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Intel developing customisable chips to boost data centre performance

Thu 19 Jun 2014

A quiet fireside chat certainly warmed up when Intel revealed its plan to offer customisable chips for the data centre and the internet of things.

Diane Bryant, a SVP and general manger of Intel’s data centre group, revealed on stage at the Gigaom Structure conference in San Francisco yesterday, that the company is combining its Xeon processor with a field programmable gate array (FPGA) that would allow webscale and enterprise customers to add their own software and soup-up the chip for particular functions.

To avoid data bottlenecks, the FPGA will be electrically linked and share memory access with the CPU. This type of customisable silicon would be beneficial in a variety of uses such as translating search algorithms and the compression of genetic data. The combined devices will also be reprogrammable, allowing users to adapt the servers as workloads change.

Bryant said the customisable CPU is already in development, and would be used in production environments next year.

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