It's the dog days of August, which means it's time for Gartner to issue its annual Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies
"Data and AI are featured prominently in this year's Hype Cycle, which is the first one to be published during a viral pandemic.
COVID-19 certainly presents an interesting backdrop for technology this year. Gartner notes a meteoric rise of health passports, or applications that government authorities use to determine whether a citizen is allowed to visit certain places or access certain services..."
Maybe your 2025 laptop won't suck
"Moore's Law, the observation that the number of transistors on a computer chip doubles every 24 months, has taken a beating as progress miniaturizing circuitry falters. But chip giant Intel has plotted a course to keep the idea alive with a plan to pack 50 times as many transistors onto processors than is possible today.
The progress of Moore's Law, named after Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, has spread chips from expensive mainframes in the 1960s to personal computers in the 1980s and now to smartphones, watches, cars, TVs, washing machines and just about anything with electrical power..."
For the past several years here at The Next Platform, as we have been pondering what IBM might do with the future Power10 processor, we have been feinting here and there with our analytical pen, trying to suss out precisely what Big Blue might be up to, particularly with the unique memory architecture that it has been working on for more than a decade
"Now we know. Power10 is not just a very elegantly designed chip, but a cluster of systems linked tightly - as tight as tight can be when it comes to systems - by their main memories. This architecture has been evolving since the company was involved in the supercomputing architecture explorations of the US Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency that resulted in the creation of two supercomputer variants of the Power7 processor back in 2010.
Both machines were the result of the PERCS project that IBM was awarded by DARPA in November 2006, which gave IBM $244 million to develop future hardware and software. With Power10, IBM is extending and commercializing the technology foundation laid out by the PERCS project so many years ago..."
Silicon photonics is exhibiting greater innovation as requirements grow to enable faster, lower-power chip interconnects for traditionally power-hungry applications like AI inferencing
"With that in mind, scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology launched a startup in 2017 called Lightmatter Inc. to develop silicon photonic processors. Another goal was leveraging optical computing to 'decouple' AI processing from Moore's law scaling that according to the company founders literally produces more heat than light.
Lightmatter announced an AI photonic 'test' chip' during this week's Hot Chips conference positioned as an AI inference accelerator using light to process and transport data. The 3D module incorporates a 12- and 90-nm ASIC, the latter supporting photonics processing steps such as laser monitoring and light distribution..."
It has been a long time since Intel changed its manufacturing process - what it used to call a 'tick' - and the microarchitecture and architecture of a processor design - what it used to call a 'tock' - at the same time
"But with the fourth generation 'Ice Lake' Xeon SP processors that were unveiled to a certain extent today at the Hot Chips 32 conference, Intel is doing both at the same time.
Whether or not this was the plan is moot, and frankly, it is not worth the time to reassemble the torn up Xeon server processor roadmaps and tape them back together, much less to lament the several big delays in rolling out 10 nanometer manufacturing processes for any server CPU.
Ice Lake is being revealed and no matter what, it is an improvement over the current second generation 'Cascade Lake' and third generation 'Cooper Lake' Xeon SP processors, and importantly gets the new 'Sunny Cove' core, which has very substantial performance improvements over the cores used in both of these processors, which aside from some tweaks here and there (including support for Bfloat16 math), are essentially the same and only offered modest tweaks over the 'Skylake' cores used in the first generation Xeon SPs..."
Industry's biggest processor now packs 850,000 cores, 2.6 trillion transistors
"Cerebras Systems has announced its 2nd Generation Wafer Scale Engine processor in what looks to be a major breakthrough for the company.
Announed at the Hot Chips 2020 conference, the new chip - which is as large as a single 300-mm wafer - packs over two times more transistors as well as a whopping number of AI-optimized cores..."
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