbean movie. The fourth installment is scheduled for 2012. In the meantime, he’ll play John Dillinger in Public Enemies and the Mad Hatter in Tim Burton’s version of Alice in Wonderland.

George Clooney

$25 million

The star hasn’t appeared in a blockbuster hit outside of the Ocean’s series since 2000’s The Perfect Storm. Instead, Clooney has opted for smaller films like last year’s ensemble movie Burn After Reading. Up next: Men Who Stare At Goats, which was one of the few films to find a buyer at the recent Cannes Film Festival.

Russell Crowe

$20 million
The volatile actor stumbled with last year’s Body Of Lies that costarred Leonardo DiCaprio. The film grossed $115 million. But Crowe can still earn big paychecks on movies like the upcoming Robin Hood, which will hit theaters next summer.

Robert Downey Jr.

$20 million

Iron Man grossed $580 million at the worldwide box office, proving that despite his checkered history, Downey is still a draw in the right part. The film’s success allowed him to boost his asking price on Iron Man 2, helping the actor earn $20 million over the last 12 months.

Denzel Washington

$20 million

While starring in blockbusters like American Gangster and Inside Man, Washington has also been honing his skills behind the camera, directing 2007’s The Great Debaters. Coming up next: a remake of The Taking Of Pelham 1 2 3 and The Book Of Eli about a post-apocalyptic America.

Vince Vaughn

$14 million

The comedian continues to be a solid draw in movies like Four Christmases and Fred Clause, even if his films don’t set the box office on fire. He’s a producer on this fall’s Couple’s Retreat, a comedy that costars Jon Favreau and Jason Bateman.

Ben Stiller

$14 million

The actor had a hit with last summer’s Tropic Thunder, which grossed $188 million at the worldwide box office. Stiller was the star of the film and also the writer, director and producer. He also makes big bucks starring in comedies like Night At The Museum 2, which has so far earned $280 million at the worldwide box office.

Seth Rogen

$12 million

Rogen appeared in four movies over the last 12 months, including Pineapple Express and Monsters Vs. Aliens, in which he was the voice of B.O.B., a blob-like monster. Up next: Funny People, directed by his mentor Judd Apatow and starring Adam Sandler.

Matt Damon

$11 million

Damon makes the big bucks when he plays Jason Bourne in the action series, but brings in less for more serious movies. This year there was no Bourne, so his earnings are coming mostly from his work in the upcoming Nelson Mandela biopic starring Morgan Freeman and directed by Clint Eastwood.

Christian Bale

$10 million

Bale got more ink for his abusive rant on the set of Terminator Salvation than for his acting this year, but he still managed to appear in several blockbusters, including The Dark Knight, which is the second highest-grossing film of all time behind Titanic. Up next: He plays federal agent Melvin Purvis hot on the trail of John Dillinger in Public Enemies.

Will Ferrell

10 million
The funnyman had a rough year. His movies Step Brothers and Semi-Pro under-performed his earlier hits like Blades Of Glory and Talladega Nights. Things got even worse last weekend when his big-budget remake of Land Of The Lost opened to only $18 million, putting it in third place behind The Hangover and Up.

SOURCE : FORBES

The highest paid comedians of 2009

September 27, 2009 1 comment

Our ranking of the most valuable comedians is based on Forbes’ Star Currency survey. Conducted in fall 2008, the survey polled hundreds of entertainment industry professionals to rate 1,400 actors on critical financial metrics, such as their abilities to attract financing for films and drive box office revenues.

No 1. Adam Sandler

Age (as of April 10, 2009): 42

Star Currency Cumulative Score: 9.61 (out of 10)

Star Currency Ranking (Among Actors): No. 10

Star Currency Ranking (Among All Actors/Actresses): No.12

Hollywood’s most desirable funnyman has a long track record of leading silly but profitable comedies, like Big Daddy, Happy Gilmore and The Waterboy. Sandler has also flexed his serious chops in 2002’s Punch Drunk Love and 2004’s Spanglish. His much anticipated Funny People, in which Sandler plays a successful Hollywood comedian diagnosed with cancer, should provide another opportunity to blend humor and humanity.

