[Beowulf] 96 cores in silent and small enclosure

Lux, Jim (337C) james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Tue Apr 13 09:47:34 PDT 2010

> -----Original Message-----
> From: beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org [mailto:beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org] On Behalf Of Mark Hahn
> Sent: Tuesday, April 13, 2010 8:38 AM
> To: beowulf at beowulf.org
> Subject: Re: [Beowulf] 96 cores in silent and small enclosure
> > warranty term on most computers is no greater than a year, a 2 year design
> > life might be reasonable.
> hard to tell exactly what actuarial voodoo they do.  I noticed AMD's
> cpus are waranteed for 3 years.  whether they shave the tolerances
> by recognizing that lots of cpus are used for shorter lives, or at
> low duty cycle, we can only guess.  I suspect companies are pretty
> conservative when evaluating this kind of risk, as loss of reputation
> is considered a very high cost.  (or rather the gaining of a bad rep.)

Ahh.. but the market is partitioned.. Folks like the ones on this list tend to be buying "server class" processors installed in "server class" hardware, so even if the bottom of the line consumer ones have high failure rates, we'd ignore it, and concentrate on the ones you're buying.

A mass market seller doing $500 notebooks will very carefully analyze the return rates, etc. and target appropriately.

It would not surprise me at all that AMD and Intel recognize this, and it's manifested in the various thermal design documents, albeit not with a explanatory comment like "models A,B,and C are intended for cost sensitive consumer products while models X,Y,and Z are intended for performance and reliability sensitive applications, and the thermal models reflect this".

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