The incredible FUJITSU A64fx
The Fujitsu A64fx takes many leaps into the future
When I first came across this CPU I could barely believe it would ever exist. Rumors were spinning round the internet about an arm based cpu that would finally flush out the old dinosaurs. Back in 2017 these rumors grew ever so slightly but then came the bitcoin and ethereum rush and the hype whimpered away.
In 2020 the new super computer received its upgrade via the arm based fujitsu cpu, the A64FX, and the world did not even notice. That is until now, all users were content with the idea of a 4 core CPU but as early as 2017 CPU cores doubled for the mass market. Now a general 6 core CPU is the norm in computers while the lower end are the 4 core “old gen” heroes. It was not long ago that we revered the 4 core 8 thread i7 and now we simply dismiss such a chip as lower end. Even with the AMD Ryzen line up, Intel does not show any sign of slowing down but both companies are now in trouble as Nvidia acquired arm. More so Fujitsu is now finding ways to develop server equipment that will lower costs and might even become available to the mass market by 2025.
Now if you are wondering what Nvidia and Fujitsu have to do with Intel and AMD, the answer is competition. With Nvidia and ARM merging it looks like the PC market is about to drastically change. Fujitsu is already implementing HBM memory into their CPU sockets which greatly increases memory speeds and memory size. Now this implementation was already seen on AMD’s Vega chips but those were not arm based chips and they were still expensive to produce. As HBM starts creeping into everything so too shall your PC case become smaller as you will no longer require RAM sticks. Wait though, the A64FX is not just a CPU but it is also a monster GPU and it has a reserved set of cores for your operating system. This chip was designed with deep learning and AI compute in mind and one would wonder if that is something a common PC enthusiast would even be able to get their hands on. The answer is yes, not now but in the near future with the market changing and with the efficiency of arm based products your mobile phones will become even faster than desktop PC’s.
Intel failed spectacularly with the atom chips. The celeron chips proved better but they never managed to become efficient enough for the mobile market. With arm being the dominant force in the mobile market it is only a matter of time until all compute devices start using them. Most servers are being replaced with arm based technology at google and amazon that certain sources even go as far to say that they are the dominant chips at these companies.
It is Fujitsu’s servers that made Pokemon GO a possibility. Their new Supercomputer Fugaku has been tasked with battling virus’s, pandemics and to explore new drugs. Its versatile technology is also calculating social behavior during pandemics to help with the on going issues of isolation and disease propagation. Fugaku has been fed more simulations and has provided results, such as that humidifiers could limit disease spread during winter months when people are locked in.
ARM is “ a RISC (reduced instruction set computing) architecture developed by Arm Limited. This processor architecture is nothing new. It was first used in personal computers as far back as the 1980s.”
Now it is emerging from the embers of the crypto rush of 2021 and it sees to replace the old aging GPU’s and to revitalize the CPU market. It is already present in ultrabooks but will soon be implemented into Apple products all across its product line.
So Intel and AMD will either have to find a new way to produce their chips in order to compete or they will go the way of the dinosaurs. Giving a user 8 to 16 cores is great on paper but what happens when that same user can get a full machine with all the components for the price of a top end CPU from Intel or AMD and yet it performs even better? Nvidia’s move to merge with arm was smart as they know that GPU’s are yesterdays tech. Time has moved on from the early 2000’s and we no longer need the hulking piece of metal hanging from the side of our motherboard. We no longer need such an intrusive piece of hot tech in a PCIE slot that could be populated by faster NVME memory. With the current shortage of chips bringing about the interest in expanding factories and government loans to further the cause it is inevitable that ARM and ARM based chips will succeed to dominate the PC and server market as they have the mobile landscape.
So now when you look at a A64FX chip you know that it is one of the best compute and deep learning pieces of technology today. One day it will also run Crysis.
Post was last modified: March 27 2021 05:08:39