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AMD unveils HPC accelerator for scientific research

AMD has released the AMD Instinct MI100 accelerator, which it claims is the world’s fastest HPC GPU and the first x86 server GPU to surpass the 10 teraflops (FP64) performance barrier.

Supported by new accelerated compute platforms from Dell, Gigabyte, HPE, and Supermicro, the MI100, combined with AMD EPYC CPUs and the ROCm 4.0 open software platform, is built on the new AMD CDNA architecture.

The AMD Instinct MI100 GPU enables a new class of accelerated systems for HPC and AI when paired with 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processors. The device offers up to 11.5 TFLOPS of peak FP64 performance for HPC and up to 46.1 TFLOPS peak FP32 Matrix performance for AI and machine learning workloads. With AMD's Matrix Core technology, the MI100 is also able to deliver a nearly 7x boost in FP16 theoretical peak floating point performance for AI training workloads compared to AMD’s prior generation accelerators.

“Today AMD takes a major step forward in the journey toward exascale computing as we unveil the AMD Instinct MI100 - the world’s fastest HPC GPU,” said Brad McCredie, corporate vice president, Data Center GPU and Accelerated Processing, AMD. “Squarely targeted toward the workloads that matter in scientific computing, our latest accelerator, when combined with the AMD ROCm open software platform, is designed to provide scientists and researchers a superior foundation for their work in HPC.”

As an open source toolset consisting of compilers, programming APIs and libraries, ROCm is used by exascale software developers to create high performance applications. ROCm 4.0 has been optimised to deliver performance at scale for MI100-based systems. ROCm 4.0 has upgraded the compiler to be open source and unified to support both OpenMP 5.0 and HIP.

PyTorch and Tensorflow frameworks, which have been optimised with ROCm 4.0, can now achieve higher performance with MI100.

“We’ve received early access to the MI100 accelerator, and the preliminary results are very encouraging. We’ve typically seen significant performance boosts, up to 2-3x compared to other GPUs,” said Bronson Messer, director of science, Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility. “What’s also important to recognize is the impact software has on performance. The fact that the ROCm open software platform and HIP developer tool are open source and work on a variety of platforms, it is something that we have been absolutely almost obsessed with since we fielded the very first hybrid CPU/GPU system.”

Author
Neil Tyler

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