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The momentum behind OpenStack® technology is at a pivotal point, and over the next year the industry could see a breakout of production deployments.  If deployment doesn’t happen, the promising open source project could just tread water with a lot of new features and capabilities but used by only a small number of companies.  Currently, those using OpenStack are large service providers or web companies who have the resources, technical expertise and budget.  There are few smaller companies who are running OpenStack in production environments, except those trying to build a business around it.  Ease of use and maintenance seems to be a major issue, and industry heavyweights such as Red Hat, HP and IBM are expending millions of dollars to make OpenStack a solution that is appealing to a broader set of customers; but it is hard to tell how far the finish line is.

 

Up to now, the community has focused on the development of OpenStack capabilities to increase the use cases.  However, there has been little effort to make OpenStack more usable, meaning a simplified interface that does not require deep technical understanding of the logical OpenStack architecture.  The community must turn its attention to increasing the adoption of OpenStack. The developers of OpenStack are a global community consisting of developers, corporations, service providers, researchers and users.  Coordinating the efforts of such a diverse community is difficult with a consensus approach and no centralized decision making body.  A group within the community has to emerge and lead the efforts to make OpenStack usable and increasing the adoption over a broad set of companies and industries.  AMD and Canonical have identified this need and are leading the effort to create a solution that is easy to deploy, use and maintain from the bare metal servers all the way up to application management.  The packaged bundle is the industry’s easiest and fastest way to create an enterprise private cloud using OpenStack.

The Promise of OpenStack

 

OpenStack was created to overcome the key challenges in running a private or public cloud: agility and scale.  In addition, the OpenStack framework should allow companies to avoid vendor lock-in and be “open” enough to pick and choose any hardware or software vendors’ products. The end game is extremely attractive, but whether it becomes reality is yet to be seen, especially given the open source project is dominated by developers from vendor companies.  These developers are involved to ensure that their company’s products are supported in the OpenStack framework.  To achieve this, many companies have created their own OpenStack distributions that incorporate their own products but may not allow the user to mix and match key OpenStack components.

Delivering the Promise of OpenStack

 

AMD and Canonical have maintained their focus on not just developing new technology but creating an OpenStack solution that can be adopted broadly.  As with any new technology, there is little focus on usability, and since OpenStack is such a complex set of applications and workflows, it often requires a team of people and multiple days to fully deploy it even for a proof of concept environment.   The two companies have tightly integrated SeaMicro SM15000™ server and Ubuntu® LTS 14.04 and OpenStack so that it is possible for one person to deploy this OpenStack solution in a matter of just a few hours.

AMD and Canonical Make OpenStack Easy

 

Simplicity and ease of use is what will accelerate OpenStack adoption and right now, the industry faces a shortage of experienced OpenStack experts.  Nearly every company is finding it difficult to recruit developers and DevOps personnel who can run large scale data centers using OpenStack.  There is even a lack of comprehensive training, most of which are geared towards using a vendor’s particular OpenStack distribution, or the training only covers the most basic administrative functions and do not provide any expertise on key topics such as security and data governance.

 

OpenStack must be simple, and a simple solution will encourage adoption since it will not require a large team of people days to get things running.  This allows companies to focus their energy on operating the cloud rather than figuring out how to make it work.  AMD and Canonical are dedicated to help the industry expand the use of OpenStack and have expended a tremendous amount of development resources to make OpenStack easy by providing a tightly integrated solution that can scale to hundreds of thousands of computing nodes.  The finish line for an easy to use OpenStack is actually very visible. As a matter of fact, we have already crossed it.

 

To learn more about the SeaMicro-Ubuntu Reference Architecture download a copy here [hyperlink] or contact seamicro@amd.com.

 

Young-Sae Song is a Corporate Vice President of Product Marketing, Data Center Server Solutions at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites, and references to third party trademarks, are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.

server-icon-black.pngAt exactly 5:00 PM (PT), a voice came over the speakers: “Attention attendees, the exhibition floor has closed.  Thank you for attending VMworld, 2014 ….”  This announcement was followed by a large round of applause from exhibitors.  And I was one of them …  


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While you may find that a little odd, consider that for many of us, VMworld started months ago. Planning and building demos; arguing over whether to wear polo shirts or T-shirts; debating the cultural impact of orange vs. red as a primary color; and choosing the right “give away” that we sometimes end up seeing in the trash bins as we walk off the show floor.  Oh – and tan or black khakis?  Oh the urgency!


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I’ve been in the technology field for many years and have done all of the shows – Networks Expo, Interop, Comdex, CeBIT, ISPCON, Synergy and the list goes on.  I have the T-shirts to prove it.  I’m quite certain that VMworld stands unique in its energetic and enthusiastic attendees.


The first VMworld was held in San Diego in 2004.  That year, 1,600 attendees came to learn about VMware ESX Server and this thing called “vMotion.”  At that time, 64-bit CPU support was all the rage, and AMD was there talking about the silicon-based virtualization hooks we were putting into our CPU technology: virtual memory management, reduced context switching, RVI and tagged TLB. Sound familiar?   Cutting edge at the time, a given today.


Ten years later, the Moscone Center in San Francisco welcomed 22,000 attendees!  This year’s audience was so large that some attendees drove up from the Valley to walk the floor.  And the question is no longer “do you virtualize?” but, “what is your hypervisor of choice?” 


There was no greater example of how far along virtualization has come than watching the number of folks coming by the AMD booth from non-enterprise IT organizations – a dramatic shift from that first VMworld 10 years ago.  I would say that the next area of growth for AMD and its partners is in this emerging virtualized mid-market. 

