Alibaba to Use AMD Radeon GPUs in Its Cloud Services
The partnership is a big win for AMD, which is trying to compete with Intel and Nvidia in the lucrative data center market.Advanced Micro Devices officials said Chinese internet giant Alibaba will use the company's graphics technologies in its cloud computing efforts, a significant win for the chip maker as it looks to re-establish itself in the data center against larger rivals Intel and Nvidia. AMD President and CEO Lisa Su and Simon Hu, president of Alibaba's cloud computing unit, announced the partnership Oct. 14 during the Alibaba Computing Conference in China. According to AMD officials, Alibaba will use AMD's Radeon Pro graphics cards in its global cloud data center as part of an effort to expand its cloud offerings and drive adoption of its cloud-based services. Graphics has been a key component of AMD executives' larger strategy to grow the company and return it to sustainable profitability. GPUs enable the company to compete in a broad range of growth areas in the industry, including gaming, immersive computing and virtual reality (VR). In addition, GPUs increasingly are used as CPU accelerators in the data center for enterprises, supercomputer and high-performance computing (HPC) environments, increasing the performance of systems while reining in power consumption. The chip maker created the Radeon Technology Group (RTG) for its GPU efforts and over the past year has unveiled a range of new GPUs, introduced new technologies to the chips like high-bandwidth memory (HBM) technology, rolled out Radeon Software Crimson to replace its Catalyst Control Center and compete with Nvidia's GeForce Experience software, and introduced the Boltzmann Initiative (a project designed to make it easier to develop high-performance computing applications for the FirePro graphics technology). Most recently, AMD has introduced a growing portfolio of GPUs based on its new Polaris architecture, a 14-nanomter 3D FinFET transistor design that helps the chips more than double the performance-per-watt of previous Radeon graphics technologies.
Officials also have begun talking about the company's next-generation GPU architecture, dubbed "Vega."