Democracy & Technology Blog Successful Parallelism
OTOY founder Jules Urbach is interviewed about the possibilities of cloud computing. Urbach:
You’re going to be hard-pressed to have a Playstation 4 or an Xbox 720 that has better quality than the cloud.
**** It’s not just [gaming] consoles that will be threatened by this — it’s your PC. It’s your Blu-ray system.
It’s going to be a very thin, cheap device that can connect to the cloud. Or maybe you’ll see a hybrid solution in the meantime.
Graphics processors (GPUs) — the most robust and commercially successful and thus most rapidly advancing parallel architecture — create an image ultimately expressed in a light pattern that is intrinsically parallel since all the pixels have to been seen at once. Processors from AMD/ATI and Nvidia already contain as many as a thousand cores and Urbach has contrived ways to program clusters of thousands of GPUs with his OTOY language and related technology. Below the horizons of most laboratory science, this technology is already advancing at three times Moore’s Law chiefly under the pressure of high end gaming and may enable the world’s fastest computer, a petaflop in a forty square foot container with five racks, by the end of the year.
Cloud computing depends on fast broadband, as Urbach confirms:
The problem is U.S. bandwidth. The typical U.S. user has 1.5-megabit to a 6-megabit connection. It’s enough to do 720p games, equivalent to the Xbox output resolution. But you’ll need higher end connection, and Verizon FiOS and other services are coming around.