No longer just a consolidation play, smaller companies can realize the benefits of virtualization through the ability to do a lot of things faster.  Think of the smaller software company performing software quality assurance (SQA) before releasing a product to beta. The ability to quickly spin up a number of VMs that represent a spreadsheet of OS versions vs. having to build, test, wipe and reimage the same servers is a huge benefit.  A test cycle that used to require a week now takes days and several dedicated heads are reduced to just a few.


No longer is virtualization the daunting technology that requires a substantial investment in specialized technologists.  VMware, Microsoft, Citrix and others are simplifying the process of virtualizing your server infrastructure.  Heck, Windows Server now ships on Hyper-V!


AMD has been in this virtualization game for a very long time.  As we see the reach of virtualization extend from compute out, we will continue to innovate and drive value for companies of all sizes – from the enterprise with 10,000 servers to the software startup trying to get a product to market faster than other players in the market.

Will you be at VMworld in 2015?  If so, don’t be surprised when you hear the exhibitors cheer when the expo ends. It’s not that we don’t love you – it’s just that being on the cutting edge is exhausting.

 

Matt Kimball is a Senior Manager of Server Product Marketing at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites, and references to third party trademarks, are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.

 

Microsoft and Windows are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S. and/or other jurisdictions.

By Rita Turkowski, AMD Customer Marketing Manager

 

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For me, attending SIGGRAPH is a yearly tradition. I can think of no company better suited to reaping the intellectual fruits of the annual SIGGRAPH harvest than AMD.  As SIGGRAPH is ACM’s (the Association for Computing Machinery) annual conference for all things 3D graphics, it is very useful for us on the embedded gaming team to learn about the latest developments and achievements in 3D algorithms and techniques so we may stay competitive by offering our customers the state-of-the-art graphics hardware they need and expect from us.

 

Of course, AMD had a booth in the main exhibit hall showcasing our cutting-edge graphics products, but AMD Technology and Engineering also had a cool virtual reality (VR) demo in the Emerging Technologies hall. It was a demo created with the same monsters from the AMD Consumer Electronic Show 2014 demo, “Monsters in the Orchestra”; the same monsters used as well in the AMD Embedded Solution team’s “Monsters in the Casino” demonstration. This time “Monsters in the Casino” featured Sony’s as-yet unreleased Morpheus headsets. With six stations for visitors (headsets and monitors), controlled by one Sony PlayStation* server, this demo was a big hit with queues often extending outside the booth with people patiently waiting to play the demo, a fun interactive musical experience.

 

By the way, as novel as 3D graphics and VR are for many, this year was SIGGRAPH’s 41st International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques. Beyond the usual bounty of SIGGRAPH papers, panels and courses, the art and animation shows, SIGGRAPH also boasts an impressive Emerging Technologies hall, one that never fails to introduce original interactive techniques, such as the Sony/AMD VR demo I mention above and this year’s award winning demo, Birdly, an Oculus Rift demo, both quite original and fun all around. Beyond the ever-present VR demos there were also graphics creativity stations, many 3D model printers and a good dose of university R&D projects.

 

From a technical perspective, volumetric rendering was hot again this year, but then again there is almost always a lot of new research on how to manipulate materials at SIGGRAPH, as well as many clever new techniques for lighting and rendering. Beyond 3D graphics, one can find new algorithms and techniques in both sound and physics as well. Be sure to catch this fun video short that delivers a snapshot of technical papers shown at the SIGGRAPH 2014 Animation Festival. Further down on that page, you will find many other shorts about interesting presentations from this year and previous years.

 

At SIGGRAPH, it is also great to run into a range of fascinating folks, including many from the embedded space, whether casino game developers, arcade designers, hardware board manufacturers, platform designers, tablet makers, digital signage designers, medical haptics device makers and more. While there are many trade show exhibits at SIGGRAPH ranging from hardware providers to new graphics software middleware providers, SIGGRAPH also has a career pavilion, one mostly flooded with animators and game developers looking for work, but where companies in the embedded gaming space, such as VGT, also scout for new game developers. It was great to see so many representatives from the vertical markets that AMD Embedded Solutions focuses on looking to grow their companies and enhance their products with the advancements and experts found at SIGGRAPH’s annual conference.

 

Rita Turkowski is a customer marketing manager for digital gaming with AMD Embedded Solutions. Her postings are her own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies, or opinions. Links to third-party sites and references to third-party trademarks are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third-party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.

 

*Playstation is a trademark or registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc.

By: Jovi Chi and Kelly Gillilan, AMD

 

Ever heard of ChinaJoy? This yearly event held in Shanghai is the largest consumer gaming show in Asia. It provides vital insight to the status of gaming in the world’s second largest and, possibly, fastest growing gaming market—China. Each July, thousands of gaming industry leaders, software developers, and over 400,000 gamers from all over the country gather at ChinaJoy to demonstrate and discover the latest technologies, products, and trends, and – most importantly – to have fun!

 

It’s important to note the changing attitude of the Chinese government toward gaming. Console gaming systems were banned in China starting in the year 2000. And this ban was only recently lifted earlier this year. During this gaming “prohibition” period, systems were readily available on the black market and piracy was rampant. As the county shifts to open the market back to legitimacy, local companies began to develop console systems specifically targeting a China audience. This was evident at the recent ChinaJoy event where gaming company “eedoo” launched their HomeOne system. The system, which is powered by an AMD Embedded G-Series SOC, drew a lot of media attention and invoked copious forum discussions in the region not only for its technology, but also for its approach to the local market.

