Next Platform TV for September 17, 2020

On today’s program we landed a couple of unplanned themes; namely silicon photonics and its role in both quantum and AI architectures. We also talk datacenter drivers for large-scale users, IBM’s quantum roadmap with the company’s head of quantum, and FPGAs that can do neat tricks for inference in particular. All of this and more…. Timestamps and more details below.

We kick off today’s program with Matt Jacobs, who discusses how users at scale are looking at architectural options (Arm, AMD, Intel) for general purpose and accelerated processing. Jacobs is head of strategy at Penguin Computing.

We also talk to Carl Ramey of Lightmatter about the company’s unique approach to silicon photonics to handle more processing in smaller power envelopes than we’ve seen to date. This is a follow-up to the company’s reveals at Hot Chips last month.

Also on the program today is IBM Fellow and VP of Quantum Computing at IBM, Jay Gambetta, who tells us about the ambitious roadmap to 1000 qubits and the materials science, manufacturing, and other challenges that will make this a hefty climb between now and 2023.

Later in the show we talk to Peter Baldwin of about using FPGAs in clever, unexpected ways for speeding inference and other tasks. We discuss the architecture and models that drive this and also look at the current array of datacenter options where this might fit.

Finally on the program we talk to Christian Weedbrook of Xanadu, a quantum startups that is focused on silicon photonics as the core of its approach. We talk about the tradeoffs and potential advantages of using silicon photonics over “traditional” quantum technologies and how he sees the viability of any startup in the emerging quantum space.


2:00 – What architectures are driving future datacenter demand? (With Matt Jacobs)

10:01 – A unique architecture based on silicon photonics (Lightmatter – Carl Ramey)

22:03 – IBM’s quantum roadmap: challenges on the horizon (With IBM Fellow/VP Quantum IBM)

31:48 – An efficient FPGA based accelerator architecture (with Peter Baldwin)

43:40 – A silicon photonics based quantum architecture, software stack (with Christian Weedbrook)

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