Thursday, November 26, 2009

FreeBSD 8 Released

The FreeBSD Release Engineering Team has announced the availability of FreeBSD 8 stable release. The release comes with a bunch of features such as  network stack virtualization, Xen DomU support,  stack-smashing protection, improved ZFS v13, multicast updates including IGMPv3, a new virtualization container vimage, Fedora 10 Linux binary compatibility to run Linux software.
Thanks team.
The highlights in the 8.0-RELEASE are the following:
  • A new virtualization container named “vimage” has been implemented. This is a jail with a virtualized instance of the FreeBSD network stack and can be created by using jail(8) command.
  • The FreeBSD netisr framework has been reimplemented for parallel threading support. This is a kernel network dispatch interface which allows device drivers (and other packet sources) to direct packets to protocols for directly dispatched or deferred processing. The new implementation supports up to one netisr thread per CPU, and several benchmarks on SMP machines show substantial performance improvement over the previous version.
  • The FreeBSD TTY layer has been replaced with a new one which has better support for SMP and robust resource handling. A tty now has own mutex and it is expected to improve scalability when compared to the old implementation based on the Giant lock.
  • [amd64, i386] The FreeBSD Linux emulation layer has been updated to version 2.6.16 and the default Linux infrastructure port is now emulators/linux_base-f10 (Fedora 10).
  • The FreeBSD GENERIC kernel now includes Trusted BSD MAC (Mandatory Access Control) support. No MAC policy module is loaded by default.
  • The FreeBSD USB subsystem has been reimplemented to support modern devices and better SMP scalability. The new implementation includes Giant-lock-free device drivers, a Linux compatibility layer, usbconfig(8) utility, full support for split transaction and isochronous transaction, and so on.
  • The FreeBSD CAM SCSI subsystem ( cam(4)) now includes experimental support for ATA/SATA/AHCI-compliant devices.
  • The shared vnode locking for pathname lookups in the VFS(9) subsystem has been improved.
  • The ZFS file system has been updated to version 13. The changes include ZFS operations by a regular user, L2ARC, ZFS Intent Log on separated disks (slog), sparse volumes, and so on.
  • The FreeBSD NFS subsystem now supports RPCSEC_GSS authentication on both the client and server.
  • The FreeBSD NFS subsystem now includes a new, experimental implementation with support for NFSv2, NFSv3, and NFSv4.
  • The wireless network support layer (net80211) now supports multiple BSS instances on the supported network devices.
  • The FreeBSD L2 address translation table has been reimplemented to reduce lock contention on parallel processing and simplify the routing logic.
  • The IGMPv3 and SSM (Source-Specific Multicast) including IPv6 SSM and MLDv2 have been added.
  • The ipsec(4) subsystem now supports NAT-Traversal (RFC 3948).
  • The GCC stack protection (also known as ProPolice) has been enabled in the FreeBSD base system.
  • The supported version of the GNOME desktop environment (x11/gnome2) has been updated to 2.26.3.
  • The supported version of the KDE desktop environment (x11/kde4) has been updated to 4.3.1.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

First Programmable Quantum Processor For Quantum Computer Tested At NIST

Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated the first “universal” programmable quantum information processor able to run any program allowed by quantum mechanics—the rules governing the submicroscopic world—using two quantum bits (qubits) of information. The processor could be a module in a future quantum computer, which theoretically could solve some important problems that are intractable today.
The NIST processor stores binary information (1s and 0s) in two beryllium ions (electrically charged atoms), which are held in an electromagnetic trap and manipulated with ultraviolet lasers. Two magnesium ions in the trap help cool the beryllium ions.
NIST scientists can manipulate the states of each beryllium qubit, including placing the ions in a “superposition” of both 1 and 0 values at the same time, a significant potential advantage of information processing in the quantum world. Scientists also can “entangle” the two qubits, a quantum phenomenon that links the pair’s properties even when the ions are physically separated.
“This is the first time anyone has demonstrated a programmable quantum processor for more than one qubit,” says NIST postdoctoral researcher David Hanneke, first author of the paper. “It’s a step toward the big goal of doing calculations with lots and lots of qubits. The idea is you’d have lots of these processors, and you’d link them together.
 You can read more at  “NIST Demonstrates ‘Universal’ Programmable Quantum Processor for Quantum Computers.