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Thermal Engineers’ Role in New Data-centric Computing Architecture
Keywords: Data-centric Architecture, Thermal Engineer, Computing
Computing is facing a critical inflection point. In the 21st century, a number of important trends have converged, leading to the emergence of alternative approaches to the traditional computer architecture model that has underpinned computing for decades. The first trend is the explosion of Big Data with the advent of pervasive mobile technology and the internet of things. A very recent IDC prediction is that the digital universe will increase by a factor of 10x by 2020. This deluge of data needs storing, processing and, in turn, movement from storage to processor (i.e. networking) to maximize business value. The second trend is the concept of Moore’s law hitting a wall and the end of Dennard’s scaling law; these factors lead to legacy systems being incapable of handling zettabytes of data at reasonable speeds and energy consumption. Moreover, computing-centric architecture has resulted in 90% of total computing energy spent in data movement across multiple layers of storage-memory architecture. To address energy efficiency and latency of data-centric computing, new architectures are emerging which rely on non-volatile memory and data movement using photonic signal. In this new era, thermal engineers have a key role and need to focus on systematic thermal co-design from nanoscale to petascale. This presentation will detail this changing era of computing architecture and outline opportunities for thermal engineers.
Niru Kumari, Senior Research Engineer, Systems Research Lab
Hewlett-Packard Company, HP Laboratories
Palo Alto, CA
USA


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