[Beowulf] Servers Too Hot? Intel Recommends a Luxurious Oil Bath

Nathan Moore ntmoore at gmail.com
Wed Sep 5 08:23:43 PDT 2012


> On Tue, 4 Sep 2012, Ellis H. Wilson III wrote:

> Which is why I was suggesting that, "Maybe the whole thing is just
> built, sealed for good, primed with [hydrogen/oil/he/whatever], started,
> allowed to slowly degrade over time and finally tossed when the still
> working equipment is sufficiently dated."


I remember an "ancient" IBM technical article about the BlueGene, here:
http://researcher.watson.ibm.com/researcher/files/us-ajayr/SysJ_BlueGene.pdf

In the work (or maybe it was a closely related paper), the authors make the
point that as core count increases and feature size decreases, cpu units
will have to be fault tolerant, eg if cosmic rays have toasted 10% of your
chip's cores, it should still be able to function.  Related, this is one of
the great beauties of FPGA's.  Jim Lux can probably tell us if this would
be real, but it would seem to make sense to program a space probe (ie
voyager type) with an FPGA emulated CPU for the sake of damage
survivability.  In the worst case that the probe encounters something
unpleasant and part of the FPGA is damaged, perhaps the rest of the LUT's
in the FPGA could be reprogrammed to produce a less powerful, yet still
functional, controller.  This would take the "field programmable" aspect to
the device to a new height...

Nathan
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