Google tests its Power and takes a shot at Intel

Subject: General Tech | October 17, 2016 - 12:48 PM |
Tagged: google, Intel, power9, zaius

Not too long ago Google revealed it had updated the code that runs behind its popular web based services to make it more hardware agnostic.  With a trivial tweak to the code their software can switch between running on Intel x86, IBM Power or 64-bit ARM cores.  On Friday Google Cloud's technical program manager, John Zipfel, provided more information on the OpenCAPI compliant Zaius P9 server that is in development and revealed it will use an IBM Power 9 chip.  As it will be OpenCAPI, it will use interconnects such as NVIDIA's NVLink or AMD's as yet unnamed fabric interconnect but will not leverage Intel's.  The Register has a bit more information on Google's plans and the Zaius here.

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"Google has gently increased pressure on Intel – its main source for data-center processors – by saying it is "looking forward" to using chips from IBM and other semiconductor rivals."

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October 17, 2016 | 05:33 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Here come the power9's and Google will use openCAPI and AMD is a Founding member In openCAPI with Nvidia supporting at the Contributor Level. Smart move by AMD for its openCAPI founding member support for AMD's GPU accelerator business. Maybe AMD's Zen CPUs will also have openCAPI support to offer Google some x86 options along with AMD's GPU SKUs and any x86(Zen), power9, ARMv8A ISA server products in the future. Open Standards are the best, and AMD will have both ARM(K12) and Zen(x86) to offer along with GPU accelorators for any openCAPI enabled systems.

Nvidia needs to see the writing on the wall to know that NVLink is not going to get very far with the rest of the HPC/Server market, and Intel is totally outside of these Google systems.

October 18, 2016 | 05:34 AM - Posted by renz (not verified)

even NVlink itself was originated from CAPI. most likely IBM decided to make OpenCAPI initiatives because of the success they have with nvidia NVLink. with OpenCAPI everyone are free to make their own version of interconnect. Nvidia already ahead of the pack when they have their own NVLink. if anything OpenCAPI will not going to pose any disadvantage towards nvidia NVLink. this initiatives is more about IBM themselves and less about AMD because IBM wants their CAPI to be accessible to everyone.

October 19, 2016 | 10:37 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

No its more about the third party OpenPower licensees using their licensed power8s and power9s and OpenCAPI to keep Intel on the outside in many server farms and HPC centers. Google is an OpenPower licensee and Google will be having its own custom power9s made for its data center needs.

This Register article has more info than the register article linked to. and it also refrences the Gen-Z Consortium another interconnect standard being developed.

"Why OpenCAPI is a declaration of interconnect fabric war"

October 17, 2016 | 06:44 PM - Posted by Master Chen (not verified)


October 17, 2016 | 10:21 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

In my opinion, PCs and servers should follow open standards. So software can be ported to differen arch. easily. Intel and MS are responsible for PC to be Windows centric and therefore limiting innovations. This is obvious in PC laptops and tablets.

Microsoft is going to port the SQL server software to Linux in 2017. Microsoft should also port the Microsoft office to Linux. This will help Microsoft in the long run.

October 19, 2016 | 10:22 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Ape: Help, the human's about to escape.
Troy: Get your paws off me, you dirty ape.
Ape: [gasping] He can talk!

Apes: [in unison, rythmed] He can talk
He can talk
He can talk
He can talk
He can talk
He can talk

Troy: [singing] I can siiiiiing!

[funky beat of "Rock Me Amadeus" starts playing]

Female Nurse Ape: Ooh, help me Dr. Zaius!
Apes: [in unison] Dr. Zaius, Dr. Zaius
Dr. Zaius, Dr. Zaius
Dr. Zaius, Dr. Zaius
Oh... Dr. Zaius
Ape: Dr. Zaius, Dr. Zaius.

Troy: What's wrong with me?
Zaius: I think you're crazy.
Troy: Want a second opinion.
Zaius: You're also lazy.

Apes: [in unison] Dr. Zaius, Dr. Zaius
Dr. Zaius, Dr. Zaius
Dr. Zaius, Dr. Zaius

[one ape starts breakdancing]

Oh... Dr. Zaius
Ape: Dr. Zaius, Dr. Zaius.

Troy: Can I play the piano anymore?
Zaius: Of course you can.
Troy: Well I couldn't before!

[plays piano]

Troy: [singing] I hate every ape I see
From chimpan-a to chimpan-zee
No, you'll never make a monkey out of me

Oh my God, I was wrong
It was Earth all along

You've finally made a monkey
Apes: Yes, we've finally made a monkey
Troy: Yes, you've finally made a monkey out of me
Apes: Yes, we've finally made a monkey out of you

Troy: I love you, Dr. Zaius!

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