Hermes to Star at IDF

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2008-08-18 Print this article Print

It's still cheaper than Branson's project, however. Branson's Virgin Galactic already has collected some $25 million in deposits from would-be space travelers-including several Silicon Valley executives-for suborbital flights up to 75 miles high starting in 2009. Virgin Galactic is charging a cool $200,000 per flight.

The Hermes project-named after the Greek god of travel-will be featured Aug. 19 at the Intel Developer Forum here at the Moscone Center. A "virtual cockpit," in which conference-goers can "fly" the Hermes yet never leave the ground, will be available at the event.

Hermes, styled similarly to the conventional NASA Space Shuttle, began as a garage project for Jarvis 15 years ago. He and his team recently completed a one-third-scale, prototype version of the ship and will launch it on an unmanned, tethered flight using the helium balloon to between 15,000 and 20,000 feet this fall over the Bonneville Salt Flats, west of Salt Lake City. Morris will control the spacecraft from a remote cockpit on the ground, like the one on display at IDF.

Numerous sensors on the ship will gather critical flight data, mostly heat and aerodynamic information, collect it in the Dot Hill arrays using the Tolapai chip sets, and provide real-time feedback to Morris and his flight crew.

"We actually got involved early on with the Tolapai [chip set] project, because we are using it in our next-generation RAID controllers," Scott McClure, Dot Hill's director of marketing, told me.

The Intel engineers were sufficiently impressed with the Dot Hill storage system that they invited the company to be a co-partner in the development project.

"We spent enough time with the Tolapai engineers that they came to us about a month and a half ago and asked us if we wanted to participate on something called the 'Hermes Project,'" McClure said. "So here we are."

Tolapai chip sets use Intel's new SOC (system on a chip) microarchitecture. This combines IA (Intel architecture) x86 processor cores on the same piece of silicon as the I/O and memory control hub.

The Tolapai microprocessors include a new accelerator technology called QuickAssist. Much like a similar program from Advanced Micro Devices called Torrenza, QuickAssist allows third-party accelerators to work with IA microprocessors.

Dot Hill's new RAID controller featuring the chip sets will be coming out sometime in 2009, McClure said.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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