AMD Charges Back into the Datacenter and HPC Workflows with EPYC Processor

By John Russell

June 20, 2017

AMD is charging back into the enterprise datacenter and select HPC workflows with its new EPYC 7000 processor line, code-named Naples, announced today at a “global” launch event in Austin TX. In many ways it was a full frontal assault on Intel’s dominance in the x86 datacenter landscape. Claiming performance and cost advantagaes and supported by statements from key OEMs, ODMs, and hyperscalers – HPE, Dell, and Microsoft Azure for example – AMD is hoping to convince HPC and datacenter customers it is back for the long haul.

Aware there may be market reluctance after its absence from the datacenter, Scott Aylor, AMD corporate VP and GM of enterprise solutions business, said “It’s not enough to come back with one product, you’ve got to come back with a product cadence that moves as the market moves. So not only are we coming back with EPYC, we’re also [discussing follow-on products] so when customers move with us today on EPYC they know they have a safe home and a migration path with Rome.” AMD has committed to socket compatibility between EPYC 7000 line and Rome, code name of the next scheduled generation AMD processor aimed at the datacenter.

AMD showcased some gaudy performance and price-performance benchmarks comparing EPYC to Broadwell line. In a pre-launch briefing with HPCwire, Aylor said, “These numbers are very big, so they show very measurable separation from what is available with Broadwell. Part of that is quite frankly because we didn’t design EPYC to compete with Broadwell. We designed it to compete with what’s coming. When [Intel’s] Skylake comes later this summer, we think these comparisons will still be very strong against the platinum, gold silver and bronze of Skylake.”

Based on the Zen core, EPYC is a line of system on a chip (SoC) devices designed with enhanced memory bandwidth and fast interconnect in mind. AMD also introduced a one-socket device, optimized for many workloads, which AMD says will invigorate a viable one-socket server market. With EPYC, “we can build a no compromise one-socket offering that will allow us to cover up to 50 percent of the two-socket market that is today held by the [Intel Broadwell] E5-2650 and below,” said Aylor.

AMD clearly has big ambitions. Earlier this spring it introduced Ryzen7 processor line, also based on the Zen core, and targeting high performance gaming. EPYC is aimed squarely at the datacenter. Aylor briefed HPCwire on EPYC before the launch and some of the technical details were still not available. It is an SoC product stack with a range of offerings roughly mimicking the Broadwell product stack. EPYC has up to 32 cores and 8 DDR4 channels per CPU allowing it to address 2TB of memory. The I/O is 128 PCIe lanes.

“The SoC approach we have taken allows all of the IO that has historically lived on an external bridge or IO hub to be fully integrated that into the device,” said Aylor. One result is low latency high performance connections. The PCIe lanes are configurable, “so you can use them to connect to SATA links, directly connect to NVMe links. It also facilitates a strong connection to high performance GPUs.” AMD plans to show an EPYC plus Radeon Instinct GPU machine learning platform at its conference this week.”

AMD presented both SPECint (integer) and SPECfp (floating point) performance comparisons with the Broadwell as well as price point comparisons (how much performance the same number of dollars will be of each processor) some of which are shown below.

“We’re tiering products in 32, 24, and 16-core ranges,” said Aylor. The idea, of course, is satisfy widely varying needs. The top end aimed at scale out and HPC workloads, he said. The bottom tier allows users to closely manage per core licensing costs. “We have tried to cover the vast majority of the market that exists today in the Broadwell family,” says Aylor. Every product will have a dedicated security processor.

“Sometime people will say benchmarks are interesting but how do you do in the real world. Well we will showcase a fluid dynamics HPC workload, Apache/Spark, and software defined storage reference architecture [at the launch]. We will also have an open stack cloud based implementation,” said Aylor. AMD was expecting on the order 600 attendees for the EPYC launch.

