Robin Bloor interviews IBM Deep Computing expert Scott Denham on the rise of heterogeneous systems for HPC.
Processors are just not getting any faster. The simple fact is that once you raise a chip’s clock speed to 3 gigahertz and above, you run into diminishing returns as regards computer power. So the model of using an accelerator coupled with a general purpose processor to deliver extra power arose. You have a standard Intel or Power processor running the standard logic of the program and you have a very fast specialized processor for number crunching. This is by no means a new idea. It goes back to the 1970s but now we’re using GPUs as the accelerator for floating point operations.