I’m going to keep this brief, as it’s late and I have an early morning flight. So here are the most interesting stories of the day, as far as I’m concerned (and, yes, there’s kind of an underdog theme happening):
AMD wants to challenge Intel in the data center:
AMD unveiled its new Epyc data center chip today
, to quite a bit of fanfare. Folks seemed to generally have good things to say about the Epyc design but, of course, the market for server chips has changed drastically since AMD was last a real player (read: “the cloud happened”). In that regard, it’s probably meaningful that Microsoft Azure and Baidu have pledged to offer Epyc-based instances
at some point, although—assuming customers actually want to adopt a new CPU architecture—how cloud providers price them and how widely they make them available will dictate how successful those partnerships are. Also, it would help if AWS offered AMD instances, and if the trend wasn’t toward managed services and container- and function-level abstractions.
Rigetti Computing wants to challenge Google and IBM in quantum computing:
If you haven’t heard of Rigetti Computing, now would be a good time to get familiar with it. The company, which has raised more than $64 million (led in two rounds by Andreessen Horowitz), just announced version 1.0 of its Forest platform
for writing and executing quantum algorithms, as well as a fabrication facility for manufacturing quantum chips. WIRED has a good writeup on the company
around this news, too, including on the daunting challenge of not only developing a commercially viable quantum computer (this is different than D-Wave’s system; for more on the difference, check out the podcast link below) but also to beat IBM and Google to doing so.
MongoDB is stepping up its product game:
Of all the well-known open source companies to have emerged in the late ‘00s, perhaps no one has had to endure as much criticism and speculation (about its financial situation) as MongoDB, whose eponymous database was both widely adopted and seemingly difficult to monetize. The company sought to change that with its hosted Atlas database as a service last year, and on Tuesday announced two potentially useful (and profitable) new services
. One is a product called Stitch, for integrating MongoDB directly to popular data sources (e.g., Google, Facebook, AWS, Twilio, Slack and anything with a REST API), and an as-yet-unavailable analytics tool called Mongo Charts.