Sunday October 02, 2016

Microsoft Bets Future On Reprogrammable Computer Chip

Here is an article about FBGAs, or field-programmable data arrays, which are basically integrated circuits that can be configured post-manufacture. While the author makes them sound like a new concept, they’re really not, but it’s interesting to read about their place with modern services and how they differ from traditional processing units.

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FPGAs already underpin Bing, and in the coming weeks, they will drive new search algorithms based on deep neural networksآ—artificial intelligence modeled on the structure of the human brainآ—executing this AI several orders of magnitude faster than ordinary chips could. As in, 23 milliseconds instead of four seconds of nothing on your screen. FPGAs also drive Azure, the company’s cloud computing service. And in the coming years, almost every new Microsoft server will include an FPGA. That’s millions of machines across the globe.