backtop


Print 30 comment(s) - last by saratoga.. on Apr 25 at 8:56 PM


The DRC module plugs directly into a Socket 940 AMD Opteron motherboard
DRC has announced its newest FPGA that drops into AMD's Socket 940

The Register has a fairly in depth look at one start-up's attempt to capitalize on AMD's HyperTransport interface -- a reprogrammable coprocessor that can drop into any Socket 940 socket.  The company, DRC, built its programmable coprocessor on Xilinx Virtex4 field programmable gate array integrated circuits. 

For specialized industries, a dynamic coprocessor is exactly what the doctor ordered; low overhead for extremely specific tasks such as vector math or collision detection.  Companies already pay thousands to millions of dollars to have such overly specific algorithms ported to custom FPGA processors, but the kicker for DRC is that the chip can be integrated into a multi-slot Opteron server running the correct software.

Each series of coprocessors unveiled by the company uses the standard HyperTransport (HT) interface to communicate with the main processor.  The low end coprocessor, the DRC100-L60ES, uses a 200MHz by 8-bit HT link.  DRC's two high end modules, the DRC100-L60 and the DRC110-L160 both use a 400MHz by 16-bit interface instead.  DRC coprocessors range in size from 50,000 to 140,000 programmable gates and all three can utilize 6.4GBps between the Xilinx FPGA and the DDR400 memory bank.

Each DRC module starts at about $4,500.  Competing proprietary systems from SGI and IBM easily cost four times that and generally require additional proprietary hardware and contracts to support.


Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Seperate socket?
By ceefka on 4/24/2006 8:04:19 AM , Rating: 2
Could this be something for desktops as well? Imagine your PC extremely streamlined for the tasks you do most or simply running all that background stuff like your anti virus and firewall. To keep costs down, they can perhaps think up a solution on a PCI-E card.


RE: Seperate socket?
By Viditor on 4/24/2006 9:41:47 AM , Rating: 2
PCIE is too slow and doesn't connect directly to the cache of the chips like the cHT (coherent HT) links of the sockets do.


RE: Seperate socket?
By Worthalter on 4/24/2006 9:41:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Could this be something for desktops as well? Imagine your PC extremely streamlined for the tasks you do most or simply running all that background stuff like your anti virus and firewall. To keep costs down, they can perhaps think up a solution on a PCI-E card.


sorry, you don't know what you're talking about.


RE: Seperate socket?
By Viditor on 4/24/2006 10:39:21 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
sorry, you don't know what you're talking about

It would probably be more helpful if you explained to him where he is mistaken...just a suggestion for next time m8.

In general, these co-processers (coP) are used for very specific functions. However, what you are thinking about (anti-virus, etc...) are specific apps not functions. It's extraordinarily expensive to make these coPs (~$10k each), so they would obviously not be practical in any desktop/consumer use...

A good example of a coP would be a dedicated Vector Processor
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vector_processor

In this case, you would be able to add the power of a vector processor to that of a general purpose processor and communicate with the cache of the general processor at HT speeds. This is infinately more efficient and faster than add-in cards or running many more general processers.


RE: Seperate socket?
By Wwhat on 4/25/2006 9:09:31 AM , Rating: 2
Uhm, the nforce chipset has that already, their 'activearmor' is a onchip firewall, alas it has bugs because nvidia doesn't seem to have capable sotwarewriters who also do not communicate with the hardware division during the testing phase so they release chips with bugs like the purevideo part on the orginal GPU and activearmor on their motherboardchipsets, but it seems they managed to now work around the issues via software though, anyway, there's your idea in practise already, not so daft after all then.



RE: Seperate socket?
By peternelson on 4/24/2006 4:57:04 PM , Rating: 2

Virtex 4 on PCI Express?

Already exists. eg Broaddown 4 from www.Enterpoint.co.uk

(among others).


"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken











botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki