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Its official: Cray to use AMD opteron !

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Anonymous
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October 21, 2002 2:51:43 PM

edited, read the post below<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by bbaeyens on 10/21/02 03:11 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
October 21, 2002 3:03:15 PM

Translation:

The legendary supercomputer builder Cray develops a supercomputer for Sandia National Laboratories using AMD Opteron processors. According to an article in the Wall street Journal, the machine will beat the performance of the 100 Teraflop Earth simulator from NEC, "restoring the damaged selfconfidence of the Americans". Technical details are not disclosed yet, but will be during a press conference later today.

With this contract (?) for 64 bit cpu's, AMD can achieve an imporant technical victory over Intel. This good news comes just in time, last week AMD had to report a "fat" loss off 254 million dollar, or 74 cents a share, while im Q3 2001 it was stil 187 million.


= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
October 21, 2002 4:05:14 PM

Not sure if you know but Alpha CPU's are no more, they cease to exist. Cray has been using the Alpha's for some time now exclusivly.

There are several CPU's under consideration, to pick Opteron out as the winner would be false this early in the game.

The other CPU's under consideration are PPC64, PMC-Sierra RM9000x2, AMD and Intel.

IBM is ramping PPC64 quickly, Intel is almost ready, RM9000x2 is ready, AMD is far from ready.

Can you find the press conference link?



You are limited to what your mind can perceive.
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Anonymous
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October 21, 2002 4:18:38 PM

No, that article is all I have.. no further info. Maybe someone can pickup the wallstreet journal over there ? According to the article, it was printed there..

But since the press release isnt out yet, AFAIK, so no way of telling. Reading the article made me assume AMD had won the contract, well, thats what it said anyway. Do you have more info on this ? Is it a fact that Cray is just considering AMD among other vendors ?

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
Anonymous
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October 21, 2002 4:29:19 PM

Supposedly quoted from the WSJ:

Quote:

(posted by avatar99 on RB)

By DON CLARK
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL


Endorsing the technology of one of Intel Corp.'s key rivals, Sandia National Laboratories and Cray Inc. plan to build a massive supercomputer using a soon-to-be-introduced line of microprocessor chips from Advanced Micro Devices Inc., people familiar with the matter said.

The development project, estimated in June to cost $90 million, is a high-profile vote of confidence for AMD's new Opteron chip, in a small but prestigious market long dominated by other chip suppliers. It represents a missed opportunity for Intel, which has been targeting its new Itanium line at high-performance computing applications.

Red Storm, Sandia's name for the new supercomputer, also marks a step forward for the U.S. effort at leadership in supercomputers, which suffered a blow this year with the completion of a huge machine called the Earth Simulator by Japanese government agencies and NEC Corp. Where recent U.S. machines have largely been constructed out of components used in commercial computers, Cray is expected to develop special technology for connecting the AMD chips that should make Red Storm suited for more-complex scientific problems.

"This is a move away from commodity components," said Horst Simon, division director of the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, a supercomputer facility affiliated with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. "It's very exciting."

Sandia, which does research for the U.S. Department of Energy in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., has a performance goal of 100 trillion operations per second for Red Storm. It hasn't disclosed most technical details, including the chip selection. But Mr. Simon estimated that the machine will require 16,000 or more microprocessors to hit its speed target, which would appear to surpass the Earth Simulator's current performance.


source:

<A HREF="http://messages.yahoo.com/bbs?.mm=FN&action=m&board=468..." target="_new"> Yahoo message board </A>

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
Anonymous
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October 21, 2002 7:09:51 PM

Its official:
<A HREF="http://www.sandia.gov/news-center/news-releases/2002/co..." target="_new">http://www.sandia.gov/news-center/news-releases/2002/co...;/A>
<b>
Red Storm is expected to become operational in fiscal year 2004, and will use the upcoming Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) Opteron™ processors connected via a low-latency, high-bandwidth, three-dimensional mesh interconnect network based on HyperTransport™ technology. This system is expected to be at least seven times more powerful than Sandia’s current ASCI Red supercomputer on actual weapons problems. ASCI Red was the first supercomputer delivered under the ASCI program
</b>

quote from another forum:
With this deal, AMD just outsold Itanium I&II combined in one swoop ;-)

