Posting up my notes from SC13 is another thing I didn’t get to during the end of the semester. Remedying now.
The main takeaway sequence from conversations on the floor is as such:
- The era of single-core performance gains is already over.
- Furthermore, the era of usable single-die performance for MIMD machines is coming to an end.
- Therefore, big machines are going to be getting physically bigger… to the point where connection lengths are a problem (everything is Infiniband, and Infiniband doesn’t tolerate long runs well)
- There is a LOT of cooling effort to make the necessary density happen – central large fan systems, immersion cooling, closed-circuit water gear, etc.
The other really exciting thing that it seems AMD is going to make it, and more. Their lean period finished when the payoff on the XBone/PS4 came in, and they have a VERY good plan for the next >2 years. It works with the premise above about single-core/die MIMD performance ending, and points in the HSA direction – this is the crazy parts with MMUs so a CPU and GPU can share memory without skew penalty and such. ARM and partners are also generally pointed that way, and have been for some time, though apparently AMD isn’t getting out of the x86 game, but it does look like they are getting out of the fat core game.