I wanted to report on this last week, but didn’t have time. During ISC UK-based Boston Limited — they build server and storage systems out of Supermicro parts — announced a new HPC solution. The Venom F1000-4 fits into a 1U form factor and is built around Nehalem’s and AMD’s FireStream “compute accelerator” (GPGPU)
Unveiled at ISC’09 (International Supercomputing Conference), Boston’s Venom F1000-4 system features four AMD FireStream 9250 compute accelerators offering up to 4 TERAFLOPs of computational power. With each card operating at less than 120W and all fitted in a 1U form factor, the Boston Venom F1000-4 displays incredible performance per watt in a remarkable density.
The system is based on Supermicro’s SS6016XT series of servers designed for GPUs, and judging from the press release it looks like they are using the SS6016XT-TF server
“Our 6016XT SuperServers feature four full-height, full-length PCI-Express x16 slots and one low-profile slot to support up to five PCI-Express 2.0 add-on cards,” said Dev Tyagi, General Manager of Supermicro UK. “With highly reliable thermal optimization monitoring and control, and industry-leading power efficiency, Supermicro has developed the world’s most optimized GPU-based server platforms for the HPC community.”
Note that this is the same series of servers that NVIDIA is using on its 1U GPU/CPU hybrid server (though they are using the SS6016T-GF), and this product fairly clearly is meant to pitch the AMD GPU directly against the NVIDIA. The density of the two solutions is different, which would matter in a cluster of the things; the NVIDIA/Supermicro solution puts 2 TFLOPS in 1U, while the Boston/Supermicro solution with AMD’s graphics card manages 4 TFLOPS in 1U (these are single precision GPU peak numbers, obviously; that number goes to 800 GFLOPS in double precision).
“By taking advantage of AMD’s leadership in performance per watt Stream computing, and the phenomenal compute power of 800 Stream Processors per AMD FireStream 9250 card, Boston have engineered an excellent 1U solution with 4-Teraflop performance” said Robert Jamieson, EMEA Marketing Manager Workstation Graphics.
Only dual GigE on the board, but I guess you could use the other slot for a better network connection. 96 GB of RAM supported.