[Beowulf] Teraflop chip hints at the future

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Tue Feb 13 00:21:27 PST 2007

On Mon, Feb 12, 2007 at 11:06:12PM -0800, Greg Lindahl wrote:

> Yes, but there are several companies about to produce lower-cost
> optical and active copper cables for IB. Since "4 wire" ethernet is
> pretty similar to IB, presumably they'll see a price drop, too.

Inter-die and inter-wafer level optical interconnects need not
to be standartized, but just link up (over short distances, using
fab-side connected high-precision tiny waveguide geometries) the 
on-silicon mesh fabric, running its custom protocol. What would be 
interesting in how this thing would deal with routing around defective dies
wafer-scale, either by remapping, or realtime with the mesh
signalling protocol.
> We were showing several of these technologies working at SC last
> November.
> Also note that 4 gig FC is the same data rate as DDR IB.
> Now what the final costs will be, who knows?

The problem with this chip (I've been expecting something very like
this in about 1996, and in fact designed a paper CPU which is very much
like this, only much wider, stack-based and leaner-core) is that's pure vaporware. 
It would also need radically stripped-down kernels, which basically rules out Linux
(but there are reasonably lean things like L4 & Co available, which
could run Linux as a wrapper on some fatter nodes).

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
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