No 2. Will Ferrell

Age (as of April 10, 2009): 41

Star Currency Cumulative Score: 9.56 (out of 10)

Star Currency Ranking (Among Actors): No. 13

Star Currency Ranking (Among All Actors/Actresses): No. 15

One of Hollywood’s hottest comedic talents, Ferrell is putting his touch on film, television (HBO’s Eastbound and Down) and the emerging world of Web video (Funnyordie.com). Ferrell recently took to the Broadway stage to satirize former President George W. Bush in a controversial one-man show.

No. 3. Ben Stiller(my fav.)

Age (as of April 10, 2009): 43

Star Currency Cumulative Score: 9.50 (out of 10)

Star Currency Ranking (Among Actors): No. 15

Star Currency Ranking (Among All Actors/Actresses): No. 18

Born to comedian parents, Stiller broke into show business on Broadway and later produced well-regarded but little-watched comedy shows for MTV and Fox. He soon branched out into directing (Reality Bites, The Cable Guy), but developed into an economic force in Hollywood after taking starring roles in There’s Something About Mary and Meet the Parents. That film, along with its sequel, Meet the Fockers, grossed $850 million at box offices worldwide.

No. 4. Jim Carrey

Age (as of April 10, 2009): 47

Star Currency Cumulative Score: 9.42 (out of 10)

Star Currency Ranking (Among Actors): No. 16

Star Currency Ranking (Among All Actors/Actresses): No. 19

Canadian comic won Hollywood stardom with 1994’s Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. Carrey has since proven himself as a crowd-pleasing funnyman in sophomoric flicks like Dumb and Dumber and Liar Liar, and earned respect as a serious actor in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Man on the Moon. Controversial new flick I Love You, Philip Morris, starring Carrey and Ewan McGregor as prison lovers, premiered at Sundance in January but has yet to find a theatrical distributor.

No. 5. Vince Vaughn

Age (as of April 10, 2009): 39

Star Currency Cumulative Score: 8.39 (out of 10)

Star Currency Ranking (Among Actors): No. 28

Star Currency Ranking (Among All Actors/Actresses): No. 32

Chicago-bred funnyman had his breakout role as a wannabe Hollywood player in 1996’s Swingers. Later took on dramatic roles in Psycho remake and Domestic Disturbance. His career has been reignited by collaborations with fellow Bankable comedian listers Ferrell and Stiller in Old School, Starsky and Hutch, and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.

No. 6. Steve Carell

Age (as of April 10, 2009): 46

Star Currency Cumulative Score: 8.05 (out of 10)

Star Currency Ranking (Among Actors): No. 31

Star Currency Ranking (Among All Actors/Actresses): No. 36

Now one of Hollywood’s most desired comedic talents, Carell says he once considered a career as a mailman and attorney. Good thing he opted for comedy. Films led by the ex-Daily Show correspondent have garnered both nods from critics and huge box office revenues. Among his successes: 40 Year Old Virgin and Anchorman.

No. 7. Eddie Murphy

Age (as of April 10, 2009): 48

Star Currency Cumulative Score: 7.66 (out of 10)

Star Currency Ranking (Among Actors): No. 37

Star Currency Ranking (Among All Actors/Actresses): No. 49

Murphy launched his career with a raunchy stand-up routine but has recently been collecting huge paychecks for his work on movies aimed at kids. His turn as oddball Donkey in Dreamworks’ Shrek series has helped generate $2.2 billion in world box office revenue. The SNL alum also carried successful comedies Dr. Doolittle and The Nutty Professor, as well as appeared in a dramatic role in 2006’s critically acclaimed Dreamgirls.

