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|Updated On||:||February 21, 2019|
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000-086 exam Dumps Source : System x High Performance Servers(R) Technical Support V4
Test Code : 000-086
Test Name : System x High Performance Servers(R) Technical Support V4
Vendor Name : IBM
Q&A : 43 Real Questions
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computer studying algorithms have better through leaps and bounds in contemporary years. State-of-the-artwork methods like fb’s, as an instance, can educate image classification algorithms in an hour with out sacrificing accuracy. however a lot of them are educated on excessive-end machines with powerful GPUs, and as the cyber web of issues (IoT) business moves towards aspect computing, there’s transforming into demand for low-energy synthetic intelligence (AI) fashions with low overhead.
Promising analysis out of IBM lays the groundwork for a lot greater effective algorithms. on the 2018 convention on computer imaginative and prescient and pattern awareness in Salt Lake metropolis, Utah this week, analysis scientists from the company are offering two papers that deal with graphic classification.BlockDrop
the primary, titled “BlockDrop: Dynamic Interference Paths in Residual Networks,” builds on Microsoft’s work on residual networks that became published in 2015. Residual networks (ResNets for brief) introduce identification connections between the layers in the neural community, permitting them to learn incremental, or residual, representations in the course of practicing.
IBM takes this concept one step additional. Scientists brought a lightweight secondary neural community — mentioned within the paper as a “coverage network” — that dynamically dropped residual blocks in a pre-knowledgeable ResNet. To be certain the efficiency beneficial properties didn’t come at the can charge of precision, the coverage network turned into educated to make use of a minimal number of blocks and to keep focus accuracy.
“commonly speakme, if you add more layers to a model, that you can enhance its accuracy, however you raise the computational charge,” IBM analysis manager Rogerio Feris instructed VentureBeat in a telephone interview. “One challenge with most present fashions these days is that you have one-size-fits-all networks where the equal computation is applied to all photos. [Our] device allocates supplies greater effectively and [can] accurately establish a picture.”
BlockDrop accelerated photograph classification by 20 percent on ordinary, and by means of as plenty as 36 p.c in definite cases, all while maintaining seventy six.four percent accuracy — the equal as the scan’s control.improving stereo vision
The 2nd paper, “A Low energy, high Throughput, Full event-primarily based Stereo equipment,” tackled one more difficulty in photograph processing: stereo vision.
As IBM researcher Alexander Andreopoulos explained, human eyes are centimeters apart from each and every other and see the realm from a bit of diverse views. The mind’s visible cortex seamlessly merges pictures from both eyes into one, allowing us to perceive depth, however two-digital camera robotics programs have a more challenging time reconciling the disparity.
“within the case of laptop vision, camera lenses have abnormalities, and this results in noise and complicates the problem,” Andreopoulos talked about.
The researcher’s solution: a device working on IBM’s TrueNorth neuromorphic chips, which have a enormously parallelized structure optimized for laptop getting to know fashions. the use of a cluster of 9 processors, a pair of event-primarily based cameras (cameras that simplest snap an image once they notice action), and a desktop that disbursed computations to the aforementioned chips, the algorithms captured and processed four hundred (as much as a highest of 2,000) disparity maps per 2nd.
using event-based cameras greatly reduce down on bandwidth and energy usage, Andreopoulos defined. “Stereo algorithms have been round for over 30 years, but most of these systems … use an active method to sensing the realm. Ours uses a passive strategy.”
photo credit: IBM
normal, the system validated a 200 times development in terms of vigour per pixel per disparity map compared to state-of-the-artwork methods with excessive framerate cameras.
The consequences grasp promise for robotics techniques that depend on low-power, low-latency depth tips to navigate the world, Andreopoulos observed. “[I imagine] it getting used in accomplice robots for the elderly … [that] offer some variety of mobility guidance.”
For now, AI techniques are commonly desktop learning-primarily based and “slim” – effective as they are by nowadays’s standards, they’re constrained to performing a number of, narrowly-defined tasks. AI of the next decade will leverage the enhanced energy of deep gaining knowledge of and turn into broader, solving a stronger array of extra advanced problems. moreover, the typical-aim applied sciences used these days for AI deployments will be replaced with the aid of a expertise stack that’s AI-specific and exponentially quicker – and it’s going to take a lot of money.IBM’s Mukesh Khare
in search of to take center stage in AI’s unfolding, IBM – in combination with long island state and several technology heavies – is investing $2 billion within the IBM research AI Hardware center, focused on setting up next technology AI silicon, networking and manufacturing in an effort to, IBM noted, bring 1,000x AI efficiency effectivity development over the subsequent decade.
“today, AI’s ever-increasing sophistication is pushing the boundaries of the trade’s existing hardware methods as clients discover more methods to include various sources of statistics from the area, cyber web of issues, and greater,” stated Mukesh Khare, VP, IBM analysis Semiconductor and AI Hardware community, in a blog asserting the challenge. “…nowadays’s systems have achieved more suitable AI performance by way of infusing desktop-getting to know capabilities with excessive-bandwidth CPUs and GPUs, really expert AI accelerators and high-performance networking device. To keep this trajectory, new pondering is needed to accelerate AI performance scaling to healthy to ever-increasing AI workload complexities.”IBM roadmap for 1,000x improvement in AI compute performance efficiency.
IBM spoke of the center may be the nucleus of a new ecosystem of research and commercial companions participating with IBM researchers. partners announced these days include Samsung for manufacturing and analysis, Mellanox technologies for prime-performance interconnect device, Synopsys for utility platforms, emulation and prototyping, and IP for constructing excessive-performance silicon chips, and semiconductor gadget companies utilized substances and Tokyo Electron.
Hosted at SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Albany, ny, in collaboration with neighboring Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute center for Computational innovations, IBM referred to the enterprise and its partners will “enhance a range of technologies from chip degree devices, substances, and architecture, to the utility assisting AI workloads.”
big Blue noted research on the middle will focus on overcoming present computing device-studying barriers via tactics that consist of approximate computing via Digital AI Cores and in-memory computing via Analog AI Cores. These applied sciences will provide the thousand-fold increases in performance effectivity required for full awareness of deep researching AI, in accordance with IBM.
