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Supercomputers and department servers have something in common with smartphones: no one really wants to buy more than they must, but the real power really comes from what applications can do with a combined platform. We now know that no one wants to carry multiple electronic organizers – that’s how we ended up with so many of us having smartphones. Good bye MP3 players, GPS devices, pocket cameras, navigation devices, single function phones, and electronic organizers! Even membership cards, credit cards and paper tickets are on the way out. The really amazing applications take advantage of the converging of all these capabilities into a single platform.
Today, we still speak often about different systems being used for HPC, Big Data, AI, and machine learning. Convergence is often predicted, but the reason that is cited is cost efficiency (purchase of a machine, building to house it, etc.)
I don’t mean to trivialize the cost factor – but the real reason for convergence is applications. Today very few applications combine HPC algorithms, big data, and AI/ML techniques. However, anyone who sees what is happening, when these techniques are combined, will quickly realize this is the future of applications. It is easy to realize computers will need to support this future …
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