With rivals Nvidia and AMD both offering graphics processors, Intel is now deploying screaming co-processors of its own -- in the form of FPGAs.
FPGAs (field programmable gate arrays) are extremely fast chips that can be reprogrammed to do specific tasks. Intel last year acquired Altera for $16.7 billion as it started thinking beyond CPUs and stressing co-processors for demanding computing tasks.
Intel recently started shipping server chips paired with FPGAs as part of a pilot program. The company is packing Altera Arria 10 FPGAs along with its Xeon E5-2600 v4 processors, code-named Broadwell-EP, in a multichip module. The Xeon E5 chips were introduced last month.
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