 

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We think what makes the new eedoo system so appealing is the opportunity gamers have to enjoy games that are localized for them. And by “localized”, we mean more than just games that are translated into Chinese – games that capture and employ the cultural references and styles accustom to a Chinese audience. During the aforementioned prohibition period, gamers were stuck playing contraband console games designed for Japanese or Western audiences. Sure, there might have been a game here and there translated into Chinese, but the cultural aspects of those games were typically for an outside audience.


As this market opens and develops, we believe we’re going to see a lot of emphasis by gaming companies, both domestic and international, to cater to this renewed generation of Chinese gamers.

 

Jovi Chi is Director of Marketing in Greater China for AMD. Kelly Gillilan is a Strategic Marketing Manager for Embedded Gaming at AMD. Their postings are their own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third-party sites and references to third-party trademarks are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied. 

By Sven Kroger, Product Manager at INOSOFT


Frequently, when I’m talking to our clients, the need for completely new ways of operating Human Machine Interfaces (HMI) – i.e. the interface between man and machine – is becoming more and more apparent. Inspired by latest consumer devices like smartphones and tablets our customers are demanding traditional function-oriented machine visualizations to be replaced with applications, which display all the necessary data in a user-centric, intuitive GUI.


In my view, displaying complete machinery and equipment and any subcomponents in 3D is a great tool which in the industrial field, for example, paves the way for useful assistance systems for maintenance and diagnosis. A prime example of this is the visualization of fault location within a virtual 3D model, as was developed for Liebherr crane systems.

 

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Figure 1: The red coloring visualizes fault location in the 3D model (source: Liebherr-Components Biberach GmbH). Starting from the overall view in figure 1, in this example, the user can obtain further details on the fault location.

 

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Figure 2: Page sequence of fault location detection (source: Liebherr-Components Biberach GmbH)


This really helps to considerably reduce the downtimes of machines and equipment, as the maintenance staff quickly gets clear and comprehensive information on the location and cause of the fault.


Another example of applying 3D display technology is in so-called ‘augmented reality’ systems. The aim here is to provide a computer-aided extension of human perception. With a camera on an industrial tablet PC, an operator could, for example, capture an image of a faulty machine part. The software recognizes the machine part in question and automatically blends in details and maintenance support information as a 3D overlay on to the camera visual. Even if a scenario like this at present appears a little futuristic, I’m sure we will be encountering applications similar to this in the near future.


These application examples go to show just how high the technical standards being placed on hardware and software for implementing modern HMI solutions actually are.

 

VisiWin, the open visualization system, is INOSOFT’s answer from the software side. Our software is based 100% on Microsoft .NET and, by using Visual Studio, it can be widely extended with a freely programmable API. Thus we ensure the use of standardized software interfaces from other manufacturers, such as DirectX or the integration of additional libraries and frameworks. Where customized solutions are required, we support our customers with an extensive range of services, from individual training right up to turnkey applications.


The hardware side of things poses particular challenges for this type of industrial HMI applications. On top of the high level of compute and graphics performance which is required for calculating and displaying power-hungry 3D models, industrial specifications have to be considered. First and foremost these include low power dissipation, extended temperature range and long-term availability. In our opinion, AMD is very well positioned with its solutions. As AMD‘s Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) integrate both a powerful multicore CPU as well as discrete-class GPU on a single chip, they help enable HMIs to deliver fluid, high-quality visualization.

 

Thanks to their high level of scalability from low-power designs to high-performance solutions, OEMs can realize entire product families of industrial tablet PCs right up to high-end HMIs on a uniform hard- and software platform. OEMs can benefit from a very efficient development process and operators profit from higher productivity and safety thanks to a modern, highly intuitive HMI interface. We tested VisiWin on the AMD Embedded G-Series processor-based Panel PCs of SÜTRON electronic GmbH, a company of the Phoenix Contact Group. These integrate congatec‘s Qseven modules, allowing for the performance to be scaled using standardized modules. This is also beneficial for the performance bandwidth of the AMD processors, which support two independent displays and can also, by the way, be limited in their TDP which is a great help in system designs in the sensitive low power area. All in all, there’s a complete ecosystem out there for HMI designers, who place strong demands on graphics performance - even in harsh industrial environments.


Sven Kröger can be contacted at sven.kroeger@inosoft.com.

 

Guest Blogger Sven Kröger is a Product Manager at INOSOFT. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites, and references to third party trademarks, are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.

oteronx_lowrez.pngBack in 2007, I embarked on a research project for AMD to better understand how hosted computing was going to impact the enterprise.  Hosted computing was everything from Microsoft Terminal Services to Citrix MetaFrame to Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) technologies that were emerging.  The conclusion we came to during this research was that the biggest barrier to adoption would be the end user revolt.   The personalization and performance in the available solutions just wasn’t there to satisfy the needs of a large segment of the users on an enterprise network.


In the years that have followed, VDI has matured into the technology that most closely addresses the needs of users while giving IT the management and control of data.  But even VDI has seen its restrictions; from network, storage and user experience to overall cost and complexity – it’s a solution with limitations.


Hosted Desktop Infrastructure (HDI) is a new and cool way of deploying remote desktops to users who previously realized those VDI limitations.  Based on Citrix XenDekstop, HP Moonshot and AMD Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) technology, HDI finally bridges that tension between users and IT. Users enjoy a local like experience while giving IT that centralized control that helps drive down cost and headaches. 


Heard this story before?  Me too. But, here’s what’s different: by using the Citrix provisioning server in conjunction with XenDesktop user sessions are streamed to dedicated hardware in support of user sessions.  That dedicated hardware is based on the AMD Opteron™ X2150 APU,a chip that has both the CPU and GPU on the same die.  So not only does each user get their own dedicated “PC-on-a-chip”, according to HP, they also get discrete GPU like performance.  Better GPU performance means that user can tap into their video and video conferencing capability with virtually no jitter or hang, they can work on PowerPoint and stream music seamlessly.  Heck – a local like experience from a hosted session!


While at BriForum in Boston, we demonstrated HDI running on the HP CS100. For those that saw this chassis for the first time, the “wow” factor was noticeable.  While there were plenty of questions about how this “physicalization” thing works – the thought of finally being able to extend that VDI like model to knowledge workers without sacrificing user experience was pretty exciting.


Check out this really cool video demonstrating the power of HDI powered by HP and AMD. And let us know your thoughts!


Matt Kimball is a Senior Manager of Server Product Marketing at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites, and references to third party trademarks, are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.

guestblogger

The Force of Habit

Posted by guestblogger Jul 31, 2014

By Uwe Harasko, Product Manager, SÜTRON

 

Humans are creatures of habit. I see this demonstrated quite often when young apprentices pay their first visit to the shop floor. If they see a GUI, they feel the urge to touch it – even if it’s just a plain old LCD display. That’s the force of habit. Their daily lives revolve around touch interaction with their smart phones and tablets. They take it for granted that any graphical element can be touched or any marked text is active and touchable too. Their instinct wants to zoom in and out or swipe the screen to see what comes next.

 

But many older version industrial machines, which are already installed in plants, aren’t equipped with intuitive GUIs like this. And even if they visualize plant equipment graphically with icons, for example, next to none of these graphical elements can be zoomed or rotated by the touch of two fingers. Even quite recently, GUI-based factory equipment that was extremely innovative at the time of deployment has rapidly become old-fashioned. In particular, any screens smaller than the size of a tablet with user support via soft key elements to help users find the right physical buttons prove confusing to many users. This intuition or new force of habit is putting pressure on industrial engineers to change their GUI designs towards multi-touch interfaces – and, as far as possible, to refrain from using physical buttons.

 

Multi-touch demands improvements in 3D graphics performance. Modern visualization systems therefore rely on hardware-accelerated 3D graphics. Only this helps ensure smooth, virtually lag-free visualization with photo-realistic 3D animations with dynamic lighting and smooth color transitions. For systems with small screen sizes of up to 15 inches, this has proved to be a major challenge as – to date - their graphics features tended to be rather weak, meaning that 3D animations couldn’t be displayed in a satisfactory way.

 

So, we are really happy to have found a way to fill that gap by using dual-core AMD Embedded G-Series processors in our new 12.1 inch multi-touch system. It was amazing to see that with this setup even demanding 3D demos ran quite nicely from the start. They sometimes juddered a bit, admittedly, but much less than on most other competing processor implementations. So from my point of view, anyone who’s looking for high-performance graphics should take a good look at AMD-based technology. And what’s more, the processor supports two monitors, which is also quite competitive and a very good sales argument for choosing AMD-based solutions for systems with dual independent displays.  And by the way…the support provided by the embedded team is very competitive too.

 

You’ll find more product specifications of our new systems online at the AMD embedded product catalog. So check it out. And please forgive my force of habit when I say: Don’t forget to visit our website! Sütron is a center of excellence and belongs to the Phoenix Contact Group. So you can buy our systems globally!

 

Uwe Harasko can be reached at UHarasko@suetron.de.

 

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Guest blogger Uwe Harasko is a Product Manager of Panel PCs at SÜTRON electronic GmbH. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites, and references to third party trademarks, are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.

This post has been authored by Suresh Gopalakhrisnan, a Corporate Vice President and General Manager at AMD.

 

Earlier this year, we welcomed the latest server CPU, formerly codenamed “Warsaw”, to our family of x86 AMD Opteron processors. The AMD Opteron™ 6300 Series CPU was developed after AMD spent  time listening to key customers about what level of performance and power would suit their data centers need. When these customers, such as 1&1 Internet, run thousands of servers, even a single feature can make a lot of difference.

 

1&1 Internet is an innovator in the web hosting industry and as such set extremely high standards for performance and reliability. So it gives me great pleasure to see 1&1 Internet, one of Europe’s biggest and most respected hosting companies deploy servers with AMD Opteron™ 6338P processors for its XL dedicated range of servers.

 

With 1&1 Internet’s XL o12A-32 and o12A-64 dedicated servers, customers can deploy 12-core AMD Opteron processors with up to 64GB RAM and 4TB of storage space giving mid-sized businesses exceptional compute performance and storage at an affordable price. With more cores you not only have performance on tap but it allows businesses more room to grow without having to worry about migrating to new hardware.

 

The AMD Opteron 6338P processors are designed to meet today’s enterprise workloads, making 1&1 Internet’s AMD powered XL servers ideal for dynamically generated websites, xSQL databases, CRM and storage.  To support these heavy duty, compute and memory intensive workloads, 1&1 Internet’s customers will be able to take advantage of key features in the AMD Opteron 6338P processor, including:

 

  • 12 64-bit x86 cores using our “Piledriver” architecture, a tried and tested architecture that designed for today's multi-threaded workloads
  • AMD Turbo CORE technologies boost each core from 2.3GHz to 2.8GHz, providing a power efficient performance boost when it is really needed
  • AMD Virtualization™ technology, to provide superior performance for virtual machines
  • AMD-P, our state-of-the-art power management technology, enabling systems using the AMD Opteron 6338P processor to be extremely power efficient

 

Our AMD Opteron processors have led the way when it comes to supporting high memory capacities and the AMD Opteron 6388P processors used by 1&1 Internet are no exception. I am so pleased to see that 1&1 is taking advantage of this by offering 64GB RAM on the o12A-64, more than double that of our competitor and for less money!