“Our analog AI cores are a part of an in-memory computing strategy in efficiency effectivity which improves through suppressing the so-referred to as Von Neuman bottleneck by means of putting off statistics switch to and from reminiscence,” referred to IBM. “Deep neural networks are mapped to analog go aspect arrays and new non-unstable cloth characteristics are toggled to store network parameters in the move points.”
“A key area of research and construction will be techniques that meet the demands of deep gaining knowledge of inference and training techniques,” Khare referred to. “Such techniques offer giant accuracy improvements over greater typical machine discovering for unstructured statistics. these intense processing demands will develop exponentially as algorithms become more complicated so as to deliver AI programs with elevated cognitive potential.”
Khare observed the analysis center will host R&D, emulation, prototyping, checking out and simulation activities for brand spanking new AI cores in particular designed for practicing and deploying superior AI models, together with a test mattress in which contributors can display improvements in real-world applications. really good wafer processing for the core can be accomplished in Albany with some guide at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson research middle in Yorktown Heights, the big apple.
In September 2018, IBM announced a brand new product, IBM Db2 AI for z/OS. This synthetic intelligence engine displays records access patterns from executing SQL statements, uses computing device researching algorithms to select most reliable patterns and passes this tips to the Db2 query optimizer to be used through subsequent statements.machine discovering on the IBM z Platform
In may additionally of 2018, IBM introduced version 1.2 of its computing device studying for z/OS (MLz) product. here's a hybrid zServer and cloud application suite that ingests efficiency data, analyzes and builds fashions that symbolize the health status of a considerable number of indications, displays them over time and gives real-time scoring capabilities.
a couple of elements of this product offering are geared toward supporting a neighborhood of mannequin builders and managers. as an example:
This machine getting to know suite changed into at the beginning geared toward zServer-based mostly analytics purposes. some of the first obvious decisions changed into zSystem performance monitoring and tuning. system administration Facility (SMF) statistics which are immediately generated by using the operating gadget supply the uncooked information for system resource consumption corresponding to valuable processor utilization, I/O processing, memory paging and so on. IBM MLz can collect and save these statistics over time, and construct and teach models of system behavior, rating those behaviors, establish patterns now not easily foreseen via humans, increase key performance symptoms (KPIs) and then feed the mannequin consequences back into the system to affect equipment configuration changes that can increase efficiency.
The subsequent step became to enforce this suite to investigate Db2 performance facts. One answer, known as the IBM Db2 IT Operational Analytics (Db2 ITOA) answer template, applies the computer discovering know-how to Db2 operational information to profit an understanding of Db2 subsystem fitness. it will probably dynamically build baselines for key performance indicators, give a dashboard of those KPIs and give operational personnel true-time perception into Db2 operations.
whereas conventional Db2 subsystem performance is an important component in usual software health and efficiency, IBM estimates that the DBA support group of workers spends 25% or greater of its time, " ... fighting access path problems which cause efficiency degradation and repair impact.". (See Reference 1).AI involves Db2
agree with the plight of modern DBAs in a Db2 atmosphere. In state-of-the-art IT world they have to support one or greater massive facts applications, cloud software and database capabilities, application setting up and configuration, Db2 subsystem and application performance tuning, database definition and administration, disaster recovery planning, and more. query tuning has been in existence on account that the origins of the database, and DBAs are constantly tasked with this as smartly.
The heart of query direction evaluation in Db2 is the Optimizer. It accepts SQL statements from applications, verifies authority to access the statistics, experiences the places of the objects to be accessed and develops an inventory of candidate data entry paths. These access paths can encompass indexes, desk scans, a lot of table be part of methods and others. within the data warehouse and massive facts environments there are always further decisions available. One of those is the existence of abstract tables (sometimes called materialized query tables) that include pre-summarized or aggregated facts, therefore permitting Db2 to steer clear of re-aggregation processing. another choice is the starjoin access direction, standard in the records warehouse, where the order of table joins is changed for performance factors.
The Optimizer then reports the candidate access paths and chooses the entry course, "with the lowest cost." charge in this context potential a weighted summation of useful resource usage including CPU, I/O, reminiscence and different components. finally, the Optimizer takes the bottom can charge entry route, shops it in memory (and, optionally, within the Db2 listing) and begins access direction execution.
big statistics and information warehouse operations now consist of utility suites that permit the company analyst to make use of a graphical interface to build and manipulate a miniature data model of the information they need to analyze. The packages then generate SQL statements in keeping with the clients’ requests.
The difficulty for the DBA
so as to do first rate analytics for your diverse data stores you need a fine knowing of the data necessities, an figuring out of the analytical features and algorithms obtainable and a excessive-efficiency data infrastructure. regrettably, the number and site of information sources is increasing (each in measurement and in geography), facts sizes are growing to be, and purposes continue to proliferate in number and complexity. How should IT managers support this atmosphere, in particular with essentially the most experienced and mature staff nearing retirement?
take into account also that a large a part of decreasing the total can charge of possession of these techniques is to get Db2 functions to run faster and more efficiently. This usually translates into using fewer CPU cycles, doing fewer I/Os and transporting less records throughout the network. when you consider that it's regularly complicated to even establish which functions might benefit from performance tuning, one approach is to automate the detection and correction of tuning concerns. here's the place machine researching and artificial intelligence can be used to remarkable impact.Db2 12 for z/OS and artificial Intelligence
Db2 edition 12 on z/OS makes use of the computing device learning amenities mentioned above to collect and save SQL question textual content and entry route particulars, in addition to specific performance-related old tips reminiscent of CPU time used, elapsed times and outcome set sizes. This offering, described as Db2 AI for z/OS, analyzes and retailers the records in machine discovering models, with the model evaluation effects then being scored and made attainable to the Db2 Optimizer. The subsequent time a scored SQL remark is encountered, the Optimizer can then use the mannequin scoring records as enter to its access direction alternative algorithm.
The result should be a reduction in CPU consumption as the Optimizer makes use of model scoring enter to opt for stronger entry paths. This then lowers CPU prices and speeds utility response times. a big expertise is that the usage of AI software doesn't require the DBA to have statistics science talents or deep insights into query tuning methodologies. The Optimizer now chooses the ideal access paths based now not best on SQL question syntax and records distribution facts but on modelled and scored old efficiency.
