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Verilog Meetups @ Hacker Dojo: the status and the plans for February 2024

Reading time9 min

The first three meetups of the Portable SystemVerilog Examples group at Hacker Dojo in Mountain View, California were a kind of brainstorming sessions. We discussed the electronic industry, the essence of modern chip design, and the challenges to educate new design engineers. Now we are moving into a new mode of action. We are going to have weekly meetings of the core R&D team and monthly or bi-monthly events for a larger audience.

We are focusing on interview-level microarchitectural and CPU design examples, providing FPGA vendor-neutral infrastructure and compatibility with open-source ASIC design tools.

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Total votes 3: ↑3 and ↓0+3

Spring Cloud Gateway: The Single Point of Entry or Failure – a Path to Non-Blocking API Gateway

Level of difficultyHard
Reading time20 min

Hello Habr! My name is Nikita Letov. I am a tech lead of backend development in remote banking services for individuals (or retail department) of Rosbank. In this article I will describe what a point of entry to an app is, when it becomes vital, and how API Gateway can help you. We'll review a traditional blocking pattern based on Netflix Zuul 1.x gateway with all its problems of using, then reactive Spring Cloud Gateway and difficulties of moving to it. Finally, we'll compare these two approaches.

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Total votes 2: ↑2 and ↓0+2

Portable SystemVerilog Examples for ASIC and FPGA: the results of the meetup on 2024-01-21 and the next steps

Reading time4 min

The second meetup of the Portable SystemVerilog Examples group on January 21 2024 at Hacker Dojo in Mountain View, California, went as planned: we moved from the stage of presenting the project to the self-introductions of the participants and the initial tutorial with the first examples. We also started distributing the tasks. The next meetup is tentatively scheduled for January 28 at the same location, from 2 pm to 5 pm. The contents of the meeting will be to work on the examples: basics-graphics-music and systemverilog-homework.

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Total votes 2: ↑1 and ↓10

The next steps after a good meetup on Portable SystemVerilog Examples for ASIC and FPGA

Reading time4 min

The meetup on January 14 at Hacker Dojo in Mountain View, California, went well, although not as planned - we spent almost all the time talking instead of doing hands-on exercises. The room we booked can fit 30 people and approximately 30 people did show up. The quality of participants was high: approximately half were familiar with hardware description languages and another half came from various software topics. 12 people filled out the questionnaire despite the fact that I forgot to bring 30 pens.

The discussion during and after the presentation was focused and very meaningful: microarchitecture and education, EDA infrastructure / build scripts, open-source ASIC design tools, the economics of ASIC design and manufacturing, high-level synthesis, transaction-level modeling, ASIC prototyping using FPGA boards, FPGA embedded in ASIC (Menta), new FPGA manufacturers (Gowin) and new design languages - Chisel and SpinalHDL.

Four persons came to me after the meeting to discuss their participation in working on open-source portable SystemVerilog examples, and another seven expressed this intention in the questionnaire. So we are meeting again in Hacker Dojo on Sunday, January 21, at 2 PM, this time not in the classroom area, but in the common shared area.

Generally, I am thinking of having regular meetings, probably on a weekly basis for a small team of developers of the educational materials and on a monthly basis for a wider audience, discussing various design and verification topics.

There were two correspondents of Slavic Sacramento who recorded the video of the presentation. They are going to make it available soon.

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Total votes 7: ↑6 and ↓1+5

Why would a software engineer attend an FPGA hardware meetup at Hacker Dojo?

Reading time6 min

For the last 30 years digital chip design is not a schematic entry anymore: hardware engineers write code just like software engineers.

The difference is that the code software engineer writes becomes a chain of CPU instructions stored in memory, while the code in a hardware description language (HDL) becomes the CPU itself, its transistors and metal connections. And not only a CPU: the same technique is used to design processor-less ("fixed function") blocks in GPU that shuffle triangles and pixels, as well as network router chips that edit packet headers 100 times faster than CPU.

