I’ve been thinking a lot lately about microprocessors, from the many-core CPUs that AMD and Intel introduced recently to the massively scalable GPGPU processing that’s taking machine learning by storm. After years of consolidation on commodity x86 CPUs, it seems that the computing paradigm is turning again to specialized offload processors. This trend towards heterogeneous computing will change the face of hardware, from mobile devices to the datacenter.
Archives for June 2017
With the advent of AMD Threadripper and Epyc, we are about to see an explosion of PCIe lanes in the pro-sumer and datacenter market. Although many of those lanes will be taken up by conventional PCIe cards, some will be used for SSD’s (M.2 and U.2) or for external connectivity. This is where OCuLink might finally take off: As an AMD alternative to Thunderbolt for external PCIe peripheral connectivity.
From iCloud Photos to Google Drive to NetApp and Primary Data, we’re putting storage wherever it needs to be. And this is a major shift for computing, from the iPhone to the datacenter. Watch this space!
General-purpose GPU computing has been on the rise for years, from OpenCL and CUDA to machine learning and self-driving cars. But cryptocurrency mining has exploded in 2017, draining the market of AMD’s latest graphics cards as mining rigs pop up from basements to warehouses all over the world. The strength of Bitcoin in international finance suggests that Ethereum, Zcash, and others “altcoins” will find their own niches. We are seeing the emergence of a new computing category.