This may also be specially essential in case you keep information in varied areas. as an example, many analytical queries towards massive facts require concurrent entry to definite information warehouse tables. These tables are generally known as dimension tables, and that they comprise the records elements constantly used to control subsetting and aggregation. as an instance, in a retail ambiance believe a table known as StoreLocation that enumerates every save and its place code. Queries towards shop income facts may additionally need to combination or summarize income by way of vicinity; therefore, the StoreLocation table might be used by way of some massive statistics queries. in this ambiance it's commonplace to take the dimension tables and copy them always to the big data application. within the IBM world this area is the IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA).
Now think about SQL queries from both operational functions, data warehouse clients and massive data business analysts. From Db2's standpoint, all these queries are equal, and are forwarded to the Optimizer. youngsters, in the case of operational queries and warehouse queries they should surely be directed to entry the StoreLocation table in the warehouse. then again, the query from the company analyst in opposition t big statistics tables should still likely entry the reproduction of the desk there. This outcomes in a proliferations of skills entry paths, and greater work for the Optimizer. fortunately, Db2 AI for z/OS can supply the Optimizer the suggestions it needs to make wise entry direction choices.how it Works
The sequence of movements in Db2 AI for z/OS (See Reference 2) is often here:
There are also numerous person interfaces that supply the administrator visibility to the repute of the accumulated SQL observation efficiency information and model scoring.abstract
IBM's desktop discovering for zOS (MLz) offering is getting used to fantastic effect in Db2 edition 12 to enhance the efficiency of analytical queries as well as operational queries and their associated functions. This requires administration attention, as you should investigate that your company is ready to devour these ML and AI conclusions. How will you measure the prices and advantages of using desktop gaining knowledge of? Which IT assist group of workers ought to be tasked to reviewing the influence of model scoring, and perhaps approving (or overriding) the consequences? How will you review and justify the assumptions that the software makes about entry direction choices?
In different words, how well did you know your information, its distribution, its integrity and your latest and proposed access paths? this will check the place the DBAs spend their time in aiding analytics and operational software efficiency.
# # #
John Campbell, IBM Db2 unusual EngineerFrom "IBM Db2 AI for z/OS: raise IBM Db2 application efficiency with desktop researching"https://www.worldofdb2.com/activities/ibm-db2-ai-for-z-os-boost-ibm-db2-utility-efficiency-with-ma
Db2 AI for z/OShttps://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/en/SSGKMA_1.1.0/src/ai/ai_home.html
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X-Engine is a new generation storage engine developed by Alibaba Database Department and is the basis of the distributed database X-DB. To achieve 10 times the performance of MySQL and 1/10 the storage cost, X-DB combines software with hardware to make full use of the most cutting-edge technical advantages in both software and hardware fields.
FPGA acceleration is our first attempt in the custom computing field. At present, the FPGA-accelerated X-DB has been subject to small-scale online grayscale release. FPGA will assist X-DB in the 6.18 and Double 11 shopping carnivals this year and will meet Alibaba's business departments' high database performance requirements.Overview of Alibaba's X-Engine
Owning the world's largest online transaction website, Alibaba's OLTP (online transaction processing) database system needs to satisfy high-throughput service requirements. According to our statistics, several billion records get written into our OLTP database system on a daily basis. During the 2017 Double 11 (Singles' Day) shopping carnival, the system's peak throughput reached 10 million TPS (transactions per second). Alibaba's business database systems mainly have the following characteristics:
To meet Alibaba's stringent requirements on performance and cost, we have designed a new storage engine; it is called X-Engine. We have used many cutting edge database technologies in X-Engine; these include highly-efficient memory index structures, asynchronous write assembly-line processing mechanism, and optimistic concurrency control for in-memory databases.
To achieve the best write performance and facilitate the separation of cold and hot data for tiered storage, X-Engine has borrowed the design of LSM-Tree. X-Engine maintains multiple memtables in its memory. It appends all newly written data to these memtables, rather than directly replacing existing records. As the data storage is relatively large, it is impossible to store all data in memory.
When data in memory reaches a specified volume, we flush it to the persistent storage to form an SSTable. To reduce latency in read operations, X-Engine regularly schedules compaction tasks to compact SSTables in the persistent storage. X-Engine merges key-value pairs in multiple SSTables by keeping only the latest version of key-value pairs if multiple versions exist (all key-value pair versions currently referenced by transactions will also be kept).
Based on the characteristics of data access, X-Engine applies tiered storage to persistent data, where we store active data in relatively high data layers, and merge less active data (seldom accessed) with base-layer data and store it in the base-layer. It compresses base-layer data at a high compression rate and migrates it to storage media featuring large capacity but the relatively low price (such as SATA HDDs) to achieve the goal of storing a large quantity of data at a relatively low cost.
In this case, tiered storage creates a new problem: the system must frequently compact data, and the larger number of data writes requires more frequent compaction processes. Compaction is a compare and merge process which requires high consumption of CPU and storage I/O. In high-throughput write cases, a large number of compaction operations will occupy a large number of system resources. This can surely cause the performance of the entire system to drop tremendously thus leading to a huge impact on the application system.
The completely new X-Engine has extraordinary multi-core expansion capability to achieve very high performance. Its front-end transaction alone can almost completely consume all CPU resources, and it has a much higher resource using efficiency than InnoDB. We have shown the comparison between the two in the following figure:
At such a performance level, the system does not have any other resources for compaction operations; otherwise, performance levels will drop.
Based on our testing results, in DbBench benchmark's write-only scenario, the system periodically suffers from performance jitter. When a compaction task occurs, the system performance drops by more than 40%, and when the compaction task ends, the system performance returns to normal. We have shown this behavior in the following figure:
However, if we do not conduct compaction promptly, the accumulation of multi-version data can seriously affect the read operations.
To solve the performance jitter caused by compaction, academic experts have put forward many structures such as VT-tree, bLSM, PE, PCP, and dCompaction. Although these algorithms can optimize the compaction performance across multiple aspects, they cannot reduce consumption of CPU resources by compaction. Based on relevant research statistics, when using SSD storage devices, the computing operations of compaction in the system consumes approximately 60% of computing resources. Therefore, no matter what optimizations we implement for compaction in the software layer, for all LSM tree-based storage engines, performance jitter caused by compaction is always an Achilles' heel.
