Yesterday, we reported that Microsoft is planning to replace traditional CPUs in data centers with field-programmable arrays, or FPGAs, processors that Microsoft could modify specifically for use with its own software. These FPGAs are already available in the market and Microsoft is sourcing it from a company called Altera. The FPGAs are 40 times faster than a CPU at processing Bing’s custom algorithms. Overall system will be twice as fast as Bing’s existing system and Microsoft can decrease the number of servers that they already use in half. Doug Burger, the man behind this Project Catapult talks about this new era of computing.   Larry Larsen speaks with Doug Burger about the findings of a Microsoft Research and Bing research project that equipped servers with reconfigurable hardware, in the form of field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), to accelerate datacenter services. Based on the success of the pilot, Bing will roll out FPGA-enhanced servers in ...

Read More →