Daily Archives: April 9, 2007

The “World’s Best Processors” by Intel AMD Intel AMD Intel, I think

World’s Best ProcessorsNot long after AMD claimed the title of the “world’s best processors”, four days to be exact, Intel is fighting back with all the Moore’s Law and Israeli-scientists it’s got, and today it launched the fastest quad-core consumer processor on the market, the Core 2 Extreme processor QX6800.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Apr. 9, 2007 – Intel Corporation today advanced its enthusiast-level quad-core processor family with the introduction of the Intel® Core™ 2 Extreme processor QX6800, the company’s twelfth quad-core processor offering. Running at 2.93 GHz — the fastest native clock speed yet reached with the Intel® Core™ microarchitecture for the quad-core desktop — this addition to Intel’s innovative processor family sets new standards for desktop PC performance. The Intel Core 2 Extreme processor QX6800 is ideal for those gamers, digital design professionals and enthusiasts who crave the highest performing computers they can get their hands on.

The Intel Core 2 Extreme processor QX6800 is produced on Intel’s industry-leading 65 nanometer process, key to enabling the large 8 megabyte cache. A 1066 MHz system bus is supported and the processor is available now at a cost of $1,199.

Of course, I don’t have one of these precious babies for testing to tell you exactly how awesome they are *cough*, so I’ll just have to base my analysis on this carefully crafted PR release. It’s this <--------------------> awesome!

One of the key benefits Intel describes as a result of increased performance is “better gameplay with more intelligent computer-generated opponents”. But I’ve always played computer games because I can actually win, and laugh at the stupidity of artificial intelligence. Does that mean I should stick to my slower AMD Athlon for dumber AI? The Intel spokesperson did not wish to comment.

A local bank has also informed me they will be be launching their new “Core 2 Extreme” loan alongside their “Playstation 3” loan to accommodate the modern day geek. An anonymous bank staff tells me they’re appalled at the price of the Wii and AMD processors for undercutting profitability.

Loan application form

Microsoft Research is hallucinating HDR

High dynamic rangeHallucination is generally a very bad thing, especially when small mystical creatures are involved. But Microsoft Research has published a paper today that makes hallucination a lot more interesting, and a lot more useful. It’s a set of algorithms, tools and magic when combined, allows users to ‘hallucinate’ high-dynamic range in low-dynamic range photographs. What they can do will blow every HDR photographer away, which is becoming the fad of the decade.

The researchers Lvdi Wang; Li-Yi Wei; Kun Zhou; Baining Guo; Heung-Yeung Shum describes in the “High Dynamic Range Image Hallucination” paper,

We introduce high dynamic range image hallucination for adding high dynamic range details to the over-exposed and under-exposed regions of a low dynamic range image. Our method is based on a simple assumption: there exist high quality patches in the image with similar textures as the regions that are over or under exposed. Hence, we can add high dynamic range details to a region by simply transferring texture details from another patch that may be under different illumination levels.

What they can do is simply amazing. Check out this demo video! I promise you won’t be disappointed.

If you don’t want to watch the video, then have a look at these screen captures (which are featured in the video).

High Dynamic Range Image Hallucination
Texture sample (left). Original image (middle). Original image with ‘Hallucination’ processing (right).

High Dynamic Range Image Hallucination
Original image (left). Original image under-exposed (middle). Original image under-exposed with ‘Hallucination’ processing (right).

High Dynamic Range Image Hallucination
Original image (left). Original image under-exposed (middle). Original image under-exposed with ‘Hallucination’ processing (right).

High Dynamic Range Image Hallucination
Original image (left). Original image under-exposed (middle). Original image under-exposed with ‘Hallucination’ processing (right).

It’s so simple that anyone could add HDR to LDR photographs, just even two brush stroke can recreate the effect what normally takes time and effort to take bracketed photographs, then post-processing in Photoshop or other HDR editing tools. I can’t wait to see any commercial applications taking up their research and embedding it into image editing tools.

Oh, and did I tell you they can do this for video? 😉