[Beowulf] What happened to AMD GPU?

C Bergström cbergstrom at pathscale.com
Wed Mar 4 12:06:56 PST 2015

On Thu, Mar 5, 2015 at 2:53 AM, Prentice Bisbal
<prentice.bisbal at rutgers.edu> wrote:
> The top system on the Green500 right now is using AMD Fire S9150 GPUs:
> http://www.green500.org/lists/green201411
> While you might be promoting yourself, I am glad someone brought this up,
> because I've been wondering what AMD is going to do about this, and I just
> had a conversation about this last week.
> I think the best thing you can do to improve market share would be to
> license the CUDA syntax from NVidia, or work to make it a standardized
> language.

I am unaware of any patents in CUDA or that CUDA depends on. We did
everything 100% clean and our GPGPU stack is written entirely by us.
CUDA is likely a trademark of NVIDIA, but that's the most complicated
thing to marketing a "CUDA compatible compiler"...

I don't think it's only a 30% additional margin of performance.. I
think it's a combined set of things which broaden the scope.

1) For N budget how many cards can you buy.. In this case I think
you're either saving money or getting more cards.. (which may make up
that magic 100% target)

2) Do you need more ram on the card? If yes.. they provide it.. if
not.. you can get sweet deals on cards like the w8100

Clusters typically have a longer lifecycle, but at some point it does
make sense to upgrade them. I think if the AMD solution catches that
sweetspot some existing users could be converted (assuming their code
will run relatively pain free) - That's my goal...
OpenACC and other directive based approaches - we're working to fix
the performance issues with that in our compiler and write a best
practices guide.. CUDA provides some really explicit mapping
mechanisms for the GPU, but I hope we can make the general case a lot
more compelling..

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