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Interview: Intel’s Alan Gara on Pathfinding for Exascale

Over at The Exascale Report, Mike Bernhardt brings us this new interview with Alan Gara, Intel’s Chief Exascale Architect. Formerly chief system architect for the three generations of BlueGene supercomputers at IBM, Gara has been out of the limelight since he left Big Blue in 2011. In this interview, he describes Intel’s vision for co-design and fabric integration.

We need to transition our thinking from energy efficiency at the transistor level – to energy efficiency at the system level. There will need to be many innovations to pull this off. New memory microarchitectures are absolutely critical. Similarly we will be depending on continued scaling of our silicon technology. The last I would mention is silicon photonics. Supercomputers will be pushing the communications requirements. Without silicon photonics the cost of a highly usable system would likely be prohibitive.

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