Two new snips of news about Intel came across my desk today. First up we have a story from WCCF Tech that decribes how Altera, which was recently bought by Intel, has launched world's first System-in-Package (SIP) chip which combines FPGAs with HBM2 memory. Compared with microprocessors, an FPGA is basically a blank slate that can be reprogrammed to perform certain tasks really well, making it ideal for semi-custom markets.
It is worth noting at this point, that AMD has already patented a technology along the very same lines some while ago – which means, that this is something that the Industry has been working on for quite a long time and is just recently becoming public (as is usually the case). What benefit these will net the average user is something that is of considerable mystery right now. The Zen-FPGA-HBM design does make sense but the patent published was a very general one and we have not heard anything about it actually being pursued. Intel and Altera however are already pursuing clients in the high performance compute sector and guiding them about integration of the Stratix 10 SiP HBM2 device. It is expected to ship sometime in the 2016-2017 time frame.
On a related note, Intel revealed its Omni-Path scalable system framework (SSF) at the Supercomputer 15 conference (SC15) in Texas. The Inquirer writes volume shipments are expected for early 2016 and Intel claims Omni-Path offers significant advantages over the InfiniBand standard:
For Omni-Path fans, the SSF product set includes a 48 port switch that Chipzilla says supports 26 per cent more servers than an equivalent-cost InfiniBand solution, with 60 per cent lower power consumption, 17 per cent lower latency, and a 7 per cent improvement in messaging rate.