Fortunately, special hardware opens a new door for solving performance jitter caused by compaction. In fact, it has become a trend to use special hardware in solving traditional databases' performance bottlenecks. We have already offloaded database operations such as Select and Where to FPGA, and more complex operations such as Group By are under research. However, the current FPGA acceleration solutions have a couple of drawbacks:
To ease the impact of compaction on X-Engine's system performance, we have used an asynchronous hardware device FPGA, rather than the CPU to complete the compaction operation. This approach is crucial for a storage engine that satisfies stringent service requirements by maintaining the overall system performance at a high-level and avoiding performance jitters. Here are the major design features:
X-Engine's storage structure contains one or multiple memory buffer areas (memtable), and multilayer persistent storage L0, L1... Each layer contains multiple SSTables.
When memtable is full, it turns into an immutable memtable and then flushes to an SSTable to L0. Each SSTable contains multiple data blocks and one index block to index the data block. When it reaches the maximum number of L0 files, it triggers the merge of SSTables that have the overlapped key ranges; this process is called compaction. Likewise, when we reach the maximum number of SSTables at a layer, it merges with lower layer data. In this way, cold data constantly flows downward while hot data remains at a relatively higher layer.
We can specify a range of key-value pairs that merge during a compaction process and this range may contain multiple data blocks. Generally, a compaction process involves merging data blocks between two adjacent layers. However, we need to pay special attention to compaction tasks between L0 and L1. This is because as SSTables in L0 directly flushes from the memory, keys of SSTables in this layer may get overlapped. Therefore, a compaction task between L0 and L1 may involve merging multiple data blocks.
For read operations, X-Engine needs to search for the required data from all memtables. If it fails to find the data in memtables, it searches in the persistence storage, from higher to lower layers. As a result, timely compaction operations not only shorten the read path but also save the storage space. However, this method uses a lot of system computing resources and causes performance jitter. This is an urgent problem that X-Engine must solve.FPGA Accelerated Database
From the perspective of the existing FPGA accelerated databases' status quo, we can divide FPGA accelerated database architectures into two types; the bump-in-the-wire design and the hybrid design. In the early stage, because of the FPGA card's insufficient memory resources, the former type of architecture is relatively popular. In this architecture, we place FPGA on the storage data path and use the host as a filter. The advantage is that it requires zero data replication, while the drawback is that the acceleration operation must be a part of the streamlined process, therefore making it not flexible enough in terms of the design method.
The latter architecture design uses FPGA as a coprocessor, where we have connected FPGA to host via PCIe and use the DMA method for data transmission. As long as the offloading computation is intensive enough, data transmission costs are acceptable. The hybrid architecture design allows more flexible offloading methods. For complex operations such as compaction, data transmission between FPGA and host is necessary. Therefore, we have used the hybrid architecture design for hardware acceleration in our X-Engine.
In traditional LSM-tree-based storage engines, CPU is responsible for handling normal user requests, as well as the scheduling and execution of compaction tasks. In other words, CPU is both the producer and consumer of compaction tasks. However, in a CPU-FPGA hybrid storage engine, CPU is only responsible for producing and scheduling compaction tasks. In this method, we need to offload the execution of compaction tasks to the special hardware (FPGA).
For X-Engine, handling of normal user requests is similar to that of LSM-tree-based storage engines:
When L0 reaches the maximum number of SSTables, compaction gets triggered. We can divide offloading of a compaction task into the following steps:
Compaction Units (CU) are the basic unit for FPGA to execute compaction tasks. An FPGA card can place multiple CUs, and each CU is composed of the following modules:
1. Decoder: In X-Engine, we store a KV in the data block after compression and encoding. The primary function of the Decoder module is to decode KV pairs. Each CU contains 4 Decoders, and a CU support a compression task of a maximum of 4 KV pairs. We need to split the compression tasks that require compression of more than 4 KV by the CPU. Based on our assessment, most compression tasks involve less than 4 KV pairs. We have placed 4 Decoders based on our considerations of performance and hardware resources. Comparing the configuration with 2 Decoders, we've increased 100% hardware consumption but obtained 300% performance improvement.
A compaction process contains three key steps: decoding, merging, and encoding. The most significant challenge for designing a proper compaction pipeline is that the execution time for each step varies significantly. For example, because of parallel processing, the throughput of the decoder module is much higher than the encoder module. Therefore, we must suspend some fast modules to wait for downstream modules still in the pipeline. To match the throughput differences in each of the pipeline's modules, we have designed a Controller module to coordinate different steps in the pipeline. An additional benefit of this design is that it decouples each module in the pipeline and enables more flexible development and maintenance during engineering implementation.
When integrating FPGA compaction into X-Engine we hope to have independent CU throughput performance; the baseline of the experiment is the CPU.
Single-core compaction thread (Intel(R) Xeon(R) E5-2682 v4 CPU with 2.5 GHz)
We can draw the following three conclusions from the experiment:
Because a link request in FPGA is completed in milliseconds, using the traditional synchronous scheduling method will cause high thread switching costs. Based on FPGA's characteristics, we have redesigned an asynchronous scheduling compaction method, where:
Asynchronous scheduling significantly reduces the thread-switching cost of CPU.
Fault Tolerance Mechanism Design
For FPGA compaction, the following three reasons can lead to the failure of compaction task:
To ensure the data is correct, the CPU will conduct computation again on all failed tasks. As we mentioned earlier in the fault tolerance mechanism, we have addressed a small part of compaction tasks that exceed the limits and have avoided the risk of FPGA internal errors.
Experiment Results Lab environment
We compared the performance of two storage engines:
We have included testing for InnoDB in this experiment (buffer size = 80 GB)
In this article, the X-Engine storage engine accelerated by FPGA brings 50% performance improvement for the KV interface, and 40% performance improvement for the SQL interface. With the decrease in the read/write ratio, FPGA's acceleration effect becomes more obvious, thus meaning that FPGA compaction acceleration is suitable for write-intensive workloads. This is consistent with the intention of the LSM-tree design. Also, we have avoided FPGA's internal defects by designing a fault tolerance mechanism, and we've finally created a high-availability CPU-FPGA hybrid storage engine that meets Alibaba's real service requirements.
It is the first real project that uses a heterogeneous computing device introduced by X-DB to accelerate core database functions. Based on our experiences, FPGA can completely meet the computing demands raised by X-Engine's compaction tasks. At the same time, we have been researching to schedule more suitable computing tasks to FPGA for execution, such as compression, BloomFilter generation, and SQL JOIN operators. At present, the R&D for the compression function is completed, and it will be built into a set of IP together with Compaction to perform data compaction and compression operations simultaneously.