On a side note, AMD stocks just went up 20% on one day, and the stocks I bought last week are up 35% :-)

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
October 21, 2002 8:45:36 PM

It seems Cray will go with the Opteron, huge step for AMD in the server market. Cray can take them to the top and AMD can bring Cray down to the bottom.

Cray is not staying afloat with volume sales. They maintain with large support contracts with military, goverment, educational, and medical systems. Cray has broken off SGI after poor sales and role turned into maintainance obligations. 1996 Cray broke off fomr SGI and dust settled in 1999. iirc Tera Inc purchased Cray and ran into a brick wall in 2000, hence the absense of "Tera" machines from market.

Outselling the Itanium's is jumping the gun since this is still on paper.

You are limited to what your mind can perceive.

fixed a sentance so it was worded poperly<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by FUGGER on 10/21/02 01:54 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
October 21, 2002 8:48:21 PM

Me gona buy me one of those to simulate quantum computer:) 

What if you had admin rights to life?
October 21, 2002 8:50:15 PM

I just have to say that I'm impressed with the way you followed through with this thread.

<font color=red>God</font color=red> <font color=blue>Bless</font color=blue> <font color=red>America</font color=red>
October 21, 2002 8:50:17 PM

Hmm I guess the market thing is due to such news, which probably invites buyers.

As for the news, well it seems nice, this is an example of the chance AMD's Opteron might have, especially to be the ultimate supercomputer. And it does strike as weird that Itanium 2 wasn't taken since it has owning FPU, I'd imagine supercomputing requires such.

--
"Let Go." -Avril Lavigne
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
October 21, 2002 8:54:13 PM

I cant help it, this made my day. I bought quite a few AMD shares last week at $3.7, and now they are up to $5.6 Thats over 50%. I keep refreshing that portfolio page :-p

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
October 21, 2002 8:57:17 PM

So what you're saying this is good for AMD, and bad for Cray as they will go down definitly?

--
"Let Go." -Avril Lavigne
Anonymous
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October 21, 2002 9:02:15 PM

>Hmm I guess the market thing is due to such news, which
>probably invites buyers.

OF course. Well, it also seriously boosts Opteron's perceived chances in the server market. Many investors will think, if Cray chooses Opteron, then many will follow suit. Considering the incredible low price of AMD shares, this uptake shouldnt come as a suprise.

>And it does strike as weird that Itanium 2 wasn't taken
>since it has owning FPU, I'd imagine supercomputing
>requires such.

I think the main reasons why Opteron was chosen over Itanium, is HyperTransport. Makes creating such a large supercomputer both cheaper, easier, and faster. I've always been conviced the HT topology was *the* opportunity for Hammer.

A second reason may have been powerconsumption. Raw per cpu performance isnt that critical in supercompers like this. ASCII red is still a formidable machine, and its built around PII Xeons if Im not mistaken.


= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
October 21, 2002 9:09:54 PM

>Cray can take them to the top

Sure helps when you are starting from scratch. First design win is immediately for one of the, if not the fastest supercomputer in the world. I dont think Intel will be happy with this.

>and AMD can bring Cray down to the bottom.

Doubtfull. Cray isnt married to any cpu vendor. Even if AMD would go belly up, they will simply design their next supercomputer around a different cpu. VIA perhaps ? Or a Transmeta x86-64 ;-)

>Outselling the Itanium's is jumping the gun since this is
>still on paper.

Of course, one shouldnt take that literally. But 16.000 (if true) is a significant number. I wouldnt be suprised if Itanium sales where in fact in the same order of magnitude, or perhaps even less so far. Compared to Xeon sales its obviously a total non issue.

