Cray Rolls Out AMD-Based CS500; More to Follow?

By John Russell

April 18, 2018

Cray was the latest OEM to bring AMD back into the fold with introduction today of a CS500 option based on AMD’s Epyc processor line. The move follows Cray’s introduction of an ARM-based system (XC-50) last November. Cray, of course, is a long-time Intel partner and still a heavy Intel technology user. Nevertheless, the latest move illustrates AMD’s fast-growing strength after returning to the datacenter market less than a year ago; it also highlights emerging diversity in the microprocessor landscape.

The CS500 line is positioned as Cray’s supercomputer cluster offering the widest choice of configurations. The AMD-based CS500 will use the Epyc 7000 line which features high memory bandwidth and high IO. By way of comparison, Intel’s Skylake has six channels per socket and the AMD processor has eight.“We are seeing a lot of interest in the upper level [processors] like the 7601 and some others but really we are targeting the whole 7000 space,” said Chris Lindahl, Cray product marketing director. He singled out computational fluid dynamics as an example of an application area where AMD’s Epyc line would perform well and emphasized it would be able to leverage the well-established x86 market.

For AMD, the announcement is another stride forward in its return to the datacenter which began last June with launch of Epyc. Several OEM/ODMs and a handful of major hyperscalers, including for example Azure and Baidu, have either announced plans or are now offering Epyc-based products and services.

Steve Conway, senior vice president of research at Hyperion Research, said, “We’ve been seeing more interest in AMD from HPC buyers over the past year. The Cray announcement shows that AMD is targeting HPC as well as hyperscale with Epyc. Both Cray and AMD are presumably responding to customer demand. The decision to offer EPYC processors in the Cray CS500 product line expands its market opportunities by offering buyers an important new choice. Epyc processors are expressly designed to provide highly scalable, energy-and-cost-efficient performance in large and midrange clusters.”

AMD trumpeted the deal. “Cray’s leadership in supercomputing is well known and AMD is thrilled to be working with them on the CS500 cluster system. Cray is the first system vendor to offer an optimized programing environment for AMD EYPC processors, which is a distinct advantage,” said Scott Aylor, corporate vice president and general manager, datacenter and embedded solutions, AMD. He echoed Lindahl saying “[Epyc is] very well suited for CFD, finite element analysis, oil and gas – all areas where we see the CS500 portfolio being a good marriage of capabilities.”

The new Cray CS500 cluster systems with AMD EPYC 7000 processors provide “four dual-socket nodes in a 2U chassis, each node supporting two (2) PCIe Gen3 x 16 slots (200Gb network capability) and HDD/SSD options. AMD EPYC 7000 processors support up to 32 cores and eight DDR4 memory channels per socket. The CS500 line will also include a 2U chassis with one node for large memory configurations, visualization, and service node functionality to complement the compute node form factor.”

AMD and Cray are hardly strangers. The Titan supercomputer at Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, stood up in 2012/13, remains the fastest (17.6 Linpack petaflops) U.S. supercomputer and is a Cray XK7 powered by AMD Opteron processors and Nvidia Kepler GPUs. It is perhaps natural to wonder if AMD chips – microprocessors or accelerators – might turn up in other Cray offerings and perhaps reinvigorate Cray’s Top500 aspirations. It’s expected that Summit, the DoE supercomputer based on IBM Power technology and Nvidia GPUs, will soon displace Titan as the top performing U.S. supercomputer.

Lindahl said there were no current plans for use of AMD Epyc in other Cray product lines (XC series, CS-StormUrika) or for use of IBM Power microprocessors. Asked about plans to use and AMD GPUs in Cray’s accelerated platforms, Lindahl said, “Not at this point. We do continue to evaluate. There are lots of considerations there.” AMD’s Radeon line has also enjoyed strong market traction lately.

For the moment, Cray is emphasizing Epyc’s potential in HPC and the traditional x86 landscape. Fred Kohout, SVP products and CMO, Cray, said, “Our decision to offer AMD EPYC processors in our CS500 product line is emblematic of Cray’s commitment to the community to deliver a comprehensive line of high-density systems with an optimized programming environment to deliver the required performance and scalability.”

Lindahl said, “We see opportunity where memory-bound aps and ISV codes come in to play. We think the (Epyc 7000’s] memory bandwidth is really strong for workflows like CFD and those types of ISV codes that already have been optimized for x86 platforms. [Users] can take advantage of that right away without having to do anything to change the code.”

Importantly, said Lindahl, the Epyc line works well with the Cray Programing Environment (tools and libraries) and noted that few tweaks were needed to accommodate the 7000 line. He said Cray may introduce CPE enhancements for the AMD chips later. Bright cluster is available as management option, but without the deep learning extension, which Cray does support in the CS-Storm line.

Availability for the Epyc-based CS500 is scheduled for the summer. Pricing was not disclosed.

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!

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, treatment and vaccine development. Now, Lawrence Livermore National 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-Range Weather Forecasts and the U.S. National Oceanic and At 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 nearer to becoming a practical reality. In this second inst Read more…

By John Russell

SiFive Accelerates Chip Design with Cloud Tools

March 25, 2020

Chip designers are drawing on new cloud resources along with conventional electronic design automation (EDA) tools to accelerate IC templates from tape-out to custom silicon. Among the challengers to chip design leade Read more…

By George Leopold

What’s New in Computing vs. COVID-19: White House Initiative, Frontera, RIKEN & More

March 25, 2020

Supercomputing, big data and artificial intelligence are crucial tools in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Around the world, researchers, corporations and governments are urgently devoting their computing reso Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

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…

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 scope and operation in a briefing led by Undersecretary of Ener Read more…

By John Russell

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

Servers Headed to Junkyard Find 2nd Life Fighting Cancer in Clusters

March 20, 2020

Ottawa-based charitable organization Cancer Computer is on a mission to stamp out cancer and other life-threatening diseases, including coronavirus, by putting Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Kubernetes and HPC Applications in Hybrid Cloud Environments – Part II

March 19, 2020

With the rise of cloud services, CIOs are recognizing that applications, middleware, and infrastructure running in various compute environments need a common management and operating model. Maintaining different application and middleware stacks on-premises and in cloud environments, by possibly using different specialized infrastructure and application... Read more…

By Daniel Gruber,Burak Yenier and Wolfgang Gentzsch, UberCloud

Intel’s Neuromorphic Chip Scales Up (and It Smells)

March 18, 2020

Neuromorphic chips attempt to directly mimic the behavior of the human brain. Intel, which introduced its Loihi neuromorphic chip in 2017, has just announced that Loihi has been scaled up into a system that simulates over 100 million neurons. Furthermore, it announced that the chip smells. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

[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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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