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Chappie Blog Image_hpc.pngYou may be surprised to know that whatever you are using to read this - a notebook, desktop, tablet or smartphone - can be part of a supercomputer.

 

In the hit film “Chappie” about a futuristic robot, audiences are taken to a world where technology is used in exciting and unexpected ways. In a scenario that put a smile on the face of AMDers worldwide, in one scene a number of Sony PlayStation 4 consoles, each with AMD Radeon™ graphics and AMD CPU processing inside, are connected together, effectively combining into a supercomputer cluster. While “Chappie” is a Hollywood creation, the idea behind connecting game consoles to create a supercomputer is not as science fiction as we may think. Clustering allows almost any device to become part of a supercomputer by being part of a pool of resources.

 

The world’s first supercomputers used expensive, specialized processors that put high performance computing out of reach most organizations, but today, many of the most powerful supercomputers make use of off-the-shelf processors to produce “nodes.” These nodes are then connected together to form clusters, similar to what we see with an array of AMD-powered PS4s in “Chappie”.

 

Supercomputer clusters typically make use of server-orientated processors such as the AMD Opteron™ family of processors, but occasionally academics and engineers want to try something different and use less specialized computing resources. Because combining nodes to form a cluster is done using widely available equipment such as Ethernet, it is possible to make a cluster from a number of other devices, such as the Gizmo 2 or game consoles, for example.

 

To create the supercomputer cluster in “Chappie”, a number of PlayStation 4 consoles, each packing 1.84 teraflops of AMD computing power inside are connected together.  That processing power is delivered in a System-on-Chip design with eight AMD CPU cores and 18 AMD Radeon Graphics Core Next (GCN) compute units, typically used to process all the software, games, videos, and motion sensor capabilities that enable players to interact with others through online services. Even more impressive, the same compute architectures found in the PlayStation 4 really are powering some of today’s supercomputer clusters.

 

In recent years, high performance compute clusters achieved their immense compute capabilities through a mix of processor technologies. The CPU, which has been at the heart of supercomputers for decades has been supplemented with accelerators such as AMD FirePro GPUs, which provide immense compute capability and do so in an energy efficient manner.

 

Energy efficiency is a key to making a powerful high performance compute cluster given cooling thousands of processors is both a budgetary and engineering challenge. That is why power efficient CPUs and GPUs make ideal components to build compute clusters and have been a significant contributing factor in the massive growth in the amount of compute power in supercomputer clusters. Such is the efficiency of GPUs, the world’s most energy efficient cluster makes use of AMD FirePro accelerators.

 

By pooling compute and storage resources, academics, scientists, corporations and governments are able to tackle some of the world’s most challenging questions, from medical research to mineral exploration. In many cases, supercomputer clusters are made up of more than 10,000 nodes, with more than 100,000 compute cores, each core working towards producing a final result.  And if you think that only a scientist gets to feel the effects of a supercomputer cluster you may be surprised. When you glance at the weather forecast in the morning you may be surprised to find out that it is in part calculated by running immensely complex forecasting models on clusters. Cool, right?  Now think about this; supercomputers do even more than just science and predicting the weather. The car you drive has most likely been partly designed and tested using a supercomputer that is analyzing computational fluid dynamics to increase fuel efficiency.

 

One might say that supercomputer clusters have played a significant part in the world around us and with the growth in machine learning and big data analysis; it is set to play an even bigger role in our daily lives in the future. Perhaps the most amazing part in all this is that supercomputer clusters are powered by the same type of technology that is found under your desk or television and, you probably didn’t even realize how powerful these common devices actually can be.

 

John Taylor, is the Corporate Vice President of Marketing at AMD. His/her 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. There is no endorsement, express or implied, of this blog by the movie “Chappie”. 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.


*Originally Posted by llatif in AMD Business on Apr 28, 2015 1:56:37 PM

The AMD FirePro™ graphics team, working closely with PTC®, enables engineering efforts to ensure exceptional workflow performance for PTC Creo® Parametric 3.0 users, giving them access to features and performance that open the door to breakthrough innovation and outstanding competitive advantages.

 

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Robustness and scalability for large assemblies – rapid design and greater “design intuition”

Developed by AMD in close collaboration with PTC, advanced OpenGL optimizations greatly increase the 3D frame rate and interactivity of PTC Creo. The new transparency mode exploits the on-board memory processing of modern GPUs to enable additional, always-on 3D acceleration on complicated datasets and complex workflows. As a result, PTC Creo designers using AMD FirePro graphics experience up to 40x faster 3D frame rates than PTC Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 5(1), helping them maintain their productivity and creative flow.

 

Reliability and graphics optimization – tuned, optimized, and certified for PTC Creo

To ensure optimal performance and compatibility, AMD FirePro professional graphics solutions are tested and certified by PTC across the suite of applications. Combined with workstations certified by PTC, AMD FirePro professional graphics provide an unbeaten user experience for PTC Creo designers with up to 2.5x faster 3D frame rates in shaded mode(2), compared to competitive GPU solutions.


Collaboration and communication across workflows - Creo 3.0 Unite technology and AMD FirePro plus AMD Eyefinity technology
Product development workflows have changed significantly over recent years. Working with multiple applications is common with design, simulation, data management and collaboration all happening in unison. AMD FirePro graphics cards feature AMD Eyefinity(3) multi-display technology that empowers engineers to view multiple applications and product assemblies across three, four or even six high-resolution monitors all from a single graphics card, at up to 4K resolution for each output. Users can view designs at ultra-high resolutions for increased design accuracy, realism and enhanced insight, and speed up workflow by using the extra screens to view additional applications. Using the new Creo 3.0 Unite Technology and AMD Eyefinity, collaboration and multi-CAD data consolidation across the family of PTC products in design, manufacturing and simulation can be accomplished with ease.

 

Improved graphics realism and performance – Creo 3.0 new immersive modeling environment

Fully supported by AMD FirePro graphics, Creo 3.0 now allows interactive and realistic design visualization. Advanced features such as reflections, HDR, and ambient occlusion in an immersive environment allows designers to experience the product, not just visualize it. AMD recommends the following professional graphics cards for PTC Creo users:

 

AMD FirePro™ W5100 is recommended for design and simulation,

AMD FirePro™ W7100 is recommended for large assemblies and rendering.

 

To learn more about these technologies, visit http://www.fireprographics.com/ws/cad/creo/index.asp

 

Antoine Reymond is an industry executive for 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.

 

1 Based on comparison of AMD FirePro W7100, Creo 3.0 in OIT transparency mode vs. Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 5.0 blended transparency mode, running AMD internal benchmark “Creo Benchmark v3.1” using AMD’s Internal Motorcycle dataset. Intel Xeon X5570 at 2.93GHz 4-Core, 12GB RAM, Windows 7 64-bit, 120GB SSD, AMD FirePro driver 14.301, display 1920x1200, Creo Parametric 3.0 F000, and PTC Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 5.0 M250.

 

2 Based on comparison of AMD FirePro W7100 vs Nvidia Quadro K4200 in Creo 3.0 running AMD internal benchmark “Creo Benchmark v3.1” using AMD’s motorcycle dataset and shaded mode. Windows 7 64-bit, Intel Xeon E5-2630 at 2.30 GHz, 18GB RAM, Seagate 250 GB 7200 SATA 16 MB HDD, AMD driver 14.30-140915a-175805E ATI, Nvidia driver 340.66.FP-114

 

3 4K content required. AMD Eyefinity technology supports up to six DisplayPort™ monitors on an enabled graphics card. Supported display quantity, type and resolution vary by model and board design; confirm specifications with manufacturer before purchase. To enable more than two displays, or multiple displays from a single output, additional hardware such as DisplayPort-ready monitors or DisplayPort 1.2 MST-enabled hubs may be required.  A maximum of two active adapters is recommended for consumer systems. 4K support requires 4K display and content.  See www.amd.com/eyefinityfaq for full details.


*Originally Posted by System Admin in AMD Business on Apr 21, 2015 8:53:29 AM

AMD PRO has been gaining momentum in the market. As a trusted provider of innovative technology solutions, AMD is inside the latest generation of console units, jetliner cockpit displays, the world’s fastest energy efficient computer and the systems on an increasing number of workplace desks.

 

So what is making AMD PRO based systems so popular? In addition to the excellent performance and value that are offered by AMD PRO A-Series APUs and the reliability offered with a longer warranty (among a host of other sought after features as you can see on the PRO website), AMD continues to develop and support industry standards. One of the industry standards supported by AMD is the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) Desktop and mobile Architecture for System Hardware (DASH) Standard.

In October of 2014, we released the AMPS 2.1 plug-in for SCCM 2012. The AMPS plug-in extends SCCM 2012 to manage the desktop and mobile systems' out-of-band (irrespective of the power state or the clients' operating system) using DASH standards.

 

We are pleased to announce the availability of the AMPS 2.2 release to further extend SCCM features and functionality. In the AMPS 2.2 release, additional features supported are:

 

    • Text Redirection
      • Text redirection provides BIOS-assisted console and keyboard redirection to a terminal in the SCCM console.
    • USB Redirection
      • USB Redirection can be used to boot the managed systems to a remote image file such as .iso.
    • Scheduled Power
      • Schedule (at a particular date and time) power operations on a collection of devices.
    • Alert Subscription and Reception
      • Subscribe, receive and encode DASH alerts from managed devices.
    • SCCM 2012 CAS support
      • AMPS supports DASH operations from Central Administrative Site of SCCM 2012.

 

You can find more information on AMD’s DASH manageability solutions in the “Documents and White Papers” section of the AMD Commercial Tools and Resources page. Additional documentation and downloads including AMPS 2.2 are available on the Tools for DMTF DASH page. Please reach out to your AMD representative or visit the forum with any questions or feedback you may have.

 

Jay Hiremath is a Sr. Director - Platform & Software Engineering 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.

 

*Originally Posted by System Admin in AMD Business on Mar 30, 2015 11:33:29 AM

One of the great – and terrifying – things about computing is the sheer rate of change. What is the expensive high end today, a moment later becomes the minimum necessary for reasonable performance. Both the rate of development and the ability of the technology industry to feed innovations and improvements down to lower and lower price points is stunning.

The pay-off for this, of course, is the democratization of technology. A decade ago, taking video footage and editing it to a good standard was a task for professionals. Computer-aided design (CAD) was something you did in a design studio, and virtual reality was more virtual than reality. Today however, the value PC you buy from the shop around the corner can cut, splice, add after effects and output to a quality that was previously the domain of high end post-production houses and newsrooms.

This gives rise to a legitimate question: why bother buying the latest and greatest when the mid-range is perfectly capable? I believe it’s a little more complicated than just a simple matter of price.

 

The difference between stellar experiences and mission critical

 

First, let’s establish what’s different between a consumer and professional graphics card. The average home or business use for a graphics card is not mission critical. Most business PCs, for example, might be used for standard office productivity applications – and consumer graphics cards are excellent for the job they are intended for. In fact, as time goes by, graphics cards are arguably more important than the CPU when it comes to handling quite a lot of the computational load the average user puts on their PC.

When it comes to the latest and greatest games, they are also easily handled, as graphics cards are truly keeping pace with everything the gaming industry throws at them. The bottom line is that the experience offered by consumer graphics cards today are perfect for consumers.

Professional graphics needs, however, are different. They might be used in a multi-GPU installation in a data center for processing huge chunks of information. They might be used for a CAD application tasked with building the design for the next range of high performance cars. They might be rendering the next big Hollywood blockbuster movie. All of these are what we’d call business critical applications, and all of these rely on predictable performance that works reliably every time.

 

The older the better?

 

There’s another element to this reliability story; most business-critical workstations are built from the ground up with a certain specification. Change that spec, and the whole process needs to be reworked again.

Having access to older solutions, counter-intuitive as it might sound in today’s world, is actually vital. This is one of the reasons why NASA very rarely updated any of the technology in the space shuttle: it worked, and worked reliably and predictably. When the slightest change could mean catastrophe, the focus must be on having a known solution, not a new one.

With the high costs of planning and implementation for mission critical applications, it’s more important to replace professional graphics cards with something exactly the same as opposed to different solutions that may be incompatible with the application you’re running. Therefore, having a longer warranty is vital - for example, AMD FirePro’s warranty is three years. Additionally, access to such products for a longer period of time is equally important – exemplified by AMD FirePro offering two to five years availability.

Finally, there’s the software drivers and interoperability. The makers of professional software programs are very keen to maximise the performance of their applications, and spend a great deal of time making sure the programs are optimised for professional-grade workstations and components. You can be sure, with applications like Autodesk Maya™, Adobe After Effects and AutoCAD running on an AMD FirePro graphics card, the hardware and software are built to run together.

 

 

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The consumer contrast

 

Consumer grade cards offer their own benefits and are built for specific purposes; they are priced affordably for consumers, and the technology receives regular refreshes and can be blazingly fast for the money. They are created for the everyday needs of users today, offering performance gains and speed for everyday use. In particular, because game developers are constantly pushing the innovation window, the consumer graphics card market is required to keep pace and does so to the benefit of consumers.

  In a nutshell, graphics cards should be fit for purpose. There are plenty of reasons to choose a consumer-grade graphics card; but when it comes to mission critical applications, the benefits to going pro are more highly prized by businesses than raw performance.  Dependability, interoperability and a sustainable long term model – those are the vital elements that make sure the initial investment in pro graphics delivers reliably for years to come.

