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IBM Graphics Hardware

NVIDIA Announces Tesla K40 GPU Accelerator and IBM Partnership In Supercomputing 59

Posted by samzenpus
from the greased-lightning dept.
MojoKid writes "The supercomputing conference SC13 kicks off this week and Nvidia is kicking off their own event with the launch of a new GPU and a strategic partnership with IBM. Just as the GTX 780 Ti was the full consumer implementation of the GK110 GPU, the new K40 Tesla card is the supercomputing / HPC variant of the same core architecture. The K40 picks up additional clock headroom and implements the same variable clock speed threshold that has characterized Nvidia's consumer cards for the past year, for a significant overall boost in performance. The other major shift between Nvidia's previous gen K20X and the new K40 is the amount of on-board RAM. K40 packs a full 12GB and clocks it modestly higher to boot. That's important because datasets are typically limited to on-board GPU memory (at least, if you want to work with any kind of speed). Finally, IBM and Nvidia announced a partnership to combine Tesla GPUs and Power CPUs for OpenPOWER solutions. The goal is to push the new Tesla cards as workload accelerators for specific datacenter tasks. According to Nvidia's release, Tesla GPUs will ship alongside Power8 CPUs, which are currently scheduled for a mid-2014 release date. IBM's venerable architecture is expected to target a 4GHz clock speed and offer up to 12 cores with 96MB of shared L3 cache. A 12-core implementation would be capable of handling up to 96 simultaneous threads. The two should make for a potent combination."
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NVIDIA Announces Tesla K40 GPU Accelerator and IBM Partnership In Supercomputing

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  • Nvidia has sidetracked OpenCL for CUDA?

    • by Shinobi (19308)

      All the major players are putting aside OpenCL. AMD is betting on Mantle for example.

      • But Mantle is an alternative to OpenGL.

      • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday November 18, 2013 @01:02PM (#45456021) Journal
        "Mantle", at least according to the press puffery, is aimed at being an alternative to OpenGL/Direct3d, akin to 3DFX's old "Glide"; but for AMD gear.

        CUDA vs. OpenCL seems to be an example of the ongoing battle between an entrenched and supported; but costly, proprietary implementation, vs. a somewhat patchy solution that isn't as mature; but has basically everybody except Nvidia rooting for it.

        "Mantle", like 'Glide' before it, seems to be the eternal story of the cyclical move between high-performance/low-complexity(but low compatibility) minimally abstracted approaches, and highly complex, highly abstracted; but highly portable/compatible approaches. At present, since AMD is doing the GPU silicon for both consoles and a nontrivial percentage of PCs, it makes a fair amount of sense for them to offer a 'Hey, close to the metal!' solution that takes some of the heat off their drivers, makes performance on their hardware better, and so forth. If, five years from now, people are swearing at 'Mantle Wrappers' and trying to find the one magic incantation that actually causes them to emit non-broken OpenGL, though, history will say 'I told you so'.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Shinobi (19308)

          "CUDA vs. OpenCL seems to be an example of the ongoing battle between an entrenched and supported; but costly, proprietary implementation, vs. a somewhat patchy solution that isn't as mature; but has basically everybody except Nvidia rooting for it."

          Wishful thinking. Intel doesn't give a crap about OpenCL, they don't even expose their GPU's for OpenCL under Linux, and as I mentioned AMD are betting on Mantle. As for "costly", there's nothing about CUDA that is costly that isn't costly with OpenCL

          Mantle is f

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday November 18, 2013 @12:48PM (#45455919) Journal

      Nvidia has sidetracked OpenCL for CUDA?

      Nvidia has never much liked OpenCL. And why would they? They currently hold the high ground in GPU computing, with a proprietary API that only they can implement. I'd assume that they have some sort of 'OpenCL contingency plan', just in case the market shifts, or they ever want to sell a GPU to Apple ever again; but as of right now, supporting OpenCL would just be a "Sure, please, commodify me, I'd love that!" move.

      • by Khyber (864651)

        "They currently hold the high ground in GPU computing"

        And yet they still can't even get a decent fucking hashrate with CUDA, meanwhile OpenCL and AMD stomps the fuck out of them for that.

        AMD has essentially 'made' everything from Bitcoin to every game console this gen? What the hell is nVidia doing if they're so superior?

        • by Shinobi (19308)

          That's because Bitcoin mining is not something critical, AND happens to fall into the limited memory structures and computational capabilities that AMD provide. In real-world relevant computational tasks, nVidia and CUDA are dominating in ease of use, flexibility and computational throughput. Hence why HPC use Nvidia and not AMD.

          Hashrate is just a gimmick anyway, since if you're serious about it, you go with a FPGA kit.

          • by Khyber (864651)

            "That's because Bitcoin mining is not something critical,"

            I guess you don't watch C-SPAN or pay attention to Bitcoin, otherwise you'd understand it's the most valuable currency on the planet right now. When a digital string of essentially randomly generated fucking numbers is worth more than PLATINUM, you'd better pay attention.