Moving back into the datacenter is a huge bet by AMD that’s required a very substantial investment in the Zen core and EPYC. Seeking to buttress the gamble, AMD has seemingly got buy-in from several market makers and many ecosystem partners. Here are four endorsements included in the official release; while the statements are on the over enthusiastic side they nonetheless suggest AMD has done productive groundwork with partners:

  • HPE. “The EPYC processor represents a paradigm shift in computing and will usher in a new era for the IT ecosystem,” said Antonio Neri, EVP and general manager Enterprise Group, HPE. “Starting with the Cloudline CL3150 and expanding into other product lines later this year, the arrival of EPYC in HPE systems will be welcomed by customers who are eager to deploy the performance and innovation EPYC delivers.”
  • Dell EMC. “As an industry leader, we are committed to driving IT Transformation for our customers,” said Ashley Gorakhpurwalla, president, server solutions division at Dell EMC, “Our next generation of PowerEdge servers are the bedrock of the modern datacenter that are designed to maximize business scalability and intelligent automation with integrated security. The combination of PowerEdge and the AMD EPYC performance and security capabilities will create unique compute solutions for our customers to accelerate workloads and protect their business.”
  • Baidu. “As the world’s largest Chinese language search engine and leading AI-Tech company, Baidu prides itself on simplifying a complex world through technology,” said By Dr. Zhang Ya Qin, president of Baidu. “The AMD EPYC processor powered one-socket server can significantly increase our datacenter computing efficiency, reduce TCO and lower energy consumption. We will start deploying with the launch of AMD EPYC and I look forward to our cooperation leading to scaled EPYC adoption this year, and ongoing innovations.”
  • Microsoft. “We’ve worked to make Microsoft Azure a powerful enterprise grade cloud platform, that helps guide the success of our customers, no matter their size or geography,” said Girish Bablani, corporate vice president, Azure Compute, Microsoft Corp. “To power Azure, we require the most cutting-edge infrastructure and the latest advances in silicon which is why we intend to be the first global cloud provider to deliver AMD EPYC, and its combination of high performance and value, to customers.”

The single socket gambit is another interesting aspect to AMD’s initiative. Currently two socket servers rule the roost.

Here’s the AMD pitch: “In our one socket offering we have come up with a clever way to maintain all of the I/O capabilities that you would get in a two socket as well as the full complement of eight memory channels. Today people buy two socket, sometimes because they need to, but more often than not because they have to. There are many examples in which I/O rich [workloads] like storage, like GPU compute, and some vertical workloads where people don’t necessarily need two sockets from a CPU performance perspective,” said Aylor.

AMD’s single socket offering cuts costs substantially, according to Aylor. “We’ve selectively optimized a couple of skews for one socket only. So these are skews that are one socket capable only,” said Aylor. As an example of how the one socket and two socket offerings are distinguished, he cited on package interconnect, “The infinity fabric that would normally connect the two sockets in a two socket system, we repurpose that interconnect into more I/O lanes and that’s how you have in a two socket solution 128 lanes of PCIe and in a one socket solution you still keep the same level of connectivity.”

AMD has singled out a number of vertical as good fits for one socket EPYC servers. Perhaps not surprisingly, storage is one. “Not only base line storage but software defined storage with EPYC’s ability to attach a massive number of SATA drives to a one socket. We also see a strong opportunity in certain areas of high performance computing, especially those that tend to focus on memory bound application. And we have an oil and gas reservoir simulation demo,” said Aylor.

Link to AMD press release: https://www.hpcwire.com/off-the-wire/amd-unveils-record-setting-epyc-datacenter-processor/

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

Army Seeks AI Ground Truth

April 3, 2020

Deep neural networks are being mustered by U.S. military researchers to marshal new technology forces on the Internet of Battlefield Things. U.S. Army and industry researchers said this week they have developed a “c Read more…

By George Leopold

Piz Daint Tackles Marsquakes

April 3, 2020

Even as researchers use supercomputers to probe the mysteries of earthquakes here on Earth, others are setting their sights on quakes just a little farther away. Researchers at ETH Zürich in Switzerland have applied sup Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

HPC Career Notes: April 2020 Edition

April 2, 2020

In this monthly feature, we’ll keep you up-to-date on the latest career developments for individuals in the high-performance computing community. Whether it’s a promotion, new company hire, or even an accolade, we’ Read more…