 

 

Bruno Murzyn is a public relations manager in EMEA 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.

 

*Originally Posted by bmurzyn in AMD Business on Mar 11, 2015 4:54:06 AM

The mini-ITX is a popular low power, 17x17 cm motherboard form factor that has been powering a whole range of designs, from complete system solutions for industrial customers to embedded PCs, which include Digital Signage and Thin Client applications, for over a decade now. Fujitsu Technology Solutions, an industry trusted system solution provider and leading vendor of industrial mainboards, once again turned to AMD Embedded G-Series SOC solutions to power their next generation Mini-ITX system design.

 

System solution providers look at a number of different elements when making purchasing decisions around new generation technologies to ensure they are optimizing their system solutions around Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

 

The pin compatibility in hardware within the AMD Embedded G-Series SOC family across two generations is one of many key contributing factors that enabled customers like Fujitsu to extend their coverage. Our2nd generation product line, codenamed “Steppe Eagle”, gives customers true system scalability in their offerings and takes advantage of not only performance gains but realizes unique feature add-ons like support for configurable TDP (cTDP). In short, the enhanced power management features coupled with two generations of scalable offerings from AMD give hardware and system engineers flexibility in design with respect to thermals while minimizing costs.

 

Another important trend taking shape in Factory Automation is remote management. Remotely accessing enterprise servers and office computers for system health monitoring and maintenance have been a critical function within the IT infrastructure for many years. But these same systems have largely eluded embedded systems on the factory floor due to high costs of implementation and deemed resource intensive… until now. Many of the leading OEMs believe we are in the midst of the 4th industrial revolution or Industry 4.0. Some affectionately call it the “Internet of Things of the Factory Floor”. The end goal for OEMs is to deliver a smart, intelligent and a connected factory floor. Remote management serves as a key enabler to deliver on the promise of a highly intelligent and sustainable factory floor. Factory floor workers can monitor system operations, push software/BIOS updates on the network remotely, among numerous other tasks, driving overall operational efficiency and maintaining factory uptime. AMD, an advocate for proprietary-free open-source solutions, adopted the Desktop and mobile Architecture for System Hardware (DASH) as the ‘gold standard’ for Remote Management. For more information on AMD’s DASH implementation and supporting reference design, check out the webinar from my colleague Cameron Swen and white paper on AMD’s remote management implementation. More details on our own DASH implementation are available via AMD’s Embedded Developer Site. Solution providers like Fujitsu quickly saw the value in an ‘open-source’ royalty free implementation of DASH for remote management for applications like Digital Signage. With mobility on the rise, more customers are looking at differentiated technologies like Remote Management to deliver on their vision for the future.

 

This leads me to the next parameter in the TCO equation: supply. At AMD Embedded Solutions, we continue to listen to our customers’ pain points around their system solution. One recurring theme for Industrial customers is product shelf life and availability. AMD Embedded Solutions has developed a focused Product Longevity Program spanning APUs, SOCs and dGPUs to better serve our broader embedded customer base. The longevity program delivers a supply assurance program eliminating the need to do costly refreshes due to EOL product lines and further builds the relationship with AMD as a trusted partner delivering an optimized TCO solution.

 

Sameer Gupta is segment marketing manager, industrial controls and automation for AMD Embedded Solutions. 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.


*Originally Posted by System Admin in AMD Business on Feb 23, 2015 11:03:29 PM

Attendees of SolidWorks World 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona had the opportunity to witness AMD FirePro™ GPUs flying high alongside key industry leaders to promote our professional graphics features and how they benefit SolidWorks® customers.

 

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At the week-long conference and exhibition, attendees from around the world discovered how AMD FirePro professional graphics cards provide customers with a professional graphics advantage based on innovation, performance and reliability. AMD FirePro graphics cards provide:

     • Simultaneous render & compute, up to six 4K display support¹, and intelligent power technologies.

     • Certification and optimization for over 100 industry-leading applications including SolidWorks

     • Rock-solid driver support and a three-year warranty with support for the latest APIs and PCIe® 3.0

 

 

Hardware solutions from workstation leaders Boxx, Dell and HP were present in the AMD booth and helped to promote AMD FirePro GPUs in a variety of demonstrations including real-time visualization, collaborating in 3D, professional graphics in the cloud, and support for embedded manufacturing.

 

Attendees were treated to the unique end-user customer participation of a high flying hang glider manufacturer, Wills Wing.

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Producing about 700 hang gliders each year in up to 17 different configurations all hand made by a small team of dedicated enthusiasts, Wills Wing is a leading manufacturer of hang gliders. In addition to certifying each glider to industry standards the company completely assembles and test flies each one as a final quality check before it is dispatched to a customer.

 

 

Steve Pearson, Lead Partner and Chief Designer of Wills Wing said: “The AMD FirePro™ W7000 is phenomenal and now the AMD FirePro W7100™ GPU is giving me a further boost in speed. A couple of years ago such performance would have been completely out of our budget.”

 

Demonstrations provided details about the current AMD FirePro graphics cards with specific focus on advanced SolidWorks workflows and simultaneous engineering, combining complex CAD modeling with sophisticated rendering and simulation (CAM) with ESPRIT from DP Technology. Thoroughly tested, optimized and certified for SolidWorks 2013 and 2014, AMD FirePro professional graphics allow customers to get the most out of the application.

 

“Any 3D engineer or CAM programmer will tell you how graphical-resource hungry CAM software can be while requiring seamless integration with CAD software. Our collaboration with AMD lets us provide our ESPRIT CAM software users and the SolidWorks community with a fully-integrated and performance-optimized CAM solution -- every second counts when you run compute-laded 3D simulations,” said Cédric Simard, Global Marketing & Communication director at DP Technology. “ESPRIT CAM software's adaptive connection to SolidWorks also means any changes in the SolidWorks model are reflected inside ESPRIT and the G-code program. The combination of AMD FirePro graphics with ESPRIT CAM is a great solution for our customers.”

 

 

Attendees also discovered how AMD FirePro professional graphics feature a number of SolidWorks-specific optimizations to ensure designers and engineers get the most out of their workstation. For example, AMD FirePro graphics users can obtain accurate designs with the new GPU-accelerated transparency mode. Order Independent Transparency (OIT) provides a “pixel-accurate” representation of the model and its surrounding geometry and runs much faster than the traditional blended mode because it is accelerated by the AMD FirePro GPU. This creates a more practical transparent 3D viewpoint for designers to continuously work within, helping improve the user’s sense of “design intuition” and aid in better decision-making throughout the product development stages.

 

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Learn more about the benefits of using AMD FirePro with SolidWorks

 

 

Antoine Reymond is an industry executive for 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.

 

¹4K content required. AMD Eyefinity technology supports up to six DisplayPort™ monitors on an enabled graphics card. Supported display quantity, type and resolution vary by model and board design; confirm specifications with manufacturer before purchase. To enable more than two displays, or multiple displays from a single output, additional hardware such as DisplayPort-ready monitors or DisplayPort 1.2 MST-enabled hubs may be required.  A maximum of two active adapters is recommended for consumer systems. 4K support requires 4K display and content. See www.amd.com/eyefinityfaq for full details.


*Originally Posted by System Admin in AMD Business on Feb 20, 2015 11:03:29 AM

opteron a v2.pngIt’s hard to believe we are already almost two months into a new year – and, even though the ball has dropped, 2015 continues to ring in some exciting times for the AMD software community. We recently announced that popular open source software - OpenSUSE 13.2, Fedora 21, and Xen 4.5-  offer support for our upcoming ARM® server processor, and today I’m excited to announce another exciting innovation in extending the software ecosystem for emerging  server technologies.   The Linux® 3.19 kernel, released on Feb. 9, 2015, includes support for AMD's Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) kernel driver (AMDKFD) and the AMD Opteron™ A1100 Series processor (code named “Seattle”), AMD’s server ARM part based on ARM’s Cortex™-A57 core.

 

The AMDKFD driver, which has been publicly under development for the past few months, provides an interface for AMD’s graphical processors for non-graphics (e.g. GPGPU) applications and is the kernel portion to AMD's open-source HSA stack. The user-space side is the new open-source, user-space HSA library and other open-source AMD Radeon™ graphics code. The code is architected to support multiple CPUs each with connected GPUs, with the current implementations focusing on the AMD A-Series “Kaveri” and AMD Opteron™ X-series “Berlin” APUs.

 

HSA is a computing architecture that integrates CPUs, GPUs and other compute devices on the same bus, with shared memory and tasks. HSA, which has been pioneered by AMD, is being developed by the HSA Foundation, which includes ARM and a number of other industry leaders. The goal is to reduce communication latency between these various devices and make them more compatible from a programmer's perspective. The open-source HSA Linux support will continue to be polished over the months ahead.

 

Speaking of ARM, the Linux Kernel 3.19 also adds support for two new ARM64 platforms: the AMD Opteron A1100 Series processor developer kit, and the ARM Juno developer platformAccording to Linus Torvalds, about 20% of 3.19 kernel changes are architectural updates, with these mostly for ARM and ARM64. As previously mentioned, the AMD Opteron A1100 Series processor developer kit is supported by OpenSUSE 13.2, Fedora 21, and Xen 4.5, providing developers with a rich set of operating environments.


It’s certainly an exciting time to be working on HSA and ARM technologies and on the development of innovations that we believe will be highly competitive in the server market.  Keep following us for more updates on our ecosystem progress and new software releases.

 

 

Margaret Lewis is the Director of Software, Server Business Unit at AMD.  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.


*Originally Posted by klisa in AMD Business on Feb 20, 2015 10:20:00 AM

brystal.boyd

How Do They Do That?

Posted by brystal.boyd Employee May 12, 2015

中文版在英文下方,阅读愉快!

(Chinese translation below English.)

 

There have been several successful television shows dedicated to understanding the many great feats of engineering that have been accomplished. Medical breakthroughs, space exploration, technological marvels; we are fascinated by what we have been able to achieve. At the 2015 International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) conference, AMD revealed details on how we accomplished our latest engineering marvel - the upcoming “Carrizo” Accelerated Processing Unit (APU). The semiconductor industry has long relied on axioms of process technology, such as Moore’s Law and Dennard scaling, to drive improvements in device power and performance.  As these laws become more challenging, AMD is responding by implementing a wealth of power management and architecture improvements that in many cases deliver even greater benefit than traditional technology scaling. So, how do we do that?

 

Carrizo Real-estate


The new “Carrizo” microprocessor will include four “Excavator” processor cores and powerful AMD Radeon™ Graphics Core Next (GCN) cores.  With approximately the same area footprint as its predecessor “Kaveri”, “Carrizo” fits 29% more transistors (3.1 billion) onto a die. By utilizing a high-density library design, “Carrizo” achieves a 23% area reduction for the “Excavator” cores while still providing more transistors and more instructions per clock (IPC). The thermal density challenge of the smaller “Excavator” core is mitigated through intelligent floorplan placement and the use of lower leakage transistors. The area reduction for the cores enabled a larger area of the chip to be allocated for graphics, multimedia, and the integration of southbridge and AMD Secure Processor logic onto the APU. The increased footprint for graphics intellectual property (IP) was used to improve the compute performance of “Carrizo,” which is designed to be the world’s first heterogeneous system architecture (HSA) 1.0 compliant part. The multimedia IP has been enhanced with a new high-performance video decoder and double the video compression engines of “Kaveri”. This larger multimedia engine can transcode nine real-time 1080p video streams, an impressive 3.5× improvement over “Kaveri”.

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Energy Efficiency and Power Consumption


HSA innovation from AMD saves energy by eliminating connections between discrete GPU and CPU processors, reduces computing cycles by treating the CPU and GPU as peers, and enables the seamless shift of computing workloads to the optimal processing component. HSA allows many workloads to execute more efficiently using GPU compute resources in addition to CPU resources providing better performance at the same energy consumption. Additionally, “Carrizo” moves the GCN cores to a separate conditionally-enabled power supply. This allows the graphics cores to operate at their optimal voltage, which can give a 20% power improvement over “Kaveri” with six GCN cores. “Excavator” supports AMD’s first implementation of adaptive voltage-frequency scaling (AVFS), an improved version of other adaptive voltage approaches. AVFS allows each part to self-calibrate and determine the optimal voltage for current operating frequency and conditions. Timing-margin prediction vs. actual timing margin indicates the ability of AVFS to set the minimum voltage required across the entire voltage range, resulting in up to 30% power savings. The full implementation cost of AVFS is under one percent of the core area. In addition to the area reduction, the “Excavator” core has achieved program goals by reducing power versus the previous “Steamroller” core by 40%!

 

So… How do we do that?


Through a multitude of impressive optimizations, AMD has been able to combine four “Excavator” cores, eight Radeon™ GCN cores, the southbridge, AMD Secure Processor technology for enterprise-class security and a HSA-1.0 design on a single “Carrizo” APU.  The new “Excavator” cores are smaller, more powerful and more energy efficient than the previous generation. The power optimized GCN graphics cores provide impressive performance-per-watt improvements. HSA capabilities enable new, more efficient applications. Multimedia throughput is improved by 3.5x, and hardware support for H.265 decode is included.  All of this is done without a change in process technology, and while holding the die size flat generationally. “Carrizo” is truly a feat of engineering, a great step toward AMD’s 25x20 energy efficiency goal and a testament to the AMD commitment to deliver great products.

