OK, I’ve got to say something. Within the past week, I’ve seen numerous examples of companies trying to profiteer from the panic surrounding Spectre and Meltdown – and generating even more panic in the process. In my view, this is unethical and irresponsible. As engineers, this kind of corporate behavior damages public trust in our profession, in our work, and in us personally. We have to do all … Read More → "Profiteering from Spectre and Meltdown"
“Is this going to be a standup fight, sir, or another bug hunt?” – PFC Hudson, Aliens
Here’s the tl;dr: A pair of separate but related hardware bugs afflict almost all ARM and x86 processors made over the past ten years, and sometimes far longer. Both bugs have lain dormant for all that time, meaning nearly every PC, server, cell phone, and cloud service … Read More → "Hardware Bugs Afflict Nearly All CPUs"
In 1960, Gerald Estrin presented “Organization of computer systems: the fixed plus variable structure computer” at the western joint IRE-AIEE-ACM computer conference. His abstract reads in part: “…a growing number of important problems have been recorded which are not practicably computable by existing systems. These latter problems have provided the incentive for the present development of several large scale digital computers with the goal of one or two orders of … Read More → "Crossing the Reconfigurable Computing Chasm"
“It’s a whole new world every time you start.” – Jennifer Hale
It will come as no surprise to anyone who’s visited Disneyland (excuse me, the “Disneyland Resort Theme Park”) that having fun is big business. The price of admission starts at $97.00 for the “value” ticket (midweek, rainy season), and climbs rapidly from there.
It’s just as expensive to sit at … Read More → "Playing the Game; Gaming the Play"
Let’s say you have a huge batch of data that needs to be crunched. Maybe it needs the special help of some new neural network algorithm running on a massive server cluster, accelerated with a pool of FPGA accelerators. We’ll call you “Lisa.” But, Lisa, you don’t have a giant server farm with FPGA-based accelerators. You also don’t have the … Read More → "Acceleration as a Service"
In the decades-long battle between Altera (now part of Intel) and Xilinx, no title has been more hotly contested than “Ours is Biggest.” Way back in the days when real LUTs had 4 inputs, FPGA companies resorted to measuring their density with “system gates” in order to obscure the pathetically small (at the time) amount of logic that could actually be implemented in the programmable … Read More → "The Biggest SoC/FPGAs"