2018 May

adminMay 31, 2018
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5min

Nvidia Corporation, most commonly known as Nvidia, is an American technology company based in Santa Clara, California. They basically design graphics processing units (GPUs) for the professional and gaming markets, as well as a system on a chip unit for the automotive and mobile computing market.

Ever since 2014, Nvidia has shifted to becoming a platform company focused on four markets: gaming, data centers, professional, and auto. Nvidia is now also focused on artificial intelligence.

Just yesterday, Nvidia launched a monster box called the HGX-2 and it’s exactly the kind of thing that technology nerds would die for. It’s a cloud server that is purported to be extremely powerful in that it combines high-performance computing with artificial intelligence requirements in one phenomenal and compelling package.

Now, let’s see the specifications since I’m sure you are all waiting for it. The Nvidia HGX-2 starts with 16x NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPUs. That is really good for 2 petaFLOPS for artificial intelligence with low precision, 250 teraFLOPS for medium precision, and 125 teraFLOPS for those times when you require the highest precision. It also comes typically with a ½ a terabyte of memory and 12 Nvidia NVSwitches that enables GPU to GPU communications at 300 GB per second. Compared with the HGX-1, which was released last year, they have doubled the capacity of the HGX-2.

The sad part about all of this is you won’t be able to buy one of these boxes. As a matter of fact, Nvidia is distributing them strictly to resellers, all of whom would most likely package all of these boxes and sell them to data centers and cloud providers. “The beauty of this approach for cloud resellers is that when you buy it, they have the entire range of precision in a single box,” Paresh Kharya – Group Product Marketing Manager for Nvidia’s Tesla data center products – said.

“The benefit of a unified platform is that while companies and cloud providers are building their infrastructure, they can standardize on a single unified architecture that supports the whole range of high-performance workloads. So, whether it’s an artificial intelligence or high-performance simulations, the whole range of workloads is now possible in just a single platform,” Kharya further explained.

“In hyper-scale companies or cloud providers, the main benefit that the Nvidia HGX-2 provides is the economies of scale. If they can standardize on the fewest possible architectures, they can ultimately maximize their operational efficiency. What HGX-2 allows them to do is to standardize on that single unified platform,” he added.

While Jensen Huang – Nvidia’s founder and chief executive – said, “The world of computing has changed. CPU scaling has slowed at a time when computing demand is skyrocketing. Nvidia’s HGX-2 with Tensor Core GPUs gives the industry a powerful, versatile computing platform that fuses high-performance computing and artificial intelligence to solve the world’s grand challenges.”

But this GPU-driven technological powerhouse is just the beginning. Although it is incredibly capable in its own right, it could also just simply act as the basis for even more powerful arrays of technologically-advanced creations.

The Nvidia HGX-2 powered serves will be available in the market later this year.


adminMay 31, 2018
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5min

Net Neutrality is a hot topic in the world of US politics these days but what exactly is it?  The issue of Net Neutrality is said to have united those on the Right and those on the Left, Republican, and Democrat.  Net Neutrality is the premise that internet providers can not throttle or slow down certain websites based on that internet provider’s economic and or political motives.

The greater issue of the free market vs. government intervention is demonstrated perfectly in this hot button issue.  Those against Net Neutrality, such as current US president Donald Trump, argue that having Net Neutrality is too much government intervention in the free market.  Furthermore, internet cable company providers, such as Comcast and Verizon, have very valid arguments that certain websites, such as YouTube and NetFlix, are essentially bandwidth hogs.  As you may very well know, both YouTube and NetFlix are video streaming websites which demand a great amount of bandwidth from Internet providers.  Comcast and Verizon’s argument goes a bit like this:  Imagine two customers, both pay the same rate, but one customer is a 16-year-old who uses YouTube all day and the other customer is an 80-year-old grandmother who does nothing more with her internet service than read static websites that tell stories about history.

The infrastructure needed to support the 16-year old’s internet usage is obviously greater than the 80-year-old woman’s internet usage, thus the profit margins between these two customers are not the same for Internet providers.  Therefore, according to the likes of Comcast and Verizon, YouTube and NetFlix should have to pay additional for their increased bandwidth needs.  This would essentially result in the 16-year-old having to pay more for his internet “package,” as the cost would be passed on to the consumer and not to YouTube and Netflix directly.

For those who are fighting to keep Net Neutrality, their fear is that the Internet providers will simply try to introduce their own version of YouTube and NetFlix by offering clone services for cheap.  There is also the dark nefarious fear that entire news websites will be “blocked” out by Internet companies that do not like the politics of such banned websites.

As it stands right now, the internet is essential “even” or somewhat “open” in America right now, but without Net Neutrality the internet could resemble something more like a cable TV package.  As you may know, cable TV packages are the dread of the entire consumer industry.  Overpriced and bundled with a bunch of crap, most cable TV packages are despised by Americans a million times over.  Without Net Neutrality we could be looking at a future where getting YouTube and NetFlix will cost extra.  It is my dear opinion that the free market people, who argue against having Net Neutrality, have one fatal flaw in their argument:  There is no free market in the world of Internet providers.

Internet providers are monopolies who collude with the government to keep competition out.  Therefore, internet providers need to either be regulated with Net Neutrality, or some derivative of it, or they need to be broken up into smaller companies like Bell Atlantic was in the 1980s.  The future of Net Neutrality is uncertain as the battle to maintain it or destroy it rages on in Washington D.C.  If you are not American, you may think that this has nothing to do with you, but you would be wrong.  The future of Net Neutrality in America will lead the way for Internet providers all over the globe, as the US is always a trend maker in many markets.



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