 

To dig further into the details, check out the ISSCC 2015 AMD press release and presentation on the ISSCC page of the AMD website.

 

Kevin Lensing is Sr. Director, Client Product Management, Computing and Graphics for 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.



高能效创新之道

 

 

有好几档不错的电视节目专门展现了人类在工程技术方面取得的许多重大成就。医疗技术突破、太空探索、技术飞跃,我们被人类自己的创举所震撼并为之着迷。即将问世的 AMD “Carrizo” 加速处理器 (APU) 就是一项最新的工程技术成就。AMD 2015 国际固态电路大会 (ISSCC) 上披露了这一产品的一些细节。长久以来,半导体行业依靠工艺技术的规律(例如摩尔定律和登纳德微缩定律)来改善电子器件的功耗和性能。如今这些定律越来越难应验和遵从。AMD 在诸多方面进行了大量的电源管理和架构改进,甚至比利用传统微缩工艺带来的优势更明显,从而很好地应对了这一挑战。那么AMD究竟是如何做到的呢?

 

Carrizo 的基础架构

新款 “Carrizo” 微处理器将包含四个挖掘机”处理器内核多个性能强劲的AMD Radeon™ 下一代图形核心(GCN)。与前代“Kaveri”相比,“Carrizo” 在几乎同样大小的芯片上集成的晶体管数量多出了29% 31亿个)。通过采用高密度库,“Carrizo”使挖掘机内核的面积减少了23%,同时容纳了更多的晶体管并且每时钟周期指令数(IPC)也有所提高。挖掘机内核变小会带来热密度挑战,AMD通过采用智能平面布局和低泄漏晶体管使这一挑战得以解决。内核面积缩小后,APU就会有更大的芯片空间留给集成显卡和多媒体,并用于集成南桥和AMD安全处理器逻辑电路。更大的集显 (专利技术) 面积用于增强 “Carrizo”的计算性能,并使其成为全球首款支持异步系统架构 (HSA) 1.0 的产品。由于采用了新型高性能视频解码器和两倍于“Kaveri”的视频压缩引擎,多媒体 (专利技术) 性能也得到了增强。更强大的多媒体引擎可以转码9个实时1080p视频流,比 “Kaveri”提升了惊人的3.5倍。

 

能效与功耗

HSA AMD 的一大创新。它通过消除独显和CPU之间的连接节省了能源,通过把CPUGPU放在对等的位置减少了计算周期,而且它能够把计算负载妥善地转移到最优的处理部件上。HSA能够利用GPU来更高效地执行许多负载,而不单纯依赖CPU资源,在相同能耗的情况下带来更好的性能。此外,“Carrizo”GCN内核采用独立的、按条件启用的电源,因此图形核心可以工作在最佳电压之下,其功耗与具有6GCN核心的 “Kaveri”相比改进了20%挖掘机支持AMD 率先应用的自适应电压-频率调节 (AVFS) 。相比其他自适应电压方案,AVFS经过了改进。它让每个部件都能够根据当前的工作频率和状态进行自我调节并确定最佳工作电压。通过比较预估时钟余裕和实际时钟余裕可以看出AVFS在整个电压范围内确定所需最低电压的能力。这一技术可节能高达30%。而完整实施AVFS的仅占用不到1%的内核面积。“挖掘机内核不仅减小了面积,而且还实现了计划目标:功耗比压路机内核降低40%

 

 

那么,效果如何呢?

经过大量令人赞叹的优化之后,AMD已经能够将四个挖掘机内核和八个Radeon™ GCN内核、南桥、面向企业级安全应用的AMD安全处理器技术、以及HSA-1.0设计,集成到一个“Carrizo” APU中。新的挖掘机内核比上一代更小、更强大并且更节能。功率经过优化的GCN图形核心的每瓦性能提升惊人。HSA特性带来新的、更加高效的应用。多媒体处理能力提升了3.5倍,并且支持 H.265 硬解码。如此多的革新和进步并未通过改变工艺便已经实现,而且芯片尺寸依旧纤薄小巧。“Carrizo” 真的是工程技术的精妙杰作,也是AMD朝着 25x20 能效目标迈出的一大步,更是 AMD 履行创造伟大产品承诺的有力证明。

 

 

如欲了解更多详情,请参见ISSCC 2015 AMD新闻稿和AMD官方网站的 ISSCC 讲稿。

 

Kevin Lensing AMD 图形与计算事业部的客户端产品管理高级总监。他的博文仅代表他个人观点,不代表AMD的立场、战略或观点。指向第三方网站的链接仅供方便您阅读之目的,除非特别注明,AMD不对指向的网站上的内容负责,也不意味着AMD对其内容持赞同态度。


*Originally Posted by System Admin in AMD Business on Feb 23, 2015 6:53:29 PM

Guest Post By Tommy Swigart, Global Product Manager COMExpress, GE Intelligent Platforms

 

At GE, we’ve already invested over $1 billion in making the Industrial Internet a reality. It’s here and now – and it’s transforming businesses around the world. Of course, its continued growth won’t be as the result of a single company’s effort and investment; rather, it will be because companies have worked together. No single company has every piece that’s needed.

 

Here’s a case in point. At GE, we’ve identified COM Express technology as a key building block within an infrastructure that brings together advanced computing, analytics, low cost sensing and new levels of connectivity. COM Express has three highly desirable attributes. It’s modular and easily upgradable; it’s an open standard; and, in the right hands, it’s capable of withstanding the rigors of deployment in the harshest industrial – and military – environments. That’s why COM Express is at the heart of GE’s next generation industrial PCs and automation controllers – machines that will deliver the underlying intelligence that will help drive the Industrial Internet.

 

One of the other beauties of COM Express technology is that it’s processor-agnostic; it can be a carrier for virtually any processor, making it hugely flexible and adaptable.

 

So: a customer came to GE, looking for a very challenging solution. He needed something with all the attributes of COM Express. He needed, however, to pair the COM Express carrier with a processor with very low power consumption – but with substantially more capability than is typically available from processors designed for such applications. The customer also needed the most compact package possible.

 

Not only that: rugged reliability, with maximum possible MTBF (mean time between failure), was also crucial to his application.

 

At GE, we’re fortunate to have a very close working relationship with AMD, and we were aware of AMD’s plans to launch their G-Series System-on-Chip (SoC). It had the attributes that we – and the customer – were looking for. Not only did it deliver the high performance/low power consumption needed by the application, but it also included much of the functionality that would otherwise need to be implemented on the underlying COM Express carrier. The impact of this, of course, is that the lower component count increases MTBF.

 

And so it was that the mCOM10-L1500 was born – a result of close cooperation between the teams at AMD and GE. AMD’s G-Series technology provided a combination of functionality and performance characteristics that enabled the development of a product uniquely suited to customer demands.

 

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The Mini COM Express module mCOM10-L1500 offers high performance and ultimate durability needed for applications that operate in harsh environments.


The inherent reliability of the AMD G-Series SoC is complemented by GE’s fully rugged design. Onboard components are specifically selected for their reliability in demanding conditions, and are soldered to the board for maximum resistance to shock and vibration, while extended mechanical construction protects the module. The mCOM10-L1500 is also designed to accept conformal coating for even greater resistance to moisture, dust, chemicals and extremes of temperature.

 

Like all COM Express-based designs, the mCOM10-L1500 delivers lower lifetime cost of ownership, because upgrades to the processor – in response to changing application demands, or to leverage new generations of price/performance – are straightforward and minimize cost. It is also the case that, as the underlying carrier card that provides the required interfaces to the system does not need to be replaced at the time of upgrade, testing and requalification time, effort and expense are minimized.

 

A single, new product developed by the teams at GE and AMD will not, in itself, ensure the continuing growth of the Industrial Internet. It will take hundreds – thousands – tens of thousands – of additional new building blocks – but products like the mCOM10-L1500 will make a vital contribution to our growing ability to connect people, data and machines.

 

 

Tommy Swigart can be contacted at Thomas.Swigart@ge.com.

 

Tommy Swigart is Global Product Manager COMExpress at GE Intelligent Platforms. 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.


*Originally Posted by System Admin in AMD Business on Feb 23, 2015 10:03:29 AM

Guest Post By Jos Schellevis, Chief Technical Officer, Deciso

 

The ever-expanding connectivity of applications brings new security threats that require a different defense than traditional firewalling.

 

The focus of hackers and cybercriminals has shifted from network intrusion attempts to exploiting weaknesses in applications.

 

These application-layer attacks also increasingly make use of encryption to dodge network security defenses.

 

A recent Gartner report titled “Security Leaders Must Address Threats From Rising SSL Traffic” by Jeremy D’Hoinne and Adam Hils, states: “Gartner believes that, in 2017, more than half of the network attacks targeting enterprises will use encrypted traffic to bypass controls, up from less than 5% today.[i]

 

These threats demand more powerful hardware to decrypt and detect intrusion attempts at wire speed. Next generation firewalls not only have the capabilities to detect application-layer attacks but also have sufficient power to accomplish this task at gigabit connection speeds.

 

Any hardware design to accomplish this task thus requires a multicore CPU and fast Ethernet connections without any bottlenecks. Many existing designs have a separate CPU and chipset connected through a marginal interface, not capable of leveraging its full performance over the external – mostly PCIe® – interfacing.

 

To make things worse, some of the network designs we have come across in the past have integrated PCI bridges creating even more bottlenecks. While this may not have been an issue in 10/100Mb solutions, today’s networks increasingly operate at gigabit or even higher wire speeds.

 

The highly integrated AMD G-Series SOC at the heart of Deciso’s Netboard A10 design delivers the required performance, doesn’t suffer from bottlenecks and has low power requirements. The embedded low power design also eliminates high cooling requirements that current high performing server-like designs demand. And, the integrated AESNI engine makes encryption and decryption of VPN traffic much less CPU intensive. While new features of the next generation firewall may consume quite a bit of the available CPU cycles to inspect application-layer traffic, other demanding features such as VPN won’t suffer.

 

Deciso believes that the combination of a great design and AMD G-Series SOC makes the Netboard A10 a solid bases for next generation firewalls.

 

Jos Schellevis is Chief Technology Officer at Deciso B.V, a Dutch security equipment manufacturer. He graduated in workflow management at Rotterdam University of Applied Technology and has over 15 years experience in networking and telecommunications. 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.

 


[i] https://www.venafi.com/collateral/wp/gartner-responding-to-new-ssl-cybersecurity-threats

 

*Originally Posted by System Admin in AMD Business on Feb 11, 2015 2:10:40 PM

opteron a v2.pngWhenever I talk about the AMD Opteron™ A1100 Series processor (codenamed “Seattle”) one of the first questions I get asked is “how is the software ecosystem for ARM servers maturing?” It is an established fact that the success of ARM® servers requires the right combination of software to support today’s demanding data center workloads.  It’s also a fact that finding that perfect combination doesn’t just happen overnight – and as you likely know, we’ve dedicated significant time, energy and resources into building a stable ecosystem for ARM servers….and the fun has only just begun for 2015.

 

I am happy to report that the recent releases of Fedora 21 and Xen 4.5 will support the AMD Opteron™ A1100 Series processor! These are two significant milestones toward achieving our goal of a robust software ecosystem to drive the adoption of ARM server technology. Fedora 21 and Xen 4.5 join OpenSUSE 13.2 in providing developers using AMD Opteron™ A1100 Series 64-bit ARM Developer kits a growing base of operating systems and hypervisors to choose from.

 

In December, the Fedora ARM Team announced the release of Fedora 21 for AArch64, a game-changing technology ready to run in the emerging world of ARM servers. Fedora 21 for AArch64 delivers the software infrastructure needed to run basic server applications stacks, such as storage and file serving (Ceph, GlusterFS, XFS), Web server (Apache, Tomcat), database server (MySQL), and developer tools (OpenJDK, Phython, Perl). It also includes KVM for developers who want to take an early look at virtualization on ARM server platforms. Fedora is developed by the Red Hat-sponsored Fedora community, providing users with access to their latest free and open source software.

 

In January, the Xen Project announced the release for Xen 4.5. Spanning across x86 and ARM architectures and several server platforms, Xen 4.5 features a hypervisor code base with increased usability, simplicity and innovation. The Xen Project provides an overview of its ARM Hypervisor-Specific updates including UEFI booting, IOMMU, and Super Pages support.  While not all features made this release, Xen 4.5 provides the basics needed to begin creating virtualization environments on ARM servers. The Xen Project is a collaborative project of the Linux Foundation, a nonprofit consortium dedicated to fostering the growth of Linux® and collaborative software development.

 

2015 promises to be a big year for the ARM64 software ecosystem, so be sure to stay tuned for further developments. Industry leaders in Linux on ARM - including AMD, the Linux Foundation, and Red Hat - will be gathering in February in Hong Kong for Linaro Connect  to showcase the latest in software developments and optimizing ARM technology.

 

Margaret Lewis is the Director of Software, Server Business Unit at AMD.  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.