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
October 21, 2002 9:12:58 PM

Its a toss of the coin IMO, its good for AMD for sure.

For Cray, AMD might enable them to re-enter and revive the supercomputer market. Lots of old vector based systems that need to be replaced. that is huge $

Cray/Tera plan on installing AMD in a military installation. this is big for AMD itself let alone backed by Cray.

Lets not talk about AMD failing to deliver, it could sink both comapanies. Plenty of time so lets hope it is used wisely.

You are limited to what your mind can perceive.
October 21, 2002 10:14:40 PM

True to that. I think AMD's gonna push themselves extra hard to deliver.

What if you had admin rights to life?
October 21, 2002 11:49:55 PM

Not another x86 supercomputer. It was bad enough they did one on in 97. On the other hand, it would be interesting to see a 16000 processor supercomputer. I wonder how they're gonna cool that.....
On a side note, someone mentioned why Itanium 2 wasn't chosen, well, just look at the price of one compared to an Opteron (supposedly under $1000).

"We are Microsoft, resistance is futile." - Bill Gates, 2015.
October 22, 2002 12:14:46 AM

Cray systems are now cooled with a AC unit, something of that size (Im not an engineer) will take around 120K BTU @ 5K CFM = 2 large home AC units.

Huge savings going with Opteron vs Itanium2

You are limited to what your mind can perceive.
October 22, 2002 2:12:44 AM

Aside from costs, and aside from the terrible weaknesses of x86, who knows, it could be a killer supercomputer, no?
With the current 2GHZ performance, and what would arrive next year in better performance (there has to be updates by then), the Opteron Supercomputer will really push.

Though I don't want to sound AMD biased, I think this is awesome news. We've had bad news since a while from AMD, and Intel is only doing better, not to mention AMD drifting away from the desktop competition. This is just what they need to PROVE and BOOST their image. I do hope this rakes cash, though when I think of 16000 CPUs, times ~1000$ per CPU, isn't 16M $ kind of low still, if companies supposedly gain over 200M per quarter with profits? I'm a rookie to the market anyway, so please feel free to correct me.
What I hope after this is that it continues. If AMD convinces more and more people to use Opteron, they will have their new goal right where they want it, and can shoot at it with virtually no obstacle. That's what is needed for them to gain money and perhaps recreate a new AMD for the desktop world.
If not, well god forbid what Intel could do with no CPU competition, which I doubt will happen.

--
"Let Go." -Avril Lavigne
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
October 22, 2002 5:29:15 AM

>16000 CPUs, times ~1000$ per CPU

I seriously doubt they got $1000/cpu. This is a prestige win, it is not so important what AMD makes on this. AFAIK, they could have sold these opterons for $200 each, it would still be a damn sweet deal. As you pointed out, this is about credibility, much more than about turnover.

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
October 22, 2002 6:29:05 AM

I read an article this morning about reliability and credability, and how amd has got the rap for being both, and is unable to shake it off until now.

<b>And if you gaze for long into Toms Hardware Forums, The Forum gazes also into you! :eek:  </b>
Anonymous
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October 22, 2002 7:27:45 AM

Just wondering.. do these systems come with "normal" cpu fans ? Just the thought of having 16000 fans.. it would be a full time job replacing failed fans, no ?

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
October 22, 2002 9:25:02 AM

Now that Opteron has been chosen over Itanium, the only thing AMD has to replace Intel is on the XBOX. Microsoft are you listening.

