Microsoft’s new Catapult v2 server design is targeted at AI

For years, Microsoft has been delivering speedy and accurate Bing results with experimental servers called Project Catapult, which have now received an architectural upgrade. The Catapult servers use reprogrammable chips called FPGAs (field programmable gate arrays), which are central to delivering better Bing results. FPGAs can quickly score, filter, rank, and measure the relevancy of text and image queries on Bing. Microsoft has now redesigned the original Catapult server, which is used to investigate the role of FPGAs in speeding up servers. The proposed Catapult v2 design is more flexible in circumventing traditional data-center structures for machine learning and expands the role of FPGAs as accelerators. [ Also on CIO.com: The whiteboards of tomorrow: 3 interactive displays ] Microsoft presented the Catapult v2 design for the first time earlier this month at…


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