[Beowulf] cpu's versus gpu's - was Intel buys QLogic InfiniBand business

Lux, Jim (337C) james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Wed Jan 25 21:04:31 PST 2012

On 1/24/12 2:36 PM, "Christopher Samuel" <samuel at unimelb.edu.au> wrote:

>institutions in the US were bemoaning the fact that there was all this
>money for petaflop hardware available but none for programmers or
>algorithm development to make apps scale out to the systems.

That's partly because people are an expense, while hardware is an asset
that sits on the balance sheet.

If I fork out a million bucks for a computer, I now have an asset that is
worth a million dollars.

If I fork out a million dollars for 3 skilled developers for a year, at
the end of the year, it's not clear I'll possess an asset that I can sell
for a million dollars.

Obviously, the work product must be worth something, because otherwise we
wouldn't have jobs, but the connection is more tenuous.

The other thing (when government funding is considered) is that the
million dollar hardware purchase might turn into more jobs than the 3
software weenies, if only because "computer assemblers and deliverers" get
paid a lot less, and when it comes to statistics, they don't look at
"cumulative wages", they look at "number of people employed"


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