Shackle on their Minds, When they are bent on the cross
When Ignorance reigns, Life is lost
Anonymous
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October 22, 2002 9:32:51 AM

Hmm... I dont really see the next xbox using a hammer style cpu (let alone an itanium). no, the "only" place AMD has to replace intel, is in Dell servers. This is a very old discussion, but for the first I think the odds might not be so bad. I had never thought AMD would win a contract like the Cray deal, and I dont think Cray chose Opteron just for the price. So, who knows, maybe Dell will surprise us early next year by announcing support for opteron based servers ? Cant wait to see what that would do to AMDs stock price. Maybe its worth keeping an eye on Micheal Dells stock purchases ;-)

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
October 22, 2002 10:18:50 AM

Quote:
Just wondering.. do these systems come with "normal" cpu fans ? Just the thought of having 16000 fans.. it would be a full time job replacing failed fans, no ?

Contrary to what some have said in the past, CPU fans normally last well over a year--often five years or more. The time they're most likely to fail is during initial installation; fortunately, this is the time when fan failures are least problematic. Just pop out the fan and put in a $10 replacement, and the problem's solved.

As it is, there are companies that produce hot-swap fans. I've got about ten or so in my god box; they're a custom design produced by NMB. Appro 5u and larger cases also tend to carry hot-swappable fans; I've worked with several hundred such cases and actually have one sitting in my personal server room. I've seen dozens more Appro systems come in as RMAs, some from extremely disgusting settings (very dirty server rooms at 25C or more). I don't think I've ever seen a failed fan in those things. The funny thing is, the Appro alarm board (a small solid-state logic board responsible for monitoring hot-swap fan and PSU status) <i>has</i> been known to fail from time to time.

So I ask you this: what good is having alarm-enabled hot-swap equipment, if the related watchdog circuitry usually fails before the equipment being monitored? :wink:

<i>I can love my fellow man...but I'm damned if I'll love yours.</i>
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
October 22, 2002 11:23:01 AM

Well.. lets assume a decent fan has an average lifespan of 2 year. That means on average a failure every 24 months per fan; or once every 720 days. Mulitply that by 16.000 and you have one average of over 22 fan failures per day ! Replacing them may not be a fulltime job, but still..


= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
October 22, 2002 12:47:50 PM

Placed in an air conditioned dust free enviorment, the fans will last well over 5 years.

It's not what they tell you, its what they don't tell you!
October 22, 2002 1:29:22 PM

WAIT!!!....Its all a big mistake....read this
Quote:

10/21/02
WSJ

Cray Supercomputing clarified their earlier statement today about their relationship with chip manufacturer Advanced Micro Devices. A spokesman for Cray was quoted as "We are indeed interested in using the AMD Opteron for our next generation supercomputer 'Red Storm'. However, the actual processing of data will be handled by Intel Itanium II chips. Each Cray machine will contain an array of AMD chips that will activate when the ambient temperature becomes too low, or condensation starts to build up inside the mainframe's casing. This opens up new possibilities for computing in hostile climates, particularly Anarctica."

Phew...I'm glad they cleared that up.

Is there a synonym for thesaurus?
October 22, 2002 1:41:21 PM

You're......kidding right?

"We are Microsoft, resistance is futile." - Bill Gates, 2015.
October 22, 2002 2:05:00 PM

My guess is yes. Why you want to run computers in Antartica? So much consumers there? It's a nosense.

DIY: read, buy, test, learn, reward yourself!
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
October 22, 2002 2:41:47 PM

His message also stopped my heart for a second..

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
October 22, 2002 2:49:39 PM

:p 

Is there a synonym for thesaurus?
October 22, 2002 4:50:13 PM

Quote:
Why you want to run computers in Antartica? So much consumers there? It's a nosense.


I know the guy was just BSing but in all seriousness, running a server in Antartica wouldn't be that bad an idea really. Assuming you were a global server that had customers in every part of the world, it would be equidistant from all of your clients. The problem is getting enough power there and being able to send the signals that far. We could always build a satellite power transmitter (hey, it can be done) and a laser-based data transmitter (again, hey, it could be done) and the cooling thing wouldn't be a problem either.

"We are Microsoft, resistance is futile." - Bill Gates, 2015.
October 23, 2002 1:42:29 AM

So, being the absolute forum gullible guy, is this or not a hoax you just wrote?