 

*Originally Posted by klisa in AMD Business on Jan 29, 2015 5:33:00 PM

For many of us here at AMD, the start of a new year always coincides with the biggest technology tradeshow in the world: the International Consumer Electronics Show.

 

For AMD Embedded Solutions, CES 2015 was particularly exciting as our technology partners at QNAP, a leading provider of network attached storage (NAS) solutions, announced a new family of products powered by AMD Embedded Solutions

 

AMD-Facebook1.jpg

 

QNAP’s new TVS-863+ and the TVS-x63 NAS systems incorporate the AMD Embedded G-Series system-on-chip (SoC). This platform, designed for small to medium-sized business and small office/home office customers, is a leader in its class, powered by an AMD Embedded G-Series 2.4 GHz quad-core SoC with 10 GbE capability, legendary AMD Radeon graphics, and AMD-V™ virtualization support. Loaded with features, the new NAS systems can help lower the operational costs and increase productivity when used in 24/7 business applications. You can learn more about this system and the AMD Embedded technology powering it here.


Along with the new NAS systems, we also showed off Gizmosphere’s Gizmo 2 DIY platform in a home media center environment. For this demonstration we had Gizmo 2 streaming video from the QNAP TVS-863+ via UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) and using the free/open-sourced Kodi (formally known as XBMC) media player software. Using Gizmo 2 as a media center is just one of seemingly countless ways to leverage the capabilities of this new DIY platform.

 

Ideal for the embedded programmers and advanced DIYers, Gizmo 2 is an open source development board, powered by the AMD Embedded G-Series SoC, offering outstanding compute and graphics performance on a single platform for a wide range of Linux® and Windows® based development projects.

 

Gizmo 2 will be available for purchase worldwide from Gizmosphere in February for $199 (USD) – check Gizmosphere.org for updates.

 

Check out this video to see Gizmo 2 in action:



After an enthusiastic showing at CES, we are energized for 2015 and look forward to sharing more highlights as we help bring more products powered by AMD Embedded Solutions to market.

 

Travis Williams is the product marketing manager for AMD Embedded Solutions. 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.


*Originally Posted by traviswilliams in AMD Business on Jan 14, 2015 5:04:38 PM

Medical imaging professionals are currently challenged with ‘information overload’ when it comes to critical patient image and scan results. Too often, they must view different patient results on multiple monitors that sometimes exist in different locations. Because medical professionals are responsible for reading patients’ X-rays, MRI, CT or mammography scans, they truly understand and appreciate the importance of accurate graphics and display quality.

 

With thirty years’ experience in the medical imaging industry, Barco relies on high quality graphics cards (display controllers) for their medical displays. Our collaborator, for more than a decade, is leading innovation and smart technology breakthroughs to deliver incredible image quality for radiology, mammography, surgery, dentistry, and modality imaging. Their healthcare division looks to AMD professional graphics products to power its diagnostic display lines. Barco’s latest innovation, the Coronis Uniti™, is designed with radiologists in mind by offering unparalleled image quality, inventive productivity features and ergonomic design.


photo1.png

Image courtesy of Barco

 

According to Barco, at 12 megapixels, Coronis Uniti - powered exclusively by Barco MXRT, built on AMD FirePro™ W7000 graphics cards - is the highest resolution display available in the medical imaging market today. Through DisplayPort 1.2 support, AMD FirePro W7000 graphics help Coronis Uniti to achieve its massive maximum resolution of 4200x2800. That’s 12 million pixel points in a 33-inch display, enabling sharp grayscale and bold, brilliant colors for viewing 2D/3D static or dynamic images in in-depth detail. The display is also equipped with Barco’s industry-changing SteadyColor™ calibration technology, and Color Per Pixel Uniformity™ to ensure consistent colors and grayscales, along with Ambient Light Compensation™ to ensure that image quality is flawless, in a variety lighting environments.

 

In designing Uniti, Barco strived to deliver exceptional image quality while easing radiologists’ physical discomfort when reading images. The display optimizes the reading experience by mirroring our natural field of vision. Its carefully designed format minimizes the need for head and eye movements, while also creating side-by-side comparisons of multiple images. To reduce eye fatigue, its SoftGlow™ wall light adds ambient light to the reading room, while the SoftGlow™ task light shines a light on papers and film folders, while SpotView™ focuses light and allows radiologists to view an area more closely.


photo2b.jpg

Image courtesy of Barco


Image quality and consistency are paramount to achieving a confident diagnosis, and ultimately, a successful course of treatment for patients. Barco technologies that go beyond pixels and lumens enhance even the subtlest details to aid in precise detection at the earliest possible stage. AMD and Barco have worked together for nearly 12 years to enable cutting edge features like those found in Coronis Uniti. Barco expands on the rock-solid AMD FirePro unified driver and its features to develop and incorporate innovations unique to its diagnostic displays and software, resulting in the superior visual experience for the medical imaging community.

 

To learn more about the Coronis Uniti powered by AMD FirePro W7000 graphics, check out this video.

 

Theresa Chavez is a product marketing manager, professional graphics at AMD. Her postings are her 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.


*Originally Posted by System Admin in AMD Business on Nov 12, 2014 11:21:42 AM

It wasn’t too long ago that GPUs only focused on graphics and single-precision performance and either didn’t support double-precision operations, or only supported them at dramatically reduced performance levels. With the AMD FirePro™ S9150 server GPU, AMD now delivers exceptional compute performance with its newest and most powerful server GPU ever built. Based on our latest Graphics Core Next architecture, the AMD FirePro S9150 delivers maximum double-precision performance, driving circles around the competition, offering up to 77% more double-precision performance than the Tesla K40.1

 

Our performance superiority has recently been demonstrated using DGEMM, with performance measurements taken from a single AMD FirePro S9150 GPU.  DGEMM, or Double-precision GEneral Matrix-Matrix, measures the floating point execution rate for double precision real matrix-matrix multiplication. DGEMM computations are part of the BLAS (Basic Linear Algebra Subprograms), a specified set of low-level subroutines that perform common linear algebra operations such as copying, vector scaling, vector dot products, linear combinations, and matrix multiplication.


dgemm diagram.png

 


There are many real-world applications that take advantage of double-precision matrix operations.  These include computational fluid dynamics, finite element analysis and structural modelling, and molecular dynamics.


With our AMD OpenCL™ BLAS implementation, we are able to achieve 2 TFLOPS of sustained DGEMM performance with the AMD FirePro S9150.  This is a first for a single GPU solution, and with the Tesla K40 only achieving a theoretical 1.43 TFLOPS of peak double-precision, we are able to show the world that AMD can win by a wide margin when comparing actual measured results versus Nvidia’s theoretical performance.1 With industry-leading performance/watt2, industry-leading memory configuration3, and support for the latest OpenCL™ standards4, the AMD FirePro S9150 Server GPU is clearly unmatched when it comes to compute performance. 

 

AMD is serious about HPC and we want to show you that we are able to lead in this space. We are focused, we are committed, and most importantly, we are here to stay.

 

The AMD FirePro S9150 server GPU is available for purchase today. Please visit http://www.amd.com/en-us/products/graphics/workstation/firepro-remote-graphics/s9150 for more details.

 

JC Baratault is a senior business development manager, Global GPU Computing for 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. PCI Express is a registered trademark of PCI-SIG.

 

1.AMD FirePro™ S9150 delivers up to 2.53 TFLOPS peak double precision floating point performance, and Nvidia’s highest server GPU in the market as of June 2014 is the Tesla K40 with up to 1.43 TFLOPS peak double precision. Visit http://www.nvidia.com/object/tesla-servers.html for Nvidia product specs. FP-95

 

2. AMD FirePro™ S9150 max power is 235W and delivers up to 2.53 TFLOPS peak double and up to 5.07 peak single precision floating point performance. Nvidia’s highest performing server cards in the market as of June 2014 are the Tesla K40, max power of 235W, with up to 1.43 TFLOPS peak double and up to 4.29 peak single, and the K10, max power 225W, with up to 4.58 TFLOPS peak single and 190 GFLOPS peak double precision. Visit http://www.nvidia.com/object/tesla-servers.html for Nvidia product specs. FP-97

 

3. AMD FirePro™ S9150 features 16GB GDDR5 memory, and Nvidia’s highest performance server GPU in the market as of June 2014 is the Tesla K40 with 12GB GDDR5 memory. Visit http://www.nvidia.com/object/tesla-servers.html for Nvidia product specs. FP-98

 

4. OpenCL™ 1.2 conformance expected for S9150 and S9050. AMD plans to release OpenCL™ 2.0 drivers for enabled AMD FirePro S9150 server GPUs in Q4 2014; conformance testing is planned at that time. Previous generation AMD FirePro products may not support OpenCL™ 2.0.


*Originally Posted by System Admin in AMD Business on Nov 11, 2014 12:01:42 PM

The PC is dying… or so goes the opinion of some. It is true that there has been some reduction in overall PC unit volumes in recent years, although many current forecasts indicate that despite weak consumer PC volumes, commercial client PC units are growing. AMD believes we have a tremendous opportunity to grow share in the commercial client space based on our products and current market trends and have doubled our number of commercial design wins this year compared to last.

 

52914B_AMD_Pro_E_RGB.pngOne of AMD’s goals is to derive approximately 50% of our revenue in high-growth adjacent markets by the end of 2015. That growth is dependent upon our core IP in CPU and GPU compute products and we continue to drive innovation in those areas. Our Compute and Graphics unit is focused on the areas where our IP gives us differentiation and we can be competitive. It’s to that end that AMD introduced AMD PRO Series products in June 2014.

 

New devices entering IT infrastructures are based on various operating systems and processor types. This has introduced new problems for IT managers as what was once a (relatively) simple infrastructure in terms of security and manageability became increasingly complex. Bring your own device (BYOD) became the bane of many IT managers lives. As a result, older, proprietary security and manageability solutions need to be replaced by industry standard, cross-platform solutions.

 

This shift from closed/proprietary standards to open standards is where AMD is focused. AMD is a member of the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) which is “an industry standards organization working to simplify the manageability of network-accessible technologies through open and collaborative efforts by leading technology companies.” DMTF is the organization behind the Desktop and mobile Architecture for System Hardware (DASH) Standard, “a suite of specifications that takes full advantage of DMTF’s Web Services for Management (WS-Management) specification – delivering standards-based Web services management for desktop and mobile client systems.” AMD has also recently introduced AMD Secure Technology utilizing the Platform Security Processor (PSP) to enable ARM® TrustZone providing a secure platform for service and content. AMD is enabling evolving specifications like DASH and TrustZone that today’s IT managers need to maintain secure and manageable infrastructures.

 

We believe AMD is well positioned for growth in commercial client PCs and are seeing some positive indicators. DASH enabled AMD-powered systems have been growing in numbers. With one of the most ubiquitous management consoles, Microsoft® System Center 2012 Configuration Manager (SCCM) supporting DASH manageability, the AMD PRO solution is a great fit for existing IT infrastructures moving away from proprietary “solutions.” The very first AMD PRO-powered touch enabled and thin & light commercial client systems have been launched. In the Q3 2014 earnings, AMD announced that we have met our goal to double our commercial client design wins from last year.1

 

AMD is known as a graphics leader and this is helping meet the demands of today’s commercial client system user. Gone are the days when data could only be presented in a spreadsheet. In today’s fast-paced world, information reporting can be done in easily digestible, highly visual formats as described in a recent Jon Peddie Research article. Video is increasingly being used to convey thoughts and ideas. Desktop phones are being replaced with PC-based video conferencing applications. Most system users are not concerned with how things happen, only that they do happen and that the experience is great. The methods of evaluating systems used for purchase tenders has been changing to utilize more modern benchmarks that address total system capabilities, like Futuremark’s PCMark® 8 v2. IT departments are increasingly working with more strictly controlled or limited budgets making the needs to use these new benchmarks more and more important to show that they are considering everything relevant to performance in their purchase decisions. The IT managers’ internal customers are expecting devices that look and feel like their personal devices, thin, light and responsive. Feedback from customers on the AMD PRO-based HP Elite series systems and how the systems meet their needs today has been quite positive.

 

You can find more information on AMD’s renewed focus on delivering the complete solutions required by IT managers in our newly revamped AMD PRO website. It may be true that PC sales are not going to experience the traditional growth as has been seen through history. But industry analyst forecasts of PC sales appear to be somewhat stabilizing… and AMD is poised, with the AMD PRO solution, to deliver the solutions that IT managers need.

 

Ryan White is a Product Manager – Commercial Client 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 See http://phx.corporate-ir.net/External.File?item=UGFyZW50SUQ9MjU1MDY0fENoaWxkSUQ9LTF8VHlwZT0z&t=1

 

*Originally Posted by System Admin in AMD Business on Nov 3, 2014 2:01:42 PM

HP laptop

Every good vendor knows this: hard numbers – sales data, market research, consumer sentiment – are vital. But on their own, they frequently do not represent true understanding. A telling anecdote, a good yarn, or simply the insight of someone working at the coal face of the IT channel are often what provides a breakthrough in understanding. Selling is still an activity that relies on human interaction and empathy – it’s not just about the numbers.

 

We’ve all known for a while now that buyers – especially at the small and medium business end of the PC market – are very cost conscious. Since the beginning of the downturn in 2008, PC assemblers have competed to win wallet-watching buyers in the SMB sector – to mixed results. Looking at sales figures is one thing – and it gives you great hindsight. What it doesn’t always do is give you an inkling of what people are going to want in the future.