By Mariana Iriarte

AMD Epyc CPUs Now on Bare Metal IBM Cloud Servers

April 1, 2020

AMD’s expanding presence in the datacenter and cloud computing markets took a step forward with today’s announcement that its 7nm 2nd Gen Epyc 7642 CPUs are now available on IBM Cloud bare metal servers. AMD, whose Read more…

By Doug Black

Supercomputer Testing Probes Viral Transmission in Airplanes

April 1, 2020

It might be a long time before the general public is flying again, but the question remains: how high-risk is air travel in terms of viral infection? In an article for the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), Faith Si Read more…

By Staff report

AWS Solution Channel

Amazon FSx for Lustre Update: Persistent Storage for Long-Term, High-Performance Workloads

Last year I wrote about Amazon FSx for Lustre and told you how our customers can use it to create pebibyte-scale, highly parallel POSIX-compliant file systems that serve thousands of simultaneous clients driving millions of IOPS (Input/Output Operations per Second) with sub-millisecond latency. Read more…

ECP Milestone Report Details Progress and Directions

April 1, 2020

The Exascale Computing Project (ECP) milestone report issued last week presents a good snapshot of progress in preparing applications for exascale computing. There are roughly 30 ECP application development (AD) subproj Read more…

By John Russell

ECP Milestone Report Details Progress and Directions

April 1, 2020

The Exascale Computing Project (ECP) milestone report issued last week presents a good snapshot of progress in preparing applications for exascale computing. Th Read more…

By John Russell

Pandemic ‘Wipes Out’ 2020 HPC Market Growth, Flat to 12% Drop Expected

March 31, 2020

As the world battles the still accelerating novel coronavirus, the HPC community has mounted a forceful response to the pandemic on many fronts. But these efforts won't inoculate the HPC industry from the economic effects of COVID-19. Market watcher Intersect360 Research has revised its 2020 forecast for HPC products and services, projecting... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

LLNL Leverages Supercomputing to Identify COVID-19 Antibody Candidates

March 30, 2020

As COVID-19 sweeps the globe to devastating effect, supercomputers around the world are spinning up to fight back by working on diagnosis, epidemiology, treatme Read more…

By Staff report

Weather at Exascale: Load Balancing for Heterogeneous Systems

March 30, 2020

The first months of 2020 were dominated by weather and climate supercomputing news, with major announcements coming from the UK, the European Centre for Medium- Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Q&A Part Two: ORNL’s Pooser on Progress in Quantum Communication

March 30, 2020

Quantum computing seems to get more than its fair share of attention compared to quantum communication. That’s despite the fact that quantum networking may be Read more…

By John Russell

DoE Expands on Role of COVID-19 Supercomputing Consortium

March 25, 2020

After announcing the launch of the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium on Sunday, the Department of Energy yesterday provided more details on its sco Read more…

By John Russell

[email protected] Rallies a Legion of Computers Against the Coronavirus

March 24, 2020

Last week, we highlighted [email protected], a massive, crowdsourced computer network that has turned its resources against the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe – but [email protected] isn’t the only game in town. The internet is buzzing with crowdsourced computing... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Conversation: ANL’s Rick Stevens on DoE’s AI for Science Project

March 23, 2020

With release of the Department of Energy’s AI for Science report in late February, the effort to build a national AI program, modeled loosely on the U.S. Exascale Initiative, enters a new phase. Project leaders have already had early discussions with Congress... Read more…

By John Russell

[email protected] Turns Its Massive Crowdsourced Computer Network Against COVID-19

March 16, 2020

For gamers, fighting against a global crisis is usually pure fantasy – but now, it’s looking more like a reality. As supercomputers around the world spin up Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Julia Programming’s Dramatic Rise in HPC and Elsewhere

January 14, 2020

Back in 2012 a paper by four computer scientists including Alan Edelman of MIT introduced Julia, A Fast Dynamic Language for Technical Computing. At the time, t Read more…

By John Russell

Global Supercomputing Is Mobilizing Against COVID-19

March 12, 2020

Tech has been taking some heavy losses from the coronavirus pandemic. Global supply chains have been disrupted, virtually every major tech conference taking place over the next few months has been canceled... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

