RDMA and Brain computers

2011-19-08 at 3:33 pm. Used tags: , ,

Recently I've been doing some work in the HPC world. Doing that naturally includes some preparation and get-to-know browsing of the popular news sites related to the topic of interest. Ever since I saw this video linked from InsideHPC, my brain cells started to fire in strange directions ...

You see, today's computer perfomance is not limited by the speed of its computing cores, but by the speed at which you can feed data to these computing cores. The guy in this video talks about RDMA technology which is really just old DMA, extended over the network. At the end he proposes different system architecture than the one we have today, based on large scale mesh network with small computing cores attached to it, all talking over RDMA. Imagine a microkernel implemented in hardware. Or, imagine neurons and synapses.

I tought this to be a case of my imagination going wild, but then I read IBM has already done it. We don't know the details of their implementation, but I can imagine it is something along the lines of the talk above.

Now ... if we can come up with off-the-shelf components that would enable us to put such systems together easily and chepaly, AND figure out a way to utilize them (I'm avoiding the term "program them" on purpose), then I guess we'll see the next step in computing evolution. But until then, we'll continue to burn megawatts on the quest towards exascale ...

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