Microsoft Lifts the Veil on Olympus Server Project
Microsoft has made some further announcements regarding their Olympus server, which they are developing as part of the Open Compute Project. The OCP is a cooperative, open-source venture involving many small players in the tech market as well as industry giants like the Redmond-based firm, Google, Microsoft and Nvidia — which today announced they will be delivering the HGX-1 hyperscale GPU accelerator which will go into the Olympus server.
The details released today concern several specs of the new server. For one, Microsoft will be working with Qualcomm and Cavium to develop ARM-based chips for project Olympus in a bid to offer that extra bit of power to the new server. As one of its main goals is to bring better deep-learning capability to servers running on the cloud, it will need every extra bit of computing performance. Qualcomm is bringing their Centriq 2400 CPU to the table, while Cavium’s ThunderX2 platform is that company’s stake.
Microsoft also announced it will be partnering with AMD within the OCP, using its new Naples CPU, which should prove an interesting interplay between the zen and ARM architectures. However, at the same time Microsoft will continue working with Intel, AMD’s nemesis, for more general purpose CPUs as well as FPGA accelerators.
Though it may seem like the Olympus server will be a bit of a hodge-podge of components from across the industry, it could very well be that Microsoft has a real winner on their hands by combining the strengths of all these different manufacturers without, hopefully, any of the weaknesses. As many industry experts seem to agree the future lies in more advanced AI development and other cloud-based technology, project Olympus very well may end up as the vanguard of these developments.
Fergus has been tinkering with computers since he was a kid and likes to put a stop to parties by listing the specs of all the digital devices in the room. It's best not to let him near your computer since he'll take it apart and may not put it back together again before he leaves.