PCIe Goes A Long Way With Storage Vendors
Having 128 PCIe lanes inside a single server is a boon, but the lack of a chipset (AMD uses an Integrated Server Controller Hub instead) allows for higher bandwidth in some situations, provided the PCIe controller is local to the process requesting data. The hefty allotment of PCIe lanes is also plenty attractive to purveyors of NVMe storage solutions, as more lanes equate to more storage devices
Here we see a demo from Eideticom. The SSD on the left uses an onboard Xilinx FPGA to manage the flash and to process data independently of the host CPU, thus alleviating host overhead. This enables erasure coding, deduplication, and compression without taxing the host server. These SSDs also support PCIe 4.0, which is a natural fit for AMD's upcoming EPYC Rome processors that will support the specification.
There were several demos of these types of smart SSDs at the show, and they were always paired with AMD's EPYC servers. Other players in this space include Samsung with its SmartSSD and NGD systems.
Asus Shows Up
Asus had its RS700A-E9 server on display in AMD's bustling booth. This platform supports 32 DIMMs in a dual-socket server along with dual M.2 slots. Density is the key here: Asus crams up to 64 cores and 4TB of DDR4 spread across 32 DIMMs into a slim 1U package.
Tyan's EPYC Show of Force
Tyan is one of the smaller players in the server market, but it has invested heavily in bringing new systems to market. Here we see a selection of the company's EPYC servers that come in both dual- and single-socket flavors. The company currently has eight servers on offer, many of which focus on storage and GPGPU applications.
PCIe Lanes Sprout GPUs
AMD's booth had several new solutions providers demoing their new wares. Here we see the SerMax P47V2 platform. This server is designed to host four Radeon Instinct MI25 GPUs for deep learning, rendering, and HPC applications. The value prop? Once again, this vendor supplies more native connectivity in a single-socket server than dual-socket Intel platforms.