There are ways to experience this workflow without paying a million dollars to a silicon fab. One way is simulation, and another way is to use a matrix of reconfigurable logic cells, a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA). You can come on January 14 to Hacker Dojo in Mountain View, California. We have a bunch of computers and FPGA boards, and we will show you how to use them not only to blink LEDs but also to output graphics and recognize music.

This will change your perspective of what the code is.

Prepare for a ride:
Total votes 8: ↑6 and ↓2+4

How did I increase the website performance score from 35 to 100 for both mobile and desktop?

Level of difficultyEasy
Reading time5 min

Not long ago, I started my personal blog. Instead of opting for the traditional route of using the popular WordPress CMS for blogs, I decided to embrace new technologies. My choice landed on Next.js and a NoSQL-type database.

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Total votes 1: ↑1 and ↓0+1

The journey of scaling up a production Elasticsearch cluster

Reading time6 min

In this article, I will tell you about a-few-years journey of scaling the Elasticsearch cluster in production environment, which is one of the vital elements of the iPrice technology stack. 
I will describe challenges we encountered and how we approached them.

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Total votes 1: ↑1 and ↓0+1

Kernel Queue: The Complete Guide On The Most Essential Technology For High-Performance I/O

Reading time65 min

When talking about high-performance software we probably think of server software (such as nginx) which processes millions requests from thousands clients in parallel. Surely, what makes server software work so fast is high-end CPU running with huge amount of memory and a very fast network link. But even then, the software must utilize these hardware resources at maximum efficiency level, otherwise it will end up wasting the most of the valuable CPU power for unnecessary kernel-user context switching or while waiting for slow I/O operations to complete.

Thankfully, the Operating Systems have a solution to this problem, and it's called kernel event queue. Server software and OS kernel use this mechanism together to achieve minimum latency and maximum scalability (when serving a very large number of clients in parallel). In this article we are going to talk about FreeBSD, macOS and kqueue, Linux and epoll, Windows and I/O Completion Ports. They all have their similarities and differences which we're going to discuss here. The goal of this article is for you to understand the whole mechanism behind kernel queues and to understand how to work with each API.

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Total votes 7: ↑7 and ↓0+7

In-Memory Showdown: Redis vs. Tarantool

Reading time13 min

In this article, I am going to look at Redis versus Tarantool. At a first glance, they are quite alike — in-memory, NoSQL, key value. But we are going to look deeper. My goal is to find meaningful similarities and differences, I am not going to claim that one is better than the other.

There are three main parts to my story:

  • We’ll find out what is an in-memory database, or IMDB. When and how are they better than disk solutions?
  • Then, we’ll consider their architecture. What about their efficiency, reliability, and scaling?
  • Then, we’ll delve into technical details. Data types, iterators, indexes, transactions, programming languages, replication, and connectors.

Feel free to scroll down to the most interesting part or even the summary comparison table at the very bottom and the article.
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Total votes 18: ↑17 and ↓1+16

Overview of Morris's counters

Reading time7 min

On implementing streaming algorithms, counting of events often occurs, where an event means something like a packet arrival or a connection establishment. Since the number of events is large, the available memory can become a bottleneck: an ordinary n-bit counter allows to take into account no more than 2^n - 1events.
One way to handle a larger range of values using the same amount of memory would be approximate counting. This article provides an overview of the well-known Morris algorithm and some generalizations of it.

Another way to reduce the number of bits required for counting mass events is to use decay. We discuss such an approach here [3], and we are going to publish another blog post on this particular topic shortly.

In the beginning of this article, we analyse one straightforward probabilistic calculation algorithm and highlight its shortcomings (Section 2). Then (Section 3), we describe the algorithm proposed by Robert Morris in 1978 and indicate its most essential properties and advantages. For most non-trivial formulas and statements, the text contains our proofs, the demanding reader can find them in the inserts. In the following three sections, we outline valuable extensions of the classic algorithm: you can learn what Morris's counters and exponential decay have in common, how to improve the accuracy by sacrificing the maximum value, and how to handle weighted events efficiently.

