Monday, August 3rd 2015

AMD Details Exascale Heterogenous Processor (EHP) for Supercomputers

AMD published a paper with the IEEE for a new high-density computing device concept, which it calls the Exascale Heterogenous Processor or (EHP). It may be a similar acronym to APU (accelerated processing unit), but is both similar and different to it in many ways, which make it suitable for high-density supercomputing nodes. The EHP is a chip that has quite a bit in common with the recently launched "Fiji" GPU, that drives the company's flagship Radeon R9 Fury X graphics card.

The EHP is a combination of a main die, housing a large number of CPU cores, a large GPGPU unit, and an interposer, which connects the main die to 32 GB of HBM2 memory that's on-package, and is used as both main-memory and memory for the integrated GPGPU unit, without memory partitioning, using hUMA (heterogeneous unified memory access). The CPU component consists of 32 cores likely based on the "Zen" micro-architecture, using eight "Zen" quad-core subunits. There's no word on the CU (compute unit) count of the GPGPU core. The EHP in itself will be highly scalable. AMD hopes to get a working sample of this chip out by 2016-17.
Source: Bitsandchips.it
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28 Comments on AMD Details Exascale Heterogenous Processor (EHP) for Supercomputers

#1
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
I knew it! This was the natural direction for AMD to go with the interposer. I just hope they can make bigger interposers because the physical dimensions of it are their current, major limitation.

Maybe AMD is planning to do similar for consumer APUs on a new socket?
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#2
night.fox
by having this basically you dont need rams anymore? meaning that you just need motherboard with PCI slot?
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#3
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Why would you need a PCI slot? The GPU is on there with the CPU. All it needs is storage (SATA/SAS controller with ports) and connectivity (USB, DisplayPort, and RJ45 with respective controllers).
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#4
night.fox
well not only GPU you can put on PCI slot right? there is sound card, wireless network, etc etc.....
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#5
john_
You would need RAM. Probably the DDR4 will be like what swap on a disk is today. You would go out, buy your new shiny APU with, for example 8GB of HBM2 and 1024 stream processors and then add 32GB of DDR4 and your new shiny discrete GPU. The DDR4 RAM will be used after the HBM2 is full, the way swap on the disk is used today and as far as the discrete GPU, thanks to the multi adapter feature of DX12 will be used together with the integrated one.

This looks really really interesting.
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#6
tabascosauz
This makes a lot of sense. If AMD can do that many un-CMT cores on an interposer right next to the GPU and DRAM, then consumer Zen APUs will be a walk in the park in terms of design.
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#7
thevoiceofreason
Outside of scientific supercomputers what's the use of a server apu like that? A video transcoding/streaming blade I guess, what else? I'm worried the market for this is rather niche.
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#8
tabascosauz
thevoiceofreason said:
Outside of scientific supercomputers what's the use of a server apu like that? A video transcoding/streaming blade I guess, what else? I'm worried the market for this is rather niche.
You could also brand the E3 v4 family as pretty niche given that all of them have the best of Intel's iGPUs and are pretty expensive.
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#9
john_
thevoiceofreason said:
Outside of scientific supercomputers what's the use of a server apu like that? A video transcoding/streaming blade I guess, what else? I'm worried the market for this is rather niche.
Think of a less powerful design targeting the typical home user, with only 4-8 Zen cores, 4-8GB of HBM2 and 1024 stream processors at - I don't know - $300-$400. If Zen IPC is close to Intel's, the 8GB of HBM2 can boost performance of the system, especially when playing games, and the integrated GPU can be used together with a discrete GPU, then you have a much more powerful and advanced version of an APU that can be the base of a system that can be expanded in the future with simple upgrades. It's what someone can do today when buying for example an A8 7600 as his base system with 4GB RAM. He can expand his RAM to 8GBs or more and add a discrete GPU to take advantage of Dual Graphics, but without hopefully the major problems of an FM2+ APU that is low IPC performance, huge bottleneck on the memory bandwidth that limits iGPUs performance and the inability to upgrade to something more than a quad core.
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#10
Bytales
thevoiceofreason said:
Outside of scientific supercomputers what's the use of a server apu like that? A video transcoding/streaming blade I guess, what else? I'm worried the market for this is rather niche.
Whats the use ?
Playing Mineswrepper in Windows 10, in DX12m in triple 4k, thats one of the uses i see!

Would luve to upgrade my dual Xeon v3 system to a dual or quad of these ! That might be something worth upgrading to !
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#11
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
thevoiceofreason said:
Outside of scientific supercomputers what's the use of a server apu like that? A video transcoding/streaming blade I guess, what else? I'm worried the market for this is rather niche.
Imagine $500 AMD processors that replace the need for a $200 CPU, $200 in memory, and $400 GPU. That GPU will meet or exceed anything on the market today because it would be manufacturered on GloFlo 22nm instead of TSMC 28nm.