1&1 Internet’s decision to use AMD Opteron 6338P processors in their XL range of dedicated servers is a great choice for enterprise customers. The decision highlights how forward-thinking and innovative 1&1 Internet is in providing their customers with a choice and allowing them to use the technology that is best placed to serve their compute needs. With AMD’s expertise in energy efficient, high performance compute and 1&1 Internet’s state-of-the-art hosting technologies, 1&1’s XL o12A-32 and o12A-64 dedicated servers are the perfect choice for mid-sized enterprises looking for the ultimate in compute and network performance.



Suresh Gopalakhrisnan is Corporate Vice President and General Manager of the Server Business Unit at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites, and references to third party trademarks, are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.

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The New Balance of Power

Posted by guestblogger Jul 25, 2014

By Ben Boehman, Product Development Engineer, AMD


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Microprocessor vendors are understandably proud of the innovation that we pour into our latest and greatest offerings, touting processor performance breakthroughs and benchmarks that push the boundaries of compute and IO speed. We balance these performance data points with important metrics about the processor’s energy efficiency, highlighting thermal design power (TDP) and performance-per-watt as critical measures of a processor’s value to the customer.


This is meaningful info that helps enable a discerning customer to make informed purchasing decisions. But these metrics don’t tell the full story about a processor’s performance-per-watt benefits for the customer’s unique design requirements, which can call for dynamic power/performance scaling to efficiently accommodate rapidly-shifting processing workloads and challenging thermal conditions.


What’s needed is the ability to reduce the power of underutilized cores and re-allocate that thermal budget to other cores for improved performance and better efficiency. This is especially important for APUs and other platforms with multiple onboard processing engines and varied functional ‘blocks’. AMD’s Turbo CORE technology utilizes algorithms that assess a variety of frequency, voltage, temperature and logic activity inputs to dynamically determine which core needs a performance boost and how much thermal headroom is available.


The latest generation of AMD Embedded APUs provides a ‘configurable TDP’ capability, essentially giving system designers a knob that they can turn to modify the APU’s TDP to better fit the needs of the target application.  Together, these features improve flexibility of APUs by maximizing performance under a variety of design constraints.

 

To learn more, read AMD’s white paper, ‘Advanced Power Management Helps Bring Improved Performance,’ available here.

 

Ben Boehman is a Product Development Engineer for Embedded Gaming at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites, and references to third party trademarks, are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.

Several advances in the software ecosystem – particularly those associated with OpenCL™ -- inspired AMD to showcase some great innovations at International Supercomputing Conference (Leipzig, Germany, June 22-26).

 

The conference attracts industry leaders, a variety of exhibitors, and members of academia from around the world and this year it explored the future direction of HPC technologies, life science applications, big data, quantum computing, and the real-world value of HPC.

 

As you might know, OpenCL™ has made GPUs increasingly attractive for running high-performance computing (HPC) workloads in a scalable and efficient manner. At the show, I had the opportunity to share details on AMD’s new workstation and server GPU solution.

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One of the highlights was the announcement of AMD’s new AMD FirePro™ W8100 workstation graphics cards powered by OpenCL™ for personal supercomputing.  Each card is capable of delivering more than 4.0 TFLOPS of peak GPU compute performance for future-ready 4K multi-display workflows, and deliver up to nearly 38X more floating point compute performance than the most comparable competing product(1).

 

Another highlight was a sneak peek of the new AMD FirePro™ S9150 – our newest server GPU for HPC. This forthcoming product offers massive parallel processing power that combines with OpenCL™ to accelerate applications beyond just graphics, and compute intensive workloads are expected to benefit from technologies and features such as:
- More than 2.0 TFLOPS peak double precision performance
- Half rate double precision floating point
- High performance per watt
- 16GB ultrafast GDDR5 memory
- AMD STREAM technology(2)
- Mechanical and thermal design optimized for standard servers

 

We treated attendees to a demonstration of the AMD FirePro™ S9150 running a prototype version of the open source numerical computation package Scilab. This side-by-side dataset comparison took a look at Scilab running on a CPU only, alongside Scilab with the sciGPGPU module providing support for OpenCL™. The demonstration – powered by four AMD FirePro™ S9150 server GPUs in a Supermicro SuperServer chassis – showed how for the first time, users will have access to GPU acceleration for mathematical modeling enabled by the industry standard OpenCL™ API. The Scilab application provides a simple interface to access the power of GPU compute, even for users who aren’t familiar with the intricacies of programming for GPU acceleration.

 

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AMD FirePro™ S9150 GPUs support AMD STREAM technology(2), which was first announced at Computex 2014.  AMD STREAM technology powers the ecosystem that enables AMD FirePro™ graphics cards – including the new AMD FirePro™ S9150 – to be used for compute-intensive workflows leveraging the massively parallel processing power of AMD GPUs.

 

This technology can be used to accelerate many applications beyond just graphics, including critical research and operations for a variety of scientific and mathematic purposes across many industries and disciplines. For example, AMD has supported the University of Frankfurt SANAM Supercomputer with AMD FirePro™ S10000 server GPUs, with the same underlying technology as the AMD FirePro S9150 to enable groundbreaking power and efficiency for specific research projects.

