Archive for the ‘New Product Announcements’ Category

Pulling it all together, integrated updates

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

I know I am behind a little bit on updating this blog.

Today I made significant progress in this regard. I finally integrated all my social networks in one place and linked them all to this blog.

So when I make publish a new post, it is automatically updated to my facebook, linkedin, twitter, googletalk, yahoo and live. I think that’s enough distribution, isn’t it? :)

Stay tuned for an update on the new storage we announced recently.

HPC Systems is now QLogic Infiniband SignatureHPC Partner

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

We are proud to announce that HPC Systems, Inc. is now QLogic SignatureHPC Partner for Infiniband products.

That means our employees, both sales and technical, are certified in Infiniband technologies. Our sales team will be able to recommend to you the best Infiniband solution for your needs and our technical team will deliver on those commitments.

We have always been ahead in delivering technically sound and well designed Infiniband Solutions to our customers in academic, research, federal govt and cfd space. Our partnership and certification with QLogic takes us one more step ahead in delivering the best in High Peformance Computing to our customers.


Light at the end of the tunnel for AMD with Istanbul

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

Intel’s Nehalem is looming on the horizon and promises to take the crown in every aspect of enterprise & high performance computing. Intel has been talking about Nehalem for so long that it almost seems like Nehalem is a couple of years old even though the launch has not yet happened. Talk about marketing!

AMD has taken quite a beating with Intel’s new Core micro-architecture featured in its latest server processors (starting from Intel Xeon Woodcrest to Intel Harpertown). AMD Opteron Shanghai managed to hold its ground in the 4P space and lost a lot of market share on the DP space. Or in Intel’s latest terminology, EP space (Efficient Platform). The MP is now called the EX or Expandable Platform.

Istanbul, the next Opteron series from AMD features six cores and a faster HyperTransport interconnect. There have been a lot of official & unofficial news on Istanbul online in the recent past. AMD is maintaining its platform compatibility with Istanbul as well. If you already own a Shanghai or Barcelona based Opteron server, you should be able to upgrade to Istanbul processors with as little effort as a BIOS upgrade. The only requirement on the board being that it support Split Plane Power, also known as Dual Dynamic Power Management feature. DDPM allows the integrated memory controller and processor cores to run at varying levels of performance thus leading to enhanced power management.

Initial evaluations of Istanbul stand to prove that Opteron is still relevant in the High Performance (HPC) & Enterprise markets and is a strong competitor to Intel’s Nehalem processor. An Opteron 4P platform (four socket, quad core, 16way) is demonstrating up to 40 GB/s of memory bandwidth compared to the ~25 GB/s of AMD Shanghai Opteron system. Read the full report from TechReport here. Istanbul Opteron CPUs feature a number of new technologies that make it a strong contender for the Nehalem CPUs. HyperTransport 3.0 being the most notable enhancement, along with AMD’s implementation of a snoop filter, HTAssist.

Following is a brief video about the platform compatibility between Shanghai & Istanbul processors. AMD has been delivering platform compatibility so much better than Intel for a long time and the savings to the end user are tremendous. Talk about upgrading to a newer & better processor in under 10 mins!

Compare that with the costs involved in replacing an existing server with another brand new server. And talk about the price of DDR3 memory that Nehalem needs. DDR2-800 that Istanbul will use has pretty much become main stream and the pricing should be very competitive compared with the DDR3 modules. AMD has let Intel take the responsibility of stabilizing DDR3 costs and will probably position a DDR3 enabled CPU at the right time.

So what does AMD have going for it right now with Istanbul:

Bad economy – Businesses & customers would be more sensitive to pricing. Istanbul provides the best value for customers who already own a Shanghai or Barcelona based server. In-socket replacement, very low downtime for upgrades and better performance with just a change of CPU.

DDR2 memory – DDR2 memory is now priced very competitively against DDR3. This brings down the overall cost of the system. Istanbul will use DDR2 instead of the more costly DDR3 memory. This probably will be a repetition of the same situation as FullyBuffered DIMMs. FBDIMMs were costly & hot degrading the overall value of the Core micro-architecture. DDR3 may do the same for Intel’s Nehalem given the current circumstances.

Tried & Tested – AMD Opteron has had the integrated memory controller for a long time. Intel’s Nehalem platforms are brand new with a totally new architecture & components. New Micro-architecture, new memory architecture, new memory technology & other minor new components like power distribution & supporting chipsets – bring so many new components together & its hard to get everything right the first time. Customers will probably take a wait & see attitude towards the Nehalem platform than go gaga over the latest & greatest

Here is a brief video talking about DDR2 & DDR3


Here is another video demonstrating a 4 socket AMD Opteron system much like our own A1403 Quad Opteron 16way server and HiperStation 4000.


And stay tuned to see a 48-core server soon!


HPC Systems at SuperComputing 08 (SC08)

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

We were at booth number: 1726

On display was:

HiPerStation 8000 with 2X NVIDIA Tesla C1060

Here is a brief video of our exhibit at SC08. The demo shows couple of codes from the NVIDIA CUDA SDK and an instance of NAMD ported to CUDA .

AMD announces 45nm Opteron (Shanghai) availability

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

AMD today announced general availability of the next generation 45nm AMD Opteron Quad core processors. The official press release is available here.

