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!

Nvidia Aims Clara Healthcare at Drug Discovery, Imaging via DGX

April 12, 2021

Nvidia Corp. continues to expand its Clara healthcare platform with the addition of computational drug discovery and medical imaging tools based on its DGX A100 platform, related InfiniBand networking and its AGX develop Read more…

Nvidia Serves Up Its First Arm Datacenter CPU ‘Grace’ During Kitchen Keynote

April 12, 2021

Today at Nvidia’s annual spring GPU technology conference, held virtually once more due to the ongoing pandemic, the company announced its first ever Arm-based CPU, called Grace in honor of the famous American programmer Grace Hopper. Read more…

Nvidia Debuts BlueField-3 – Its Next DPU with Big Plans for an Expanded Role

April 12, 2021

Nvidia today announced its next generation data processing unit (DPU) – BlueField-3 – adding more substance to its evolving concept of the DPU as a full-fledged partner to CPUs and GPUs in delivering advanced computi Read more…

Nvidia’s Newly DPU-Enabled SuperPOD Is a Multi-Tenant, Cloud-Native Supercomputer

April 12, 2021

At GTC 2021, Nvidia has announced an upgraded iteration of its DGX SuperPods, calling the new offering “the first cloud-native, multi-tenant supercomputer.” The newly announced SuperPods come just two years after the Read more…

Tune in to Watch Nvidia’s GTC21 Keynote with Jensen Huang – Recording Now Available

April 12, 2021

Join HPCwire right here on Monday, April 12, at 8:30 am PT to see the Nvidia GTC21 keynote from Nvidia’s CEO, Jensen Huang, livestreamed in its entirety. Hosted by HPCwire, you can click to join the Huang keynote on our livestream to hear Nvidia’s expected news and... Read more…

AWS Solution Channel

Volkswagen Passenger Cars Uses NICE DCV for High-Performance 3D Remote Visualization

 

Volkswagen Passenger Cars has been one of the world’s largest car manufacturers for over 70 years. The company delivers more than 6 million automobiles to global customers every year, from 50 production locations on five continents. Read more…

The US Places Seven Additional Chinese Supercomputing Entities on Blacklist

April 8, 2021

As tensions between the U.S. and China continue to simmer, the U.S. government today added seven Chinese supercomputing entities to an economic blacklist. The U.S. Entity List bars U.S. firms from supplying key technolog Read more…

Nvidia Serves Up Its First Arm Datacenter CPU ‘Grace’ During Kitchen Keynote

April 12, 2021

Today at Nvidia’s annual spring GPU technology conference, held virtually once more due to the ongoing pandemic, the company announced its first ever Arm-based CPU, called Grace in honor of the famous American programmer Grace Hopper. Read more…

Nvidia Debuts BlueField-3 – Its Next DPU with Big Plans for an Expanded Role

April 12, 2021

Nvidia today announced its next generation data processing unit (DPU) – BlueField-3 – adding more substance to its evolving concept of the DPU as a full-fle Read more…

Nvidia’s Newly DPU-Enabled SuperPOD Is a Multi-Tenant, Cloud-Native Supercomputer

April 12, 2021

At GTC 2021, Nvidia has announced an upgraded iteration of its DGX SuperPods, calling the new offering “the first cloud-native, multi-tenant supercomputer.” Read more…

Tune in to Watch Nvidia’s GTC21 Keynote with Jensen Huang – Recording Now Available

April 12, 2021

Join HPCwire right here on Monday, April 12, at 8:30 am PT to see the Nvidia GTC21 keynote from Nvidia’s CEO, Jensen Huang, livestreamed in its entirety. Hosted by HPCwire, you can click to join the Huang keynote on our livestream to hear Nvidia’s expected news and... Read more…

The US Places Seven Additional Chinese Supercomputing Entities on Blacklist

April 8, 2021

As tensions between the U.S. and China continue to simmer, the U.S. government today added seven Chinese supercomputing entities to an economic blacklist. The U Read more…

Habana’s AI Silicon Comes to San Diego Supercomputer Center

April 8, 2021

Habana Labs, an Intel-owned AI company, has partnered with server maker Supermicro to provide high-performance, high-efficiency AI computing in the form of new Read more…

Intel Partners Debut Latest Servers Based on the New Intel Gen 3 ‘Ice Lake’ Xeons

April 7, 2021

Fresh from Intel’s launch of the company’s latest third-generation Xeon Scalable “Ice Lake” processors on April 6 (Tuesday), Intel server partners Cisco, Dell EMC, HPE and Lenovo simultaneously unveiled their first server models built around the latest chips. And though arch-rival AMD may... Read more…

Intel Launches 10nm ‘Ice Lake’ Datacenter CPU with Up to 40 Cores

April 6, 2021

The wait is over. Today Intel officially launched its 10nm datacenter CPU, the third-generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor, codenamed Ice Lake. With up to 40 Read more…

Julia Update: Adoption Keeps Climbing; Is It a Python Challenger?

