Why would you use a NehalemEX in a 2 x socket blade? Memory bandwidth, OK, but isn't SGI hamstring itself, versus 2 x socket clusters by using a more expensive CPU? The 3Leafs, and ScaleMPs of this world will be happier.
Sometimes a server announcement is as defensive as it is offensive. So it is with the UltraViolet Altix UV big bad blades that Silicon Graphics showed off at SC09 in Portland, Oregon, Monday afternoon. Even before it went into bankruptcy for the final time and was eaten by Rackable Systems, which subsequently took the SGI name …
The article explains the reasoning for the more expensive EX vs. the EP: they needed the extra QPI links to connect to the NUMA widget.
SGI isn't painting itself into any corners here with the EX: they're building an x86 shared memory machine on a scale that makes them unique in the market. The value of a true shared memory machine is compelling for a portion of the systems market. (That's pretty much why SGI was still shipping Itanium Altix. There are very few vendors (IBM, SGI, ?) offering SMP systems with more than a few dozen sockets.) The Nehalem EP would have limited them to one socket per NUMAlink chip. That may have been an unsuitable ratio of $ spent on processing vs. $ spent on the NUMAlink infrastructure. Balance is a big deal in these machines.
I wonder where the pricing will end up? Will they price just under the IBM umbrella and charge a premium? Or will they go after the top end of the cluster market?
Analysis Supermicro launched a wave of edge appliances using Intel's newly refreshed Xeon-D processors last week. The launch itself was nothing to write home about, but a thought occurred: with all the hype surrounding the outer reaches of computing that we call the edge, you'd think there would be more competition from chipmakers in this arena.
So where are all the AMD and Arm-based edge appliances?
A glance through the catalogs of the major OEMs – Dell, HPE, Lenovo, Inspur, Supermicro – returned plenty of results for AMD servers, but few, if any, validated for edge deployments. In fact, Supermicro was the only one of the five vendors that even offered an AMD-based edge appliance – which used an ageing Epyc processor. Hardly a great showing from AMD. Meanwhile, just one appliance from Inspur used an Arm-based chip from Nvidia.
In yet another sign of how fortunes have changed in the semiconductor industry, Taiwanese foundry giant TSMC is expected to surpass Intel in quarterly revenue for the first time.
Wall Street analysts estimate TSMC will grow second-quarter revenue 43 percent quarter-over-quarter to $18.1 billion. Intel, on the other hand, is expected to see sales decline 2 percent sequentially to $17.98 billion in the same period, according to estimates collected by Yahoo Finance.
The potential for TSMC to surpass Intel in quarterly revenue is indicative of how demand has grown for contract chip manufacturing, fueled by companies like Qualcomm, Nvidia, AMD, and Apple who design their own chips and outsource manufacturing to foundries like TSMC.
Intel has found a new way to voice its displeasure over Congress' inability to pass $52 billion in subsidies to expand US semiconductor manufacturing: withholding a planned groundbreaking ceremony for its $20 billion fab mega-site in Ohio that stands to benefit from the federal funding.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Intel was tentatively scheduled to hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the Ohio manufacturing site with state and federal bigwigs on July 22. But, in an email seen by the newspaper, the x86 giant told officials Wednesday it was indefinitely delaying the festivities "due in part to uncertainty around" the stalled Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) for America Act.
That proposed law authorizes the aforementioned subsidies for Intel and others, and so its delay is holding back funding for the chipmakers.
Comment Intel has begun shipping its cryptocurrency-mining "Blockscale" ASIC slightly ahead of schedule, and the timing could not be more unfortunate as digital currency values continue to plummet.
Raja Koduri, the head of Intel's Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics group, tweeted Wednesday the company has started initial shipments of the Blockscale ASIC to crypto-mining firms Argo Blockchain, Hive Blockchain and Griid:
Intel is claiming a significant advancement in its photonics research with an eight-wavelength laser array that is integrated on a silicon wafer, marking another step on the road to on-chip optical interconnects.
This development from Intel Labs will enable the production of an optical source with the required performance for future high-volume applications, the chip giant claimed. These include co-packaged optics, where the optical components are combined in the same chip package as other components such as network switch silicon, and optical interconnects between processors.
According to Intel Labs, its demonstration laser array was built using the company's "300-millimetre silicon photonics manufacturing process," which is already used to make optical transceivers, paving the way for high-volume manufacturing in future. The eight-wavelength array uses distributed feedback (DFB) laser diodes, which apparently refers to the use of a periodically structured element or diffraction grating inside the laser to generate a single frequency output.
As Intel gets ready to build fabs in Arizona and Ohio, the x86 giant is planning to offload a 149-acre historic research and development site in Massachusetts that was once home to the company's only chip manufacturing plant in New England.
An Intel spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday to The Register it plans to sell the property. The company expects to transfer the site to a new owner, a real-estate developer, next summer, whereupon it'll be torn down completely.
The site is located at 75 Reed Rd in Hudson, Massachusetts, between Boston and Worcester. It has been home to more than 800 R&D employees, according to Intel. The spokesperson told us the US giant will move its Hudson employees to a facility it's leasing in Harvard, Massachusetts, about 13 miles away.
Comment How serious is Intel about delaying the build-out of its planned $20 billion mega-fab site in Ohio?
It turns out very serious, as Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger made clear on Tuesday, less than a week after his x86 giant delayed the groundbreaking ceremony for the Ohio site to show its displeasure over Congress' inability to pass $52 billion in subsidies to fund American semiconductor manufacturing.
In comments at the Aspen Ideas Festival yesterday, Gelsinger warned Intel would prioritize building factories in Europe over the US if Congress fails to act on the long-stalled chip subsidies bill.
Having successfully appealed Europe's €1.06bn ($1.2bn) antitrust fine, Intel now wants €593m ($623.5m) in interest charges.
In January, after years of contesting the fine, the x86 chip giant finally overturned the penalty, and was told it didn't have to pay up after all. The US tech titan isn't stopping there, however, and now says it is effectively seeking damages for being screwed around by Brussels.
According to official documents [PDF] published on Monday, Intel has gone to the EU General Court for “payment of compensation and consequential interest for the damage sustained because of the European Commissions refusal to pay Intel default interest."
Lenovo has unveiled a small desktop workstation in a new physical format that's smaller than previous compact designs, but which it claims still has the type of performance professional users require.
Available from the end of this month, the ThinkStation P360 Ultra comes in a chassis that is less than 4 liters in total volume, but packs in 12th Gen Intel Core processors – that's the latest Alder Lake generation with up to 16 cores, but not the Xeon chips that we would expect to see in a workstation – and an Nvidia RTX A5000 GPU.
Other specifications include up to 128GB of DDR5 memory, two PCIe 4.0 slots, up to 8TB of storage using plug-in M.2 cards, plus dual Ethernet and Thunderbolt 4 ports, and support for up to eight displays, the latter of which will please many professional users. Pricing is expected to start at $1,299 in the US.
The Linux Foundation wants to make data processing units (DPUs) easier to deploy, with the launch of the Open Programmable Infrastructure (OPI) project this week.
The program has already garnered support from several leading chipmakers, systems builders, and software vendors – Nvidia, Intel, Marvell, F5, Keysight, Dell Tech, and Red Hat to name a few – and promises to build an open ecosystem of common software frameworks that can run on any DPU or smartNIC.
SmartNICs, DPUs, IPUs – whatever you prefer to call them – have been used in cloud and hyperscale datacenters for years now. The devices typically feature onboard networking in a PCIe card form factor and are designed to offload and accelerate I/O-intensive processes and virtualization functions that would otherwise consume valuable host CPU resources.
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