 

The best insights comes from a wide variety of sources, but in particular, those who shake hands with end users day in and day out – the resellers. And in turn, just as helpful is talking to the distributors – those who assist the resellers. The feedback being received from those on the front line of IT sales is invaluable. And without a doubt, these very channel partners now have more power than they have ever had before.

 

The influence of channel partners on the policies of system vendors has never been stronger. At AMD, we’re seeing that higher demand for AMD-based commercial systems from enterprise end user customers has started translating directly into distributors ordering and holding more stock than ever before, but also vendors starting to introduce more AMD-based options than ever before.

 

This increased demand for AMD-based commercial notebook solutions is primarily due to the feedback from assemblers at one end, and resellers at the other, that systems using AMD’s APU offer a creative way to differentiate and win more business.

 

Rather than shipping systems using the same old technology just to fulfil an order, a little creative specifying of systems can take advantage of the APU revolution, for example, a solution based around an APU based product, could likely reduce the cost per unit. This can enable customers to meet reduced budget requirements, or allow them to purchase additional accessories or services within the original budget. These differences really matter to SMBs as well as larger organisations looking to maximise their budgets and the lifecycle of systems, as well as optimise productivity. Differentiation with AMD-based systems means resellers can give their customers more choice and in doing so, protect their interests and build more trusted and lasting business relationships.

 

And the results are significant. For AMD, our APU technology innovation, with clear graphics performance leadership, truly makes a difference to the performance vs cost ratio. This has translated to our commercial channel products’  inventory level with distributors for SMB systems rising significantly this year – they’re ordering more commercial parts from us and from our system builder partners. This is primarily in direct response to reseller requests and reflects the growing power of the customer. Business customers are much more tech-savvy and refuse to compromise. They demand choice and want to see the AMD choices that optimise productivity, utilize the full scope of CPU and GPU and provide the best energy efficiency and lowest acquisition and running costs.

 

Resellers are often advocates for the end customer and their voice is finally being heard loud and clear. Instead of simply selling what is in the distributor warehouse, they are demanding choice and PC vendors are responding by offering a wider range of systems across their portfolios. The industry is moving in the right direction, and resellers are leading the charge. It pays – in more than one sense of the word – to listen to your channel.

 

 

James Blackman is EMEA Commercial Channel Manager 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.

 

*Originally Posted by System Admin in AMD Business on Oct 27, 2014 12:01:42 PM

AMD’s first ARM® 64-bit server processor began sampling last March and you might be curious to know that beyond creating the hardware, AMD is heavily involved in innovating, along with our partners such as Oracle, around software for the ARM ecosystem – in addition to x86. We want to ensure there’s a robust software ecosystem ready for the hardware when it comes out, helping to speed data center adoption of the ARM platform.


ARM isn’t going to displace x86 chips in the data center for all applications; it’s better characterized as  a new entrant that has an opportunity because the data center scale has changed, as have the workloads running in those data centers. At AMD, we say one-size-fits-all computing is dead as it typically limits efficiency and results in higher cost solutions. Instead, we believe servers will be workload optimized, and with both ARM and x86, we’re offering choice among processor architectures.


We’re continuing to advance and promote both architectures because the data center of the future will be heterogeneous, relying on both types of processors for different workloads. Our x86 CPUs will still be used for legacy and transactional workloads in the data center such as public and private cloud, enterprise applications and databases. We’ll start to see ARM being used for more customized designs and accelerated workloads such as big data/analytics, NoSQL/Cassandra, content distribution, distributed storage and cold storage.


However, as ARM moves from low-end devices to servers, demand is increasing for the same tools that exist in the mature x86 world. That’s why adopting industry standards is essential for creating a healthy 64-bit ARM server ecosystem as this will accelerate adoption of ARM-based 64-bit servers. Data centers demand standards-based software and hardware offerings to ensure ease of deployment and management. In the end it is all about lowering the barrier of adoption.


Indeed, tools are becoming more consistent across both x86 and ARM and a critical component of that consistent tools infrastructure is Java. Java is key for building many of today’s web services workloads, such as Apache™ Hadoop® , databases, analytic tools, etc. Java provides a computer programming language that is portable and architecture-neutral, enabling developers to “write once, run anywhere.”


Java is one of the most popular programming languages, with reportedly 9 million developers using it.[1] Last week, I spoke at  JavaOne, where AMD and Oracle showcased how we’ve made tremendous progress toward efficient, large-scale data center computing using the AMD A1100-Series developer kit, which features AMD’s first 64-bit ARM® Cortex®-A57 based AMD Opteron™ A-Series processor.


The demonstration, running on the AMD A1100-Series developer kit, featured Hadoop running on the Oracle JDK. We also showed multiple nodes running the same demonstration using Linux environments based on Fedora technology from the Red Hat-sponsored Fedora community and the community supported OpenSUSE ProjectThe ability to run Hadoop on two Linux distributions and with two versions of Java highlights the growing breadth of the ARM server software ecosystem.


We continue to innovate around ARM with multiple partners, including ARM, Linaro, Red Hat, Suse and other leaders – to enable a robust 64-bit software ecosystem for ARM-based designs from compilers and simulators to hypervisors, operating systems and application software, in order to address key workloads in data center environments. Together, we’ll drive the evolution of the data center to offer choice among processors.

 

Leendert van Doorn is a Corporate Fellow 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.

 


  1. [1]http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/citizenship/introduction/java-in-action-1886206.html

 

*Originally Posted by Guest Blogger in AMD Business on Oct 14, 2014 8:57:06 AM

When it comes to AMD FirePro™ S-Series GPUs, there is never “too much of a good thing.” During my conversations at trade shows and conventions, customers have been asking for a server GPU solution that not only provides the speed to accomplish computational tasks, but they also want accuracy for precise results. Earlier this year, we announced the top-of-line AMD FirePro™ S9150 – the most powerful server GPU ever built for High Performance Computing1 measured by performance/watt.  But customers also told us they want a product for mainstream, budget conscious projects that still delivers equally exceptional performance for HPC.

 

To meet that demand, we’ve expanded our server GPU portfolio. By infusing our most current iteration of the AMD GCN architecture2 into AMD FirePro™ server GPUs, we have been able to offer two products that deliver leading edge double-precision floating-point rates, and operate with tremendous efficiency.

 

The new AMD FirePro™ S9100 server GPU is supreme in its class, with high peak single- and double-precision floating point performance, including  2.11 TFLOPS peak double-precision and up to 9.4 GFLOPS per watt TDP double-precision performance3. Compute-intensive workloads are where this card excels. With 2,560 stream processors and 12GB of GDDR5 memory, the AMD FirePro S9100 is equipped to handle supercomputing tasks. For those working in scientific compute, research, or structural analysis, it would be fair to say this GPU is a compute powerhouse. On top of the performance, the card’s maximum TDP comes in at 225W, and its passive cooling solution makes it ideal for deployment in server environments.

AMD FirePro S9100 product shot angle.jpg

We’re seeing a big part of the demand for GPUs driven by widespread adoption of OpenCL™ support. Professionals have told me they want to use open standards. They want the freedom and accessibility that comes with OpenCL™, and software developers are heeding this ask. Across our product offerings, AMD has long been an advocate for open standards and this is no different with our server GPUs. Leveraging the latest version of OpenCL™, you’ll experience great compute performance, accelerating complex calculations at lightning speed.

 

Another complementary method for handling workloads is OpenMP -- an API supporting high-level parallelism in the C, C++, and Fortran languages. In segments such as Oil and Gas, Computer Aided Engineering and Computational Science, many organizations have made substantial investments in OpenMP to create scalable workloads. AMD’s collaboration with Pathscale to provide support for OpenMP 4.0 will allow customers in these HPC fields to harness the compute power of AMD FirePro S9100 server GPU.


AMD is also working together with an ecosystem of hardware providers to help ensure customers have access to great technology for their projects. To foster that ecosystem, AMD FirePro S9100 server GPUs will be available from ASUS, Gigabyte, Supermicro and TYAN.


Designed to accelerate applications beyond just graphics, AMD FirePro S9100 joins the lineup of AMD FirePro S-series cards for servers that are powered by AMD STREAM4 technology to support compute intensive workloads by offering technologies such as:

  • ECC memory support (on GDDR5 memory only)
  • Fast single- and double-precision floating-point performance
  • Peer-to-peer multi-GPU support
  • Bi-directional PCIe® memory data transfers
  • GPU-optimized OpenCL™ libraries

 

We’ve listened to our customers and we understand their needs by delivering two products: one with the best possible performance at the high end, and another option for more budget conscious deployments that need great performance in the data center.

 

Learn more about AMD FirePro S-series server graphics cards

Learn more about AMD STREAM

 

 

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. PCIe is a registered trademark of PCI-SIG Corporation.

 

1 AMD FirePro™ S9150 max power is 235W and delivers up to 2.53 TFLOPS peak double and up to 5.07 peak single precision floating point performance. Nvidia’s highest performing server cards in the market as of June 2014 are the Tesla K40, max power of 235W, with up to 1.43 TFLOPS peak double and up to 4.29 peak single, and the K10, max power 225W, with up to 4.58 TFLOPS peak single and 190 GFLOPS peak double precision. Visit http://www.nvidia.com/object/tesla-servers.html for Nvidia product specs. FP-97


2 Select AMD FirePro graphic cards are based on the GCN Architecture and include its associated features (AMD PowerTune technology, AMD ZeroCore Power technology, PCI Express 3.0, etc.). Not all features are supported by all products—check with your system manufacturer for specific model capabilities

 

3 AMD FirePro™ S9100 max power is 225W and delivers up to 2.11 TFLOPS peak double and up to 4.22 TFLOPS peak single precision floating point performance. Nvidia Tesla K20X max power is 235W and delivers up to 1.31 TFLOPS peak double and up to 3.95 TFLOPS peak single. Visit _http://www.nvidia.com/object/tesla-servers.html for Nvidia product specs. FP-109

 

4 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.  - See more at: http://community.amd.com/community/amd-blogs/amd-business/blog/2014/07/09/amd-leads-the-way-with-hpc-at-international-supercomputing-conference-2014#sthash.2hJJxXgM.dpuf

 

*Originally Posted by System Admin in AMD Business on Oct 6, 2014 11:31:42 AM

Desktop and mobile Architecture for System Hardware (DASH) is the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) standard for secure out-of-band (irrespective of the power state or the clients' operating system) and remote management of desktop and mobile systems.

 

AMD is an active member in DMTF and is committed to supporting the DMTF DASH standard as a part of our comprehensive commercial platform support.

 

Microsoft® System Center 2012 Configuration Manager (SCCM 2012), also known as ConfigMgr 2012, is a systems management software product from Microsoft for managing computers running various desktop and mobile operating systems.  The features supported by SCCM 2012 are remote control, patch management, software distribution, operating system deployment, network access protection and hardware and software inventory.

 

AMPS 2.1 is a product that extends SCCM 2012 to manage the desktop and mobile systems' out-of-band using DASH standards.

In the AMPS 2.1 release, the features supported are:

 

  • Manual and Auto DASH Discovery
  • Power Control
  • Boot Control
  • Inventory
  • Wake on DASH
  • Collection
  • Digest and Active Directory Authentication

 

I am happy and excited to announce the availability of AMPS 2.1 product for download! Please reach out to your AMD representative or visit the forum with any questions or feedback you may have.

 

References:

 

AMD Client Manageability Tools: www.amd.com/dash (DASH plugin for ConfigMgr 2007 also available)

SCCM 2012: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/products/system-center-2012-r2-configuration-manager/default.aspx

DASH:  http://www.dmtf.org/standards/dash.

 

Jay Hiremath is a Sr. Director - Platform & Software Engineering 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.

 

*Originally Posted by System Admin in AMD Business on Oct 6, 2014 10:01:42 AM

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 …  


</soapbox>


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!


</soapbox>


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.


*Originally Posted by Guest Blogger in AMD Business on Sep 16, 2014 11:27:27 AM

By Rita Turkowski, AMD Customer Marketing Manager

 

Rita Turkowski headshot.png

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.


*Originally Posted by Guest Blogger in AMD Business on Sep 9, 2014 9:24:25 AM

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.

 

eedoo HomeOe.JPG.jpg

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.


*Originally Posted by bellzey in AMD Business on Aug 18, 2014 4:06:34 PM

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.


*Originally Posted by klisa in AMD Business on Aug 8, 2014 6:02:59 PM

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.

 

Innosoft blog_Liebherr 1.jpg

 

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.

 

Innosoft blog_Liebherr 2.jpg

 

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.


*Originally Posted by Guest Blogger in AMD Business on Aug 12, 2014 11:02:59 AM

brystal.boyd

The Force of Habit

Posted by brystal.boyd Employee May 12, 2015

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.

 

Suetron logo small.jpg

 

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.


*Originally Posted by Guest Blogger in AMD Business on Jul 31, 2014 8:10:55 PM

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.


*Originally Posted by llatif in AMD Business on Jul 28, 2014 3:08:31 AM

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.

photo 3.JPG.jpg

 

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.


