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posted by martyb on Friday April 27 2018, @03:36PM   Printer-friendly
from the little-things-add-up dept.

AMD 7nm Vega Radeon Instinct GPU AI Accelerators Enter Lab Testing

AMD's current generation Vega graphics architecture – which powers its Radeon RX Vega family of graphics cards -- is based on a 14nm manufacturing process, but the chip company is already moving along with next generation process technology. During the company's conference call with analysts following its Q1 2018 earnings report (which it knocked out of the park, by the way), AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su made some comments regarding its upcoming 7nm GPUs.

"I'm also happy to report that our next-generation 7-nanometer Radeon Instinct product, optimized for machine learning workloads, is running in our labs," said Dr. Su. "We remain on track to provide samples to customers later this year."

If you recall, Radeon Instinct is AMD's product line for machine intelligences and deep learning accelerators. The current lineup features a mixture of Polaris- and Vega-based GPUs and could be considered competitors for NVIDIA's Tesla family of products. [...] According to commentary from AMD at this year's CES, 7nm Vega products for mobile along with the 7nm Radeon Instinct accelerators will ship during the latter half of 2018.

From The Next Platform, "The Slow But Sure Return Of AMD In The Datacenter":

"Server revenue increased in double digit percentage sequentially, across mega datacenter, OEM, and channel customers," Su said on the call. "Epyc processor unit shipments nearly doubled from the previous quarter. We continued to grow our datacenter momentum with dozens of new design wins across key workloads, including HPC, storage, virtualization, and cloud applications."

We have reported on many of these design wins, including those from Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Dell EMC, and Cray. There are more than 40 server designs based on Epyc, and Su added that AMD is on track to have middle single digit server market share across units by the end of 2018. That was the number we were projecting back in March 2017, when we said that Epyc would give AMD a second chance in servers, and we also said that this would just be share and profits taken directly from Intel. Part of the reason that we think Intel has charged a pretty hefty premium for beefier versions of the "Skylake" Xeon SP processors is that it knew market share losses were inevitable in 2018 and it needed to make up that lost revenue and profit somehow. So far, that gambit seems to have worked.


Original Submission

Related Stories

TSMC Will Make AMD's "7nm" Epyc Server CPUs 4 comments

AMD "Rome" EPYC CPUs to Be Fabbed By TSMC

AMD CEO Lisa Su has announced that second-generation "Rome" EPYC CPU that the company is wrapping up work on is being produced out at TSMC. This is a notable departure from how things have gone for AMD with the Zen 1 generation, as GlobalFoundries has produced all of AMD's Zen CPUs, both for consumer Ryzen and professional EPYC parts.

[...] As it stands, AMD seems rather optimistic about how things are currently going. Rome silicon is already back in the labs, and indeed AMD is already sampling the parts to certain partners for early validation. Which means AMD remains on track to launch their second-generation EPYC processors in 2019.

[...] Ultimately however if they are meeting their order quota from GlobalFoundries, then AMD's situation is ultimately much more market driven: which fab can offer the necessary capacity and performance, and at the best prices. Which will be an important consideration as GlobalFoundries has indicated that it may not be able to keep up with 7nm demand, especially with the long manufacturing process their first-generation DUV-based 7nm "7LP" process requires.

See also: No 16-core AMD Ryzen AM4 Until After 7nm EPYC Launch (2019)

Related: TSMC Holds Groundbreaking Ceremony for "5nm" Fab, Production to Begin in 2020
Cray CS500 Supercomputers to Include AMD's Epyc as a Processor Option
AMD Returns to the Datacenter, Set to Launch "7nm" Radeon Instinct GPUs for Machine Learning in 2018
AMD Ratcheting Up the Pressure on Intel
More on AMD's Licensing of Epyc Server Chips to Chinese Companies


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Oracle Offers Servers with AMD's Epyc to its Cloud Customers 1 comment

Oracle puts AMD EPYC in the Cloud

The process of AMD ramping up its EPYC efforts involves a lot of 'first-step' vendor interaction. Having been a very minor player for so long, all the big guns are taking it slowly with AMD's newest hardware in verifying whether it is suitable for their workloads and customers. The next company to tick that box is Oracle, who is announcing today that they will be putting bare metal EPYC instances available in its cloud offering.

The new E-series instances will start with Standard E2, costing around $0.03 per core per hour, up to 64 cores per server, Oracle is stating that this pricing structure is 66% less than the average per-core instance on the market. One bare metal standard instance, BM.Standard E2.52, will offer dual EPYC 7551 processors at 2.0 GHz, with 512 GB of DDR4, dual 25GbE networking, and up to 1PB of remote block storage. Another offering is the E2.64 instance, which will offer 16 cores by comparison.

Related: AMD Epyc 7000-Series Launched With Up to 32 Cores
Data Centers Consider Intel's Rivals
Cray CS500 Supercomputers to Include AMD's Epyc as a Processor Option
AMD Returns to the Datacenter, Set to Launch "7nm" Radeon Instinct GPUs for Machine Learning in 2018
Chinese Company Produces Chips Closely Based on AMD's Zen Microarchitecture
More on AMD's Licensing of Epyc Server Chips to Chinese Companies
TSMC Will Make AMD's "7nm" Epyc Server CPUs


Original Submission

AMD Announces "7nm" Vega GPUs for the Enterprise Market 3 comments

AMD Announces Radeon Instinct MI60 & MI50 Accelerators: Powered By 7nm Vega

As part of this morning's Next Horizon event, AMD formally announced the first two accelerator cards based on the company's previously revealed 7nm Vega GPU. Dubbed the Radeon Instinct MI60 and Radeon Instinct MI50, the two cards are aimed squarely at the enterprise accelerator market, with AMD looking to significantly improve their performance competitiveness in everything from HPC to machine learning.