X-DB FPGA-Compaction hardware acceleration is an R&D project completed by three parties; these parties are respectively the Alibaba Database Department database kernel team, the Alibaba Server R&D Department custom computing team, and Zhejiang University. Xilinx's technical team has also made great contributions to the success of this project. We hereby extend our gratitude to them. We will post X-DB online for public beta this year. You will then be able to experience the significant performance improvement with FPGA acceleration to X-DB.
When the time comes to buy server hardware, there are a lot of factors to consider, such as the number of processors, the available memory and the total storage capacity. Buyers should closely evaluate eight important features when comparing the servers available from the leading vendors.
These eight features cover the basic components to look for to buy server hardware, but they don't represent all the features that buyers should consider. Decision-makers at every organization must determine exactly what they need to support their existing and future workloads, keeping in mind the differences between rack, blade and mainframe computers.
Companies should view these eight features as the starting point to identify their requirements and evaluate the available products and should expand their research as necessary to ensure they're addressing every concern.Processors
One of the most important components to consider when buying server hardware is the processor that carries out the data computations. Also referred to the central processing unit (CPU), the processor does all the heavy lifting when it comes to running programs and sifting through data. Most servers run multiple processors, usually with one per socket. However, a processor can also be made up of multiple cores to support multiprocessing capabilities.
Multiple cores usually translate to better performance, but the number of cores is not the only factor to consider. Buyers should also consider the processor speed -- CPU clock speed -- and available cache, as well as the total number of sockets, as these can differ significantly from one processor to the next.
For example, the NEC Express5800/D120h blade server supports up to two processors from the Intel Xeon Scalable product family. One of the most robust of these processors offers 26 cores, 35.75 MB of cache and a 2.0 GHz clock speed.
Compare that to the Dell PowerEdge M830 blade server, which uses Xeon E5-4600 v4 processors. The most robust of these offers 22 cores, 55 MB of cache and a 2.20 GHz clock speed. The Dell server also supports up to four processors rather than two.Memory
Adequate server memory is essential to a high-performing system, and the more memory that is available, the better the workloads are likely to perform. However, other factors can also contribute to performance, such as the memory's speed and quality. Most server memory is made up of dual in-line memory module integrated circuit boards with some type of random-access memory.
Companies should view these eight features as the starting point to identify their requirements and evaluate the available products and should expand their research as necessary to ensure they're addressing every concern.
Server memory might also include fault-tolerant capabilities or other features that enhance reliability. One of the most common capabilities is error-correcting code (ECC), a method to detect and correct common single-bit errors. When evaluating server hardware memory, you should look at the entire offering, keeping in mind the types of workloads and applications you run.
For example, Fujitsu's mainframe computers in the BS2000 SE series support up to 1.5 TB of memory. However, IBM's ZR1 mainframe, which is part of the z14 family, supports up to 8 TB of memory. The ZR1 also provides up to 8 TB of available redundant array of independent memory to improve transaction response times, a pre-emptive dynamic RAM feature to isolate and recover from failures quickly, and ECC technologies to detect and correct bit errors.Storage
Servers vary greatly in the amount and types of internal storage that they support, in part because workflows and applications also vary. For example, a server hosting a relational database management system will have different requirements than one hosting a web application. In addition, the use of external storage, such as storage area networks (SANs), can also impact internal storage requirements.
When you buy server hardware, be sure to evaluate each prospective server to ensure it can meet your storage needs. Today, most servers support both solid-state drives (SSDs) and hard disk drives (HDDs). But buyers should certainly verify this support, as well as the server's supported drive technologies, such as Serial-Attached SCSI (SAS), Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) or non-volatile memory express (NVMe). Other considerations should include drive speeds, capacities, endurance and support for redundant array of independent disks (RAID).
For example, Oracle's X7-2 rack server can support up to eight 2.5-inch HDDs or SSDs, either SAS or NVMe, and multiple RAID configurations. Compare that to the Inspur TS860G3 rack server, which can handle up to 16 drives, either SSDs or HDDs, and support both SAS and SATA. However, the Inspur server does not support NVMe, which means the SSDs might not perform as well.Connectivity
A server's ability to connect to networks, peripherals, storage and other components is essential to its effectiveness within the data center. The server needs the necessary connectors and drivers to ensure that it can properly communicate with other entities and process various workloads. Buyers need to determine exactly what type of connectivity is necessary and, from there, examine the server's specs to verify whether it will meet those requirements.
Servers differ widely in this regard, so buyers should look for specifics such as the number and speed of the Ethernet connectors, the number and type of USB ports, the availability of management interfaces, the types of protocols available, support for SANs and other storage systems, as well as whatever other components are necessary to facilitate connectivity.
Acer's rack server Altos R380 F3 is a good example of what connectivity features to look for when you buy server hardware. It includes two Ethernet ports, either 1 GB or 10 GB, an RJ-45 management port, three USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, and a video port. In addition, the server offers up to seven Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) 3.0 slots and one PCIe 1.0 slot.Hot swapping
Servers offer hot swapping capabilities to varying degrees. Hot swapping refers to the ability to replace or add a component without needing to shut down the system.
The term hot plugging sometimes refers to hot swapping, although, in theory, hot plugging capabilities are limited to being able to add components but not replace them without shutting down the system. Because of the confusion around these terms, it is best to verify how each vendor uses them.
One of the most common hot swappable components is the disk drive. For example, the Cisco UCS B480 M5 blade server supports hot swappable drives, as does the Huawei FusionServer CH242 V5 blade server and the Intel R2224WFQZS rack server.
With blade systems, the hot swapping capabilities are often within the chassis itself. One example is the chassis used for the Lenovo ThinkSystem SN850 blade server, which provides hot swapping capabilities for the fans and power supplies, in addition to the server's disk drives. However, these types of capabilities are not limited to blade servers. The Acer Altos R380 F3 system also supports hot swappable fans and power supplies even though it is a rack server.Redundancy
Redundancy is important to ensure a server's continued operation in the event of a component failure. Most servers provide some level of redundancy, often for the hard drives, power supplies and fans. The Asus RS720-E9-RS12-E rack server, for example, offers redundant power supplies and the HPE ProLiant DL380 Gen10 rack server offers redundant fans.
