Nvidia founder and CEO Jensen Huang has interviewed Ethernet’s co-inventor Bob Metcalfe to mark the 40th anniversary of the Ethernet standard on September 30. The two visionaries talked about the early days of the Ethernet and how it continues to drive innovation and facilitate communication over the Internet in the age of Kubernetes and the Internet of Things.
During the interview Huang commented on the evolution of the data center and how scaling the Kubernetes orchestrated microservices is made possible thanks to Ethernet. Upon being questioned by Metcalfe, Huang confirmed that Nvidia’s growing interest in high performance and data center computing was indeed why his company recently acquired Mellanox.
Huang however dismissed the use of Ethernet on-chip to facilitate faster communication between processors: “Ethernet on a chip will not be necessary. And the reason for it not being necessary is because the protocols between our processors are very simple since everything that one processor could send to another processor is very well known.”
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Instead Huang posited that they rather focus their efforts on applications of the future that will be more distributed: “We're gonna have an application that partly runs at a data centre, partly runs in another data centre at the edge, for example, and then partly that application’s running on autonomous machines roaming around the world. And so that this way of composing applications connected by networking is fairly essential going forward.”
Another area that interests Huang is computer vision: “You know, of course, today we transmit video, which is a two-dimensional image, but in the future will probably transmit perception. And from that information, I can reconstruct you in 3D. And so you and I could... basically, have a greater sensation of being together.”
And Huang believes Ethernet will help drive this forward: “...because of your invention, today, we have the ability... to be in different places, but share one digital space. In the future we will teleport ourselves to different spaces, you know. So the teleport is going to happen. It's just going to be moving photons, not atoms.”
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