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Big Data & Fast Data & RISC-V, Western Digital CTO Reveals the Connections

How organizations will deal with the ongoing growth of data and which architecture will be necessary to scale resources for tomorrow’s data-centric applications is a critically important ongoing discussion in tech.

Martin Fink, Western Digital’s Chief Technology Officer, delivered the opening keynote at the recent Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) Silicon Summit in San Jose, CA. The audience of 250+ came together to hear about the latest semiconductor innovations, including system architectures enabling the automotive and Internet of Things (IoT) markets.

Martin Fink presentation
Martin Fink presents at GSA Silicon Summit

Martin described the exponential growth we’re seeing in both the volume and value of data, big data and fast data applications and use cases, and then discussed RISC-V. Martin explained how general purpose compute architectures are no longer sufficient to meet the needs of today’s data-centric applications. These traditional system architectures are reaching their limits – a ‘one size fits all’ approach fails to meet the workload demands of increasingly diverse applications in a data-centric world.

Slide from GSA presentation

Purpose-built architectures that allow for independent scaling of resources are key to succeeding in data-rich environments. Tomorrow’s data-centric compute architectures will need the ability to scale resources independent of one another. We’ll need architectures that go beyond the limited resource ratios of general-purpose compute architectures to optimize processing, memory, storage, and interconnect.

These concepts apply to real-time analytics, such as fraud detection, information, and physical security. It also fuels smart machines like autonomous vehicles that have hundreds of sensors and control points or enables more immersive interactions with Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.

RISC-V is open and purpose-built. It’s a modular architecture that can be scaled to the precise needs of a given application environment, spanning the range from IoT applications, to embedded SoC, data center CPUs and accelerators. A rapidly growing RISC-V community is developing the architecture using an open standards approach (e.g. Linux) designed to maximize innovation. These special-purpose processors will complement and extend the legacy general purpose processors upon which the industry currently relies.

Slide from GSA presentation

Martin’s well-received keynote set the stage for presentations from other industry executives who addressed IoT, security and autonomous vehicles.

To learn more about Western Digital’s support of RISC-V, visit our page about this innovation. If you’re in Northern California, consider attending the next Bay Area RISC-V Meetup on June 19 in San Mateo. And get ready for lots of news from the RISC-V Workshop, happening May 7-10 in Barcelona, Spain.

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JoAnn Yamani
JoAnn Yamani, Esq., APR, is Director of Corporate Communications, Western Digital. She previously served as an advocate attorney for the U.S. Congress, and wrote speeches for the CEOs of Hewlett-Packard and Blue Shield. Her deep understanding of the technology field has been evident in work with top-tier publications such as Inc., Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, and others. She holds a Doctor of Law from Santa Clara University School of Law and a B.A. in Government & Economics from Mills College.