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The incredible FUJITSU A64fx

Fujitsu leading the charge with their incredible new arm based cpu. Can Nvidia really hold onto arm without competition now?


The Fujitsu A64fx takes many leaps into the future

When I first came across this CPU I could barely believe it would ever exist. Rumors were spinning round the internet about an arm based cpu that would finally flush out the old dinosaurs. Back in 2017 these rumors grew ever so slightly but then came the bitcoin and ethereum rush and the hype whimpered away.

In 2020 the new super computer received its upgrade via the arm based fujitsu cpu, the A64FX, and the world did not even notice. That is until now, all users were content with the idea of a 4 core CPU but as early as 2017 CPU cores doubled for the mass market. Now a general 6 core CPU is the norm in computers while the lower end are the 4 core “old gen” heroes. It was not long ago that we revered the 4 core 8 thread i7 and now we simply dismiss such a chip as lower end. Even with the AMD Ryzen line up, Intel does not show any sign of slowing down but both companies are now in trouble as Nvidia acquired arm. More so Fujitsu is now finding ways to develop server equipment that will lower costs and might even become available to the mass market by 2025.

Now if you are wondering what Nvidia and Fujitsu have to do with Intel and AMD, the answer is competition. With Nvidia and ARM merging it looks like the PC market is about to drastically change. Fujitsu is already implementing HBM memory into their CPU sockets which greatly increases memory speeds and memory size. Now this implementation was already seen on AMD’s Vega chips but those were not arm based chips and they were still expensive to produce. As HBM starts creeping into everything so too shall your PC case become smaller as you will no longer require RAM sticks. Wait though, the A64FX is not just a CPU but it is also a monster GPU and it has a reserved set of cores for your operating system. This chip was designed with deep learning and AI compute in mind and one would wonder if that is something a common PC enthusiast would even be able to get their hands on. The answer is yes, not now but in the near future with the market changing and with the efficiency of arm based products your mobile phones will become even faster than desktop PC’s.

Intel failed spectacularly with the atom chips. The celeron chips proved better but they never managed to become efficient enough for the mobile market. With arm being the dominant force in the mobile market it is only a matter of time until all compute devices start using them. Most servers are being replaced with arm based technology at google and amazon that certain sources even go as far to say that they are the dominant chips at these companies.

It is Fujitsu’s servers that made Pokemon GO a possibility. Their new Supercomputer Fugaku has been tasked with battling virus’s, pandemics and to explore new drugs. Its versatile technology is also calculating social behavior during pandemics to help with the on going issues of isolation and disease propagation. Fugaku has been fed more simulations and has provided results, such as that humidifiers could limit disease spread during winter months when people are locked in.

ARM is “ a RISC (reduced instruction set computing) architecture developed by Arm Limited. This processor architecture is nothing new. It was first used in personal computers as far back as the 1980s.”
Now it is emerging from the embers of the crypto rush of 2021 and it sees to replace the old aging GPU’s and to revitalize the CPU market. It is already present in ultrabooks but will soon be implemented into Apple products all across its product line.

So Intel and AMD will either have to find a new way to produce their chips in order to compete or they will go the way of the dinosaurs. Giving a user 8 to 16 cores is great on paper but what happens when that same user can get a full machine with all the components for the price of a top end CPU from Intel or AMD and yet it performs even better? Nvidia’s move to merge with arm was smart as they know that GPU’s are yesterdays tech. Time has moved on from the early 2000’s and we no longer need the hulking piece of metal hanging from the side of our motherboard. We no longer need such an intrusive piece of hot tech in a PCIE slot that could be populated by faster NVME memory. With the current shortage of chips bringing about the interest in expanding factories and government loans to further the cause it is inevitable that ARM and ARM based chips will succeed to dominate the PC and server market as they have the mobile landscape.

So now when you look at a A64FX chip you know that it is one of the best compute and deep learning pieces of technology today. One day it will also run Crysis.

Post was last modified: March 27 2021 05:08:39 CST

GPU and CPU stagnation in 2021

Chip shortages will lead to massive GPU and CPU stagnation in 2021 and in the future.

How did we as an industry get to the point where chip shortages have started to negatively impact the daily drivers of massive industries. In order to explain the shortage of GPU’s and CPU’s we must first go into a bit of trivial details.