*Originally Posted by System Admin in AMD Business on Jul 9, 2014 11:02:59 AM

brystal.boyd

The New Balance of Power

Posted by brystal.boyd Employee May 12, 2015

By Ben Boehman, Product Development Engineer, AMD


Boehman_headshot_resized.jpg

 

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.


*Originally Posted by Guest Blogger in AMD Business on Jul 25, 2014 10:53:50 AM

brystal.boyd

The Future of Display

Posted by brystal.boyd Employee May 12, 2015

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.

 

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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.


*Originally Posted by System Admin in AMD Business on Jun 25, 2014 2:02:59 PM

brystal.boyd

Converging Technologies

Posted by brystal.boyd Employee May 12, 2015

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.


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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.


*Originally Posted by bellzey in AMD Business on Jun 18, 2014 5:30:00 PM

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

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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  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.


*Originally Posted by jswinimer in AMD Business on Jun 5, 2014 9:54:00 AM

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

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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.


*Originally Posted by System Admin in AMD Business on Jun 2, 2014 1:32:59 PM

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


*Originally Posted by llatif in AMD Business on Jun 3, 2014 11:02:59 PM

This post has been authored by Kevin Tanguay who is a Director of Embedded Gaming Products at AMD

 

AMD’s second generation embedded R-series Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) formerly codenamed  “Bald Eagle” has landed! The second generation embedded R-series APU combines AMD’s expertise in designing high performance, multi-core x86 CPU architectures and multipurpose programmable GPUs into a single chip that supports four independent displays and Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA), making it a great choice for casino and arcade gaming.

 

AMD’s APUs have already proven themselves in the embedded market, with the first-generation AMD R-series raising the bar for levels of processing power, visualization and power efficiency. The second generation embedded R-series APU builds on the success of the first generation R-series APUs by making use of AMD’s Steamroller CPU architecture, powering up to four x86 CPU cores. Coupled with the latest CPU architecture is AMD’s award-winning AMD Radeon™ HD 9000-series GPU architecture that supports Microsoft DirectX 11.1, OpenGL 4.2 and OpenCL all within a 35 W power envelope.

 

The second generation embedded R-series APU brings together the latest AMD CPU and GPU architectures to create a phenomenal APU for the embedded market. AMD’s second generation embedded R-series APU is the first embedded processor to support HSA. This allows applications to seamlessly make use of the CPU and GPU through Heterogeneous Queuing and access the same memory through Heterogeneous Unified Memory Architecture.

 

AMD’s R-series APUs have always supported GPU compute but with has support, the developer now has even more tools at their disposal to access the phenomenal compute found in the Radeon HD 9000-series GPU in every second generation embedded R-series APU. HSA features enable higher resolution video playback and increased number of video streams, meaning that in a casino the gamer can see more videos at a higher quality, improving their experience.

 

Complementing the revolutionary CPU and GPU architectures and HSA support, our engineers have also added features such as DDR3-2133 and ECC memory support, along with PCI Express Gen 2 and Gen 3 support. What does all this mean? The increase in memory bandwidth and support for higher bandwidth to peripherals means the R-series APU not only can access more data, but can also support a second GPU through AMD Radeon™ Dual Graphics technology. A second GPU can turbocharge graphics performance or provide output for even more displays.

 

AMD’s embedded R-series APUs have been the ultimate solution when it comes to driving multiple displays with eye-popping graphics, and our second generation embedded R-series APUs continue this rich tradition. The second generation R-series APUs support up to four independent displays, driven through today’s most common standards including HDMI, DisplayPort 1.2, UVD 4.2 and VCE 2.0.

 

AMD has been working closely with RAD Game Tools making RAD’s popular industry standard Bink 2 video codec work flawlessly on AMD R-series APUs. Bink 2 can be found in most popular games and the latest generation game consoles such as Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4, which also feature AMD processors. RAD’s Bink 2 codec is also popular in the casino gaming industry, where the need for high-quality video is essential to meet users’ expectations for a quality gaming experience. AMD’s close relationship with RAD Game Tools has resulted in Bink 2 becoming the first version of the software video decoder to utilize the GPU for computation and makes the R-series APU a superior processor to play back content encoded with Bink 2.

 

RAD Games is now shipping Bink 2.4 with optional GPU decoding.  This version of Bink offloads the video decoding using compute shaders on Windows, Linux, Sony’s PlayStation4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One. This approach results in two to four times faster decoding than using CPU-only decode (and even more for 4K video).1 For example, 4K video frames can be decoded in 2.3 ms on Sony’s PlayStation4 or Microsoft’s Xbox One , and 1.4 ms on a PC!

 

The second generation embedded R-series APUs support Microsoft Windows and Linux, with Microsoft DirectX™ 11.1 and OpenGL 4.3 supported. Naturally, AMD’s R-series APUs support OpenCL, giving developers access to computation power held within the Radeon HD 9000-series GPU. This means whether your applications run on Windows or Linux, you can make use of AMD’s R-series APUs.

 

The second generation embedded R-series APU showcase AMD’s commitment to the gaming industry, with a high-performance embedded APU that includes the latest technology combined with strict industry certification. With dual-core and quad-core R-series “Bald Eagle” APUs available in 17 W and 35 W power envelopes, AMD’s latest generation of x86 R-series APUs provide high-performance and power-efficient processing power to drive multidisplay installations, making them ideal for casino and arcade gaming machines.

 

 

Kevin Tanguay is Director of Embedded Gaming 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.


*Originally Posted by llatif in AMD Business on May 20, 2014 8:18:39 PM

If you follow AMD closely, you likely know that we design and integrate technology that powers millions of intelligent and connected devices, from the world’s fastest graphics card to supercomputers, tablets and game consoles. But what you might not know is our technology also powers countless embedded solutions like some of the latest electronic and radio frequency (RF) test equipment, geographic information systems, retail signage, aerospace solutions and medical equipment. Embedded computing is an integral part of the AMD product portfolio and strategy. It’s a focus area where we are blazing new paths of innovation and that’s gaining significant traction with x86 AMD Embedded G- and R-Series CPU’s, APUs, and SoCs along with the AMD Embedded Radeon™ graphics processing units (GPUs).

 

Now comes news from CoreAVI, a long-time technology partner, that Boeing has selected AMD embedded technology for its next generation of high performance avionics cockpit display systems. Working together with CoreAVI, AMD embedded solutions enable the full capabilities of mission critical visual systems, including compute and graphics processors, multi-independent 3-D display outputs, and H.264/MPEG2 Universal Video Decoders that enable a state-of-the-art visual display system for pilots.


Needless to say, we’re thrilled by Boeing’s selection. It’s an excellent example of AMD embedded technology at work and it validates our approach to creating embedded solutions into an integrated and compelling offering in addition to a number of other examples where our embedded solutions are being used (i.e., digital signage, casino and arcade gaming machines, portable ultrasound systems, DNA analysis, vision control systems and advanced robotics). I think it’s easy to say our technology is used nearly everywhere.


Avionics are at the heart of flight systems today and the level of complexity of these systems is tremendous. As such, this use-case is a great example of the AMD embedded value proposition. AMD embedded solutions are optimized to handle 3-D mapping and image manipulation, high-speed data streaming, as well as the massively parallel processing required for tasks like radar processing and object recognition. What’s more, many are ideal for fanless requirements such as what might be needed in the cockpit. Setting the optimal balance between processing performance, power consumption and heat dissipation is especially crucial, as any significant skewing of these properties can negatively impact the performance profile of the entire cockpit electronics system. AMD Embedded GPUs offer the ability to clock performance up or down as needed to provide greater overall power scalability and thermal control.


The recently introduced AMD Radeon™ E8860 GPU is an excellent example of bringing to market world-class graphics technology for embedded solutions. Providing 768 GFLOPS of precision floating point performance and supporting thermal design power (TDP) of 37 watts, the GPU provides an optimal performance-per-watt profile for applications like cockpit electronics and display systems that require the highest level of graphics clarity and accuracy without sacrificing energy efficiency. This is made possible, in part, by its massive parallel compute capability which optimizes the data processing path to improve real-time video and graphics processing performance.


The news from Boeing is just the latest example of the value provided by AMD embedded solutions. With new processors – both x86 and ARM – this year, the momentum is sure to continue growing.


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.


*Originally Posted by amd_kamal in AMD Business on May 12, 2014 12:03:14 PM

brystal.boyd

The Best of Times

Posted by brystal.boyd Employee May 12, 2015

This post was authored by Gary Frost, a Software Fellow at AMD


Here at AMD we are committed to provide GPU compute performance from a variety of programming languages. We understand that not every developer will have the flexibility or inclination to port embarrassingly parallel sections of code to OpenCL in order to take advantage of the energy and performance advantages afforded by modern SIMD-style accelerators.

 

In November of last year I had the opportunity to showcase the state of the OpenJDK Sumatra project at AMD’s APU13 developer summit. “Sumatra” is a joint AMD/Oracle project which allows the Java Virtual Machine’s JIT (Just In Time) compiler infrastructure to generate code suitable for GPU offload. When fully realized this will allow Java developers to see their Java code accelerated by the JVM and dispatched to the GPU automatically at runtime.


At APU2013 Nandini Ramani (Vice President of Java Platform at Oracle Corporation) and Phil Rogers (Corporate Fellow at AMD) made some time in their keynote presentations to call out the work of the Sumatra team and to highlight the hardware and software features that allow Sumatra to bring GPGPU compute to the Java community.


Specifically in Nandini’s keynote I demonstrated our ‘Dickens’ demo. This showed how a simple search algorithm coded using standard Java 8 patterns and idioms could be executed on a HSA enabled platform. The code created a histogram of names present in a subset Charles Dickens’ novels. Thanks to HSA’s shared virtual memory, the Java user interface was able to update in real time as the Java code searched through the text. With the Java 8 Stream APIs the user can switch easily between a sequential and parallel implementation, and on a HSA enabled platform the Sumatra enabled JVM was able to execute parallel fragments directly on the GPU cores.


From a performance point of view, at APU13 we successfully demonstrated   the JVM seamlessly migrating this Java workload from CPU multicore APU graphics cores with very little effort from the Java developer.


This demo was well received, but was essentially unrepeatable by the general public as we were showing an early Sumatra ‘drop’ running on a pre-release Java 8 JVM, on a prerelease internal HSA runtime and on prerelease “Kaveri” APU hardware on a set of Windows drivers specially composed for the demonstration. In the words of Phil Rogers “how could this possibly go wrong?” 


What a difference six months makes. In January of this year AMD released the new AMD A-Series APU (code named “Kaveri”) allowing all sorts of applications to take advantage of the GPU cores on this processor.


At the end of February the HSA Linux driver team within AMD made available the Linux Kernel patches and drivers to allow the Linux kernel to coordinate the execution of code on the GPU compute units within a HSA enabled platform.


Also in February the HSA runtime team from AMD made available an early access Linux HSA runtime, which allows projects such as Sumatra to dispatch HSA kernels on the HW from user mode.


To align with this the Sumatra developers (both at AMD and over at Oracle) added their first round of HSA support to the Graal infrastructure which Sumatra uses to generate code for GPUs.


At the end of March Oracle released Java 8.


So now the stars have aligned and anyone with a HSA compatible Linux kernel on HSA compatible hardware can recreate the demos we showed at APU2013 from publically available software and hardware.


Now in April, we have showcased all of these components running on Fedora at the Red Hat Summit. Congratulations to all the folk at AMD, the HSA foundation, and our friends at Oracle for getting us to this point.


We have Great Expectations for the future of Sumatra. 



Gary Frost is a Software Fellow 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.

*Originally Posted by llatif in AMD Business on Apr 25, 2014 5:54:00 AM

This post has been authored by Leendert van Doorn, Corporate Fellow at AMD


Developing a software ecosystem to support new hardware technology is hard work. For our ARM-based AMD Opteron™ A1100 Series processor, code named “Seattle,” AMD is working with several key organizations to enable a standard-based server class software foundation – firmware, operating systems, hypervisors, device drivers, and development tools. For me this effort involves a lot of travel to meetings and technical discussions with strategic partners and customers.

 

One of my recent trips was to Linaro Connect Asia in Macau. In case you didn’t know, Linaro is a not-for-profit engineering organization developing open source software for the ARM architecture. Linaro Connect is a great collaboration event with a mixture of discussion, planning and agreement about engineering projects being run within Linaro. My focus is on making sure the software foundation that is being developed by Linaro adheres to recognized server standards. My goal is to avoid the “wild west” approach that we have seen in the 32-bit ARM world – with specialized software tuned only for specific devices. We need ARM servers to fit with minimal disruption into the existing world of x86 servers – so that data centers can have a clear option on the technology they choose to drive their business.

 

The Linaro connect trip to Macau was exciting for a number of reasons. First of all, more ARM server partners joined Linaro, most notably Qualcomm. All the key ARM server players are now members of Linaro, making it the perfect forum to drive the enablement of open-source ARM server software support for industry standards.

 

One such example is ACPI, which despite some of the controversy around it in the Linux community, is the right standard to move forward for Hyperscale because it reduces the disruption in the data center where all the tooling is based on these industry standards. Linaro is actively driving the enablement of ACPI both in UEFI (the firmware stack) and the Linux kernel. This kind of progress was very exciting to experience first-hand.