As with its hot swapping capabilities, the redundancy available to blade servers is often located within the chassis. For instance, the chassis that support the Dell PowerEdge M830 blade server and Supermicro SBI-6129P-T3N blade server both provide redundant power supplies.
However, the Dell chassis also offers redundant cooling components, and the server itself provides redundant embedded hypervisors.Manageability
Admins must manage a server effectively to ensure its continued operation while delivering optimal performance. Most servers provide at least some management capabilities.
For example, many servers support the Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI), a specification developed by Dell, Hewlett Packard, Intel and NEC to monitor and manage server systems. Not surprisingly, the servers offered by these companies, such as the Dell PowerEdge M830, HPE ProLiant DL380 Gen10, Intel Server System R2224WFQZS and NEC Express5800/B120g-h, are IPMI-compliant.
But servers are certainly not limited to IPMI capabilities. For example, the Acer Altos R380 F3 rack server comes with the Acer Smart Server Manager; the Asus RS720-E9-RS12-E rack server comes with the ASUS Control Center; and the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) B480 M5 blade server comes with Cisco Intersight, Cisco UCS Manager, Cisco UCS Central Software, Cisco UCS Director and Cisco UCS Performance Manager.
Blade systems usually provide some type of module to manage the individual blades. For instance, Huawei's FusionServer CH242 V5 blade system includes the Intelligent Baseboard Management System module to monitor the compute node's operating status and support remote management.
Not surprisingly, systems such as Fujitsu's BS2000 mainframes provide a variety of management capabilities. For example, each BS2000 system includes a management unit that works in conjunction with the SE Manager to offer a centralized interface from which to administer the entire server environment. And IBM's ZR1 mainframe includes the IBM Hardware Management Console (HMC) 2.14, the IBM Dynamic Partition Manager and an optimized z/OS platform for IBM Open Data Analytics.Security
Another important factor to consider is the server's security features. As with other features, servers can vary significantly in what they offer, with each vendor taking a different approach to securing their systems.
For example, the Lenovo ThinkSystem SN850 blade server provides an integrated Trusted Platform Module 2.0 chip to store the RSA encryption keys used for hardware authentication. The server also supports Secure Boot, Intel Execute Disable Bit (EDB) functionality and Intel Trusted Execution Technology.
Another example is the Oracle Server X7-2 rack server, which comes with the Oracle Integrated Lights Out Manager 4.x, a cloud-ready service processor for monitoring and managing system and chassis functions. On the other hand, the Huawei FusionServer CH242 V5 blade server supports the Advanced Encryption Standard -- New Instructions, as well as Intel's EDB feature and Trusted Execution Technology.
IBM's ZR1 mainframe is also strong when it comes to security. The server includes on-chip cryptographic coprocessors and the Central Processor Assist for Cryptographic Function (CPACF), which includes the new Crypto Express6S feature to enable pervasive encryption and support a secure cloud strategy. The CPACF is standard on every core. The platform also includes IBM Secure Service Containers to securely deploy container-based applications.
Higher density fan-out packages are moving toward more complex structures with finer routing layers, all of which requires more capable lithography equipment and other tools.
The latest high-density fan-out packages are migrating toward the 1µm line/space barrier and beyond, which is considered a milestone in the industry. At these critical dimensions (CDs), fan-outs will provide better performance, but there are several manufacturing and cost challenges to reach and break the 1µm barrier. Moreover, at this point only a few customers require these high-end packages.
Nevertheless, fan-out packaging is gaining steam in high-volume markets. “Mobile continues to be one main growth driver for both low-density and high-density fan-out,” said John Hunt, senior director of engineering for ASE. “Automotive will start to pick up momentum, as we get fan-out qualified for grade 1 and 2. And server applications are seeing growth for the high-end market.”
A key part of a fan-out is the redistribution layer (RDL). RDLs are the copper metal connection lines or routing layers that electrically connect one part of the package to another. RDLs are measured by line and space, which refer to the width and pitch of a metal line.
Fig. 1: Redistribution layers. Source: Lam Research
From there, fan-out is split into two segments—low-density and high-density. Low-density fan-out consists of RDLs with greater than 8μm line/space (8-8μm). Used in servers and smartphones, high-density fan-out has multiple layers of RDLs in a package, with CDs at 8-8μm and below. Generally, 5-5µm is the mainstream high-density technology, with 1-1µm and below in the works.
“There is still a wide range of fan-out type of technologies in terms of how aggressive they are regarding the design rules. A lot of it is dominated by form factor, what you want for performance, and what you can tolerate for cost,” said Warren Flack, vice president of worldwide lithography applications at Veeco. “Redistribution layers with smaller critical dimensions enable reducing the total number of redistribution process levels in a fan-out package. This in turn reduces the total packaging cost and improves yield.”
Cost is a factor on several fronts. Not all need high-density fan-out. Fan-out with aggressive CDs are relatively expensive and limited to high-end customers. The good news is that there is a plethora of other and lower cost packaging options besides high-density fan-out.
Then, on another front, customers are pushing the packaging houses to reduce their manufacturing costs, especially for fan-out and other advanced packages. In fan-out, there are several process steps, including lithography, the art of patterning features on structures.
In packaging, there are several different lithography tool types, such as aligners, direct imaging, laser ablation and steppers. Each technology is different with various capabilities. All told, packaging houses will likely use different tool types for fan-out.
What is fan-out?Fan-out packaging is a hot market. In fan-out, the dies are packaged while on a wafer. Fan-out doesn’t require an interposer, making it less expensive than 2.5D/3D.
There are three types of fan-out packages—chip-first/face-down; chip-first/face-up; and chip-last or RDL first.
In the chip-first/face-down flow, the chips are first processed on a wafer in the fab. The wafer is moved to a packaging house, where the chips are diced. Then, using a die attach system, the dies are placed on a temporary carrier.
An epoxy mold compound is molded over the dies and carrier, forming what’s called a reconstituted wafer. Then, the RDLs are formed within the round reconstituted wafer.
In a simple RDL flow, a copper seed layer is deposited on the substrate. A photoresist is applied on the structure and then patterned using a lithography tool. Finally, an electroplating system deposits the copper metallization within the package, forming the final RDLs.