--
"Let Go." -Avril Lavigne
October 23, 2002 7:24:57 AM

I wonder: The servermarket will take notice of the supercomputer, but will the "normal" folks notice it to?

A normal family does not care what the strongest computer is on the world.
What I am saing is that a big bunch of users will buy Intel, because they don't know/care about the strongest computer and/or other brands.

I build and sell a lot of computers. When I ask which cpu they want, they say "Pentium". When I ask them which speed, they don't know. Usually they ask for a strong and cheap one.
When I recommend an AMD/AthlonXP they say: What is that? Is it strong? Is it stable?...

I believe that when Cray has build their server, a lot of folks still won't know about AMD. Heck, a lot of folks still don't know that Intel has made a PIV.

The only way to change this is that Compaq, HP, Dell,... sells more desktops with an Athlon.

I really hope that the image of AMD will get a boost. AMD needs a boost: server and desktop

If I buy the boxed version of the "hammer", will I get a box of nails for free??
October 23, 2002 7:46:52 AM

At least then you can say: Don't you know who is AMD? It's the manufacturer who supplies the CPU for the most powerfull computer in the world! And it has 16000 CPU running together!

That way, you will battle the ignorance, and people will feel more confortable with AMD brand.

That's the benefit from such a deal. As others said before, an improvement in your image and not in your turnover is what you really gain.


DIY: read, buy, test, learn, reward yourself!
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
October 23, 2002 7:49:41 AM

>A normal family does not care what the strongest computer
>is on the world.

And they shouldnt..

>When I ask which cpu they want, they say "Pentium".

Exactly. Amazing how well the Pentium brand is known. OFten far better then even the Intel name

>When I recommend an AMD/AthlonXP they say: What is that?
>Is it strong? Is it stable?...

Yep. As an illustration, I recently configured a setup for a collegue, and I recommended an AXP1800+. "Is that a Pentium ?" was the first question ;-) The second question was: isn't that expensive, look at this add:.. and he showed me an add of a noname-OEM 1.8 Ghz Celeron "P4" with 128 MB SDRAM, onboard i845 gaphics, microatx board, 5400rpm 20 Gb disk , *very* low spec 17", "free" printer, etc..

Anywya, I managed to convince him to order to custom built XP system. He took it home, and it didnt work.. "nothing happenens, the screen just remains black". I took the system home for testing (and reinstalling), and indeed there was some problem with the Geforce.. it would more often than not, simply not output anything. Weird enough, if I'd turn my monitor off and on again, it would work (?). Anyway, while his PC is back to the shop, he goes around telling that he thinks the Athlon is not compatible with his monitor, and he should have gone for a Pentium instead.. sigh.. but im getting off topic I guess ;-)

>The only way to change this is that Compaq, HP, Dell,...
>sells more desktops with an Athlon.

Hmm... not sure people buying those machines would even notice they got an Athlon setup, and not a "pentium".


= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
October 23, 2002 9:30:06 AM

Quote:
Anyway, while his PC is back to the shop, he goes around telling that he thinks the Athlon is not compatible with his monitor, and he should have gone for a Pentium instead


I know exactly what you mean. I had the same experience with my friends one of the games were not working because his directx wasn't installed. He went around saying Athlon doesn't run any games :) .


Shackle on their Minds, When they are bent on the cross
When Ignorance reigns, Life is lost
October 23, 2002 12:30:34 PM

To calm the nerves of those who have asked...Yes, it was a joke. I've been battling heat issues lately with my 1.4 Tbird and I though I'd take some of my frustration out with a slanderous post. I like Athlons, but the Opteron better have much better power consumption characteristics than its predecessors or the new Cray is going to need a cogeneration plant just to supply it. Lets see...if they used Tbirds in the Cray then: 16000x 85 watts =1.36 Megawatts. Thats alot of cooling fans!!!!

Is there a synonym for thesaurus?
!