Open Compute Project to design open silicon and optics in the 2.0 strategy • The Register


The Open Compute Project has set out a strategy to bring it into its second decade, and will pursue open silicon designs and do more work to enable future innovations in optical networking, AI, and immersion cooling.

The Project (OCP) was founded in 2011 when Facebook decided to share the hardware and data center infrastructure designs it was using to achieve obscene scale while becoming more efficient.

Facebook was aware of side projects from other hyperscalers, but believed that all could benefit from sharing designs instead of working on their own efforts. Intel, Rackspace, Goldman Sachs and Andy Bechtolsheim liked the idea and in April 2011 created the Open Compute Project incorporating the Open Compute Project Foundation.

OCP added members to a decent clip, and big hardware makers like Quanta and Inspur luckily made an OCP-compliant kit that they sold to members and anyone who wanted to run hardware designed to work. in large scale.

Buyers did not rush to use OCP material. The organization’s own estimates, detailed in a white paper [PDF] published last week, suggest cloud operators acquire nearly 90% of all open-design servers, with enterprise users accounting for less than 10% and communications service providers accounting for the rest. The organization predicts that by 2025, corporate sales will account for ten percent of the open-design server market.

These numbers include all open designs, as OCP has some competition. Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent and other Chinese hyperscalers participate in a rival Open Data Center committee, while LinkedIn and Equinix prefer the “Open19” effort – which was hosted by the Linux Foundation in April 2021.

The OCP kit has racked up some decent numbers, however. A February 2020 Market Impact Assessment [PDF] which covered the first three quarters of 2019 found that OCP hardware accounted for $ 3.6 billion in total spend on servers, storage, network kit, racks, power supplies, and associated peripherals. This figure amounted to 2.5 percent of the total hardware expenditures made by companies that were not OCP participants.

Although this market share is low, the document reports 40% year-over-year growth and predicts that by 2023, the OPC kit will hold 5.5% of the market and generate 11.8 billion dollars in revenue for suppliers. Analyst firm Gartner has similar numbers: Its 2021 cloud computing hype cycle suggests that cloud-optimized hardware affects between one and five percent of buyers.

Another item updates us with OCP. In September 2020, Intel appointed Rebecca Weekly as a representative on the OCP board of directors. Weekly is Chipzilla’s veep, general manager and senior senior engineer for strategy and large-scale execution at Intel.

In July 2021, Weekly became President of OCP and last week she wrote an article titled “Introducing OCP 2.0! “

“As OCP continues to cover all aspects of modular hardware design… there has been growing interest in forward-looking initiatives such as open hardware, chips, cooling and software solutions for a broad community collaboration, to accelerate innovation and enable scalability through ecosystem adoption, ”she wrote. The new strategy is the result of this growing interest.

The strategy has two objectives. The first is called “Meet the Market” and has the following four objectives:

  • Modularity – Provide scalable and modular components and open interfaces to enable hardware development without vanity;
  • Large Scale Operations – Provide common and secure manageability across all cloud-scale platforms and deliver solutions that can be leveraged from cloud to edge;
  • Sustainability – Increase standardization of measures of use, consumption of supply-side resources and OCP-certified sustainable design and operating practices;
  • Integrated Solutions – Improve large-scale adoptions of OCP design with streamlined vertical solution stack certifications.

The second objective is entitled “Seed Future Innovation” and pursues the following objectives:

  • Optics – Lead the definition of market requirements for process and technology transitions for optimal convergence;
  • Open Silicon – Define interfaces for future co-packaging to enable first-rate components from silicon drive and control tools and benchmark platform standards;
  • AI – Evolve AI in the marketplace and drive innovation and market adoption of AI / ML by creating standardized infrastructure solutions for large-scale AI training, inference AI and ubiquitous AI;
  • Cooling – Deliver the best advanced cooling solutions, durable immersion cooling, and cold plate designs that support cloud-to-edge use cases.

“This journey of evolving OCP’s strategy and goals with the OCP 2.0 framework is exciting,” Weekly wrote. “Shifting the focus of our community not only to meet the current needs of our market, but also to help drive the future of open source hardware innovation is critical to the success of the entire technology industry. information. “

Open innovation is of course essential to the tech industry and OCP has shown that its contributions can be important for hyperscalers. It remains to be seen whether he can begin to define broader programs.

Weekly signed on a note of hope rather than confidence:

“I can’t wait to see what we will deliver with the new OCP 2.0 charter and the next decade of open computing,” she wrote. ®

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