The RDL CDs depend on the application. Many fan-out packages don’t require advanced RDLs. Packages at 5-5µm and above will remain the mainstream technologies for the foreseeable future. Then, at the high end, ASE is moving toward RDLs at or near 1-1μm. Meanwhile, TSMC is developing fan-out at 0.8μm with 0.4μm in R&D. Eventually, high-end fan-out will support high-bandwidth memory (HBM).
“There are different approaches of doing fan-out. We see a trend where the CDs are getting smaller and more challenging. Copper pillar pitch is also getting smaller,” said Y.C. Wong, general manager of Veeco’s Litho System Asia business unit. “Typically, for mainstream, the RDLs are still 5-5μm and above in production. We are seeing some small volume at 2-2μm or 3-3μm. 1-1μm is just engineering tape-out right now. All of this will be driven when 5G takes off and when memory bandwidth demand becomes higher. That will drive more demand for 2-2μm and 3-3μm and below.”
Nonetheless, there are several challenges with all fan-out. “The main challenge with fan-out is the warpage/wafer bow. In addition, die placing can also impact wafer flatness and stress on the dies. Then, die shift induces challenges for the lithography steps and alignments,” said Amandine Pizzagalli, an analyst at Yole Développement.
Cost is also key. Packages with aggressive CDs tend to be more expensive. On the flip side, packages with more relaxed CDs are less expensive. In either case, customers are price sensitive when it comes to IC packaging. They want to reduce their packaging costs as much as possible. So, they want the packaging houses to drive down their manufacturing costs.
There is another side to the story. A packaging customer may want a fan-out product with aggressive RDLs. But the package must achieve a certain volume to justify the R&D. If the package can’t meet a volume target, it’s difficult to get a return. And so, there may not be an incentive to move to a package with smaller RDLs.
Aligners to steppersTo be sure, lithography plays a key role in fan-out and other packaging types. It is also critical in the fab, where lithography equipment is used to pattern features at the nanoscale. Meanwhile, in packaging, lithography and other tools are used to process bumps, copper pillars, RDLs and through-silicon vias (TSVs). These structures are measured at the μm level.
In total, the lithography equipment market for packaging is expected to reach $141.6 million in 2019, up from $128.7 million in 2018, according to Yole Développement. Some 85% of all new equipment purchases involve steppers, followed by mask aligners with less than 15%, according to Pizzagalli.
Aligners and steppers fall into a category called photolithography or optical lithography. For this, the process starts with a photomask. A designer designs an IC or a package, which is then translated into a file format. Then, a photomask is developed based on that format.
The photomask is a master template for a given design. After a mask is developed, it is shipped to the fab or packaging house. The mask is placed in a lithography tool. The tool projects light through the mask, which patterns the images on a device.
For years, mask aligners were the mainstream lithography tool for packaging. “Mask aligners work by directing the projection of a full-area photomask to a substrate. Due to the fact that there is no reduction of projection optics, the mask has to be placed in close proximity to the wafers. Hence, the resolution is limited to about 3µm line/space for production applications,” said Thomas Uhrmann, director of business development at EV Group.
Today, mask aligners are used for packages, MEMS, and LEDs. “While line/space requirements below 3µm are tough to reach in production, mask aligners have other benefits in advanced packaging. For example, mask aligners have performance and cost advantages in the areas of bumping and thick resist exposure where high intensities and high exposure times are needed,” Uhrmann said.
For more advanced applications, though, the industry has migrated to a lithographic system called a stepper. Using advanced projection optics, steppers have higher resolutions than aligners.
A stepper transfers the image of a feature from a mask onto a small portion of a wafer. The process is repeated until the wafer is processed. Canon, Rudolph, Veeco and others compete in the stepper market for packaging.
For many apps, packaging houses moved to steppers for several reasons. “When we started to look at what the stepper could do, we could offer some dramatic improvements,” Veeco’s Flack said. “Decreasing CDs have been a big consideration in the last few years. It’s tightening the overlay to match the CDs. And now, there’s a much wider range of substrates that you must be able to handle.”
Meanwhile, in the fab, chipmakers use 193nm wavelength lithography systems to print tiny features. In packaging, though, the feature sizes are larger, so packaging houses don’t require tools at these wavelengths. Instead, they use lithographic equipment at longer wavelengths, namely 436nm (g-line), 405nm (h-line) and 365nm (i-line).
In packaging, some steppers are i-line only, while others support more wavelengths. For example, Veeco sells what it calls a broadband stepper, which supports all three wavelengths–436nm, 405nm and 365nm. These are produced by a broadband spectrum mercury light.
Fig. 2: Inside Veeco’s stepper. Source: Veeco
For more aggressive CDs, this stepper can be tuned to support an “i-line only” mode, enabling features down to 1-1μm. Additionally, the tool can support a “ghi” mode, enabling features above 2-2μm.
Steppers are used to produce a range of IC packages, including fan-out. In fan-out, lithography tools help form the RDLs.
These systems must also deal with die shift. As stated, when the dies are embedded in a reconstituted wafer, they tend to move during the flow, causing an unwanted effect called die shift. This impacts the yield.
In response, the industry is developing lithography tools with better alignment techniques to compensate for die shift. “There are two ways you can address it. From a lithographic standpoint, you can correct it as much as you can. You can adjust the scales across the wafer. You can adjust the magnification. But that assumes everything shifts the same way. If the shifts are random, then it’s almost impossible to correct that way,” Veeco’s Flack said. “For higher end applications, people will work hard to make sure the die doesn’t shift. That can be done by the technique of placing the die and aligning the die in some cases.”
Die shift remains an ongoing challenge in all fan-out. Another challenge is to produce the RDLs. With little or no trouble, the industry is making fan-out with RDLs at 5-5μm. Even 2-2μm is in production.
The challenges grow as fan-out moves to 1-1μm and beyond. The trick is to produce fine RDLs with good yield.
The industry is capable of 1-1μm. For example, using an i-line only mode in a stepper, Veeco has demonstrated resolutions at 1-1μm. The stepper has a variable numerical aperture (NA) lens and 1X reticle.
There are some challenges. During the RDL process, the copper thickness must be maximized to lower the resistance of the metal lines, according to a recent paper from Veeco and Imec. So, the aspect ratio of the photoresist must be maximized. This, in turn, requires lithography tools with a large depth of focus to handle the height variations in fan-out, according to the paper.
