The Catapult project is a redesign of the data centers and machines that power Bing search. It began in 2012 and plans to effectively recreate how Bing handles searches in the backend.
The Catapult project technology can also be scaled across many different Microsoft platforms and services, meaning it can provide a faster user experience to their customers outside of Bing search as well.Like Google and every other web giant, Microsoft runs its web services atop thousands of computer servers packed into warehouse-sized data centers, and most of these machines are equipped with ordinary processors from Intel, the world's largest chip maker. But when he sat down with Lu, Burger said he wanted millions of dollars to build rack after rack of computer servers that used what are called field-programmable arrays, or FPGAs, processors that Microsoft could modify specifically for use with its own software. He said that these chips–built by a company called Altera–could not only speed up Bing searches, but also change the way Microsoft run all sorts of other online services.
What is also unique about the system is that Bing can update and enhance these types of chips, whereas the server system way of doing things has stalled out when it has come to getting the next bigger and faster version, according to a blog post on Microsoft TechNet."Going into production with this new technology will be a watershed moment for Bing search," he