the platform

Further, the addition of FPGAs, while adding performance for specific problems, adds additional programming complexity, With this in mind, it’s not difficult to imagine building a supercomputer from these FPGAs, but according to Patrick McGarry, VP of engineering at FPGA-based data analytics server maker, Ryft, one of the main goals is to move away from both an X86 and clustering mindset and make the FPGA the analytics workhorse. And what’s notable here is that they may have made the programmability leap.

The Ryft ONE boxes his company makes look like a network appliance from the outside, but are outfitted with a X86 processor running Linux with no special software mojo other than the drivers for the FPGA.

So what we have here is an FPGA-based system where the host processor handles basic tasks, allowing the FPGA to exclusively handle the bulk of the processing–all the while minimizing data movement, even when compared to how the fastest in-memory analytics approaches do so (Spark for instance). The numbers below are done within a 700 watt power envelope for the entire box. The efficiencies come in part from the FPGA, but this device is also the way the Ryft ONE it cuts down on data movement.

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