Major improvements in the new Opteron architecture (code named Shanghai) in this release are as follows:

  • 45nm Manufacturing Process
  • Larger Cache
  • Support for DDR2 800 MHz
  • Upcoming enhancements for HyperTransport 3.0 (HT3)
  • Other micro-architecture enhancements like
    • AMD SmartFetch
    • AMD CoolCore
  • Maintains platform compatibility leading to better return on investment.

What benefits can you expect from the new processor?

Energy Efficiency without sacrificing Performance: The new generation of AMD Opteron processors utilize the latest AMD 45nm manufacturing process. This process allows greater clock speeds leading to higher core frequencies without dissipating too much heat. As per AMD’s announcement, new generation processors deliver 35% more performance while drawing up to 35% less power. The new manufacturing process also allows much higher clock speeds than the previous generation quad core processors. Over all, AMD Opteron processors combined with support for DDR2 memory offers platform level energy efficiency and 100% x86 compatibility.

Improved Application Performance: The latest generation processors feature two major enhancements affecting application performance: DDR2 800 MHz support and larger cache. The latest AMD Opteron (Shanghai) improves on the previous generation of AMD Opteron processors (Barcelona) with the support of 800 MHz DDR2 memory. This memory technology offers improved memory bandwidth over the previous generation of processors and offer much better energy efficiency than Fully Buffered DIMM (FB-DIMM) technology. A 200% increase in L3 cache to 6 MB benefits a number of applications across verticals, like databases, virtualiztion, JAVA applications, scientific applications, media applications and more. A faster memory bus combined with a larger cache with out complicated prefetching and snooping algorithms offers overall application efficiency.

HyperTransport 3.0 (HT3) Support: AMD Opteron processors provide unparalleled scalability and aggregate memory bandwidith by employing AMD DirectConnect architecture with HyperTransport. Previous generations offered a 1GHz HyperTransport link among the processors. Next generation enhancements planned for Q2 2009 include support for coherent HyperTransport 3.0 offering up to 17.6 GB/s of bandwidth for inter-processor communication. cHT3 will enahce platform scalability for systems featuring 4 or more AMD Opteron processors and will enahce application performance for DP platforms.

Micro-architecture Enhancements: The next generation 45nm AMD Opteron processor (Shanghai) also features enhancement to numerous other micro-architectural features. Some are listed below:

AMD SmartFetch: This technology allows cores to enter in to a “halt” state when the processor core becomes idle. In a ‘halt” state, the processor does not consume power and enhances power efficiency. This technology does not affect application performance in any way thus offering better power efficiency with no penalties on performance.

AMD CoolCore: This technology allows powering down selected sections of the processors. When a particular section is not being used, that section will be powered down in order to enhance power efficiency.This technology does not affect application performance in any way thus offering better power efficiency with no penalties on performance.

Enhanced Virtualization Performance: The next generation 45nm AMD Opteron processor (code named Shanghai) offers unsurpassed enhancements in virtualization performance. Combined with the architectural enhancements like 45nm manufacturing, larger cache, higher frequencies, higher memory bandwidth, cHT3 support, the new processor delivers faster “world switch” time enhancing virtual machine efficiency. AMD’s innovating AMD-V featuring Rapid Virtualization Indexing reduces overhead associated with software virtualization. L3 cache index disable proivdes improved data integrity as well.

With 45 nm AMD Opteron quad core processor (Shanghai), AMD continues to build on its platform strengths while addressing certain drawbacks in Barcelona processors. AMD Opteron (Shanghai) can be used on all systems, with a BIOS upgrade, supporting the Barcelona processors. Customers can avail themselves of the new processors with a simple in socket upgrade without the associated costs of a total hardware replacement. Application software will instantly experience the performance enhancements that come with 45nm AMD Opteron Shanghai processors.

HPC Systems, Inc. a platinum partner of AMD now supports 45nm AMD Opteron Shanghai processors across the product line. Systems featuring the latest generation of AMD Opteron processors are immediately available.

Read the press release here.

Benchmarking the A5808-32 Quad Core Opteron 8 socket 32 way

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

Our recent announcement of updated configuration for A5808-32 received a good deal of interest. The new configuration supports up to 8 Quad core AMD Opteron (Barcelona) processors and 256 GB of DDR II 667 MHz memory modules. Effectively the 8 socket system is transformed in to a 32-way Opteron system. It opens up a wide range of applications for a lot of our customers. For starters, it can become a desk side HPC system. We will shortly be announcing this system with a very unique form factor that will make it even more attractive for desk side HPC applications.

We have been seeing some really interested customers who cant wait to get one on their hands. It is a good encouragement for us to continue working on high end high performance systems.

In  order to demonstrate tangible benefits of the system configuration, we have decided to publish a number of industry standard benchmarks. As a part of this exercise, we have finalized on the following benchmarks to port, optimize and execute on A5808-32.

  • STREAM – measures memory bandwidth
  • LMBench -Measures bandwidth and latency for a number of common subsystems like memory, IO, network etc
  • SPEC CPU2006 – Measures CPU performance and system scalability for a range of real world applications
  • LLCBench – Measures sustained CPU performance, cache latencies and MPI benchmarks

We will be executing these benchmarks with various tools like GCC, SUN Studio 12, PGI and PathScale.

Keep watching for results.