Subject: General Tech | September 14, 2016 - 01:06 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: pascal, tesla, p40, p4, nvidia, neural net, m40, M4, HPC
The Register have package a nice explanation of the basics of how neural nets work in their quick look at NVIDIA's new Pascal based HPC cards, the P4 and P40. The tired joke about Zilog or Dick Van Patten stems from the research which has shown that 8-bit precision is most effective when feeding data into a neural net. Using 16 or 32-bit values slows the processing down significantly while adding little precision to the results produced. NVIDIA is also perfecting a hybrid mode, where you can opt for a less precise answer produced by your local, presumably limited, hardware or you can upload the data to the cloud for the full treatment. This is great for those with security concerns or when a quicker answer is more valuable than a more accurate one.
As for the hardware, NVIDIA claims the optimizations on the P40 will make it "40 times more efficient" than an Intel Xeon E5 CPU and it will also provide slightly more throughput than the currently available Titan X. You can expect to see these arrive in the market sometime over then next two months.
"Nvidia has designed a couple of new Tesla processors for AI applications – the P4 and the P40 – and is talking up their 8-bit math performance. The 16nm FinFET GPUs use Nv's Pascal architecture and follow on from the P100 launched in June. The P4 fits on a half-height, half-length PCIe card for scale-out servers, while the beefier P40 has its eyes set on scale-up boxes."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Windows 10 Anniversary Update might not arrive on your PC until November @ The Inquirer
- iOS 10 reviewed: There’s no reason not to update @ Ars Technica
- iOS 10 rollout goes titsup as update 'bricks' iPhones and iPads @ The Inqurier
- DevOps and the Art of Secure Application Deployment @ Linux.com
- HTC to unveil new Desire smartphones on September 20 @ DigiTimes
- Using a thing made by Microsoft, Apple or Adobe? It probably needs a patch today @ The Register
- New York Fines Viacom, Mattel and Hasbro For Tracking Kids Online @ Slashdot
- Microsoft's Service Fabric for Linux hits public preview @ The Register
Crucial, a relatively new but successful entrant to the SSD space recently released a new firmware for its M4 lineup that promises faster boot up times and improved write performance. Specifically, the new firmware is version 0009, and users can directly update their m4 SSDs from either revision 0001 or 0002. The update is installed by downloading and burning a bootable CD.
According to Tom’s Hardware, the company is promising up to a 20 % performance improvement in sequential read speeds. Further, the official firmware change log includes improvements in throughput performance, write latency, and compatibility with the latest chipsets. In synthetic application testing, Crucial noted an increase in the PCMark Vantage benchmark score using the new firmware update. The company has also improved compatibility between SATA 2 (3Gb/s) chipsets and the SATA 3 (6Gb/s) solid state drives. Lastly, the new firmware reduces the chances for a failed cold boot up (starting the computer from a completely powered down state) of the SSD on certain systems.
Its is certainly nice to see firmware fixes that both squash bugs and offer up some free performance improvements. You can find the firmware download for your specific m4 solid state drive in addition to update instructions here. Let us know what you think of the new firmware.