Processors back under the spotlight for 2019

Processors back under the spotlight for 2019

Chris EvansCloud, Processors

This is just a quick post to highlight the developments we’re seeing in processors at the moment.  Intel has announced Foveros, enabling more efficient component stacking.  AMD has EPYC, with more PCIe performance for external peripherals like storage.  And of course, we’re seeing a whole host of ARM processors being put into public cloud.  Let’s not forget GPUs and developments there too.  What’s happening here?

Chips with Everything

It seems we’re seeing some significant innovation around processors and architectures as technology continues to diversify.  In a world where a few years ago we were told that software was king, it seems we’re on that part of the inevitable cycle where hardware starts to matter again.  I would say there are at least three drivers here.

  • ML/AI – machine learning and AI are driving significant advances in technology but need lots of compute.  GPUs are en vogue, with many solution vendors (think Pure, NetApp, IBM) building out NVIDIA DGX-1 reference architectures.
  • Public Cloud – public cloud is expanding and diversifying at an incredibly diverse rate.  Cloud providers are seeing the benefit of diversifying their architectures too, with EPYC and (homegrown) ARM processors from AWS in November this year.
  • IoT/Edge – edge compute requires different architectures to cope with environmental, form factor, processing and cost constraints.  I anticipate that pre-processing of data will drive more complex SoC solutions.

I’m sure there are more angles to this, but these seem the most likely to gain traction over the coming 12 months.

The Architect’s View

I did say this would be a quick post.  I just wanted to highlight that this area of IT infrastructure should be pretty interesting in 2019.  While we continue to see more technology delivered as a service, the specifics and efficiency of hardware are becoming more important.  This yin and yang happens all the time as each side of the technology circle (hardware and software) drive each other on.  This will be a focus area for Architecting IT over the coming 12 months, looking at how infrastructure is developing, especially in the public cloud.  Look out for our new podcast in 2019, which will cover hybrid cloud and the way in which all of this technology is being brought together.

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