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Total votes 12: ↑12 and ↓0+12

How to build a high-performance application on Tarantool from scratch

Reading time33 min

I came to Mail.ru Group in 2013, and I required a queue for one task. First of all, I decided to check what the company had already got. They told me they had this Tarantool product, and I checked how it worked and decided that adding a queue broker to it could work perfectly well.

I contacted Kostja Osipov, the senior expert in Tarantool, and the next day he gave me a 250-string script that was capable of managing almost everything I needed. Since that moment, I have been in love with Tarantool. It turned out that a small amount of code written with a quite simple script language was capable of ensuring some totally new performance for this DBMS.

Today, I’m going to tell you how to instantiate your own queue in Tarantool 2.2.
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Total votes 18: ↑18 and ↓0+18

Making a Tarantool-Based Investment Business Core for Alfa-Bank

Reading time10 min

A still from «Our Secret Universe: The Hidden Life of the Cell»

Investment business is one of the most complex domains in the banking world. It's about not just credits, loans, and deposits — there are also securities, currencies, commodities, derivatives, and all kinds of complex stuff like structured products.

Recently, people have become increasingly aware of their finances. More and more get involved in securities trading. Individual investment accounts have emerged not so long ago. They allow you to trade in securities and get tax credits or avoid taxes at the same time. All clients coming to us want to manage their portfolios and see their reporting on-line. Most frequently, these are multi-product portfolios, which means that people are clients of different business areas.

Moreover, the demands of regulators, both Russian and international, also grow.

To meet the current needs and lay a foundation for future upgrades, we've developed our Tarantool-based investment business core.
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Total votes 14: ↑14 and ↓0+14

Deploying Tarantool Cartridge applications with zero effort (Part 2)

Reading time11 min

We have recently talked about how to deploy a Tarantool Cartridge application. However, an application's life doesn't end with deployment, so today we will update our application and figure out how to manage topology, sharding, and authorization, and change the role configuration.

Feeling interested? Please continue reading under the cut.
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Total votes 15: ↑15 and ↓0+15

Fault Tolerance Web Architecture for Our Cloud Solutions

Reading time10 min

Hi Habr,

I'm Artyom Karamyshev, a system administration team leader at Mail.Ru Cloud Solutions (MCS). We launched many products in 2019. We've aimed to make API services easily scalable, fault-tolerant, and ready to accommodate rapid growth. Our platform is running on OpenStack, and in this article, I describe all the component fault tolerance issues that we've resolved.

The overall fault tolerance of the platform is consists of its components fault tolerance. So, I'm going to show you step by step tutorial about all levels where we've found the risks.
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Total votes 25: ↑24 and ↓1+23

Accelerating PHP connectors for Tarantool using Async, Swoole, and Parallel

Reading time6 min

In the PHP ecosystem, there are currently two connectors for the Tarantool server: the official PECL extension tarantool/tarantool-php written in C, and tarantool-php/client written in PHP. I am the author of the latter one.

In this article I would like to share the results of performance testing of both these libraries and show how you can achieve 3x-5x performance improvement (on synthetic tests!) with minimal changes in code.
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Total votes 39: ↑39 and ↓0+39

Deploying Tarantool Cartridge applications with zero effort (Part 1)

Reading time8 min

We have already presented Tarantool Cartridge that allows you to develop and pack distributed applications. Now let's learn how to deploy and control these applications. No panic, it's all under control! We have brought together all the best practices of working with Tarantool Cartridge and wrote an Ansible role, which will deploy the package to servers, start and join instances into replica sets, configure authorization, bootstrap vshard, enable automatic failover and patch cluster configuration.

Interesting, huh? Dive in, check details under the cut.
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Total votes 29: ↑29 and ↓0+29

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