 

AMD STREAM technology(2) includes:
- ECC Memory Support
- Fast Single & Double Precision Performance
- Peer-to-Peer Multi-GPU Support
- Bi-directional PCIe® Memory Transfers
- GPU Optimized OpenCL™ Libraries

 

The goal for AMD STREAM technology enabled on AMD FirePro S-Series server GPUs is to deliver immense compute capability, performance and flexibility to handle the dense, multithreaded workloads and extremely large, complex datasets associated with supercomputing and HPC.

 

If you aren’t doing so already, try working with OpenCL and assess the performance of AMD FirePro™ graphics for your particular compute workloads.

 

Learn about AMD FirePro graphics and University of Frankfurt SANAM Supercomputer


Niles Burbank is a senior manager, server GPU products, at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

OpenCL and the OpenCL logo are trademarks of Apple Inc. used by permission by Khronos. Apple and Mac Pro are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

 

1 SiSoftware Sandra test details:
System Description: AMD FirePro W8100 vs. Nvidia Quadro K5000 - Dell T3610, Intel Xeon E5-1620 v2 @ 3.60 GHz, 8GB DDR3, Seagate HDD 7200RPM, Win7 64-bit SP1, 1920x1080 resolution
AMD Driver 13.352.1009 | Nvidia Driver 333.11

 

2 AMD STREAM technology is a set of features offered with select AMD FirePro graphics cards for the acceleration of compute-intensive workflows.  Not all products have all features and full enablement of some capabilities may require complementary software.  Check with your system manufacturer for specific capabilities and supported technologies. 

System Admin

The Future of Display

Posted by System Admin Jun 25, 2014

Amidst a cornucopia of visual attractions and distractions, AMD demonstrated an 8K resolution future of displays to attendees at InfoComm 14. The annual event brings together manufacturers, system integrators, end users and multimedia professionals from more than 80 countries to view the latest and greatest in professional audiovisual and information communications.

 

InfoComm 2014 booth1.jpg

 

AMD has always been on the cutting edge of visual solutions and has led the charge on a variety of display technologies. AMD offers industry leading multidisplay technology with AMD Eyefinity, and AMD was first and is still the only vendor to support up to six displays from a single GPU.  In the professional market, AMD enabled edge blending, image warping, and color correction with Scalable Display through our AMD FirePro DOPP (Display Output Post-Processing) feature. AMD was also one of the first to embrace support for Miracast, the industry standards based solution for wireless displays.

 

From that powerful heritage of display and graphics innovation, AMD unveiled new, cutting-edge display technologies at InfoComm 14. With 4K displays now a reality and almost the expected norm in the professional graphics industry, the natural progression is to ask what lies beyond 4K displays. AMD answered that question by demonstrating four 4K displays driven from a single AMD FirePro graphics card - exactly the same number of pixels of an 8K display. In fact the media server, which contained two AMD FirePro™ graphics card, drove a total of eight 4K displays for a total of 66 MPixels!

 

AMD also demonstrated a prototype monitor that supports FreeSync, AMDs technology based on VESA’s DisplayPort Adaptive sync. Vertical synchronization, or v-sync, is the traditional solution to screen tearing, but it introduces its own problems. FreeSync helps solve tearing without those problems or the use of proprietary technology. AMD recently published a blog on the subject of FreeSync as part of an ecosystem around display technologies that helps reduce unwanted visual artifacts such as tearing, stuttering and input latency. AMD has applied that
solution to the professional graphics market with a demonstration at InfoComm 14.

 

InfoComm 2014 booth2.jpg

 

 

Finally, AMD’s Display SW Architect Syed Hussain presented the topic of end-to-end display pipeline on behalf of VESA in the talk entitled “DisplayPort: 4K and Beyond”. He explained the end-to-end system bottlenecks that need to be alleviated in order to support higher than 4K resolutions. Additionally, Syed provided insight on how to support beyond 4K resolutions with different techniques offered by DisplayPort.

 

Learn more about display information on AMD.com

 

Roger Quero is a Solutions Architect, Professional Graphics at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

bellzey

Converging Technologies

Posted by bellzey Jun 18, 2014

By Kelly Gillilan, AMD Embedded Solutions


At AMD, we view the embedded industry as segmented into different vertical markets (or “verticals”), such as digital signage, industrial control, factory automation, communications, medical imaging, embedded gaming, etc. And each of these verticals has its own ecosystem of suppliers, developers, integrators, and even technologies. Yet at the recent G2E Asia event, an industry event specifically for the casino gaming market, I noticed a convergence of technologies typically associated with different vertical markets at levels I had not seen in the past.


One such example is the “smart” virtual dealer. Many companies demonstrated virtual dealers comprised of video segments of actual dealers who would perform actions (deal cards, collect the cards, call for bets, etc.) depending on the circumstance. Some companies took that technology to the next level by incorporating facial/player recognition technologies to determine the playing audience. By incorporating this type of technology (which was typically found in digital signage applications), the dealers would know who was sitting at which play stations and could provide direct interaction—making direct eye contact, giving words of encouragement,  congratulating the winners, etc.—with those players.

 

Another example is the use of equipment typically found in a factory automation setting to drive some of the games. At G2E, I saw robotic arms running roulette wheels, traditional motors driving gigantic 20’ wheel games, and even platforms designed to shake dice. Pneumatics were also often used to reset ball positions or to help control the flow of objects. It appears that a new level of mechanical components will be playing a key part in future casino games.


And speaking of future casino games, it also became very clear that not only will developers demand hardware solutions capable of driving the high resolution content which players expect, but also capable of handling the additional computation required with the integration of these aforementioned technologies—[shameless plug] something our recently launched 2nd Generation AMD Embedded R-Series APU platform is ideal for [/shameless plug].


