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Microsoft Research Introduces Record-Beating MinuteSort Tech 118

Posted by timothy
from the smart-people-with-cool-ideas dept.
mikejuk writes "A team from Microsoft Research has taken the lead in the MinuteSort data sorting test using a specially-devised technology: Flat DataCenter Storage. The figures are impressive — 1401 gigabytes in 60 seconds, using 1033 disks across 250 machines. Not only is this three times as much as the previous record, but also, it uses only one sixth of the hardware resources, according to a blog post about the test from Microsoft. One thing that's interesting about the success is the technology used. While solutions such as Hadoop and MapReduce are traditionally used for working with large data sets, Microsoft Research created its own technology called the 'Flat Datacenter Storage,' or FDS for short. This isn't just academic research, of course. The team from Microsoft Research has already been working with the Bing team to help Bing accelerate its search results, and there are plans to use it in other Microsoft technologies."
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Microsoft Research Introduces Record-Beating MinuteSort Tech

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  • by Galestar (1473827) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @01:02PM (#40090253)
    Not sure if troll. Yes, they fund "this kind of research", but to say they are "pretty much the only one of the large companies that [do so]" is absurd. Please see Hadoop's origins (Google). Oh and also IBM who eats this shit for breakfast.
  • by sideslash (1865434) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @01:06PM (#40090301)

    Google doesn't really innovate or do any research. The closest you get is the 20% time they give to engineers (note that not for other personnel). In fact, the only real products Google has made in-house are their search engine and gmail. Everything else (YouTube, Google Earth, Maps, Android) have been buy-outs of startups or copied, like Google+.

    What about their self-driving cars? What about their glasses and stuff? They have a lot of secret research projects that they are allegedly spending billions on. Are you trolling, or am I misunderstanding you?

  • by rjr3 (658693) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @01:09PM (#40090341)

    http://www.research.ibm.com/ [ibm.com]

    They used to have one of the most amazing IT geek magazines.

  • by MikeyC01 (231948) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @01:12PM (#40090397) Homepage

    From the Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Research#Laboratories [wikipedia.org]), all of the following have come from MS Research

    C#
    Comic Chat (IRC Client)
    F#
    Sideshow (Became Desktop Gadgets)
    Surface (TouchLight)
    SenseCam
    ClearType
    Group Shot
    Allegiance (Game)
    Songsmith

    I'd say C#, F#, and ClearType are pretty big contributions

  • by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @01:36PM (#40090731)

    Citations needed.

    Here you go [microsoft.com]. About 14,000 peer reviewed publications for the computer science community, about 10,000 of which were published completely in house by Microsoft Research, and about 4,000 of which were done in collaboration with Universities.

  • by Yvan256 (722131) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @01:44PM (#40090829) Homepage Journal

    ClearType invented nothing apart from the name itself.

    Sub-pixel rendering was used two decades ago by Apple [grc.com].

    "Back in 1976, my design of the Apple II's high resolution graphics system utilized a characteristic of the NTSC color video signal (called the 'color subcarrier') that creates a left to right horizontal distribution of available colors. By coincidence, this is exactly analogous to the R-G-B distribution of colored sub-pixels used by modern LCD display panels. So more than twenty years ago, Apple II graphics programmers were using this 'sub-pixel' technology to effectively increase the horizontal resolution of their Apple II displays." - Steve Wozniak

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @04:03PM (#40092761)

    You immediately lose credibility by citing Steve Gibson.

    The type of subpixel rendering done on old Apple IIs essentially treats the color display as a monochrome display of triple the resolution. This is clever and useful, but causes color fringing.

    ClearType takes the concept substantially further by applying perceptual modelling to determine how the subpixels can be used. It's similar to MP3 audio, in that the process adds artifacts, but some artifacts will be invisible (or inaudible in MP3's case) to a human. The trick is minimizing the visible artifacts.

    For example, if you have a one pixel wide line, it is always safe to shift it one third of a pixel to the left. RGB becomes BRG, which still appears the same.

    However, if you have a one third pixel width line, you cannot just use one third of the subpixels. A "white" vertical line would be all red, all green, or all blue, depending on which subpixel it fell on. ClearType would render it using all three subpixels but in the correct color.

    There's quite a bit more to it - sometimes you can use a single subpixel depending on what neighbors it, and/or you can adjust adjascent subpixels to mask fringing artifacts.

    So yes, sub-pixel rendering isn't a wholly new concept, but saying ClearType isn't novel is willfully ignorant.

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