Server makers Appro and Supermicro, both of which sell systems into HPC environments, are expanding their portfolios of servers that run CPUs from Intel and AMD as well as GPUs from Nvidia, including the latest Tesla 20 series graphics chips.
Appro International and Super Micro Computer, or Supermicro, are unveiling
new and enhanced servers that incorporate Nvidia's Tesla 20 series graphics
These servers are the latest to bring traditional CPUs from Intel
and Advanced Micro Devices together with GPU technologies to offer businesses
and HPC (high-performance computing)
environments greater compute density and energy efficiency.
Nvidia and AMD, through its ATI
graphics business, have aggressively pushed GPUs for mainstream computing. That
is a direction being embraced among customers, particularly in the HPC
space, according to John Lee, vice president of advanced technology solutions
The Tesla 20 series is based on Nvidia's new "Fermi"
architecture, which is designed to offer reliability features normally found in
"We really believe the GPUs are here and are going to make
a big splash," Lee said in an interview. "They will be here for a
Appro has been active in developing systems that bring together
CPUs and GPUs. The company in 2009 unveiled its HyperPower
which includes Intel- and Nvidia-based systems.
On May 4, Appro officials announced an expansion of the
company's GPU-based efforts in the form of the Appro Tetra server, a 1U
(1.75-inch) system powered by two CPUs and four Nvidia Tesla M2050 GPUs. It
includes such features as six hot-swappable 2.5-inch hard disk drives, one PCIe
expansion slot, integrated IPMI 2.0 remote server management capabilities, high-speed
I/O options and a Microsoft Windows or Linux operating system. Energy-saving
software also can power down pairs of GPUs when needed.
The Tetra comes in two models: the 1426G4 server with Intel
Xeon 5600 chips and the 1326G4, with AMD
Opteron 6100 processors. Both models offer 12GB of memory, 1,792 GPU cores and
more than 2 teraflops of computing power.
Lee said the Tetra will be good for businesses interested in
trying out GPU computing for the first time, or those interested in expanding
their GPU environments.
In addition, Appro rolled out a GPU expansion blade also
powered by the Tesla M2050 GPU as a configuration option in its GreenBlade
Appro's GreenBlade System is designed for high performance and
power efficiency. The 5U (8.75-inch) system supports up to 10 server blades.
When configured for a CPU-GPU combination, the GreenBlade System can run five
two-socket CPU server blades and five GPU expansion blades that hold up to
4,480 cores, which Appro officials said translates into 5 teraflops of
performance. The gB222X server is hosted by Intel Xeon chips, the gB322H by AMD's
With the GreenBlade System, Lee said, IT administrators can
dynamically power down the GPUs when running CPU-based applications, rather
than having to shut the system down and take out the GPUs as had to be done
Supermicro is rolling out its second-generation GPU servers,
powered by Tesla M2050 GPUs. In addition, they feature Intel's Xeon 5600 and AMD's
Opteron 6100 CPUs, as well as remote monitoring and management capabilities.
One of Supermicro's offerings, the 6016GT-TF-FM205, is 1U and
supports two Xeon 5600 series chips and two Tesla M2050 GPUs.
The 7046GT-TRF-FC405 is housed in Supermicro's new 4U (7-inch) SC747TQ-R1400
rack mount chassis. Supermicro also is rolling out the 2U (3.5-inch) Twin GPU
Nvidia is continuing its mainstream GPU drumbeat. On April 29
in a column
Bill Dally, Nvidia chief scientist and vice president,
argued that Moore's Law was reaching
the end of its life on CPUs,
and that the only way to keep it going was
through the adoption of parallel processing offered in such technologies as
AMD is looking to put full
computing and graphics capabilities on a single chip in its Fusion strategy,
while Intel is expected to continue to expand the graphics capabilities of its