Issue 1533 - Tuesday 25th January, 2022

No Sizzle tomorrow as it is the Australia Invasion Day public holiday.

In Today's Issue

The News

Meta builds a very fast computer for AI research

Meta reckons it has one of the world's fastest "AI supercomputers" running today and by mid-2022 will grow to be the fastest. Meta's AI Research SuperCluster (RSC) consists of 760 NVIDIA DGX A100 systems for a total of 6,080 GPUs, hooked up over a stupid fast network with many petabytes of flash storage. This is just the start too, as Meta plans for RSC to have 16,000 GPUs by mid-year. What will meta use it for? Training "large models in natural language processing (NLP) and computer vision for research" to "build new and better AI models that can learn from trillions of examples". I love big fast computers, so even though this thing was birthed by the spawn of satan himself, I will continue to ogle it.

Cryptocurrency prices tank and used GPU prices drop too

This could be good news or bad news - but cryptocurrency pricing (particularly Bitcoin & Ethereum) has shit the bed again. Business articles make it sound like a disaster, as if it was an equity or commodity this would be a disaster, but this is cryptocurrency! The value of the asset has nothing to do with reality and is pure moods and vibes. The current price of ~US$37,000 for 1x BTC is almost half what it was worth back in November, but it's more or less what 1x BTC was worth at this same time last year and triple what it was worth this time in 2020. The froth coming off the crypto market is also having an impact on used GPUs, with Tom's Hardware finding most are dropping in price rapidly over the last month. Thank fuck for that.

Consumer Data Right now applies to telco industry

The Australian Consumer Data Right laws will now apply to the telecommunications sector - the third after banking and energy. The aim of the CDR is forcing these industries to open up their data and allow customers to opt-in to sharing that data with other businesses in order to find better deals, or view their data in different ways. For the telco industry, you'll be able to grab data on your usage for example and share that with a data broker, who can then find you offers that beat what you're paying now. The telco industry's lobby group hates it and is whinging about the $120m cost in complying with the CDR that'll inevitably be passed on to customers. More info on the CDR is available on the government's website.

Something I Saw On The Internet

More leaked details on Intel's soon to be released Arc GPU

Continuing the GPU related theme for today, a leak of Intel's SKUs for mobile-based Arc GPUs reveals that they're gunning for the mobile GeForce 3070 and 3080 series and Radeon 6800 and 6900 series products. Considering how hard it is to get an AMD or Nvidia GPU, having Intel's massive capacity ready to make GPUs that appear relatively competitive could be a saviour for those of us who just want a nice graphics card to play our favourite PC games on. Also in this article is info on some benchmark results posted to the internet by what is claiming to be an Arc desktop GPU, that performs around the same as an Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti. Intel was going to start selling these Q1 2022, which if you've looked at a calendar lately is now, but the Q1 bit has been scrubbed from Intel's website. Hopefully not too long to wait for a new entrant to break up the GPU duopoly.


The End

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The Sizzle is created on Wathaurong land and acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia, recognising their continuing connection to land, water and community. I pay my respect to them and their cultures and to elders both past and present.