Hi Joe and all, Please excuse the ridiculous latency of this response... been on holiday :) On 13/02/2006, at 4:33 PM, Joe Landman wrote: > I/we strongly support their use. Not as replacements for clusters, > but as tools to significantly augment desktop and cluster level > supercomputing in Life sciences and related fields. Noted, and agreed. > The issue is that you have some design work to do to interface the > core to the rest of the board. Now if the boards were somehow > standardized (cough cough) this would be a "good thing". [anyone > want to talk about standard boards?] I see your point. There's some irony here... the problem is in ``glue logic''. That's exactly what FPGAs were considered good for in the early days! But yes, I appreciate the significance of the integration headache, especially considering where we want to take this: i.e. making FPGAs available to end users. You might want to pop by over to the OpenFPGA list; I recall seeing some discussion of integration related matters, even to the Operating System level, though to be frank right now that isn't really a core technical interest of mine. > I would argue the opposite, that bioclusters is all about providing > scalable platforms for bio-computing tasks, and that acceleration > systems, as people need them require a platform to host them. What > better platform for a bio-accelerator than a bio-cluster ? (note: Yep, fair enough. My concern was that we were getting a bit away from the bio side of things, but you pulled it back, so it's all good - believe me, I'm quite happy to go on and on about FPGAs and application specific processors :) Actually, I have a question for folks who actually have access to FPGA equipped systems (I have a bunch of FPGAs lying around, but the very BEST system comms available is USB - and there's a Spartan sitting on that one!!); sorry for dragging vendor names into this, but I think it's probably the best way to illustrate the nature of the system I have in mind - I'm speaking of systems of the ilk of the Cray XD-1, Altix, and SRC's boxen. How much of a "multiple-use" attitude is there with these systems? Bioinformatics is great, but other tasks - e.g. network intrusion detection, molecular dynamics, dense linear algebra - are also at home on FPGAs. The issue is multiplexing of the resources for shared access in a multi-user system, and this actually builds on top of the need for standardized integration, which presumably is already somewhat sorted on the systems mentioned. In a real world "production" environment, what actually happens?