AMD Unveils Fast GPU Server Accelerator for HPC
The FirePro S9150 will compete with Nvidia's Tesla K40 at a time when accelerators and co-processors are becoming more prevalent in supercomputers.Advanced Micro Devices this week unveiled a new powerful graphics card aimed at servers running in high-performance computing environments and that will compete with Nvidia's Tesla K40 GPU. According to AMD officials, the FirePro S9150 server card offers up to 2.53 teraflops (one trillion floating point operations per second) of double-precision peak performance aimed at highly compute-intensive and parallel scientific workloads. By contrast, Nvidia's Tesla K40 hits a peak performance of 1.43 teraflops. The single-precision peak performance of the AMD GPU is 5.07 teraflops, compared with 4.29 teraflops for Nvidia's offering. Research institutions and other high-performance computing (HPC) increasingly are embracing high-end systems that leverage GPU accelerators and co-processors to enhance the performance of those systems while keeping the power consumption in check. Of systems on the June Top500 list of the world's fastest supercomputers, 62 use accelerators or co-processors, an increase from 53 in November 2013. Forty-four of those systems included Nvidia GPUs, while two used Radeon chips from AMD. Another 17 leverage x86-based Xeon Phi co-processors from Intel.
Four of the top 10 systems on the list used either GPU accelerators from Nvidia or Xeon Phi chips from Intel. The fastest system in the world, the massive Tiahne-2 system at the National Supercomputer Center in China, included Xeon Phi co-processors, while the second-fastest—the Cray Titan system at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee—is powered by AMD's x86-based Opteron processors and Tesla K20 GPU accelerators.