Nvidia, AMD Bulk Up Their GPU Accelerators
Nvidia's K40 GPU and AMD's new FirePro S10000 both will offer 12GB of memory, which is a key feature for HPC and big data workloads.Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices are pushing the capabilities of their respective graphics cards as they look to capture larger shares of the growing interest in GPU accelerators in the high-performance computing space. At the SC '13 supercomputing show in Denver Nov. 18, Nvidia officials unveiled the Tesla K40 GPU accelerator, which the company said will offer twice the memory—at 12GB—and 40 percent the performance of its current K20X accelerators. The chip, aimed at such workloads as big data and scientific calculations, also offers 10 times the performance of systems using only CPUs, according to Nvidia officials. Nvidia's announcement came four days after AMD rolled out its FirePro S10000 12GB Edition graphics card, which is aimed at high-performance computing (HPC) and big data tasks and marks the vendor's most significant push into the high-end computing field with its GPU technology. "Our compute application customers asked for a solution that offers increased memory to support larger data sets as they create new products and services," David Cummings, senior director and general manager of professional graphics at AMD, said in a statement. "In response, we're announcing the AMD FirePro S10000 12GB Edition graphics card to meet that additional memory demand with support for OpenCL and high-end compute and graphics technologies."
Both Nvidia and AMD for the past several years have been promoting GPUs as accelerators for use in high-end systems running HPC workloads. The GPUs enable OEMs to build systems that can improve performance and handle more parallel-processing workloads while also driving up the power efficiency, an increasingly critical metric in highly dense data centers.