[Beowulf] Clusters just got more important - AMD's roadmap

Vincent Diepeveen DIEP at xs4all.nl
Fri Feb 3 21:09:53 PST 2012

On Feb 4, 2012, at 5:09 AM, Mark Hahn wrote:

>> http://www.anandtech.com/show/5503/understanding-amds-roadmap-new-
>> direction/2
>> AMD's new roadmap basically says they stop high performance CPU
>> development.
> well, they won't pursue P4-netburst-ish damn-the-torpedoes style
> "high" _desktop_ performance.  their server roadmap is pretty  
> solid, though they've dropped the 10/20c chips.  (which might not  
> have made sense in terms of power envelope.  or, for that matter,  
> the fact that even cache-friendly code probably wants more than 2  
> memory channels for 10 cores...)
> I think AMD is absolutely right: the market is for mobile devices,
> for power-efficient servers, and for media-intensive desktops.
>> GPU line will continue
>> also inside cpu's integrated. Total monopoly for intel for
>> applications needing CPU's as it seems.
> you seem to have missed AMD's main point, which HSA: the concept of  
> pushing x86 and GPU together to enable something higher-performing.
> it's not a crazy idea, though pretty ambitious.
>> That might that companies that need some more CPU crunching no longer
>> can build cheap 4 socket
> 4s is still on the roadmap; I don't see why you'd expect it to  
> disappear.
> it costs them very little to support, and does serve a modest market.

AMD is moving to 28 nm years after intel has reached 22 nm.

So anything that has to perform it's over of course.
Add to that we see how Indian engineering works - using 2 billion  
transistors for
something intel did do 3 years earlier in the same proces
technology using far under 1 billion.

The mobile market is very competative with many players. Not just  
intel and AMD. Price matters a lot there.
Intel when having same quality engineers would easily beat AMD there.  
22 nm versus 28 nm. It's not a contest.
It's game over normally spoken. Yet for mobile market a lot is  
possible it's a competative market.

As for 4 socket servers - their roadmap basically shows the same  
cpu's like they have now. They can clock it maybe
a tad higher win 1% here, win 1% there. That's about it.

So AMD doesn't compete on number of cores. So they can't be on par  
with intel 2 socket machines basically
if this roadmap presents reality.

Basically AMD just mastered 32 nm, 3 years after intel released cpu's  
for it. Just in order to get bulldozer on par with i7-965
from years ago, if we speak about integers, they needed to have  
bulldozer consume A LOT more power.

If their new design team is so bad in producing equipment that can  
use little power, how do you guess they can compete
in an older proces technology against matured intel 22 nm products in  
the 'highend' mobile market?

CPU wise they're total history. Moving your R&D to 3d world has  
become a total disaster for AMD.

It's that their gpu line is doing well, but let's ask around a bit -  
how many run gpgpu on AMD gpu's in opencl?
They're not supporting their opencl very well, to say polite. I can  
give examples if you're interested.

Yet most important point to make there is that one of the biggest  
competative aspects of AMD was getting a lot of CPU cores
for a cheap price. Those days are definitely over.

I don't see how their design team even remotely has any clue about  
building low power products the coming years,
if we see the massive mess ups. Basically AMD has 1 great chip from a  
few years ago still playing in the market place,
if we speak about the cpu division.

It won't be long until everyone has forgotten about that as well.

As for crunching,which is what most people do on this list, the AMD  
cpu's aren't interesting anymore.

Sure their GPU's are for the floating point guys (not for integers as  
they support opencl not very well - so not all hardware instructions,
some crucial ones - are available in openCL of that gpu, which is a  
major reason to choose for Nvidia if you have to do integer crunching).

But one very big division called CPU sales, forget it. They have a  
big problem.

Seems they get some sort of Asian company now if we also study the  
code names very well, which just can deliver crap cpu's for a cheap  
cpu's eating too much power for western standards.

Forget low power design in India - wont' happen.

>> So this means that clustering is only cheap choice then.
> clustering has always been the cheap solution.  hence this list!

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