Feeds

Sun splits DARPA photon-linkage cake with Kotura

Chip-to-chip fatness sought

Mobile application security vulnerability report

Kotura Inc announced today it has been awarded a $14m contract by Sun Microsystems, to assist with photonic linking of processor cores in future supercomputers and power-limited multicore systems. Sun is carrying out the optical core-hookup work for the US military.

The idea of linking processors optically rather than electronically is to improve speed, bandwidth and power consumption in future systems, whose many powerful cores are expected to severely strain the capacity of normal electronic linkages. The funding comes, not from any normal US military lab, but from DARPA - the Pentagon brainbox apparat which likes to develop answers first and ask what the question was later.

DARPA refers to the effort as Ultraperformance Nanophotonic Intrachip Communications (UNIC), and believes it will help with "relevant computing tasks such as power-starved embedded applications, and supercomputing".

The military notioneers gave Sun $44m to develop UNIC in March. Sun have now shared the cake with Kotura, who specialise in using CMOS technology for chip-to-chip links.

“Optical interconnects increase the bandwidth between chips while reducing power consumption and chip-to-chip latency," said Sun veep Jim Mitchell.

“Kotura is well positioned to deliver silicon photonic elements that will contribute directly to Sun's research efforts on this project... we are on the verge of radically improving the speed of communications among the chips in powerful computing systems, thereby increasing their performance dramatically."

“We have a great working relationship with Sun and DARPA and are now expanding upon that,” added Kotura CTO Mehdi Asghari. He said that Kotura would be targeting "extremely small footprints and ultra low power consumption" suggesting that DARPA are interested in the "power starved embedded applications" end of UNIC here, as much as conventional supercomputing.

There are various military needs for high-performance computing in small systems without a lot of electricity to hand. In particular, synthetic-aperture radar images need a lot of processing, and it saves a lot of satellite bandwidth if this can be done onboard power- and weight-limited platforms, such as small spy satellites and reconnaissance drones. ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy
Now that's a LOT of porn or pirated movies. Or, you know, other consumer stuff
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage
Find cold data with flash, transmit it from tape
Seagate chances ARM with NAS boxes for the SOHO crowd
There's an Atom-powered offering, too
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.