Meanwhile, others offer i-line only systems. For example, Canon’s latest i-line tool features a 0.24 NA lens, enabling resolutions at ≤0.8μm.
“Leading-edge 1µm advanced packaging processes require the use of chemically amplified resists that are only sensitive to i-line wavelengths due to their photo acid generator properties. So it requires i-line exposure light to realize less than 1µm resolution,” said Doug Shelton, marketing manager at Canon. “Customers requesting wide-band exposure will be targeting rough pattern layers using mature DNQ resists that have sensitivity to i-line and h-line resists, not g-line. For these less challenging applications, we can prepare a system with an option to allow wide-band i/h-line exposure to boost throughput for rough processes.”
So, it’s certainly possible to push the RDLs beyond 1µm using today’s technologies, but that remains unclear. It’s a subject for debate in the packaging industry. Regardless of the stepper type, though, there are several challenges in going beyond 1-1μm. The lithography tools are certainly capable, but there are other issues regarding the current RDL flow.
“When you get down below 1-1μm, you start to have other issues that are not lithography related, which will limit the speed of adoption,” Veeco’s Flack said. “As long as the seed layer is a small percentage of the width of the copper line, it works great. When you get down to less than 1μm, the seed layer is a significant percentage of the linewidth. As a result, you start to have yield problems.”
Simply put, the traditional RDL process poses as a potential roadblock moving beyond 1-1μm. “It will be a real challenge for the industry with the transition at that point,” Flack said.
So the industry is looking at other process flows, namely dual damascene. For years, chipmakers have used a damascene process to make the copper interconnects in chips in the backend-of-the-line (BEOL) in a wafer fab.
In dual damascene, the process steps are similar for both the BEOL and packaging. In packaging, an insulating layer is deposited on the device. Then, a trench is patterned and etched and the trench is filled with copper.
For packaging, the damascene flow works, and it’s possible to push the RDLs beyond 1-1μm. “It works great, but it’s just expensive. There’s a technical solution, but it may not be a cost-effective solution,” Flack said.
TSMC is exploring the damascene process, but it may be too costly for most. So the industry needs a cost-effective breakthrough in the arena.
Laser imaging, ablation and othersLaser direct imaging is another lithographic technique for packaging. Laser imaging is like direct-write or maskless lithography. It directly writes features on a die without a mask, thereby reducing the cost in packaging.
Orbotech and Screen sell laser direct imaging systems. Deca Technologies also has developed a proprietary laser direct technology.
Laser imaging could solve the die shift issues in fan-out. As stated, the first step is to make a reconstituted wafer. Then, dies are placed on the wafer using a die attach system.
“The problem occurs here. When you put the chips on, the chips are not perfect with respect to each other. It’s very difficult to keep the chips exactly where we want them within a few microns,” said Tim Olson, chief technology officer of Deca.
That’s where Deca’s Adaptive Patterning technology fits. ASE, an investor in Deca, is producing the M-Series fan-out products based on this patterning technique.
Fig 3: M-Series vs. traditional eWLB fan-out Source: ASE
Deca’s technology consists of a process flow with four modules—wafer prep, panelization, fan-out, and finishing. It enables fan-out packages with multiple layers at 5-5μm with finer RDLs in R&D.
In wafer prep, you plate copper features on the die. Then, in the panelization step, the dies are placed in a reconstituted wafer using a high-speed system at a rate of 28,000 chips per hour. In comparison, a traditional die-attach system operates at 2,000 chips or more an hour.
From there, the actual position of every die is measured on the wafer using an inspection technique. “Die measurement inspection is performed as the last step in the panelization process and is used in the real-time design for each panel in manufacturing,” Olson explained.
Then, the RDLs are developed in a chip-first, die-up flow. During the exposure step, the system recalculates the RDL pattern to accommodate every die shift in every wafer. This takes 28 seconds. The overall throughput is 120 wafers an hour.
“Adaptive Patterning is a system designed to automatically compensate for natural variation in manufacturing rather than focusing on elimination of all variation,” Olson said. “In a typical application, devices are allowed to vary by up to 60μm in ‘X’ and ‘Y’ through chip attach, molding and other process steps. Adaptive Patterning removes 97% of the variation automatically through real-time design in manufacturing, enabling effective interconnect tolerances below 2μm. The next generation of Adaptive Patterning in development will support 2μm features, with a scaling roadmap to 0.8μm.”
Then, using the same technology from Deca, ASE plans to ramp up panel-level fan-out in 2019 or 2020. ASE’s panel-level fan-out will also use Adaptive Patterning.
Meanwhile, Suss MicroTec is developing a dry patterning technology called laser ablation. Suss’ excimer ablation stepper combines ablation with mask-based patterning. It is capable of 3μm line/space with 2-2μm in the works.
“Excimer laser ablation is the direct removal of material using the characteristics of high power UV excimer laser sources. Typical wavelengths are 308nm, 248nm and 193nm,” said Markus Arendt, president and general manager of photonic systems at Suss. “Excimer ablation instantaneously transforms the compatible target material (i.e. polymers, organic dielectrics) from solid phase to gas phase and byproducts (i.e. sub-micron dry carbon particles), resulting in little to no heat affected zone and much less debris.”
With the tool, Suss is focusing is on wafer-level processes. In addition, it has developed a dual damascene RDL flow with other technologies in R&D.
“The product roadmap includes many new items,” Arendt said. “However, the two most notable ones are: 1) a new large field, high-NA projection lens to achieve 2μm L/S in production, and 2) a dual-laser version to allow for a larger scan beam to significantly increase throughput and reduce cost-of-ownership.”
Brewer Science, meanwhile, is working on another approach. It uses a thin film in a mold compound that works like a stencil, which addresses die shift. “It’s a replacement for epoxy mold compound,” said Rama Puligadda, Brewer’s executive director of advanced technologies. “You pre-form a stencil where you want to make cavities in silicon.”
Clearly, there is no shortage of innovative lithographic solutions for packaging. But it will take some breakthroughs to go well beyond 1-1μm. Even if the industry figures it out, it must meet a cost spec for demanding customers. Those factors will keep the industry busy for some time.
More 2.5D/3D, Fan-Out Packages Ahead
Toward High-End Fan-Outs
Fan-Out Wars Begin
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