 

As a result of enabling these industry standards in ARM servers software, implementing them becomes literally as simple as flipping a (compile-time) switch and with all key server partners being Linaro members, there is little excuse for them not to adopt these standards. The benefits of this teamwork extends to our customers as well as ARM server vendors.

 

So what does it mean to adhere to recognized server standards? Take for example AMD’s “Seattle” SOC, it consists of industry standard ARM Cortex A57 cores (with SIMD, cryptography and TrustZone® extensions) together with industry standard interfaces such as SATA, PCIe, and NICs. This allows us to be interoperable at the hardware level with existing RAID controllers, hard disks, and a host of other data center peripherals. Similarly, at the software level we are adhering to industry standards as well such as UEFI for the firmware, ACPI, SMBIOS and PSCI to interface to the operating system and IPMI for out of band system management. Conforming to these standards allows us to seamlessly plug into existing infrastructure, thereby reducing the barrier for adoption and, more important, reducing the cost of entry for our customers.

 

One of my next stops is at Red Hat Summit in April in San Francisco. Red Hat and AMD have a long history of close collaboration – dating back to efforts around bringing 64-bit CPU technology to the x86 world. Our current efforts with Red Hat include our collaboration around Hyperscale computing along with the support for our 64-bit ARM server technology.

 

In fact, I will be participating on Hyperscale computing panel hosted by Jon Masters, Chief ARM Architect at Red Hat. The panel will include folks from Google, IBM, and ARM and will discuss challenges, opportunities, and emerging trends in Hyperscale computing. If you are attending the Red Hat Summit I encourage you to join what looks to be a lively discussion. The Session is on Wednesday, April 16, 15:40 to 16:40PST.

 

This is an exciting time for AMD…play to win!

 

Leendert

 

Leendert van Doorn is a corporate fellow 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.


*Originally Posted by llatif in AMD Business on Apr 13, 2014 7:05:35 PM

AMD and Leap Computing took to the sky at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2014 (Booth# 1024) in San Francisco, showcasing the evolution of cloud gaming.

 

AMD Radeon™ Sky cloud gaming cards and AMD RapidFire technology enable Leap Computing to deliver a fully-realized, turnkey cloud solution for uncompromising performance on games like Battlefield 4, Dirt 3 and Tomb Raider. As a bonus, it’s also a cost-effective option for video game developers.

 

 

 

While at the show I presented a session entitled “RapidFire: The Easy Route To Low Latency Cloud Gaming Solutions”. This was an opportunity for attendees to learn more about how AMD's RapidFire SDK simplifies the delivery of multi-game streaming from a single GPU while working to minimize latency to ensure one of the best cloud gaming experiences.

 

At the AMD exhibit, the AMD RapidFire and Leap Computing streaming gameplay demonstration generated a great deal of interest and inquiries by showcasing the next major step in cloud gaming that allowed attendees to play popular titles via streamed content on laptops.

photo2.JPG.jpg

 

“Although these technologies have existed for the past several years, the play experience has been too resource-heavy to actually make cloud deployment possible, until now,” said Alexander Nataros, chief executive officer at Leap Computing. “The performance and precision of the AMD Radeon Sky cloud gaming GPUs have been instrumental in optimizing hardware for our service. AMD has positioned itself as an industry leader in the emerging cloud graphics space through both the AMD RapidFire technology API and its Direct Output Post Processing (D.O.P.P.) support. With these tools, Leap Computing has been able to provide a graphically intense, low-latency environment that would not have been otherwise possible.”

 

AMD Radeon™ Sky Series products support up to six HD game streams at once(1). Furthermore, service providers can maximize existing infrastructure and resources to support even more simultaneous streams, from casual games up to the most demanding AAA titles. AMD Radeon Sky Series products are designed to support a wide range of servers and systems.

 

Additionally, AMD RapidFire technology enables cloud gaming partners to benefit from an open API, simplifying manipulation of key hardware controls to provide HD visual quality, minimal latency and optimal network bandwidth, resulting in a compelling and responsive experience on virtually any device. In line with AMD’s commitment to industry standard APIs, like OpenCL™, DirectX® and OpenGL, an open standard API for cloud gaming can help align the industry around one platform and drive continued innovations.


For more information on AMD FirePro graphics solutions, visit: www.fireprographics.com

 

Allen Bourgoyne is the director of ISV Alliances for 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.

 

(1)  Test conducted at AMD measuring the ability of a Colfax CX 1250-N4 1U rack mount server with Ciinow Cumulus Cloud Services version 2.0 running on an AMD Opteron™ 6380 16 core Server processor with one AMD Radeon Sky Series model 700, 32GB RAM, video driver 12.10.17.1 to stream to games simultaneously. At 60 fps and 720p resolution, 3 streams were achieved; at 30fps and 720p, 6 streams were achieved. 3 games: LEGO® Batman™, Harry Potter™ Years 1-4, and Devil May Cry; 6 games: Trine, LEGO® Batman™, LEGO® Harry Potter™ Years 1-4 and Years 507, Far Cry 3, CardBoard Castle. FP-77

 

OpenCL and the OpenCL logo are trademarks of Apple Inc. used by permission by Khronos.


*Originally Posted by System Admin in AMD Business on Mar 22, 2014 2:08:19 AM

Is OpenStack the new cloud Linux (open source cloud OS)? At the last OpenStack Summit in Hong Kong, the IT community was in a heated debate, fraught with tension and high drama. Numerous declarations about the technical capabilities and problems being solved using OpenStack were argued endlessly. But one thing is clear – OpenStack continues to gain momentum in the market with more developers and deployments.

 

The technology has become an alternative cloud OS to enable the same services offered by the leading Amazon Web Services. OpenStack has evolved rapidly and now has the support of large, established technology and service companies such as IBM, Red Hat and HP. This is adding significant wind to OpenStack’s sails and accelerating the legitimacy of the large open source cloud infrastructure project. It is also a key sign that this emerging technology is on the cusp of widespread adoption.

 

Why has OpenStack become so popular? Pundits point out that OpenStack’s growth is driven by the open source community of developers, which continue to advance its capabilities. Practically speaking, these people work for companies, and yet develop code that is given away for free. The reason companies allow their employees to spend time and resources on OpenStack is because there is a business problem that it solves. No enterprise technology gains widespread adoption without strong business drivers, and OpenStack is no different. From AMD’s perspective, the top three business drivers for deployment are:

 

  1. Cost savings
  2. Operational efficiency
  3. Flexibility, openness and choice

 

The Internet has created a sea change in how computing, storage and networking come together to deliver a compelling service. Initially created for consumer applications, Internet-scale technologies are changing the way data center infrastructure is being engineered, deployed and managed.

This table below shows the differences between traditional enterprise applications and the new world of Internet-scale applications.

 

Traditional Enterprise Applications

Internet Scale Applications

Scale-up expansion

Scale-out architecture

High availability through redundancy

Designed for failure

Applications-specific hardware

Off-the-shelf hardware

 

A tremendous amount of innovation has occurred in all aspects of the data center to address the changing needs of compute, storage and networking. However, there has traditionally been a lack of innovation in servers – the workhorse of the modern day data center. New servers were essentially the same server brought to market in a different packages with a new processor, but the fundamentals remained the same. Hence, data centers have all been architected the same way. However, in 2010, AMD’s SeaMicro technology was launched and it has become one of the most significant innovations for data center servers in recent history. Its innovative design fundamentally increases computing, storage and networking capabilities in a data center, resulting in better application performance and reduced operating costs.

 

AMD’s groundbreaking SeaMicro technology is specifically designed to address the next-generation of data center computing. The SM15000™ microserver, with its patented Freedom™ Fabric technology, provides OpenStack and other applications the compute, storage and networking flexibility necessary in an integrated package of 64 servers and 1.28 Tbps of throughput in 10 rack units. This technology enables data centers to be optimized for compute (Nova), storage (Swift) or networking (Quantum). Whether it is bare metal (Ironic, a.k.a. OpenStack on OpenStack or OOO) or virtualization, the SeaMicro SM15000 provides scale-out capabilities using off-the-shelf components, and is capable of reducing an operation’s expense by up to 50 percent.

 

OpenStack’s future is far from certain, but what is assured is the growth of the Internet and continuous innovation for both consumer and enterprise services. The key determinant of OpenStack’s success will be whether the OpenStack community can coalesce and create a foundational set of applications so that companies do not need to create departments for OpenStack’s deployment and management. The current version, Havana, is a big step forward, and the goal posts are visible on the horizon. Deploying OpenStack on AMD’s SeaMicro SM15000 will accelerate a company’s efforts to reduce licensing costs and realize the benefits of an open source solution. The unique fabric-based design, dense form factor and leading energy efficiency makes the SM15000 one of the industry’s best choices for a successful OpenStack deployment.

 

Young-Sae Song is Corporate Vice President of Product Marketing at Data Center Server Solutions for AMD. In this role, he leads the outbound marketing, branding, and demand generation functions for AMD’s push into next generation fabric based computing systems.


*Originally Posted by chorig in AMD Business on Feb 11, 2014 2:20:10 PM

AMD FirePro professional graphics made some noise at SolidWorks World (Booth# 201) in San Diego, California to reveal the latest and greatest for attendees at the annual event.

SolidWorks-World-hang-glider.jpg

AMD showed some amazing professional solutions designed to help users get the most from SolidWorks®. Along with Dell and its Dell Precision™ workstations, AMD demonstrated a range of certified professional solutions for use in the office, on the road or in the cloud.

 

Here’s a quick overview of the AMD FirePro graphics showcase:

 

  • Advanced Visualization: Helping professionals get the most from their SolidWorks experience, AMD demonstrated how AMD FirePro professional graphics enable advance visualization with powerful features like RealView and OIT (order of independent transparency) as well as virtual scenes in 3DVIA.

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  • Consumer vs. Professional: Attendees discovered the benefits of going professional with AMD FirePro graphics and access outstanding performance and stability, as well as advanced features and 3D settings in SolidWorks -- not possible with consumer graphics cards.

SolidWorks-World-14-017.jpg

  • Dell Precision™ Workstations: AMD collaborated with Dell to exhibit SolidWorks applications.
  • SolidWorks in the Cloud: Powered by the newly certified AMD FirePro

SolidWorks-World-14-0061.jpg

 

AMD FirePro™ R5000 remote graphics is the only single-card remote graphics solution that features an on-board PCoIP processor and is certified for SolidWorks® 2014, 2013 and 20121. The AMD FirePro R5000 combines a professional grade graphics processing unit (GPU) and the Teradici TERA2240 PCoIP host processor into a single-slot PCIe® card, the only such stand-alone solution in the market.  The AMD FirePro R5000 is designed for mainstream CAD/CAM/CAE workflows, and can support up to four remote displays for efficient multi-tasking. The AMD FirePro R5000 can be deployed and centrally managed in the data center, enabling a full workstation computing experience for users over the corporate network. Or it can be deployed in a desktop at the user’s desk. Either way, the system can be configured so the end user can access their desktop and designs from a variety of devices, from anywhere over the Internet. 

 

For more information on AMD FirePro graphics solutions, visit: www.fireprographics.com

 

Rob Jamieson is an ISV Alliance Manager for 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.

1 http://www.solidworks.com/sw/support/videocardtesting.html?PHPSESSID=718ff3ababe9708b0cc3fe9139879411


*Originally Posted by System Admin in AMD Business on Feb 5, 2014 9:02:30 AM

The Linley Group, a prestigious semiconductor analyst firm, has named the Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) its Best Processor Technology in its prestigious annual Analysts' Choice awards.

The HSA Foundation, which includes AMD, ARM, Imagination, Mediatek, Qualcomm, Samsung, Texas Instruments and others, has been driving the development of the HSA specification, an organisation that sets the standard for HSA-featured parts. The Linley Group's recognition of HSA as a key processor technology coupled to the HSA Foundation's roster of top-tier semiconductor vendors and software houses highlights the wide industry acceptance that HSA will be a key technology for the semiconductor industry.

It is not a surprise that the Linley Group gave HSA its Best Processor Technology award after considering the technologies that make up HSA. With Heterogeneous Unified Memory Access (hUMA), the HSA Runtime Infrastructure and the ability for processors to allocate tasks to the core that is most appropriate for the workload without developer or user interaction, HSA finally delivers on the promise of heterogeneous compute.

AMD isn't the only semiconductor vendor to see the value in HSA. The HSA Foundation has a number of top-tier hardware vendors including ARM, Imagination, LG, MediaTek, Qualcomm, Samsung and Texas Instruments along with a slew of software houses, including Canonical and Oracle.

HSA has such a wide industry following because it breaks down the walled gardens of compute, with a single processor having multiple compute engines that accelerate particular workloads. Traditionally, developers had to target which compute engine they wanted their code to run, however HSA removes this allowing the developer to focus on creating compelling user experiences.

The work done by the HSA Foundation is being realised in silicon. In January, AMD released the “Kaveri” Accelerated Processing Unit  for desktop (APU), the industry’s first processor to have HSA features. AMD's “Kaveri” APU is a watershed product for the semiconductor industry, combining AMD's “Steamroller” architecture coupled to a GPU based on the latest AMD GCN architecture along with HSA features such as hUMA.

AMD is proud that its work as part of the HSA Foundation has helped HSA receive this prestigious award from a highly respected independent semiconductor expert.


