Toward Ten TeraFLOPS

Altera Kicks Up Floating Point

by Kevin Morris

The Cray-2, the world’s fastest computer until about 1990, was capable of almost 2 GigaFLOPS (Billion Floating Point Operations per Second) - at an inflation-adjusted price of over $30 million. A decade later, ASCI Red - selling for a cool $70 million or so - topped one teraFLOPS (Trillion Floating Point Operations per Second). The machine was twice as expensive, but the price per performance had dropped from ~$15M/GFLOPS (Cray) to ~$70K/GFLOPS (ASCI Red). That’s a shocking improvement. Moore’s Law would have us believe in a ~32x gain over the course of a decade, but real-world supercomputers delivered over 200x in just ten years. Take that, Dr Moore!

Sometime in 2015, according to Altera, we will have a single FPGA (yep, that’s right, one chip) - designed by Altera and manufactured by Intel - capable of approximately TEN teraFLOPS. Let’s do some math on that, shall we? We don’t know exactly what a Stratix 10 FPGA will cost, but it almost doesn’t matter. This device should put us in the realm of $1/GFLOPS. Or, compared to ASCI Red, an additional 70,000x improvement in cost per performance.  Read More


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Editors' Blog

On the Scene: Project Ara

posted by Amelia Dalton

The race hasn't yet begun. In fact, we're not even on the starting block, but the rule book for this race - the race to the next major innovative mobile platform (smartphone) has been drafted and teams are starting to assemble. Google's Project Ara, the world's first completely modular smartphone is coming, and the modules will be designed by... YOU! On your mark. Get set. Design! (21-Apr)

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TI’s new substation collaboration allows a software solution to replace hardware – the reverse of what typically happens as a market matures. What’s up with that? (9-Apr)

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posted by Bryon Moyer

When you think about it, “power consumption” makes no sense as a concept. This is for those of you that like to choose your words precisely. (26-Mar)

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Some folks have to prove out IP; others have to integrate IP into an SoC. And some people or groups do both, first building IP and then using it. Prototyping just got easier for that scenario. (4-Feb)

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forum

Attack of the Tiny Terrors

Posted on 04/23/14 at 6:10 PM by Jim Turley

Jim Turley
Very true. And Actel (now Microsemi) has something similar. Farther back, Scenix did all of its peripherals in software; there were no "real" peripherals at all, just code.

CEO For a Day

Posted on 04/23/14 at 6:08 PM by Jim Turley

Jim Turley
Think you've got what it takes to be a Silicon Valley CEO? Let's hear it.

Communications Out of Thin Air

Posted on 04/23/14 at 1:24 PM by bmoyer

bmoyer
Just to clarify something that comes up frequently in your comments, I never intended to assert that this was specifically energy-free. The point is that the system doesn't have to generate the radiated signal - it bounces the existing one. It, of course,…

Toward Ten TeraFLOPS

Posted on 04/23/14 at 1:09 PM by TotallyLost

TotallyLost
@Kevin,

The big mistake is to assume you really want to cool a multi-megawatt system with air. At some point the energy cost to cool/move the air, is significantly more than the electronics itself -- reflected not only in direct energy costs, but incre…

FPGA Forum Archive

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