NASA holds the current record for most fuel efficient drive, with its HiPEP (High Power Electric Propulsion) system. The idea of an Ion drive is that it uses electricity and a material to propel ions out of a funnel in order to focus the created momentum, and with the HiPEP allowing 9,600 (+/- 200) seconds of specific impulse the drive is a pretty strong contender for space travel. Seems like its record could be destroyed though according to a student newspaper Honi Soit.
The paper states that the new drive developed by Sydney PhD Student Paddy Neumann, which reports stating that its specific impulse reporting up to 14,690 (+/- 2000), almost one and a half times the record held by NASA.
What is more impressive about the drive is that NASA’s HiPEP system uses xenon gas, while Neumann’s drive can run on a range of metals, the best results are apparently achieved using magnesium, a metal that is commonly found in space junk and could be used to power the system using old satellites left in orbit.
With the possible ability to not only help clean up space but also create a new and more powerful engine that could soon be used to power the craft of the future, not bad Mr Neumann, not bad at all.
AMD has related its financial situation today at the Q4 2013 Earnings Conference, where they have detailed their milestones, earnings and overview of their company’s financial situation. They have stated that they were successful in executing their “3 step strategic turnaround”, which ultimately lead to “transform” AMD.
According to AMD’s officials, they have accelerated their business growth during the 2013 year, leading to profit growth in the second half of 2013 by diversifying their product range from semi-custom SoCs, ARM and all the way to the PC component market.
In Q4, AMD reported a $1.59 billion revenue, a 9% sequential increase and 38% annual increase since 2012. They have also exceeded the goal for the semi-customed and embedded market with a 20% revenue growth in this sphere for the Q4 2013, ultimately leading to their expectations of reaching a 50% increase in revenue by 2015.
The embedded and semi-customed market propelled the business in Q4, where the demand for Sony and Microsoft had been met and both companies combined sold and estimate of 7 million next-gen consoles in less than 2 months (double than the previous number of consoles sold in their first quarter).
In terms of graphics solutions, AMD pointed to an excellent year in growth revenue, pointing to the dual FirePro graphics solution inside Apple’s Mac Pro. Though, the R7 and R9 chips have also been brought up, where they related a sequential increase in revenue from the chip demands, which they are expected to see in 2014 as well.
APUs and FX CPUs have also seen a steady increase during the third and all the way to the fourth quarter of 2013, having the launch of the Kaveri chipset market as a turning point and an exponential increase in revenue. AMD is aiming to provide a performance oriented solution at a reasonable price, having mentioned the A8 and A10 series of Kaveri CPUs as the best alternative to other competitors, which we mainly think is Intel’s Haswell.
The hardest part comes last, where AMD is aware of the 2013 decrease in the PC market, which they felt as well, and are continuing to cautiously approach it during 2014. They have predicted a slight decrease in 2014 as well and have stated to tackle the decrease quarter by quarter, while managing their expansion into other areas where AMD is not strongly represented to compensate their estimated loss in the PC sphere this year.
All in all, AMD has been keeping in on the green last year, and are going to do the same in 2014 by getting more involved in the semi-customed SoC, embedded and ARM markets.