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August 23, 2022

Daily Tech News 23 August 2022

Top Story

  • Buying a house may be time consuming, overly complicated, and of course terribly expensive, but renting isn't that great either. Particularly when having moved out of a place after fifteen years you get complaints that not everything is like new anymore.


  • The Metaverse sucks. (The Register)

    Sucks up huge quantities of cash, for one thing, but sucks in every other way as well. It's the signature of a programmed effort to create the Next Big Thing rather than simply creating a Good Thing: Absolutely nobody wants it.


Tech News

  • Katz's gluten free donuts are back in stock here in New House City after being absent for a few weeks. Got two boxes today to celebrate completing the move. (modulo some annoying details that will get sorted out).


  • Apparently Cricut is pronounced "cricket".


  • Intel detailed its Ponte Vecchio server GPU which the company says offers up to 2.5 times the speed of Nvidia's A100. (Serve the Home)

    These GPUs are not for playing Crysis or whatever the kids are into these days (I haven't even been playing Minecraft lately and am now hanging out for the next Holocure update). They costs as much as a new car, and the only question is whether that's a cheap Korean subcompact or a fully-specced F150.


  • The Biren BR1000 is another of these expensive datacenter GPUs. (Serve the Home)

    It can hit a little over 1 PFLOPs - albeit with 16-bit values; on conventional single-precision floating point it only does 256 TFLOPs.

    Which is still kind of a lot. As I've mentioned before, I played Mass Effect and Dragon Age on a 1 TFLOPs graphics card at 1280x720, so this chip should be able to cope with 20480x11520.

    Of course, nobody will be using this one to play games either.


  • Lightmatter Passage brings Co-Packaged Optics and Silicon Photonics to the Chiplet Era. (Serve the Home)

    To unpack that a little: Modern "chips" are increasingly a collection of smaller chips with high-speed interconnects. AMD jumped on this in 2017 with their Epyc server CPUs and Threadripper workstation parts, both of which were simply multiple Ryzen desktop chips wired together.

    Building large monolithic chips is getting fantastically expensive and everyone - even Intel - is moving towards this "chiplet" approach.

    The problem then becomes the interconnect between the chiplets, which uses far more power than the same bandwidth would on a single piece of silicon. On large Epyc CPUs the interconnect can consume half the total power.

    One possible solution - which is what is being discussed here - is to use teeny tiny lasers and microscopic fiber optic cables instead of electronic circuits between the chips.


  • Don't eat yellow snow, and don't copy-and-paste encryption examples. (The Register)

    Hyundai did the latter, copying not just the code but the encryption key from the AES specification.

    So unusually they got the implementation of the code exactly right; they just used a password that is written down in the same place everyone looks to find the code.


Disclaimer: Red snow on the other hand is perfectly fine. PERFECTLY FINE.
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