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AMD, Inventec Unveil One PetaFLOP Project 47

During its Capsaicin presentation at the SIGGRAPH conference, AMD showed off a new collaboration with Inventec called Project 47.

Based off Inventec's P-series massively parallel computing platform, Project 47 uses the new P-47 and AMD's EPYC CPUs and Instinct GPUs to infuse one PetaFLOP of processing power into a single server rack. Inventec designed the system to address a wide variety of workloads that span graphics virtualization to machine intelligence.

Specifically, there are 20 2U P-47 systems, and each houses a single EPYC 7601 CPU and four Radeon Instinct MI25 GPU accelerators. Each machine also has a half-terabyte of memory, and a Mellanox 100Gb InfiniBand router is built into the rack.

Project 47 can do one PetaFLOPS at full 32-bit precision and two PetaFLOPS at 16-bit precision. At full precision, this means the machine delivers 30 GigaFLOPS per watt, which AMD said is a better performance-per-watt and performance-per-dollar ratio than similar machines can offer.

In a single socket server, each EPYC processor exposes 128 PCIe lanes to the user. That allows the four MI25 accelerators to operate at full bandwidth. In a server outfitted with a single processor, EPYC's raw PCIe connectivity far outweighs Intel's Purley family. That provides unfettered access to accelerators and other additives, such as NVMe SSDs, without the need for PLX switches or a second processor. As such, Project 47 serves as a good example of AMD's value proposition for single-socket servers.

AMD demonstrated two use cases for Project 47. The first involved remotely serving feature-rich content development applications--specifically Autodesk Maya, Blender, and Adobe Premiere Pro--to three different machines concurrently. The server hosting the application was physically located in Sunnyvale while the client machines were on-stage at The Novo in downtown Los Angeles. AMD attributed the only noticeable latency to remote access.

The second demonstration showed Project 47 performing a massively parallel GPU-based render in AMD's Radeon ProRender. AMD achieved a very interactive view of a photorealistic motorcycle with the "refresh" of the render taking only a second or so each time.

Project 47 is expected to be available from Inventec and its principal distributor, AMAX, in Q4 2017.