Today many different interconnection topologies are used for multicore chips. For as few as eight cores direct bus connections can be made — cores taking turns using the same bus. MIT’s 36-core processors, on the other hand, are connected by an on-chip mesh network reminiscent of Intel’s 2007 Teraflop Research Chip — code-named Polaris — […]
Chip designer and chief Intel rival AMD has signed an agreement to acquire SeaMicro, a Silicon Valley startup that seeks to save power and space by building servers from hundreds of low-power processors. via AMD Snatches New-Age Server Maker From Under Intel | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com. It was bound to happen eventually, I guess. […]
Theres some interesting future possibilities for the SeaMicro machines. First, SeaMicro could extend that torus interconnect to span multiple chassis. Second, it could put a “Patsburg” C600 chipset on an auxiliary card and actually make fatter SMP nodes out of single processor cards and then link them into the torus interconnect. Finally, it could of […]
SeaMicro’s latest server includes 384 Intel Atom chips, and each chip has two “cores,” which are essentially processors unto themselves. This means the machine can handle 768 tasks at once, and if you’re running software suited to this massively parallel setup, you can indeed save power and space. via How Google Spawned The 384-Chip Server […]
By itself Calxeda has made some big plans attempting to create computers like the SeaMicro SM10000. But the ability to manufacture on any scale and then sell that product is a bit limited. But as of today HP has partnered with Calxeda to sell product and help design a server using the reference design for a compute node. So the ball is rolling, and now there’s a third leg in this race between the Compute Cloud in a Box manufacturers (Calxeda, SeaMicro and Tilera). Read On:
Seamicro just keeps cranking out new product. They are like the Apple of the massively parallel cloud computer in a box segment of the industry. They just recently moved from old style x86 32bit Intel Atom CPUs to fully x64 capable cpus. And now the increased the density of the cpus on each compute node within their 10U server box, bringing the grand total of cores up to a staggering 768!
SeaMicro has come up with a scenario it can win. But it’s very specific, esoteric and niche to be a winning advertising campaign. Suffice it to say, if you need SeaMicro you probably already know it and have bought one by now. If you don’t, well most likely you are doing fine with what you already have. Intel Xeon versus Atom x64 you be the judge
After Facebook’s presentation at the Open Compute Day, I got to thinking more about other competitors in the market for the low energy consumption data center. And while everyone including Google remain loyal to Intel, the smaller upstarts have an opportunity to raise their marginal return if they choose wisely. I say this in part due to the folks like Seamicro and Tilera and ARM who are attempting to provide equal compute cycles per core, while running back the voltage and amperage required for each tick-tock of the CPU clock. Experts in the field of Electronics Engineering claim serial processors will always carry the day, but what price progress if we hold onto Amdahl’s Law for too long?
Quanta versus SeaMicro and Intel versus Tilera, these are the match-ups in the the competition for low power draw and high density in the data center of the future. What kind of exotic tools is it going to take to outfox companies like Amazon, Google and Microsoft in the hegemony of cloud computing?
There have been hints, whispers, speculation and allegations that ARM is setting it’s sights on the data center with it’s ARM-15 CPU architecture (still in development). However, on the mobile computing front, Apple has showed what amazing power savings are possible with fully tweaked ARM-8 cpus in it’s A4 processor for the iPad and iPhone 4. A full 10 hours of battery life in a tablet still stands as a record for all others to break. And yet, no one has quite achieved that level of optimization. Which leads me to wonder what if someone with enough startup money and time could develop an ARM based server TODAY? What kind of power savings could they achieve given what is possible today in a SeaMicro SM-10000 server using lackluster Intel Atom chips designed for netbooks?