No. 8. Sacha Baron Cohen

Age (as of April 10, 2009): 37

Star Currency Cumulative Score: 7.64 (out of 10)

Star Currency Ranking (Among Actors): No. 38

Star Currency Ranking (Among All Actors/Actresses): No. 50

The Cambridge-educated comedian got his start in university productions of Fiddler on the Roof. Baron Cohen’s career took off after creating the character Ali G, a moronic television interviewer, for a British sketch show. That personality inspired an HBO series, which in turn led to the hugely successful film Borat ($261 million worldwide gross), a faux documentary featuring Baron Cohen as an awkward Kazakhastani journalist touring the U.S. He stars as a flamboyant Austrian fashion reporter in the highly anticipated Bruno, which hits theaters in May 2009.

No. 9. Jack Black

Age (as of April 10, 2009): 39

Star Currency Cumulative Score: 7.60 (out of 10)

Star Currency Ranking (Among Actors): No. 40

Star Currency Ranking (Among All Actors/Actresses): No. 53

Show biz lifer made a few bucks as a teenager starring in a 1982 Activision videogame commercial. His breakout role came 18 years later as pompous record store clerk in High Fidelity with John Cusack. During a 2009 Oscars presentation, Black joked that he made much more money for animated work (Kung Fu Panda, Shark Talk) than live action flicks (King Kong, Tropic Thunder).

No. 10. Robin Williams

Age (as of April 10, 2009): 57

Star Currency Cumulative Score: 7.45 (out of 10)

Star Currency Ranking (Among Actors): No. 65

Star Currency Ranking (Among All Actors/Actresses): No. 48

Williams launched his career as a wacky alien in NBC’s Mork & Mindy in the 1970s. He later honed his comedy chops as a stand-up and went on to star in big-grossing comedies: The Birdcage ($185 million worldwide gross) and Mrs. Doubtfire ($219 million). He won acclaim for his dramatic work, as well, including an Oscar in 1998 for his role as a sympathetic but tormented psychologist in Good Will Hunting.

SOURCE : FORBES

The fifteen highest paid men of hollywood in 2009

September 27, 2009 Leave a comment

George Lucas

$170 million

With the latest Indiana Jones movie, Lucas continued his streak of poorly reviewed but high-earning sequels to his most famous films from the ’70s and ’80s. Lucas also earns big from a deal with Hasbro that gives him a large royalty on all Star Wars toys.

Steven Spielberg

$150 million

The director had a tough time finding a new home for his DreamWorks studio but finally landed at Disney. He did better personally, earning $150 million between June 2008 and June 2009 partially thanks to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Jerry Bruckheimer

$100 million

Bruckheimer earns millions producing the Pirates of the Caribbean series for Disney. Even without a pirate movie last year, he still managed to come in third thanks to his hit TV shows like CSI and Cold Case.

Jerry Seinfeld

$85 million

The comedian still earns millions from the syndication of Seinfeld more than a decade after the show went off the air. He’s back on the road with a stand-up act, and last year he starred in a Microsoft ad opposite Bill Gates.

Dr. Phil McGraw

$80 million

Despite a 25% drop in ratings, Dr. Phil still brings in the big bucks thanks to his syndication fees, books and speeches. A series of shows with octomom Nadya Suleman helped bring his show some extra buzz.

Tyler Perry

$75 million

The producer/writer/director star continued his hot streak with two new movies: Madea Goes to Jail and The Family That Preys. His deal with distributor Lionsgate allows Perry to keep much of the money from his films. Perry also had a surprise cameo in this summer’s Star Trek reboot.

Dick Wolf

$75 million

Despite being embroiled in a lawsuit with NBC, Wolf still managed to earn millions from his successful Law & Order franchise. The original show is poised to tie Gunsmoke as the longest-running prime-time drama in television history.

Simon Cowell

$75 million

Idol‘s meanest judge is also its richest. Cowell continues to earn big paydays for his work on the show. He also rakes it in as the creator of both America and Britain’s Got Talent and his record label reps all show winners.