Application: HTPCs, next Nintendo console, Steam Machines, and so on.
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#12
Bytales
AMD should really start to do something about the fact that they can build CPUs and GPUs and this would be a good example of it, a real APU, i would say !
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#13
thevoiceofreason
Think of a less powerful design targeting the typical home user, with only 4-8 Zen cores, 4-8GB
Imagine $500 AMD processors that replace the need for a $200 CPU, $200 in memory, and $400 GPU.
Sure, downscaled version of this for a consumer use is interesting, but the die in the picture has 32 cores and talks about a connectivity fabric - it's clearly a server/HPC product. Again, is there a market for it?

Also, NASDAQ:AMD appreciated some 20% last week, is there something I don't know about?
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#14
HumanSmoke
night.fox said:
by having this basically you dont need rams anymore?
Not by a long shot. Current designs are already using in excess of 2GB RAM per CPU core.
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#15
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
thevoiceofreason said:
Sure, downscaled version of this for a consumer use is interesting, but the die in the picture has 32 cores and talks about a connectivity fabric - it's clearly a server/HPC product. Again, is there a market for it?
HPC, yes, because the GPU can crunch numbers faster than the CPU and this is more GPU than CPU.

Lowend consumer, yes, because just like the Nano coming out, moving memory onto the same die as the GPU and CPU translates to big power savings which can make AMD competitive again for products that need a series GPU (think gaming tablets).

Highend consumer, yes, because it allows a mid-high end system to fit in a much smaller package making it cheaper and more appealing for HTPCs and gaming systems.

Special orders (like Nintendo), yes, because only AMD can offer a package that includes a ridiculously strong GPU with x86 CPU.

thevoiceofreason said:
Also, NASDAQ:AMD appreciated some 20% last week, is there something I don't know about?
Markets were generally up the last week and because AMD's stocks are valued so low, that translated to a pretty big jump for them. I don't think AMD said or did anything to cause it themselves.
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#16
64K
thevoiceofreason said:
Sure, downscaled version of this for a consumer use is interesting, but the die in the picture has 32 cores and talks about a connectivity fabric - it's clearly a server/HPC product. Again, is there a market for it?

Also, NASDAQ:AMD appreciated some 20% last week, is there something I don't know about?
Yeah, AMD did take back some ground last week. They are still down over the past month from a high of $2.50 to $1.93 on Friday. Still, it's heading in the right direction for now. What would do AMD share price a world of good is for AMD to show a profit in Q3 or Q4 instead of huge losses. That would boost investor confidence more than anything else.
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#17
FrustratedGarrett
They will probably use 10nm silicon to fabricate these chips. 8 Zen quad cores and 32 GCN clusters is way too much logic to fit into a normal size 14nm chip. That said, this thing looks powerful!
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#18
Caring1
thevoiceofreason said:
Sure, downscaled version of this for a consumer use is interesting, but the die in the picture has 32 cores and talks about a connectivity fabric - it's clearly a server/HPC product. Again, is there a market for it?
Crunching machines at home.
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#19
jigar2speed
If AMD are able to create an APU series powerful enough to justify avoiding discrete graphic card till Full HD resolution and work in close performance parity of Intel CPU, i don't think any body is stopping them from winning the market share back. BTW this design on paper does look like they might have something powerful & similar to what i said but then AMD products always look monsters on paper, so i can't blame anyone to doubt what they are promising.
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#20
Analog_Interface
AAAAHHHHH!!!!

So next gen of next gen APU is supposed to be like this then?
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#21
HumanSmoke
Shamonto Hasan Easha said:
AAAAHHHHH!!!!

So next gen of next gen APU is supposed to be like this then?
Not necessarily....leaning towards very unlikely.
Firstly this a HPC only design, and secondly this little teaser of an article was lifted from an abstract article published a month ago. The opening sentence carries the salient fact:
This article provides an overview for AMD's vision for exascale computing, and in particular how heterogeneity will play a central role in realizing this vision
This is AMD's vision. There are no time frames appended or implied, nor any implication that the design is intended for anything other than HPC deployment. In short, it is AMD's current thinking of what they think will be their future HPC focus.
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#22
Para_Franck
That would make a crazy CAD / FEA machine, just add a big fat SSD and a healthy amount of back-up HDDs!

This news defenetly caught my attention!
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#23
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
Funny how AMD's stock went up 0.25 USD today (~12-13%). I really hate this stupid PR game. Remember how it was just as low as 1.50? It's happening again, we'll see $4 then a drop. If you bought a couple weeks ago, you're on the gravy train to a 100% return. :p On a serious note, I hate how all this stupid PR BS actually impacts stock price. It's not like AMD is actually worth anything more because they got high and drunk one evening and thought up something cool sounding. :)
HumanSmoke said:
This is AMD's vision.
I'm sure it's worth the boost in stock price. :laugh:
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#24
Arjai
I can see where you're coming from, @Aquinus . But I can also appreciate what this HBM thing can be. I am on the fence w/ AMD stock. I believe there is some potential for a decent return, when, I cannot tell.

I won't have the money to invest, for another week+ so, I am going to have some conversation and do some research with my Broker. Methinks, if I lose a Hundo, oh well. If that hundo grows, bonus.
:cool:
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