Nvidia, AMD Bulk Up Their GPU Accelerators
The new GPU, based on the Kepler architecture, includes Nvidia's GPU Boost technology, which can help businesses get more performance by leveraging power headroom, according to the company. GPU Boost can help systems become 25 to 40 percent faster, Gupta said. The chip exceeds other accelerators for both single-precision (4.29 teraflops) and double-precision (1.43 teraflops) peak floating-point performance, Nvidia officials said. Along with the 12GB of GDDR5 memory—which enables organization to process datasets that are twice as large as those handled by 6GB memory—the K40 also includes 2,880 CUDA parallel processing cores that offer 10 times the acceleration of systems that use a CPU alone, and PCI-Express Gen-3 support, which offers twice the data movement acceleration as the PCIe Gen-2 technology. The K40 GPUs are available now, and users can try out the accelerators for free on remotely hosted clusters at the GPU Test Drive Website. Gupta told eWEEK that Nvidia's background and expertise is a key differentiator from AMD, which he said is more focused on its accelerated processing units (APUs) being used in notebook and desktop PCs.AMD officials believe the company is building a strong heritage in HPC, noting that its current FireProS1000—which offers 6GB of GDDR5 memory—was used by the University of Frankfurt's Institution of Advanced Studies in its SANAM system, which ranks in the top five on the Green500 list of the world's most energy-efficient supercomputers powered by graphics processors. The FirePro S10000 12GB Edition will be available in the spring of 2014. The new graphics card supports PCIe 3.0, is optimized for use with the OpenCL programming language and is based on AMD's Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture. AMD officials said the new GPU is good for visualization workloads, such as finance, aeronautics and medicine; double-precisions tasks (including genetic sequencing and computational fluid dynamtics); single-precision (seismic processing, satellite imaging and video enhancement); and ultra high-end workstation jobs (oil and gas and computer-aided engineering).
"We don't see them in big data or HPC announcements," he said.