January 13, 2021

The rapid adoption of Julia, the open source, high level programing language with roots at MIT, shows no sign of slowing according to data from Julialang.org. I Read more…

Intel Launches 10nm ‘Ice Lake’ Datacenter CPU with Up to 40 Cores

April 6, 2021

The wait is over. Today Intel officially launched its 10nm datacenter CPU, the third-generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor, codenamed Ice Lake. With up to 40 Read more…

CERN Is Betting Big on Exascale

April 1, 2021

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) involves 23 countries, 15,000 researchers, billions of dollars a year, and the biggest machine in the worl Read more…

Programming the Soon-to-Be World’s Fastest Supercomputer, Frontier

January 5, 2021

What’s it like designing an app for the world’s fastest supercomputer, set to come online in the United States in 2021? The University of Delaware’s Sunita Chandrasekaran is leading an elite international team in just that task. Chandrasekaran, assistant professor of computer and information sciences, recently was named... Read more…

HPE Launches Storage Line Loaded with IBM’s Spectrum Scale File System

April 6, 2021

HPE today launched a new family of storage solutions bundled with IBM’s Spectrum Scale Erasure Code Edition parallel file system (description below) and featu Read more…

10nm, 7nm, 5nm…. Should the Chip Nanometer Metric Be Replaced?

June 1, 2020

The biggest cool factor in server chips is the nanometer. AMD beating Intel to a CPU built on a 7nm process node* – with 5nm and 3nm on the way – has been i Read more…

Saudi Aramco Unveils Dammam 7, Its New Top Ten Supercomputer

January 21, 2021

By revenue, oil and gas giant Saudi Aramco is one of the largest companies in the world, and it has historically employed commensurate amounts of supercomputing Read more…

Quantum Computer Start-up IonQ Plans IPO via SPAC

March 8, 2021

IonQ, a Maryland-based quantum computing start-up working with ion trap technology, plans to go public via a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) merger a Read more…

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

Can Deep Learning Replace Numerical Weather Prediction?

March 3, 2021

Numerical weather prediction (NWP) is a mainstay of supercomputing. Some of the first applications of the first supercomputers dealt with climate modeling, and Read more…

Livermore’s El Capitan Supercomputer to Debut HPE ‘Rabbit’ Near Node Local Storage

February 18, 2021

A near node local storage innovation called Rabbit factored heavily into Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s decision to select Cray’s proposal for its CORAL-2 machine, the lab’s first exascale-class supercomputer, El Capitan. Details of this new storage technology were revealed... Read more…

New Deep Learning Algorithm Solves Rubik’s Cube

July 25, 2018

Solving (and attempting to solve) Rubik’s Cube has delighted millions of puzzle lovers since 1974 when the cube was invented by Hungarian sculptor and archite Read more…

African Supercomputing Center Inaugurates ‘Toubkal,’ Most Powerful Supercomputer on the Continent

February 25, 2021

Historically, Africa hasn’t exactly been synonymous with supercomputing. There are only a handful of supercomputers on the continent, with few ranking on the Read more…

The History of Supercomputing vs. COVID-19

March 9, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic poses a greater challenge to the high-performance computing community than any before. HPCwire's coverage of the supercomputing response t Read more…

HPE Names Justin Hotard New HPC Chief as Pete Ungaro Departs

March 2, 2021

HPE CEO Antonio Neri announced today (March 2, 2021) the appointment of Justin Hotard as general manager of HPC, mission critical solutions and labs, effective Read more…

AMD Launches Epyc ‘Milan’ with 19 SKUs for HPC, Enterprise and Hyperscale

March 15, 2021

At a virtual launch event held today (Monday), AMD revealed its third-generation Epyc “Milan” CPU lineup: a set of 19 SKUs -- including the flagship 64-core, 280-watt 7763 part --  aimed at HPC, enterprise and cloud workloads. Notably, the third-gen Epyc Milan chips achieve 19 percent... Read more…

Microsoft, HPE Bringing AI, Edge, Cloud to Earth Orbit in Preparation for Mars Missions

February 12, 2021

The International Space Station will soon get a delivery of powerful AI, edge and cloud computing tools from HPE and Microsoft Azure to expand technology experi Read more…

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
HPCwire