Bruce Springsteen

$70 million

At 59 the Boss still rocks. His latest tour earned $166 million from 1.6 million tickets sold. He capped off his tour by playing the halftime show at the Super Bowl. Springsteen has been an outspoken critic of the pending Live Nation-Ticketmaster merger, saying the deal will be bad for fans.

Howard Stern

$70 million

Stern continues to earn $100 million annually from his Sirius Satellite Radio deal (minus show production costs) despite his protestations that he’ll quit at the end of his five-year contract. Last year the shock jock married his longtime girlfriend Beth Ostrosky.

Harrison Ford

$65 million

The actor stepped back into the spotlight last year with the fourth installment of Indiana Jones. Strapping back on the whip might have been tough work for 67-year-old Ford, but he was well compensated with a hefty chunk of the film’s profits.

Kenny Chesney

$65 million

Despite lukewarm sales of his latest album, Chesney made the list with a monster tour selling one million tickets in 2008. Endorsements deals with Corona and MasterCard don’t hurt either. Chesney can often be seen tailgating with fans before shows.

James Patterson

$60 million

The prolific writer released nine new novels between June 2008 and June 2009 in addition to a videogame based on his Women’s Murder Club series and his first biography, Against Medical Advice, about a man with a mysterious medical condition.

Adam Sandler

$55 million

Sandler’s humor may be lowbrow, but he’s one of the few actors in Hollywood who can still command upward of $15 million to appear in a movie. His two most recent films, Bedtime Stories and You Don’t Mess With The Zohan earned a collective $413 million at the worldwide box office.

Larry David

$55 million

David has made a name for himself as a curmudgeon through his HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm (heading into its 10th season) and his recent turn in Woody Allen’s Whatever Works. But he still gets the bulk of his money from Seinfeld syndication.

12 Cool Apple iphone Tablet Concepts (u guys gotta tell which is the best one!!)

September 20, 2009 Leave a comment

Mac Tablet Concept

Apple Mac Tablet concept by Japanese photographer Isamu Sanada

Apple Mac Tablet Concept

Cool mock up of the much rumored Apple Tablet by Sean Mulvihill

Apple MacBook Touch Concept

Designed by Tommaso Gecchelin, the core of this concept is a technology called iSpine. Like the spine of a book, the tech allows the device to go from a normal laptop with screen and touchscreen board to large widescreen canvas for drawing, presentation or movie watching.

Apple mac tablet concept

iPad Touch Concept

Apple iPad Touch concept designed by Chris Messina promises to offer slick, streamlined experience that feels less like a computer and more like a lifestyle object.

Apple Tablet Concept

Beautiful Apple Tablet concept rendering by Fotoboer.nl

Apple Tablet Video

Video of the much rumored Apple Tablet by MacRumors forum member GoneWithTheWind.

MacBook Touch Concept

Another beautiful Apple iTablet concept design by Isamu Sanada.

Mac iTablet Concept

Apple Tablet concept designed by Adam Benton for MacFormat

Phone Tablet Concept

Clever Apple Tablet concept by Vern Hart looks like a giant iPhone

Mactab Concept

Apple iTablet Concept

dang!!!!! i want all of em lol

17 Most Unusual Vending Machines

September 20, 2009 2 comments

With consumers wanting quick and convenient access to various products, it is possible to buy almost anything in a modern vending machine.

This post features a collection of the world’s most unusual vending machine

Socks Vending Machine

Useful machine for when you are in desperate need of socks

Apple iPod Vending Machine

Innovative vending machine where you can buy an iPod by selecting it on a touchscreen and entering your credit card information

Gold Vending Machine

The gold from the “Gold-to-Go” vending machine comes with its own gift box, and at a price 20% cheaper than what customers could get at a German bank

Replacement Body Parts Vending Machine

To highlight the consequences of poor work safety practices, WorkSafe Victoria brought to life the terrifying nature of work place incidents with this striking installation. A vending machine designed to sell spare body parts. The Body-O-Matic.

