One of the key design elements in the CRIP.TO Black offering is the use of a field programmable gate array (FPGA) chip. The design to use this technology was a direct result of the CRIP.TO commitment to keeping ours safe from backdoors. When dealing with chips developed by the major suppliers, there is no guarantee that a backdoor has not been introduced either by design or from a manufacturing and firmware issue (see our Blog Post on the Intel and AMD chip issues).
With the FPGA, CRIP.TO can leave the chip unchanged until the Black device is completely assembled under the watchful eyes of CRIP.TO employees. While other chips have their circuitry etched and functionality predefined, that is not the case with a FPGA. With the FPGA, that can be implemented at the very end allowing the user to make the latest design changes.
In an interesting article, Microsoft is working in collaboration with Intel to use a FPGA to enhance the capabilities of their Bing search engine. The use of the FPGA by Microsoft in their servers dates back to 2011. The intent of the deployment and use of the FPGA chip is to improve the speed and accuracy of internet searches.
While not specific about the outcome, the article supposes that Microsoft is intending to change Bing from a search engine into a website where people can go to search for information. With the FPGA-powered servers, Microsoft has significant capability to apply new chip configurations rapidly to continue the development of their project.
According to a press release by Intel,
Intel FPGAs power the technology that allows Bing to quickly process millions of articles across the web to get you contextual answers. Using machine learning and reading comprehension, Bing will now rapidly provide intelligent answers that help users find what they’re looking for faster, instead of a list of links for the users to manually check. Now you can check it out on your own for lots of types of questions, such as “Is coffee good for you?” or “What are the mental health benefits of yoga?” that generate multiple perspectives. Or even ask “How many calories are in a hot dog?” and Bing will share the calories and the number of minutes running required to burn the calories ingested.
Right now, the capabilities are limited but the idea of Microsoft employing FPGAs is quite interesting to us here at CRIP.TO. Our reasons for using it are somewhat different but the advantages both companies seek to utilize are quite similar.
Check out our entire offering and learn a bit more about how CRIP.TO is dedicated to giving our customers the ability and freedom to communicate fearlessly.