The year 2021 has started with a massive rush towards crypto-currencies and ECR721 based tokens, long waiting lines for luxury entertainment systems and an overabundance of unspent capital due to the pandemic forcing more people indoors. The onset of the year was met with higher levels of financial speculation and in some cases negative credit due to fiat currencies being printed and distributed generously. This in turn led businesses and speculators to invest in lucrative futures and experimental crypto-currencies in a hope to avoid the unavoidable impending global economic crash.

Today we have more crypto-currency exchanges than ever before and in order to for these exchanges to be validated someone or something needs to verify the transactions, encrypt the transactions and then share them on the block-chain. The block-chain is, for a better word, a shared network of machines that validate and encrypt all transactions that are located all over the world and owned by private companies, ordinary individuals and any one who is willing to lend their machine in exchange for a small pay out. These machines will take a challenge and try and complete a perfect set of exchanges and encrypt them within their respective crypto-currency blocks. To be honest there is more to this than one small paragraph can describe but we will go into block chain technologies in another blog post. The popular term in crypto circles for this process is called “mining” and in order to “mine” crypto-currencies one must use chips. These chips then can come in the form of ANT-miners or GPU’s. Some coins can be mined on CPU’s as well. As anyone can see, if there is a lucrative business to be made than the resources used to make it would be bought out and put to work but crypto-currencies are not the reason for the shortage.

There has been a massive spike in mobile device sales in the last 10 years and 2021 does not seem to be halting this progress. In truth within the last 2 years tablet sales all over the world have increased. In the USA we had a huge surge due to a government pushed mandate known as the ELD mandate that forces all drivers to use digital electronic logging devices for their hours of service. These devices are made up of tablets, GPS tracking devices and dash cams.

The average user today has some form of smart mobile device. When you think about the fact that there are 7.8 billion people on the planet and that at least 2 billion of them have access to this technology you start to see the actual problem. Today there are more people using these devices than ever before unfortunately our tech industry was never designed to actually cater to such a large audience.

We must also remember that the automotive and transportation industries heavily rely on the micro-processors and chips that control the cars, trucks, buses, planes, boats and trains the produce. Chips have been pushed into everything without any after thought about how we would handle the day when chip production could not keep up with demand.

Governments have also started upgrading their infrastructures. They started adding new surveillance systems all over the world. There has been a huge surge in server distribution and an increase in cloud service providers.

After shortly listing a few of the current challenges and uses of our high grade silicon it seems that GPU and CPU shortages are only the beginning. Chips simply cannot be produced at the rate at which they are consumed. To add there is no way to recycle the electronic goods as the market dictates that re-use is unacceptable as the devices are too slow and too old to use anymore. Many of the electronic device developers purposefully create their goods to be hard to repair in order to push consumers to buy new devices which in turn leads to our current predicament of huge electronic waste, an unsustainable purge of tech resources and economic destabilization.

In the next few years the consumption of chips will grow to the point that there will hardly be enough chips for everyone unless we find a better way to create, use and distribute them. Due to the stress on the current system it is inevitable that these shortages will create a great increase in prices due to demand. If the governments of the world keep ignoring the issue at hand we will be met with global monopolies like never before as the biggest businesses buy up all the chip manufacturers. Car manufactures will be at the mercy of these businesses like many other industries that need these parts in order to function.

So before we think about why we cannot find any GPU’s or CPU’s, or if we do find them at a huge mark up, we should start thinking about what this actually means. The reason why the computer market has been hit hard with shortages and why there is a boom in chip manufacturer sales is due to a massive sink hole in the system. All of these manufacturers might be taking the whole world to the bank but what will happen once they can no longer sustain the supply for the demand for all the other sectors of industry. I can only journey to guess that we will see an economic disaster like never before.

So we here at Bard Tech have started with our repurposed and re-use initiative. We believe that in order to do our part we must start with the basics. If a server can be repaired we will repair it. We build our solutions around the long term use rather that short term profits. In the next few weeks we will be putting together something special that might help everyone in order to better the industry and all of our tech lives. Until then remember that you do not really need to upgrade but rather use your knowledge and fix what you can.

Post was last modified: March 27 2021 05:08:39 CST

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