[Beowulf] Finally, a solution for the 64 core 4TB RAM market

Kilian CAVALOTTI kilian.cavalotti.work at gmail.com
Thu May 28 07:45:34 PDT 2009

On Wednesday 27 May 2009 19:58:07 Mark Hahn wrote:
> > Oh, and Machine Check Architecture (MCA) is coming up to Nehalem-EX, too.
> yeah, well, reg got that wrong.  

They got that from Intel:
Nehalem-EX will add new reliability, availability and serviceability (RAS) 
features traditionally found in the company's Intel® Itanium processor family, 
such as Machine Check Architecture (MCA) Recovery.

> MCA is a moving target, but has been
> present in amd and intel chips for a good while.

It's true that the mca flag has been present on previous generations 
(Harpertown and Clovertown at least). I don't know how complete the 
implementation was, and what the real improvement (if any) is on Nehalem-EX, 

> nehalem-ex sounds exciting, but it kind of spoils the effect if it
> really won't hit the streets till sometime in 2010.

2010 is not so far away anymore, and Nehalem-EX will probably be there before 
Tukwila anyways. It feels like this announcement is a way for Intel to make 
the Itanium branch less and less appealing. 

IIRC what our SGI sales rep told us, SGI will be working on a x86 version of 
NUMAlink for their Altix series, using Nehalem-EXs instead of Itanium2s. So 
customers in the SMP market whose only choice was Itanium will probably turn 
away from it to adopt the x86 line.

> while I like the idea of these being available, I wonder where the
> real (big) market is.  will people hosting VM's really pay SMP prices
> for manycore boxes?  heck, isn't it a little surprising intel hasn't
> even pushed out 4-socket-capable nehalems yet?

That's a marketing trick: let people wait while distilling such announcements 
so the "me want" factor can build up. :)


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