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Slash rocks COMDEX

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COMDEX attendees were rocked off their seats when one-time Guns n’ Roses guitarist Slash joined AMD boss Hector Ruiz for a jam session during his keynote address. By Jim Thompson.

Slash rocks COMDEX

Jamming to the strains of “Knock, Knock, Knockin’ on 64,”” AMD president and CEO Hector Ruiz used ex-Guns n’ Roses guitarist Slash and the musical parody in his keynote address to emphasize his vision of how technology can be used to solve real problems for real people.

Slash and Ruiz were joined on stage by Gibson Guitar CEO Henry Juszkiewicz, who played the world’s first digital guitar. It features a “”hexaphonic”” pick-up that transfers the analog sounds of the strings to a digital format. The signal is then moved via Ethernet to an AMD Athlon 64-bit digital audio workstation (DAW), where it can be amplified, modified or blended with other musical instruments. The technology will allow musicians to collaborate and jam with others even if they’re in different cities around the world.

“”This is one more example of AMD’s desire to create real solutions for real customer problems,”” Ruiz said. “”We want to ‚get real’ not with technology for technology’s sake, but with innovative technology that enables people to do what they want to do – better, faster and more cost effectively than ever before.””

Referring to the current state of the economy, he added that the tech world is at a crossroads. “”Now is the time for a critical change if we are to prosper,”” he said. As examples of how technology can be used to improve the world, Ruiz used a series of dramatic demonstrations to show how AMD aims to take the lead in innovation.

One example of how they are pushing the envelope was the announcement of a project with Cray Super Computing to build the world’s largest computer. The computer, called “”Redstorm,”” will simulate advanced computer modeling and testing of America’s nuclear arsenal. The super computer will be powered by more than 10,000 64-bit AMD Optaron processors in a parallel environment using hyper-transport, a new method of pushing bandwidth through the processor.

“”Once completed, it easily will rank in the top 50 engineering achievements in the next few years,”” Ruiz noted.

Another highlight of the keynote was a demonstration of how AMD is working with George Lucas’ JAK Films in the making of the Star Wars ‚prequel’ films, including the recent Star Wars – Attack of the Clones.

“”Using the Athelon processor, JAK Films was able to help realize George Lucas’ vision of his fantastic world,”” Ruiz explained after a brief onstage chat with Star Wars robot character R2D2.

Ruiz said the partnership of which he is personally most proud involves a project with the China Basic Education Software Co. and one of its principal clients, the Chinese Ministry of Education. “”One of the goals of the Ministry is to link all schools in China by an ‚Internet-like’ network by the year 2010. They’ve also committed to equip each classroom teacher with a PC and each student with an access device. The solution is bold and forward thinking.””

The project, which uses AMD technology ranging from Flash memory to Athelon processors and Alchemy wireless solutions, will link more than 200 million children, 10 million teachers, 4 million classrooms and 680,000 elementary and middle schools throughout China.

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