At the end of the day, this convergence of technologies enables the development of more efficient, yet greater eye-catching solutions which casino game designers are using to set them apart from the rest of their competitors.


Booth front 1_cropped resized.jpg

 

Kelly Gillilan is a Strategic Marketing Manager for Embedded Gaming at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites, and references to third party trademarks, are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.

At Computex 2014, AMD outlined new initiatives to support the acceleration of server-based workflows and workloads with its professional graphics products.

 

Press Conference.jpg

AMD SKY Technology and AMD STREAM Technology1 were unveiled as solutions to enhance centralized computing for commercial and consumer environments based on industry-recognized AMD professional graphics products. AMD STREAM Technology is designed to leverage the massively parallel processing power of the AMD FirePro™ S-Series server GPUs plus OpenCL™ to accelerate applications beyond just graphics. AMD SKY Technology enables AMD FirePro S-Series and AMD Radeon™ SKY Series graphics cards to power visual cloud applications in commercial and consumer workflows.

 

 

These AMD technologies are making it easier to take advantage of graphics acceleration for remote workstation, virtual workstations and applications, and cloud gaming deployments with SKY, and for HPC (high performance computing) workloads and compute intensive workflows with STREAM.

 

AMD SKY Technology offers the following support for accelerating graphics in the cloud:
- Hypervisor Support
- Multi-GPU Systems Support
- Multi-VM Shared GPU Support
- Remote Access & Display Software Support
- Hardware Accelerated Codecs2

 

AMD STREAM Technology offers the following support to accelerate compute intensive workloads:
- ECC Memory Support
- Fast Single & Double Precision Performance
- P2P Multi-GPU Support
- Bi-directional PCIe® Memory Transfers
- GPU Optimized OpenCL™ Libraries

 

AMD understands the importance of ongoing collaborations with key industry leaders within the software ecosystem to help extend and sustain our presence in the market.

During the AMD press conference at Computex, I was joined onstage by Barry Chen, General Manager Taiwan, from VMware Inc.

Barry Chen - VMware.jpg

AMD and VMware announced certification for VMware Virtual Shared Graphics Acceleration (vSGA) technology with AMD FirePro™ S-Series server cards including the AMD FirePro™ S7000 and AMD FirePro™ S9000 server graphics cards, and AMD FirePro™ W7000 workstation graphics card. With AMD FirePro cards, vSGA-configured virtual machines with the potential to run thousands of applications developed on Microsoft® DirectX® 9 and OpenGL 2.1 APIs. Designed to help streamline system management, help reduce costs and enhance user productivity, AMD SKY Technology plus AMD FirePro S-Series cards with vSGA support help to facilitate migrations from physical PCs to virtual machines. The result delivers high quality graphics performance while addressing GPU density with one GPU shared among multiple virtual machines.

 

 

Going forward AMD and VMWare plan to work closely together to further develop the ecosystem.

 

AMD is also pleased to announce that HP has chosen the AMD FirePro™ S4000X server module for its HP ProLiant WS460c Graphics Server Blade to reduce per user deployment cost as well as operational cost through its high user density. Support for the AMD FirePro S4000X module brings entry to mid-range workstation graphics performance to the blade server environments, with support for up to six displays per module, allows IT to deliver end-user desktops for CAD and Engineering, as well as financial services professionals, from a secure data center.

 

David Cummings S4000X.jpg

So now with the combination of AMD FirePro cards plus AMD SKY and AMD STREAM technologies, we are committed to increasing adoption of professional graphics cards in data centers for GPU Compute and Visual Cloud -- technologies designed to simplify deployment and ensure a high quality experience. 

 

AMD will be rolling out more news in support for AMD SKY and AMD STREAM technologies at International Supercomputing Conference 2014 in Leipzig, Germany in booth #250 from June 23-25, 2014.

 

Learn more about AMD SKY

Learn more about AMD STREAM

 

David Cummings is a senior director and general manager, Professional Graphics at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

OpenCL and the OpenCL logo are trademarks of Apple Inc. used by permission by Khronos. Apple and Mac Pro are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

 

1 Not all products feature support for every element of AMD STREAM or AMD SKY technology – check with your component or system manufacturer for specific model capabilities.

 

2 AMD does not provide a license/sublicense to any intellectual property rights relating to any to any standards, including but not limited to any audio and/or video codec technologies such as AVC/H.264/MPEG-4, AVC, VC-1, MPEG-2, and DivX/xVid.

AMD’s Embedded G-Series family has just gotten bigger with our latest x86 System-on-chip (SoC), previously codenamed “Steppe Eagle” and the x86 central processing unit (CPU), previously codenamed  “Crowned Eagle.”

 

Last month we introduced the revolutionary second generation AMD Embedded R-Series solution previously codenamed  “Bald Eagle,” today we continue to bring innovation in the embedded market.

 

The Embedded G-Series “Steppe Eagle” SoC is a marvel of engineering, with a 60 percent CPU intensive  performance jump1 from previous G-Series SoC solutions, with a configurable TDP as low as 5W. “Steppe Eagle” is a highly efficient SoC, with a 96 percent improvement in overall performance-per-watt2 and is designed to work in the harshest environments, delivering dependable performance where it is needed the most.

 

The “Steppe Eagle” SoC includes a graphics processing unit based on AMD’s award winning and proven Graphics Core Next architecture. This allows “Steppe Eagle” to produce stunning graphics and because it supports OpenCL™, provides immense compute capability.