Anger Release Vending Machine

Passive aggressive anger release machine by Yarisal and Kublitz allows you to experience the most satisfying feeling when a piece of China breaks into million pieces. All you have to do is insert a coin, and a piece of China will slowly move forwards and fall into the bottom of the machine.

Bike Vending Machine

Bike Dispenser allows you to rent a bicycle from one vending machine, ride it to your destination, and then drop it off at another vending machine.

After Party Shoes Vending Machine

Vending machines conveniently located in clubs and restaurants around London sell comfortable after party Rollasole ballet flats.

Board Game Vending Machine

Unusual vending machine from Japan that sells board games

Best Buy Vending Machine

Now you can buy tech gadgets directly from Best Buy vending machine in the Dallas/Forth Worth airport.

Pizza Vending Machine

Wonder Pizza is developing a vending machine that cooks and serves 9″ whole pizzas in just under 2 minutes

Boardshorts Vending Machine

Vending machines containing limited edition Quiksilver boardshorts and bikinis can be found at The Standard Hotels in Hollywood, Los Angeles, New York, and Miami.

Pot Vending Machine

In Los Angeles, 24-hour medical marijuana vending machines will distribute the drug to people with cards authorizing use

Books Vending Machine

Vending machine that sells books spotted at London Gatwick airport

Soccer Ball Vending Machine

Nike “Joga Bonito” vending machine sells soccer balls.

Gun Vending Machine

These vending machines were placed on university campuses and in shopping malls demonstrating how easy it is to get hold of a gun in South Africa. The line under “insert coin below” reads: “Your donation will go to the Gun Control Alliance, for a gun-free South Africa”.

Jeans Vending Machine

Cool vending machine that allows you to purchase Closed jeans

How much wierd can it get 😛 so what do you think guys?

Apple’s new OS geared for multicore future

September 2, 2009 Leave a comment

Apple began shipping Snow Leopard on Friday, but the true importance of the Mac OS X update likely will emerge well afterward.

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That’s because Mac OS X 10.6 begins a longer-term Apple attempt to get ahead by cracking a problem facing the entire computer industry: squeezing useful work out of modern processors. Instead of stuffing Snow Leopard with immediately obvious new features, Apple is trying to adjust to the new reality in which processors can do many jobs simultaneously rather than one job fast.

“We’re trying to set a foundation for the future,” said Wiley Hodges, director of Mac OS X marketing.

Apple shed some light on its project, called Grand Central Dispatch, at its Worldwide Developer Conference in June, but most real detail was shared only in with programmers sworn to secrecy. Now the company has begun talking more publicly about it and other deeper projects to take advantage of graphics chips and Intel’s 64-bit processors.

The moves align Apple better with changes in computing. For years, chipmakers such as Intel and Advanced Micro Devices had steadily increased the clock rate of their processors, and programmers got accustomed to a performance boost with each new generation. But earlier this decade, problems derailed the gigahertz train.

First, chips often ended up merely twiddling their thumbs more because slower memory couldn’t keep the chip fed with data. Worse, the chips required extraordinary amounts of power and produced corresponding amounts of hard-to-handle waste heat.

And so began the mainstream multicore era, in which processors got multiple computing engines called cores that work in parallel. That’s great for some tasks that can be easily broken down into independent pieces, but programmers were accustomed to a more linear way of thinking where tasks execute in a series of sequential steps.

Enter Grand Central Dispatch, or GCD. This Snow Leopard component is designed to minimize many of the difficulties of parallel programming. It’s easy to modify existing software to use GCD, Apple said, and the operating system handles complicated administrative chores so programmers don’t have to.

Overall, Illuminata analyst Gordon Haff believes, the computing industry really is only beginning now to tackle parallel programming in earnest. If building mature parallel programming tools is a 10-chapter book, the industry is only at chapter two right now, he said. But with no other alternative, the book will be written.

