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Micron Automata Processor
rhfish   12/6/2013 4:05:04 PM
The Micron AP is a pretty important innovation.  

If Micron marketing does its job, in 3 or 4 years there will be an AP chip in every cell phone and tablet offloading facial and speech recognition.  There will be multiple AP chips in every new automobile for collision avoidance.  Finally, every robot, drone, and autonomous device will have a handfull.  These things will cost about $2 each if the die sizes are to be believed.

The AP is not a computer even though Micron claims it is a processor.  It is a computer peripheral, more like a GPU for patterns.  There will never be thousands of programmers coding for it.  Rather there will be a set of state libraries to perform common API functions.

They do seem to have adopted the processor on DIMM technique we proposed about 6 years ago for our CPU in DRAM.

Russell Fish
CTO, Venray

Caleb Kraft
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Re: Cool processors we can't program
Caleb Kraft   11/25/2013 2:14:31 PM
That is absolutely a good point. As much as I love seeing these pop up, I can't say I've seen anything else on most of them after the initial hoopla.

Caleb Kraft
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Re: Any update on Micron's Hybrid Memory Cube
Caleb Kraft   11/25/2013 2:13:12 PM
Aw man, I wish I could have seen that!

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architecture of an AP vs CPLD
Sanjib.A   11/25/2013 11:24:42 AM
Don't know much about Automata Processor (AP)...please forgive me for a novice question. "Its design is based on an adaptation of memory array architecture"...sounds more like an architecture similar to that of a does a AP architecture compare to that of a CPLD or FPGA?

rick merritt
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Cool processors we can't program
rick merritt   11/25/2013 10:20:24 AM
I've lost count of how many novel and ground breaking parallel processors I've written about in 20 years at EE Times that have died quiet deaths because no one could write code for them. Is this any different?

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ckachris   11/25/2013 8:35:56 AM
According to the article, the AP architecture is data-flow based. In the past, dataflow architecture was also proposed for network procesing applications (e.g. xelerated dataflow network processor) but the main challenge is the programming complexity and the programming restrictions of these architectures.

Also it looks similar to the transputer processors architecture that were targetting parallel computing. 

However, this automata processor seems to have included both an efficient programming framework/SDK and an efficient silicon implementation.

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the sweet spot for parallel processing
DrQuine   11/24/2013 3:02:05 PM
Processing big data sounds like an ideal application for parallel processing: huge quantities of data each of which nbeed to be processed through the same algorithms.  I used a massively parallel processor (32,000 processors as I recall) in 1979 for image processing and was amazed at the work that could be done with just a 1 MHz clocked system. The pixels in images are just a special case of big data.

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Re: Does anyone proofread this stuff?
Araucaria   11/24/2013 6:54:21 AM
Also "Automata has been in development for seven years, spurned by customer requests". Did they spurn the customer's requests?? Do they mean "spurred on by customer requests"?

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A new way of accessing memories
Kinnar   11/24/2013 5:16:10 AM
At most it is a new way of accessing the memories, in digital systems dealing with data is nothing but dealing with memories, Big Data Problems still demands a universal way to handle any problem associated with it, but still this solutions if claiming good results in certain directions, let's see how much it actually becomes effective.

Derick Carmen
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Re: Any update on Micron's Hybrid Memory Cube
Derick Carmen   11/23/2013 10:12:16 PM
I am thankful for the newest ideas they introduced. This way they could come up something better if successful and many can even adapt the ideas for betterment. - Derrick Strauss

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