[Beowulf] HP Moonshot also with AMD Kyoto

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Sat Apr 13 07:26:09 PDT 2013

(they're not talking about the signalling fabric yet)


HP talks up AMD's Kyoto despite seeing Intel as a compute workhorse

More money in AMD for HP

By Lawrence Latif

Fri Apr 12 2013, 17:32

SERVER VENDOR HP believes Intel's Centerton and Avoton processors will be
used for general purpose computing on its Moonshot servers but touted AMD's
graphics capabilities for computationally-intensive workloads.

HP launched its second generation Moonshot servers at the start of the week,
leaving many spectators surprised at the firm's decision to lead with Intel's
year-old Centerton Atom processor. Now the firm has told The INQUIRER that it
expects the Intel-based cartridges, which will include one based on Intel's
Avoton Atom in the second half of this year, to be popular for those that
rely on general purpose computing.

Paul Santeler, VP and GM of HP's Hyperscale Business, told The INQUIRER that
he believes Intel's ability to create a chip that is well suited to general
workloads will make cartridges based on its chips popular with customers.
When asked whether Intel based cartridges are seen as general purpose compute
nodes he replied, "I think so. Intel has done a very good job of optimising
their CPU design to hit that main part of the marketplace."

However Santeler did speak up for other vendors including Texas Instruments
and especially AMD. In particular he praised Texas Instruments' inclusion of
digital signal processors (DSP) on its Keystone chip and touted AMD's
graphics capabilities as being "very strong".

Santeler said, "I think other people such as AMD have got a very strong
graphics capability and that is going to be great for that solution we are
going to bring online from AMD, because it's going to be very good for doing
video transcoding, video analysis, virtual desktop infrastructure, video
gaming and I think every one of our partners bring something different to the
marketplace for us."

AMD's Moonshot cartridge, which uses a chip the firm has codenamed Kyoto, is
pencilled for arrival in the second half of 2013 and will have a TDP of 11W.
The firm said in a statement, "With the 'Kyoto' APU power consumption as low
as 11W, including the integrated GPU, we are targeting optimised total cost
of ownership for media-oriented workloads such as hosted desktop, online
gaming and image processing, to name a few."

Santeler also said the interconnect fabric that Moonshot cartridges use to
connect to the chassis will not change for "several generations" of
cartridges, but he wouldn't give details about the fabric itself. Santeler
did say that the specifications of the fabric are available to any vendor
that signs up to make Moonshot cartridges, but it seems unlikely that HP will
publicly disclose that performance critical information.

AMD has disclosed very little about its Kyoto accelerated processing unit
other than it will be the firm's first system on chip and that it will use
11W. However for AMD, Kyoto is arguably the most important server chip it has
put out in years, as it is aimed at what is expected to be a large and
rapidly growing market.

While Santeler said Intel's Atom chips will most likely be used for general
purpose computing, he seems to have high hopes for more specialist
cartridges. Given the computational demands of video transcoding, a fact
Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang touted in his GTC keynote, HP and AMD could be onto
a profit winner when the Kyoto-based cartridges arrive later this year.

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