samedi 9 novembre 2013

Are Racks-on-Chip the Future of Data Centers?

UCSD News (CA) (11/04/13) Doug Ramsey 

Increasing the scale and decreasing the cost and power of data centers requires greatly boosting the density of computing, storage, and networking within those centers, according to University of California, San Diego researchers. The researchers say that one promising avenue to deliver increased density involves racks on a chip, or devices that would contain many individual computer processing cores integrated with sufficient network capability to fully utilize those cores by supporting massive amounts of data transfer into and out of them. However, to shrink data centers down to the size of a chip, a new data center network design is needed. "These integrated racks-on-chip will be networked, internally and externally, with both optical circuit switching [to support large flows of data] and electronic packet switching [to support high-priority data flows]," the researchers note. Each processor in the rack-on-chip design must have a transceiver, which converts the electrical signals in the processing core with the optical photons that travel through fiber-optic cables. "Once this optical networking technology is integrated with electronic processors as a rack-on-chip design, the number of such chips can then be scaled up to meet the needs of future data centers," the researchers report.