SC18 brings AI excitement for Micron memory and storage

Jay Walstrum | November 2018

I always love this time of year. Many would agree as we are approaching the holidays, but I like this time of year for the technical achievements and examples of moving forward with high performance systems as demonstrated at Super Computing 2018 (SC18). It’s a neural network (NN) wrap up - explosive machine learning (ML) opening to the deep learning (DL) experience with the artificial intelligence (AI) cleanup afterward. SC18 was full of interesting insights predicting and demonstrating where high performance systems are heading.

In the NEWS

Micron kicked off SC18 with two press releases: The first press release, “Micron Joins CERN openlab, Bringing New Machine Learning Capabilities to Advance Science and Research,” focused on the new project engagement with CERN openlab where Micron will leverage developed AI solutions {ACS solutions}to find valuable information from petabytes of data for the research community. The second press release, “Micron and Achronix Deliver Next-Generation FPGAs Powered by High-Performance GDDR6 Memory for Machine Learning Applications," identified the adoption of GDDR6 in AI applications with FPGA’s from Achronix on their 7nm node architectures.

woman presenting at a conference Maria Girone, CTO at CERN openlab
man presenting at a conference Manoj Roge, VP at Achronix

Excitement in the Micron Booth

In case you missed it, there were over 30 presentations in the Micron booth. This included thought leadership presentations from CERN Openlab, @AMD, Dell, Achronix, NYRIAD, AMAX, @PenguinHPC, Advantech, One Convergence and, of course, Micron. Topics ranged in coverage from “How AI is affecting the architecture revolution to enable ML/DL” to new enabled solutions that include latest technology of QLC storage and high performance GDDR6 memory.

The conversations were awesome. Collaborating with Data science researchers, enabling the next gen FPGA’s with high-performing memory, and engaging with ecosystem partners in the Micron booth to bring awareness about the critical role memory and storage plays in AI systems.

people watching man present at a conference Alex St. John, CTO at Nyriad Storage

On the Stage: In the exhibitor forum presentations, Andreas Schlapka, Micron Director of Strategic Marketing in the Compute and Network business unit, outlined the opportunities for many Micron memory & storage options in both training and inference AI applications. Demonstrating the need for choices in memory and storage for AI for deployment from Data Center to the Edge. This begs the questions from the audience, “does the memory bandwidth wall still exists?” which leaves opportunities for new system solutions between compute and memory.

people watching man present at a conference Dr. Andreas Schlapka, Strategic Marketing Director at Micron

Mark Hur Director in Micron’s Advanced Compute Solutions group provided the background on a series of machine learning solutions developed to enable applications in AI. These cards with IP enable the flexibility of FPGA’s while leveraging common neural network programming and IP that is optimized for high performance memory bandwidth.

Demonstrating AI

The Micron booth was alive with demonstrations, including “accelerated display with GPU controller for NVMe” from NYRIAD, where GPU enabled system executing the 4K video feed going from 30fps and when you turn off the governor, ramped up to 1500fps – entertaining video in fast mode. The “Persistent memory virtualized” performance example from Micron, “ML infused style transform” using Micron’s ML solutions, “High Performance NVMe” with Advantech systems and even a very entertaining “AI Mood Detection” providing an EMOTICON display, letting you express yourself with emoji’s that indicate your mood. This was provided by an application running on the NVIDIA DGX workstation. I would summarize the demonstrations as informative and entertaining. Informative about how memory and storage are used in AI and very entertaining in their execution.

Evident from the SC18 wrap up, Micron is focused on transforming how the world uses information to enrich life. AI, ML and DL are indeed a big part of that focus. As we are early in the evolution of AI, we all have a lot of learning to do on how architectures from data center to edge will change to deliver the desired results. One thing we know is that it will take options in memory and storage to enable these solutions and Micron is up to the challenge to collaborate, innovate, and deliver.

Sr. Manager, Enterprise Business Development

Jay Walstrum

Jay Walstrum is a Senior System Architect for Micron’s Compute and Networking Business Unit, where he is focusing on new opportunities in the three to five-plus year timeframe. In his role, he also applies innovative technologies and memory architectures to solve customer system-level challenges.

Jay’s responsibilities include working closely with a market-strategy team to identify new technology, applications, product/architecture specifications, customers, and markets for new product concepts. He also actively works with customer system architects, technologists, third-party developers, and Micron’s Research and Development team to identify, define, and architect innovative memory solutions.

Before beginning with Micron in January 2013, Jay spent 22 years at Xilinx Corp, where he held various positions ranging from the Director of Quality, to the Senior Product Planning Manager, to the Strategic and Technical Marketing Leader.

Jay holds a BSEE from University of Southern California. He holds 11 patents in the areas of FPGA system Solutions and memory interface architecture.