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  2003, the year in review, news and articles 
  Jan 08, 2004, 07:30am EST 


By: Sander Sassen

The Nasa and the Space Shuttle program suffered a devastating blow due to the break up of the Space Shuttle Columbia during the reentry into the earth’s atmosphere, destroying the space shuttle and killing its crew. Remains of the shuttle and its crew where scattered over three states and a few dozen counties. Nasa, unlike with previous mishaps, immediately openly informed the public about the accident and started an investigation which would yield results and a cause for the accident later that year.

Prescott CPU Scaling

Fig 2. The relative performance increases and the increase in cache sizes for Prescott.

Also in February Western Digital surprised friend and foe by introducing the world’s first 10.000-rpm IDE harddisk featuring a Serial-Ata interface. Affectionately named the Raptor the speedy 10.000-rpm disk ate all other IDE harddisks with hair and hide and left many SCSI disks biting the dust also. The only drawback was the 37GB capacity that ruled it out for the capacity hungry home users that wanted hundreds of gigabyte of storage.

UT2003 Benchmark

Fig 2. The Athlon-64 system running the 64-bits version of Unreal Tournament 2003.

During IDF, Intel Developer Forum, in San Jose we learned about the successor to the Pentium 4, this new processor, codename Prescott, would be manufactured on a 90nm process and using strained silicon for faster signaling and higher clockspeeds. During IDF Intel also publicly for the first time demonstrated their Centrino notebook technology with Pentium-M clockspeeds up to 1.6GHz and a battery life of more than six hours. We also managed to score some early benchmarks on an AMD Athlon-64 system that at least put some of AMD’s performance claims back into perspective.

1. January
2. February
3. March
4. April
5. May
6. June
7. July
8. August
9. September
10. October
11. November
12. December

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