[Blabber] EC2 instances with FPGAs

John Larson larsonj.home at gmail.com
Wed Nov 30 19:29:30 UTC 2016


Peter,

Hre are my thoughts on that:

GPU
- good for heavy number crunching on large amounts of data
- very fast and wide memory bank but can require a lot of memory
- requires PC architecture and power
- software algorithms on general purpose processors

FPGA -
- can function like a low power SBA, does not require the hardware and
power required by GPUs
- user defined algorithm support that runs directly on the device
- has customizable io that can be interfaced directly to other specialized
hardware
- good at accelerating a broad range of real-time workloads like encryption
and IP traffic manipulation

Once example that I can think of is how financial institutions use FPGA in
ultra-low latency systems to optimize network traffic switching and for
accelerating feed handling and market data workloads.

I think of filtering real-time high-volume network data by complex
expressions as a general place where they could be useful vs GPU.

Here is a recent article in fortune that discussed how Microsoft is using
them in the Azure cloud.
http://fortune.com/2016/10/17/microsoft-fpga-chips-azure/

John

On Wed, Nov 30, 2016 at 1:11 PM, Peter S. Shenkin <shenkin at gmail.com> wrote:

>
> On 30 Nov 2016, at 1:07 PM, Guan Yang <guan at yang.dk> wrote:
>
> https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/developer-preview-ec2-instances-f1-with-
> programmable-hardware/
>
>
> Interesting.
>
> Does anyone know what kinds of apps work better with FPGA co-processors
> than with GPUs, which are basically vector processors that can run
> trigonometric functions very quickly?
>
> -P.
>
>
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