<img style=”float: left;” src=”http://media2.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/V72000T_chip.jpg” alt=”” width=”105″ height=”77″ />Thanks to shrinking semiconductor process geometries, the newest FPGAs have more usable transistors than ever before and are now capable of considerable floating point (FP) performance. That makes them candidates for more generalized use in high performance computing. This article describes the FP capabilities of Xilinx’s new Virtex-7 FPGA and how it stacks up against a generic 16-core CPU.
For the past several years, Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) have been getting large enough to compete with microprocessors in floating-point performance. Using the theoretical peak performance numbers, the FPGA’s floating-point performance is growing faster than microprocessors. This article calculates the peak performance for several FPGA devices from Xilinx and compares them to a reference microprocessor for equivalent time periods and shows that this gap in performance is growing.
In an HPC market that seems determined to go down the CPU-GPU path, upstart Convey Computer may yet offer a few surprises. The company today unveiled the sequel to its HC-1 platform it introduced in 2008. Called the HC-1ex, the new system adds a lot more performance and capability, but retains the original x86-FPGA co-processor design.
Chinese Tianhe-1A supercomputer exploits GPU power to deliver 2.5 petaflops; and Cray nabs a $60 million contract with the University of Stuttgart. We recap those stories and more in our weekly wrapup.
Could the chip maker’s rumored interest in FPGAs be part of an HPC strategy?
Wall Street analyst speculates chip giant may be considering Xilinx or Altera buy.