[email protected] Rallies a Legion of Computers Against the Coronavirus

March 24, 2020

Last week, we highlighted [email protected], a massive, crowdsourced computer network that has turned its resources against the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe – but [email protected] isn’t the only game in town. The internet is buzzing with crowdsourced computing... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

DoE Expands on Role of COVID-19 Supercomputing Consortium

March 25, 2020

After announcing the launch of the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium on Sunday, the Department of Energy yesterday provided more details on its sco Read more…

By John Russell

Steve Scott Lays Out HPE-Cray Blended Product Roadmap

March 11, 2020

Last week, the day before the El Capitan processor disclosures were made at HPE's new headquarters in San Jose, Steve Scott (CTO for HPC & AI at HPE, and former Cray CTO) was on-hand at the Rice Oil & Gas HPC conference in Houston. He was there to discuss the HPE-Cray transition and blended roadmap, as well as his favorite topic, Cray's eighth-gen networking technology, Slingshot. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Fujitsu A64FX Supercomputer to Be Deployed at Nagoya University This Summer

February 3, 2020

Japanese tech giant Fujitsu announced today that it will supply Nagoya University Information Technology Center with the first commercial supercomputer powered Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Tech Conferences Are Being Canceled Due to Coronavirus

March 3, 2020

Several conferences scheduled to take place in the coming weeks, including Nvidia’s GPU Technology Conference (GTC) and the Strata Data + AI conference, have Read more…

By Alex Woodie

Leading Solution Providers

SC 2019 Virtual Booth Video Tour

AMD
AMD
ASROCK RACK
ASROCK RACK
AWS
AWS
CEJN
CJEN
CRAY
CRAY
DDN
DDN
DELL EMC
DELL EMC
IBM
IBM
MELLANOX
MELLANOX
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
PANASAS
PANASAS
SIX NINES IT
SIX NINES IT
VERNE GLOBAL
VERNE GLOBAL
WEKAIO
WEKAIO

Cray to Provide NOAA with Two AMD-Powered Supercomputers

February 24, 2020

The United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) last week announced plans for a major refresh of its operational weather forecasting supercomputers, part of a 10-year, $505.2 million program, which will secure two HPE-Cray systems for NOAA’s National Weather Service to be fielded later this year and put into production in early 2022. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Exascale Watch: El Capitan Will Use AMD CPUs & GPUs to Reach 2 Exaflops

March 4, 2020

HPE and its collaborators reported today that El Capitan, the forthcoming exascale supercomputer to be sited at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and serve Read more…

By John Russell

Summit Supercomputer is Already Making its Mark on Science

September 20, 2018

Summit, now the fastest supercomputer in the world, is quickly making its mark in science – five of the six finalists just announced for the prestigious 2018 Read more…

By John Russell

IBM Unveils Latest Achievements in AI Hardware

December 13, 2019

“The increased capabilities of contemporary AI models provide unprecedented recognition accuracy, but often at the expense of larger computational and energet Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

TACC Supercomputers Run Simulations Illuminating COVID-19, DNA Replication

March 19, 2020

As supercomputers around the world spin up to combat the coronavirus, the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) is announcing results that may help to illumina Read more…

By Staff report

IBM Debuts IC922 Power Server for AI Inferencing and Data Management

January 28, 2020

IBM today launched a Power9-based inference server – the IC922 – that features up to six Nvidia T4 GPUs, PCIe Gen 4 and OpenCAPI connectivity, and can accom Read more…

By John Russell

Summit Joins the Fight Against the Coronavirus

March 6, 2020

With the coronavirus sweeping the globe, tech conferences and supply chains are being hit hard – but now, tech is hitting back. Oak Ridge National Laboratory Read more…

By Staff report

University of Stuttgart Inaugurates ‘Hawk’ Supercomputer

February 20, 2020

This week, the new “Hawk” supercomputer was inaugurated in a ceremony at the High-Performance Computing Center of the University of Stuttgart (HLRS). Offici Read more…

By Staff report

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This