 

Our latest Embedded G-Series SoCs also combine enterprise-grade technology such as ECC support and the AMD platform security processor (PSP). AMD PSP is built upon ARM’s proven TrustZone® architecture and provides protection against malicious software threats.

 

Alongside “Steppe Eagle,” we are launching a new 64-bit x86 CPU previously known as “Crowned Eagle.” This CPU is designed to meet the rapidly growing demand for high performance network services due to the proliferation of the cloud. “Crowned Eagle” is designed for networking and communications infrastructure equipment, with features such as PCI-Express Gen 2.0, USB 3.0 and single-channel DDR3-1600 memory with ECC support and TDP as low as 5W.

 

To address the need for demand for data security protocols such as IPSec, “Crowned Eagle” incorporates an on-chip security processor that allows for fan-less security appliances, such as network infrastructure equipment, Network Attached Storage appliances and storage controllers.

 

We have made it easier than ever for our customers to use different members of the Embedded G-Series family. The new AMD G-Series SoC and CPU solutions

are pin-compatible, meaning customers can design common boards and slot in the G-Series SoC of choice without having to invest in hardware and software tooling.

 

To support our Embedded G-Series silicon, we are a committed member of the Linux community. AMD is a gold-level sponsor of the Yocto Project™ - a Linux Foundation Collaboration Project. We have also recently signed a multi-year agreement with Mentor Graphics, a major contributor in the open source community, giving developers access to customized embedded Linux development and commercial support on our AMD G-Series family of chips.

 

The AMD Embedded G-Series has collected numerous press and industry awards. Today the AMD G-Series gets two new family members, extending AMD’s position of product and innovation leadership in the embedded market and serving applications such as networking, industrial control and automation and cloud-based thin client solutions.


Kamal Khouri is Director of Embedded Products at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites, and references to third party trademarks, are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.

 

1 CPU performance comparison based on Passmark v7 benchmark. The performance delta of 60% was calculated based on GX-212JC’s Passmark v7 CPU Mark score of 1623 and GX-210JA’s Passmark v7 CPU Mark score of 1016. The AMD Steppe Eagle GX-212JC used an AMD Larne motherboard with 4GB DDR3-1333 memory and 320GB Toshiba HDD. The G-S SOC GX-210JA used an AMD Larne motherboard with 4GB DDR3-1066 and 320GB Seagate HDD. Both systems ran Windows® 7 Ultimate. EMB-99

 

2 Overall performance was measured using a suite of industry benchmarks consisting of 3DMark06, 3DMark11, POVRay v3.7, Passmark v7, PCMark8 v2.0, and BasemarkCL 1.0. The GX-412HC’s TDP is 7W and GX-210HA’s TDP is 9W. The performance delta of 53% was calculated based on GX-412HC’s geometric mean of 555.3 and GX-210HA’s geometric mean of 363.6. The performance-per-watt delta of 96% was calculated based on GX-412HC’s performance-per-watt ratio of 79.3 and GX-210HA’s performance-per-watt ratio of 40.4. The AMD Steppe Eagle GX-412HC and G-S SOC GX-210HA used an AMD Larne motherboard with 4GB DDR3-1333 memory and 320GB Toshiba HDD. The system ran Windows® 7 Ultimate. EMB-104

Bristol, England was the focal point for all things OpenCL™ as the academic communities and key stakeholders gathered together for the annual International Workshop on OpenCL (http://iwocl.org/) AMD was a gold sponsor of the annual meeting about OpenCL™ where users, researchers, developers and suppliers shared best practices, while promoting the evolution and advancement of the OpenCL standard.

 

AMD’s participation at the event is just one example our deep commitment to an open ecosystem that benefits the industry and customers alike. 

 

The event began with a keynote presentation from Simon McIntosh-Smith, head of the Microelectronics Research Group at the University of Bristol. His presentation showcased the use of OpenCL along with the AMD FirePro™ S10000 server graphics card with the Bristol University Docking Engine to exploit the performance of modern many-core processors in drug screening. http://research-information.bristol.ac.uk/en/publications/high-performance-in-silico-virtual-drug-screening-on-manycore-processors(9a90a05e-96ae-41c6-82ea-ff0c85468197).html


The conference was visited by attendees from 14 countries, 35 companies and 18 different academic institutions. And just to underline the interest in OpenCL, attendance almost tripled from last year’s conference.

 

AMD joined other exhibitors in the conference with a unique demonstrations. Developed by the AMD FirePro team, the AMD Waterfall demo featured an FTS Celsius R930 Workstation with the AMD FirePro W9100 and a 4K monitor.
demo1.jpg

 

Designed to showcase OpenCL and OpenGL interoperability, in the waterfall particle simulation, the solution computed the collision of each particle in order to roll it along the rocks. The other simulation with a lake featured a 2D grid simulation showing the movement of each node of the grid being computed depending on its neighbor nodes. Both simulations were computed with OpenCL while the rendering was carried out with OpenGL.

 

The AMD motto was “Be Locked or Be Free”, to emphasize to attendees the open source nature of OpenCL. And with a growing community of programmers  and contributing companies to the open standard platform, software developers have access to a growing body of tools, resources and shared “best practices” they can draw from to create powerful applications.

 

IWOCL 2014 presentations are available for download from Agenda & Slides from 2014 | IWOCL

 

Learn more about OpenCL developer information on AMD.com

locked.jpg


JC Baratault is a senior business development manager, global GPU computing, Professional Graphics at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

OpenCL and the OpenCL logo are trademarks of Apple Inc. used by permission by Khronos. Apple and Mac Pro are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

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