[Beowulf] getting a phi, dammit.

Vincent Diepeveen diep at xs4all.nl
Wed Feb 27 17:55:05 PST 2013


On Feb 27, 2013, at 10:01 PM, Mark Hahn wrote:

>
> thanks for all the replies.  so far, the impression I get is:
>
> - Intel isn't interested in resellers, only a few OEMs.
> - even OEMs are not really on top of things.
> - there many claims of Phi being quite picky about PCIe and BIOS.
> - OEMS generally want to sell you a $5k server with that $3k Phi.
> - some OEMs offer surprisingly dense solutions (not necessarily
>    a good thing...)
>
> I find the PCIe/BIOS stuff quite dubious, though I suppose Phi is  
> still
> elatively immature.  maybe the next version will be the one that  
> will be
> generally applicable.  I suspect by contrast that I can buy a K20 card
> and drop it into most any gen1/2/3 PCIe x16 slot and it'll work  
> (assuming
> I provide the right power and cooling, of course.)
>
> all this seems rather surprising to me.  I know HPC isn't the center
> of the universe, but to me it looks like Intel is executing Phi  
> poorly.

Just my guess:

They just can't compete with the K20. The way intel chooses to  
compete is launch
their thing long before they can deliver it. We all remember how they  
perfectly played
that game with itanium2 as well.

By the time the news 'drips' through to the public about the  
successtories of their fanboys,
carefully selected, they might be able to produce it cheap enough to  
deliver it in lager quantities i guess.

Let's face the additional production problems you have with a cache  
coherent CPU
which practically will see action in the same manner as how you'd  
operate a gpu.

Production price of it must be immense higher than of K20.

If it takes this long to produce the Xeon Phi with this much delay -  
just think of the next generation
of it. Will it be cache coherent?

If not - then you can throw away a bunch of codes you write for Xeon  
Phi now.

So what's the long term future of it?

A new architecture? Called Xeon GPU?

> NVidia has a huge headstart, and frankly, AMD's HSA stuff seems a lot
> more coherent and thought out (though obviously still vapor-phase.)
>
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