Lawrence Latif is a Manager of Technical Communications 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.

*Originally Posted by llatif in AMD Business on Feb 4, 2014 6:25:52 AM

By Cameron Swen, Strategic Marketing Manager, AMD

 

Cameron Swen Headshot_cropped.jpgBack in the late 80’s I worked my way through my undergrad as a CNC machine operator for a manufacturer. Since then, I have only been a stone’s throw away from manufacturing.  I started as a systems engineer in a product company working with manufacturers to build chassis, populate motherboards and assemble systems for us.  Then I later became a product marketing manager working with ODMs to design devices into their products.  Now, in my current role, as the Strategic Marketing Manager focused on Industrial Control and Automation at AMD, one of my primary responsibilities is to track the existing and developing trends that are prevalent in Industrial Control and Automation applications.

 

There are many different sources for information on these trends which include my personal experience and exposure to manufacturing operations, research studies, a variety of periodicals, numerous whitepapers, and webinars from a wide range of vendors. Taking all of this information and filtering out the individual opinions to drill down to the most relevant and reliable information can be a daunting task.  However, what I have learned is that there are nine existing and developing trends that seem to be having the most influence on manufacturing operations and industrial control and automation applications.  These trends include: efficiency, sustainability, connectivity, security, usability, safety, integration, scalability, and reliability.

 

While there is certainly overlap in both the causes and the effects of these trends, and it can be argued whether these are good or bad trends, the bottom line is that these trends are driving the industry.  In some cases they are helping to drive resurgence of the American manufacturing industry.  In other cases they are helping to improve working conditions in factories.  In most cases, these trends are helping to make manufacturers more agile, eco friendly, and ultimately, more competitive.  Thus, I am working on figuring out what I can do to help drive these trends into the products that are being developed to serve industrial control and automation applications.  Whether you are directly involved in manufacturing, or just a stone’s throw away, take a look at my webinar to learn a little bit more about each of these trends and think about whether you should be considering them in the operations you control and products you design.

 

Cameron Swen is a Strategic Marketing Manager for Industrial Control and Automation in the Embedded Solutions 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.

 

*Originally Posted by guest_blogger in AMD Business on Jan 29, 2014 3:02:31 AM

AMD's rich history in server-class silicon includes a number of notable firsts including the first 64-bit x86 architecture and true multi-core x86 processors. AMD adds to that history by announcing that its revolutionary AMD Opteron™ A-series 64-bit ARM processors, codenamed “Seattle,” will be sampling this quarter.

AMD Opteron A-Series processors combine AMD's expertise in delivering server-class silicon with ARM's trademark low-power architecture and contributing to the Open Source software ecosystem that is rapidly growing around the ARM 64-bit architecture. AMD Opteron A-Series processors make use of ARM's 64-bit ARMv8 architecture to provide true server-class features in a power efficient solution.

AMD plans for the AMD Opteron™ A1100 processors to be available in the second half of 2014 with four or eight ARM Cortex A57 cores, up to 4MB of shared Level 2 cache and 8MB of shared Level 3 cache. The AMD Opteron A-Series processor supports up to 128GB of DDR3 or DDR4 ECC memory as unbuffered DIMMs, registered DIMMs or SODIMMs.

The ARMv8 architecture is the first from ARM to have 64-bit support, something that AMD brought to the x86 market in 2003 with the AMD Opteron processor. Not only can the ARMv8-based Cortex A-57 architecture address large pools of memory, it has been designed from the ground up to provide the optimal balance of performance and power efficiency to address the broad spectrum of scale-out data center workloads.

With more than a decade of experience in designing server-class solutions silicon, AMD took the ARM Cortex A57 core, added a server-class memory controller, and included features resulting in a processor that meets the demands of scale-out workloads. A requirement of scale-out workloads is high performance connectivity, and the AMD Opteron A1100 processor has extensive integrated I/O, including eight PCI Express Gen 3 lanes, two 10 GB/s Ethernet and eight SATA 3 ports.

Scale-out workloads are becoming critical building blocks in today's data centers. These workloads scale over hundreds or thousands of servers, making power efficient performance critical in keeping total cost of ownership (TCO) low. The AMD Opteron A-Series meets the demand of these workloads through intelligent silicon design and by supporting a number of operating system and software projects.

As part of delivering a server-class solution, AMD has invested in the software ecosystem that will support AMD Opteron A-Series processors. AMD is a gold member of the Linux Foundation, the organisation that oversees the development of the Linux kernel, and is a member of Linaro, a significant contributor to the Linux kernel. Alongside collaboration with the Linux Foundation and Linaro, AMD itself is listed as a top 20 contributor to the Linux kernel. A number of operating system vendors have stated they will support the 64-bit ARM ecosystem, including Canonical, Red Hat and SUSE, while virtualization will be enabled through KVM and Xen.

Operating system support is supplemented with programming language support, with Oracle and the community-driven OpenJDK porting versions of Java onto the 64-bit ARM architecture. Other popular languages that will run on AMD Opteron A-Series processors include Perl, PHP, Python and Ruby. The extremely popular GNU C compiler and the critical GNU C Library have already been ported to the 64-bit ARM architecture.

Through the combination of kernel support and development tools such as libraries, compilers and debuggers, the foundation has been set for developers to port applications to a rapidly growing ecosystem.

As AMD Opteron A-Series processors are well suited to web hosting and big data workloads, AMD is a gold sponsor of the Apache Foundation, the organisation that manages the Hadoop and HTTP Server projects. Up and down the software stack, the ecosystem is ready for the data center revolution that will take place when AMD Opteron A-Series are deployed.

Soon, AMD's partners will start to realise what a true server-class 64-bit ARM processor can do. By using AMD's Opteron A-Series Development Kit, developers can contribute to the fast growing software ecosystem that already includes operating systems, compilers, hypervisors and applications. Combining AMD's rich history in designing server-class solutions with ARM's legendary low-power architecture, the Opteron A-Series ushers in the era of personalised performance.

 

Lawrence Latif is the Manager of Technical Communications 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. This blog contains forward-looking statements concerning AMD, and features of AMD’s future products, the ability of AMD to win in traditional server segments with new Arm-based products in 2014, the benefits from AMD’s new technology partnerships and the timing of future products that incorporate AMD’s products, which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are commonly identified by words such as "would," "may," "expects," "believes," "plans," "intends," "projects," and other terms with similar meaning. Investors are cautioned that the forward-looking statements in this document are based on current beliefs, assumptions and expectations, speak only as of the date of this blog and involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.


*Originally Posted by llatif in AMD Business on Jan 28, 2014 1:34:04 PM

Last November students from Bentley and Northeastern Universities entered the prestigious Student Cluster Challenge competition at the Supercomputing Conference in Denver, Colorado. The team participated in the Commodity Track, which had strict power and budgetary constraints, forcing competitors to use off-the-shelf hardware. In order to meet these, the team chose AMD's A10 Accelerated Processing Units (APU) as the foundation for their cluster.


Not only did the team win, but it beat a number of teams that had double the power available to them and unlimited budget. To see what they did, read AMD A-Series APUs power Bentley and Northeastern university students' Cluster Competition submission to glory at Super Computing 2013.

 

The Bentley and Northeastern students were able to achieve this outstanding feat through a combination of hard work and picking the right tools for the job. The team was the only one to use APUs, while other competitors made use of traditional CPUs, and in the case of two teams, pairing them with consumer GPUs.


Since 2011, AMD's A-Series APUs have provided compelling performance and value for money by combining multiple x86 CPU cores and a Radeon GPU on a single chip. APUs deliver stunning visuals and immense, power-efficient compute capability while supporting the OpenCL™ programming language – a great combination for desktops, laptops and tablets. Students from Bentley and Northeastern have now shown that APUs can also serve as the basis for cost-effective, power efficient high performance computing cluster.


But what makes an APU good for HPC applications? AMD's Shankar Viswanathan, an engineer who has worked on several generations of AMD's APU architecture and provided advice to the Bentley and Northeastern team, explained some details around the hardware and software that makes an AMD APU a compute powerhouse.

 

  • The APU's memory architecture - “The APU allows very low latency transfer of data processing from CPU to GPU and vice versa. Due to the APU's implementation of an on-die memory controller, the latency is lower than if it were on a discrete GPU that used the PCI-Express bus.”
  • AMD Turbo Core - This allows power to be shifted between CPU and GPU depending on load. Viswanathan explains, “This technology allowed the Bentley and Northeastern team to use the same hardware for both the CPU intensive application as well as the GPU focused one. In one of the applications they even did some initial serial processing on the CPU and then enabled the GPU to do all the data parallel operations. Turbo core allowed them to really boost the speed when only one of the CPU or GPU was active.”

 

Going into detail on AMD Turbo Core, Viswanathan said, “The technology allows CPU clock speeds to be increased dynamically when encountering execution scenarios that are primarily suited to the CPU. Turbo Core can also boost GPU frequency when executing GPU intensive tasks. This versatility is crucial in a dollar and power constrained environment such as the Student Cluster Competition, but the benefit can extend to some HPC workloads in industry and academia".

 

And with AMD's future APUs sporting Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) features, Viswanathan said that the APU will offer great performance potential for the HPC community. “One of the main advantages of using AMD APUs for HPC workloads with HSA technology is that it allows both the CPU cores and the GPU to collaboratively process huge data sets, thus accelerating the program execution.”.

 

Having top-notch hardware is only part of the formula when squeezing optimal performance out of a HPC cluster, with software also playing a crucial role. Viswanathan pointed out three tools that can help developers extract the most from an AMD APU.

 

  • AMD Core Math Library – a free optimised and threaded math library that provides functions such as BLAS, LAPACK, FFTs and random number generators;
  • AMD APP SDK – helps developers to leverage programming languages such as OpenCL, Bolt, C++ AMP, or Aparapi to access the compute power within the GPU;
  • AMD OpenCL driver - optimised for AMD APUs.

 

AMD's A-Series APUs have long been compelling processors for desktops, laptops and tablets, but the combination of a powerful multi-core x86 CPU and a Radeon GPU on a single die, coupled with tremendous software support, makes it a great choice for HPC workloads. With HSA, APUs will deliver even more compelling power efficient performance at an affordable price.

 

Lawrence Latif is a blogger and technical communications representative 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.


*Originally Posted by llatif in AMD Business on Jan 3, 2014 5:30:36 AM

Opteron_6300.jpgAMD has been giving customers what they want since 2003 with our AMD Opteron™ Series processors, one of the industry’s most powerful, energy-efficient and cost-effective processors. Today, AMD continues to give enterprise users what they want with two new AMD Opteron™ 6300 processors, codenamed “Warsaw” that are optimized for the AMD Open 3.0 Open Compute platform.

 

The AMD Opteron™ 6338P and 6370P are designed to meet demanding performance per-watt, per-dollar requirements that are at the heart of server buying decisions. Both processors are being released today with 12 and 16 x86 cores, respectively, and are based on the proven "Piledriver" architecture and supporting quad-channel DDR3 memory.

For customers deploying hundreds or thousands of servers, the little details add up, and AMD designed the AMD Opteron 6338P and 6370P in response to customer feedback. Customers wanted a high-performance, power-efficient and cost-effective enterprise-grade processor that meets the growing requirements of virtualized workloads, such as complex data analysis and xSQL database servers– exactly what AMD Opteron 6338P and 6370P are best at.

The AMD Opteron 6338P is a 12-core processor with a base frequency of 2.3 GHz, which can run at up to 2.8 GHz using AMD Turbo CORE technology. The AMD Opteron 6370P is a 16-core processor with a base frequency of 2.0 GHz that can be boosted to 2.5 GHz with AMD Turbo CORE technology. Both processors have a power band of 99 watts.

For many enterprises, “rip-and-replace” is not a viable option, so our goal is to extend the useful life of existing infrastructures. That’s why the AMD Opteron 6338P and 6370P processors maintain socket and software compatibility with existing AMD Opteron 6300 processors. This enables enterprises to drop the new Opteron processors into servers that already run G34 socket AMD Opteron 6300 processors, including the AMD Open 3.0 Open Compute platform.

Facebook started the Open Compute Project to bring “open source” hardware to the fore, similar to open source software. The goal is to provide a forum where companies can contribute efficient and economical data center infrastructure ideas and designs. AMD's long-term contribution to the Open Compute Project manifests itself in the AMD Open 3.0 platform that offers significant total cost of ownership (TCO) savings for some workloads. The TCO of a server encompasses the hardware, power to run as well as cool the systems, and support and management.

The Open Compute Project offers enterprises the opportunity to pick pieces of equipment from multiple vendors and have them work together as they are designed to a single specification. It also helps unburden enterprises from management tools that only work with a single vendor's hardware. AMD's Open 3.0 platform provides best of breed hardware, combining more than a decade of experience in producing 64-bit x86 processors with a platform that meets open industry standards. All of this translates into a win for the customer with increased choice, amazing manageability and outstanding TCO.

AMD Opteron 6338P and 6370P processors are available from Penguin and Avnet and have been qualified for use in Sugon and Supermicro servers.

 

 

Lawrence Latif is the Manager of Technical Communications 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.


*Originally Posted by llatif in AMD Business on Jan 22, 2014 7:28:00 AM