[Beowulf] More AMD rumors

Prentice Bisbal prentice.bisbal at rutgers.edu
Tue Nov 20 14:03:28 PST 2012

On 11/19/2012 06:04 PM, Christopher Samuel wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> On 20/11/12 01:28, Douglas Eadline wrote:
>> Though not formally announced, Semiaccurate seems to have learned
>> that AMD is leaving the X86 server business.
> Whilst sad (and possibly inaccurate) it wouldn't surprise me if they
> did that in the long term and turned AMD into an ARM&  GPU company.
> They've already announced 64-bit ARM "Opteron" server CPUs.
> http://www.engadget.com/2012/10/29/amd-64-bit-arm-opteron-server-cpus/
> ARM is where the market seems to be going, this ZDnet article points
> out that *Android* device shipments alone now outnumber *PC* shipments
> at a ratio of 3:2 :
> http://www.zdnet.com/android-really-is-the-new-windows-7000007450/
> Given that Beowulf was (originally) all about using commodity
> components over specialised ones then I'd argue that ARM has replaced
> x86 as commodity CPUs, just not in a form factor we're used to using
> (and certainly not yet with the RAM we need).

My observations at SC12 definitely support this. ARM had a small 10 x 10 
booth on the outskirts of the exhibit floor, and it was one of the 
busiest booths I saw all week at SC12. Nearby were the Calxeda and 
Boston booths. For those of you who don't know, Calxeda actually makes 
ARM products, and Boston resells an ARM-based server made by Calxeda. 
It's clear that many people are interested in HPC on ARM.

As far as the amount of RAM we need, 64-bit ARM is here, but it will be 
a while before products trickle down to us, most likely not before some 
time in 2014, and that's coming directly from the people in booths I 
just mentioned.

As far as 32-bit ARM, it seems like some of the big vendors are already 
(or are about to) offering ARM products. I saw an ARM server from HP and 
heard of a Dell ARM-based server at the Calxeda booth.

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