The term V-8 when applied to engines refers to the fact that the engine has eight cylinders that are arranged in the form of a "V" when looked at from the front. So, cylinder 1 slopes up at an angle to the left, cylinder 2 at an angle to the right, and so forth.
One of the advantages of such an arrangement is that the engine runs a lot smoother than engines with all the cylinders arranged in line.

The sound produced by a V-8 engine is unmistakable.

Engines with more or fewer cylinders arranged in a V are found too. In Formula 1 racing, for example, nearly all cars have V-10 engines.

V8® 100% Vegetable Juice is a beverage manufactured by Campbell Soup Company out of Camden N.J. Invented in 1933 by W.G. Peacock and his son, V8 was eventually acquired by Campbell in 1948. Production of the drink was standardized by Campbell, and so began the process of promotion to push this new and unique drink. V8's first spokesperson was a well-known movie actor by the name of Ronald Reagan, who, as we all know, would eventually go on to become the 40th President of the United States.

V8 gained a presence in the United Kingdom and Europe by 1993, when Campbell acquired Fray Bentos, the UK's top canned meat brand. New manufacturing lines were started at the facility to specifically manufacture V8 for the Eurpoean market.

In the spring of 1997, the V8 brand was extended once again to include a variety of fruit-carrot juices. Dubbed "V8 Splash", the drink went on to be a bigger success than anticipated, and is available in several flavors including Tropical Fruit, Citrus Fruit, and Strawberry Kiwi.

Despite what common belief tells you, V8 is NOT tomato juice! While V8 does contain a substantial amount of tomato juice, classic V8 is actually blended from eight different types of vegetable juices: tomato, beets, celery, carrots, lettuce, parsley, watercress, and spinach. A single 12 ounce serving of V8 provides two full servings of vegetables, according to the Food Guide Pyramid from the United States Department of Agriculture.

V8 is available in classic flavor, calcium-enriched, spicy hot, 100% A-C-E Vitamin Rich (providing 100% of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E), and low sodium.

V8, the Javascript engine of the new Google Chrome web browser, is Big News. Sort of.

The web is written, for the most part, in three computer languages: HTML and CSS for the structure and presentation, and JavaScript (or ECMAScript) for all that fancy stuff. (Plus some Flash for things like YouTube videos.) GMail, Google Documents, Google Maps, E2's WYSIWYG writeup editor, and countless minor effects on many websites are written in JavaScript. (Try disabling JavaScript sometime--or, better yet, install the Firefox extension NoScript--and you'll see just how prevalent JS really is. Half the websites will have broken features or will become completely unusable.)

But JavaScript is an interpreted language, and consequently is about 1-10% as fast as a compiled language. If you're just making a single pop-up alert, that's no big deal, but when you get into JavaScript application like GMail, it starts to be noticeable. Programs on your computer are usually written using compiled languages, so it's hard to compete on the web. Google is big on competing on the web using JavaScript applications, so they made V8, which actually compiles the JavaScript*, boosting its performance up to compiled language speed.

As a result, Google Chrome has JavaScript performance that beats Firefox, Opera, and Safari by a ridiculous margin. This is Big News, especially for us JavaScript hacks who suddenly realised that we really need to learn a rich JavaScript library so we can start building full JavaScript applications. It's, of course, also Big News for everyone else because now this ever-expanding supply of (usually free) online applications will be faster and more powerful.

On the other hand, it's also not so big news, because while, yes, V8 is the first to put this out there, other JavaScript engines are already in the works at Firefox (TraceMonkey, which will be included in Firefox 3.1 next year), and Apple (Safari's SquirrelFish Extreme). (What are the guys from Opera doing, you ask? Being secretive, I guess, 'cause I sure can't find anything from them.)

It would be a mistake, one would presume, to credit Google/V8 with prompting this new, faster model, as the Firefox people started work on their upgrade long before V8 was announced to the public. But they got it out the door first, and that counts for something.

You can download Google Chrome, which uses V8, from

* Initially I described V8 as a Just In Time compiler, mislead by several evil online sources. nyte pointed out my mistake. Various sources agree with him, and I'm inclined to believe them--and him.

V8 is also a graphics card produced by Silicon Graphics for use in their Octane and Octane2 workstations. It's based on two major chips, called the PB&J (Pixel Blaster and Jammer) and the Buzz ASIC. These two chips combine to implement almost the entire OpenGL 1.2 standard in hardware.

They are attached to an XIO bus interface, and to 128MB of RAM which acts as a combined framebuffer and texture cache. The V8 card provides full acceleration for 2D graphics as well as 3D geometry manipulation and texture mapping. It is four times faster than the previous MXE card for geometry processing, and features about twenty times as much texture cache.

The card provides analog video output in RGB with sync on green using a single 13W3 connector. Up to two V8 cards can be used in a single Octane system.

The V8 is the high-end card of the first generation of VPro-series graphics cards. Its low-end counterpart is the V6. It was replaced by the higher-end V12, which features twice the geometry and texture performance.

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