            AMD makes you money. nVidia makes you broke and delivers not very much useful, it seems.

  • IBM is announcing that their hardware is "Open", in the sense that it has PCIe slots, and Nvidia is announcing that they'd be happy to sell hardware to the sort of price-insensitive customers who will be buying Power8 gear?

    I'm shocked.
    • by Junta (36770) on Monday November 18, 2013 @01:49PM (#45456441)

      IBM has announced willingness to license the Power8 design in much the same way that ARM licenses their stuff to a plethora of companies. IBM has seen what ARM has accomplished at the lower end in terms of having relevance in a market that might otherwise have gone to Intel given sufficient time, and sees motivation to do that in the datacenter where Intel has significantly diminished POWER footprint over the years. Intel operates at obscene margins due to the strength of their ecosystem and technology, and IBM is recognizing that it needs to build a more diverse ecosystem itself if it wants to compete with Intel. That and the runway may be very short for such an opportunity. ARM as-is is not a very useful server platform, but that gap may close quickly before IBM can move, particularly as 64-bit ARM designs start getting more prevalent.

      For nVidia, things are a bit more than 'sure we'll take more money'. nVidia spends a lot of resources on driver development and without their cooperation, using their GPU accelerator solution will get nowhere. nVidia has agreed to invest the resources to actually support Power. Here, nVidia is also feeling the pressure from Intel. Phi has promised easier development for accelerated workloads as a competitor to nVidia solutions. As yet, Phi hasn't been everything people had hoped for, but the promise of easier development today and promise for improvements later has nVidia rightly concerned about future opportunities in that space. Partnering with a company without such ambitions gives them a way to try to apply pressure against a platform that clearly has it's sights on closing the opportunity for GPU acceleration in HPC workloads. Besides, IBM has the resources to help give a boost in terms of software development tooling that nVidia may lack.

      • According to the Reg [theregister.co.uk] (page 2) Power8 is going to have some sort of memory coherence function for accelerators. Allowing the GPU to be just another first-class processor with regards to memory could be a big win, performance-wise, not to mention making it easier to program.

        The latest version of CUDA (version 6) has also just added features in the same area (unified memory mgmt). Anandtech [anandtech.com] has some more info about that.

        This thing will be beast!

  • by msobkow (48369) on Monday November 18, 2013 @01:18PM (#45456175) Homepage Journal

    Ah, the good old days.... when CPUs were measured in megahertz, and instructions took multiple clocks. :D

    Really, what was the Cray when it first came out? One vector processing unit. How many does this new NVidia board have? How much faster are they than the original Cray?

    • People spent less CPU cycles getting to the moon than are wasted every day on cat videos and facebook.
      Where's my flying car?

      • The combined computing power of the guidance computers on the space shuttle (IBM AP-101) is less than the computing power of a new "smartwatch". Where are my glasses that project information from the internet? Oh wait...
    • One of the first computers I used was a Cray Y-MP. Now the PC on which I am typing this post is about four times faster, but I miss the Cray. I could take a nap [piggynap.com] over it, try doing this on a laptop now!
    • by gman003 (1693318)

      Really, what was the Cray when it first came out? One vector processing unit. How many does this new NVidia board have? How much faster are they than the original Cray?

      2,880 "cores", each able to do one single-precision FMA per clock (double-precision takes three clocks for this card, but 24 clocks for most gaming GPUs). These are organized into fifteen "SMX Units", which have 192 ALUs apiece (with four schedulers and eight dispatch units). The exact clock rate is variable, as it will boost the clock speed above "normal" levels, thermal and power conditions permitting, but 1GHz is a good enough approximation. This comes out to about 1.92TFLOPS, 128GFLOPS per SMX, or (inte

      • by msobkow (48369)

        Now imagine a Cray-sized cabinet stuffed with those cards.

        Bwahahahahaha! Power!!!!

    • By any chance, is nVidia planning on doing an end-around on Microsoft with the graphics card hosting a full-blown operating system? 12GB of RAM gets you plenty of working space.
  • NVIDIA seems behind AMD in moving to 512-bit wide GDDR5: this K40 still has 384-bit. Also worrying is whether significant performance improvements will really be possible beyond that point. GPU code is notorious for easily becoming DRAM bandwidth limited. Cache on the GPU is very small compared to the computing resources.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      NVIDIA seems behind AMD in moving to 512-bit wide GDDR5: this K40 still has 384-bit.

      Right now memory bus width is a die size tradeoff. NVIDIA can get GK110's memory controller up to 7Gbps (GTX 780 Ti), which on a 384-bit bus makes for 336GB/sec, but relatively speaking it's a big honking memory controller. AMD's 512-bit memory controller in Hawaii isn't designed to clock up nearly as high, topping out at 5Gbps, or 320GB/sec. But it's designed to be particularly small, smaller than even AMD's old 384-bit mem

  • by ctrl-alt-canc (977108) on Monday November 18, 2013 @03:22PM (#45457301)
    Does it catch fire ?

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