“It has to happen,” Haff said. “If you look at history of information technology, things that have to happen really do happen.”

Burdensome threads
One way programmers have dealt with the arrival of multicore processors–and with the multiprocessor machines that preceded them–is through a concept called threads. There are various types, but generally speaking, a thread is an independent computing operation. For programmers to take advantage of multicore processor, they assign one thread to each core, and away they go, right?

Not so fast. Threads come with baggage. Each requires memory and time to start. Programs should be broken up into different numbers of threads depending on how many cores a processor offers. Programmers have to worry about “locking” issues, providing a mechanism to ensure one thread doesn’t change data another thread is already using. And one threaded program might step on the toes of another running at the same time.

Some tools to ease the difficulties, such as Intel Threading Building Blocks, are available, but threads remain complicated.

“We looked at this and said it needs a fundamental rethink. We want to making developing applications for multicore easier,” Hodges said. “We’re moving responsibility for the management code into the operating system so application developers don’t have to write and maintain it.”

Blocking and tackling
The core mechanisms within GCD are blocks and queues. Programmers mark code chunks to convert them into blocks, then tells the application how to create the queue that governs how those blocks are actually run. Block execution can be tied to specific events–the arrival of network information, a change to a file, a mouse click.

Apple hopes programmers will like blocks’ advantages: Older code can easily be retrofitted with blocks so programmers can try it without major re-engineering; they’re lightweight and don’t take up resources when they’re not running; and they’re flexible enough to encapsulate large or small parts of code.

“There’s a lot of overhead around threading that means you want to break your program into as few pieces as possible. With Grand Central Dispatch, we say break your program into as many tiny pieces as you can conceive of,” Hodges said.

Another difference with the Grand Central Dispatch approach is its centralization. The operating system worries about managing all applications’ blocks rather than each application providing its own oversight. That central view means the operating system decides which tasks get which resources, Apple said, and that the system overall can become more responsive even when it’s busy.

Other foundations
There’s a second mechanism in Snow Leopard that gives a new way for programmers tap into hardware power: OpenCL, or Open Computing Language. It lets computers use graphics chips not just to accelerate graphics but also some ordinary computations.

To use OpenCL, programmers write modules of code in a variation of the C programming language called OpenCL C. Snow Leopard translates that code on the fly into instructions the graphics chip can understand and transfers necessary data into the graphics system memory. Many tasks won’t benefit, but OpenCL is good for videogame physics simulation or artificial intelligence algorithms, technical computing chores, and multimedia operations.

The three major makers of graphics chips–Intel, Nvidia, and AMD’s ATI–have endorsed OpenCL, and the Khronos Group has made it a standard. That means programmers are likely to be able to reuse their OpenCL code with Windows applications, too.

Graphics processors employ parallel engines that suit them for running the same processing chore on many data elements. For computers without a graphics chip, though, OpenCL also can employ that parallel execution strategy on ordinary multicore processors.

The 64-bit transition
Apple began its 64-bit transition years ago with the PowerPC processors it used before switching to Intel chips. With Snow Leopard, nearly the full suite of its software–Mail, Safari, Finder, iChat, QuickTime–become 64-bit programs.

ntel chips these days are 64-bit, but what does that get you over 32-bit chips? Briefly, it can let heavy-duty programs use more than 4GB of memory, improve performance by offering more chip memory slots called registers, and speed up some mathematical operations.

Moving to a 64-bit design doesn’t guarantee instant speedup, though. In one developer document, Apple states: “Myth: My application will run much faster if it is a ‘native’ 64-bit application. Fact: Some 64-bit executables may run more slowly on 64-bit Intel and PowerPC architectures.” One issue: the doubled length of references to memory addresses.

Apple encourages programmers to test their software to see if the 64-bit incarnation is faster. All Apple’s own applications that moved to 64-bit versions are faster, the company said.