Both cards are based on AMD's 7nm GPU, which although we've known about at a high level for some time now, we're only finally getting some more details on. GPU is based on a refined version of AMD's existing Vega architecture, essentially adding compute-focused features to the chip that are necessary for the accelerator market. Interestingly, in terms of functional blocks here, 7nm Vega is actually rather close to the existing 14nm "Vega 10" GPU: both feature 64 CUs and HBM2. The difference comes down to these extra accelerator features, and the die size itself.

With respect to accelerator features, 7nm Vega and the resulting MI60 & MI50 cards differentiates itself from the previous Vega 10-powered MI25 in a few key areas. 7nm Vega brings support for half-rate double precision – up from 1/16th rate – and AMD is supporting new low precision data types as well. These INT8 and INT4 instructions are especially useful for machine learning inferencing, where high precision isn't necessary, with AMD able to get up to 4x the perf of an FP16/INT16 data type when using the smallest INT4 data type. However it's not clear from AMD's presentation how flexible these new data types are – and with what instructions they can be used – which will be important for understanding the full capabilities of the new GPU. All told, AMD is claiming a peak throughput of 7.4 TFLOPS FP64, 14.7 TFLOPS FP32, and 118 TOPS for INT4.

Previously: AMD Returns to the Datacenter, Set to Launch "7nm" Radeon Instinct GPUs for Machine Learning in 2018

Related: AMD Previews Zen 2 Epyc CPUs with up to 64 Cores, New "Chiplet" Design


Original Submission

AMD and Nvidia's Latest GPUs Are Expensive and Unappealing 25 comments

AMD, Nvidia Have Launched the Least-Appealing GPU Upgrades in History

Yesterday, AMD launched the Radeon VII, the first 7nm GPU. The card is intended to compete with Nvidia's RTX family of Turing-class GPUs, and it does, broadly matching the RTX 2080. It also matches the RTX 2080 on price, at $700. Because this card began life as a professional GPU intended for scientific computing and AI/ML workloads, it's unlikely that we'll see lower-end variants. That section of AMD's product stack will be filled by 7nm Navi, which arrives later this year.

Navi will be AMD's first new 7nm GPU architecture and will offer a chance to hit 'reset' on what has been, to date, the least compelling suite of GPU launches AMD and Nvidia have ever collectively kicked out the door. Nvidia has relentlessly moved its stack pricing higher while holding performance per dollar mostly constant. With the RTX 2060 and GTX 1070 Ti fairly evenly matched across a wide suite of games, the question of whether the RTX 2060 is better priced largely hinges on whether you stick to formal launch pricing for both cards or check historical data for actual price shifts.

Such comparisons are increasingly incidental, given that Pascal GPU prices are rising and cards are getting harder to find, but they aren't meaningless for people who either bought a Pascal GPU already or are willing to consider a used card. If you're an Nvidia fan already sitting on top of a high-end Pascal card, Turing doesn't offer you a great deal of performance improvement.

AMD has not covered itself in glory, either. The Radeon VII is, at least, unreservedly faster than the Vega 64. There's no equivalent last-generation GPU in AMD's stack to match it. But it also duplicates the Vega 64's overall power and noise profile, limiting the overall appeal, and it matches the RTX 2080's bad price. A 1.75x increase in price for a 1.32x increase in 4K performance isn't a great ratio even by the standards of ultra-high-end GPUs, where performance typically comes with a price penalty.

Rumors and leaks have suggested that Nvidia will release a Turing-based GPU called the GTX 1660 Ti (which has also been referred to as "1160"), with a lower price but missing the dedicated ray-tracing cores of the RTX 2000-series. AMD is expected to release "7nm" Navi GPUs sometime during 2019.

Radeon VII launch coverage also at AnandTech, Tom's Hardware.

Related: AMD Returns to the Datacenter, Set to Launch "7nm" Radeon Instinct GPUs for Machine Learning in 2018
Nvidia Announces RTX 2080 Ti, 2080, and 2070 GPUs, Claims 25x Increase in Ray-Tracing Performance
AMD Announces "7nm" Vega GPUs for the Enterprise Market
Nvidia Announces RTX 2060 GPU
AMD Announces Radeon VII GPU, Teases Third-Generation Ryzen CPU
AMD Responds to Radeon VII Short Supply Rumors


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27 2018, @05:31PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27 2018, @05:31PM (#672664)

    Year of Machine Learning, AI, and Blockchain!! Exciting tech EVERYONE needs to learn!

    *barf*

    I mean yes, cool tech, but the push to get people learning this stuff seems coordinated. Like Google and other big players decided to off-load their research budgets on to the open source community.

    "I know, we'll release the basics of our buzzword tech and wait for bored developers or genius kids to build something for us!"
    "Brilliant!"

    Like one story where the author "trained" his computer to detect satire by copy/pasting a bunch of content and literally just running the script. More like free QA and publicity.

  • (Score: 2) by Snotnose on Friday April 27 2018, @06:25PM (2 children)

    by Snotnose (1623) on Friday April 27 2018, @06:25PM (#672702)

    I seem to remember Intel can't get their 7nm process working, and speculation is that the fact they're so far behind schedule indicates the process may not be salvageable. I write fancy versions of Hello World for a living so I have no insight into this.

    Be interesting if AMD (or more likely, their foundry) gets to 7nm before the Intel behemoth.

    --
    Why is tamales pronounced tamales but females is pronounced females instead of females?
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by frojack on Friday April 27 2018, @06:28PM (1 child)

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 27 2018, @06:28PM (#672705) Journal

    How odd that this story followed the prior one about GPU sales collapsing 40%.

    And lo and behold another deep pocket swamp to fill with GPUs rather than reducing the price to end users.

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    No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
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