[Beowulf] Register article on AMD OCP motherboards

Lux, Jim (337C) james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Wed May 15 17:02:42 PDT 2013

On 5/15/13 7:44 AM, "Hearns, John" <john.hearns at mclaren.com> wrote:

>>> but we will be using the highest capacity commodity systems - which are
>>> likely to be something like these cloud/virtualisation platforms.
>>> Sorry if this thought is a bit muddled.
>> but there's nothing new about these systems!
>Point taken.
>The tiny proto-mammals are already of course running about under the feet
>of the dinosaurs,
>with their wimpy processor hot-blooded bodies and their FPGA whiskers.
>Time for Beowulf to grow some feathers.

There are people looking at clusters of FPGAs, with processors either
instantiated in the FPGA logic, or part of the fabric (e.g. PowerPC cores
in Xilinx FPGAs).

However, you pay a power penalty for FPGA vs the same computation in "non
reprogrammable logic" (e.g. An ASIC).  I don't know that this is a
fundamental limitation.. You probably can't make a FPGA cell as small as a
ASIC cell, though.

>From the Beowulf standpoint, though, I don't know if there's anything that
could be called a "commodity" FPGA platform that has consumer prices.


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