The 32-bit kernel
However, the core component of Mac OS X, the kernel, is still 32-bit software by default on consumer machines such as MacBooks and iMacs. Apple has written it so that applications can handle more than 4GB of memory, though, and the kernel can manage it all.

In its developer document on 64-bit performance, Apple states: “Myth: The kernel needs to be 64-bit in order to be fully optimized for 64-bit processors. Fact: The kernel does not generally need to directly address more than 4 GB of RAM at once.”

Apple’s 32-bit kernel hits limits with very large amounts of memory, though. “Thus, beginning in Snow Leopard, the kernel is moving to a 64-bit executable on hardware that supports such large memory configurations,” its Xserve server line and Mac Pro workstations, the company said.

The tricky aspect of moving from a 32-bit kernel to 64-bit kernel is that drivers–software that let the operating system communicate with devices such as printers, video cards, and hard drives–must also be 64-bit. That’s not so bad when it’s a hardware device under Apple’s control, but it’s harder to move the full collection of third-party devices with their own drivers.

Apple argues it’s not hard to make the jump, though. “As a driver developer, you must update your drivers with 64-bit binaries. Fortunately…many drivers ‘just work’ after changing the compile settings,” the company said in a reference document.

This all may sound very low-level, but for programmers, Apple actually is working at a higher level than most. That could be an asset since many attempts to embrace parallel programming imposed more demands than most programmers were willing or able to handle.

And attracting programmers is key. Ultimately, Apple’s deeper technology moves such as Grand Central Dispatch and OpenCL will be a success only if the company can get other developers to use them.

Intel Xeon ‘Nehalem-EX’ Processor Presented by Intel

August 19, 2009 Leave a comment

A new Intel® Xeon® processor codenamed “Nehalem-EX” has been revealed by Intel. Being able to deliver a number of new technical advancements and boost enterprise computing performance, the processor will be running the next generation of intelligent and expandable high-end Intel server platforms.

The Nehalem-EX processor, being ready to enter production later this year, will feature up to eight cores inside a single chip supporting 16 threads and 24MB of cache. Offering the highest-ever jump from a previous generation processor, its performance increase will be dramatic.

New reliability, availability and serviceability (RAS) features usually found in the company’s Intel® Itanium processor family, such as Machine Check Architecture (MCA) Recovery will be available with Nehalem-EX.

the new Nehalem-EX processor, being ideal for virtualized applications, server consolidation, data demanding enterprise applications and technical computing environments, will be able to boost up to nine times the memory bandwidth of the previous-generation Intel Xeon 7400 platform, also doubling the memory capacity with up to 16 memory slots per processor socket, and offering four high-bandwidth QuickPath Interconnect links. Without the need for third-party chips to “glue” the platform together, Nehalem-EX will provide tremendous scalability, from large-memory two-socket systems through eight-socket systems capable of processing 128 threads simultaneously, while, with third-party solutions, additional scalability options including greater sockets counts will also be possible.

Some of the main advantages of Nehalem-EX are:

* Intel Nehalem Architecture built on Intel’s unique 45nm high-k metal gate technology process
* Up to 8 cores per processor
* Up to 16 threads per processor with Intel® Hyper-threading
* Scalability up to eight sockets via Quick Path Interconnects and greater with third-party node controllers
* QuickPath Architecture with four high-bandwidth links
* Integrated memory controllers
* 24MB of shared cache
* Intel Turbo Boost Technology
* Intel scalable memory buffer and scalable memory interconnects
* Support for up to 16 memory slots per processor socket
* Up to 9x the memory bandwidth of previous generation
* 2.3 billion transistors
* Advanced RAS capabilities including MCA Recovery

Nehalem-EX, having new RAS capabilities for high-end enterprises, will be able to accelerate IT adoption of Intel-based platforms over RISC-based platforms by delivering a lower total cost of ownership, higher performance, lower electricity bills and the ability to standardize on a flexible IT environment.