Feeds

AMD readies 'stream processing' chip for HPC clan

High-end FireStream chip targets poor scientists

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Packed full of ATI goodness, AMD is continuing on with its push to move graphics processors into the co-processor realm for common high performance computing applications.

The chip maker has pumped out it second generation stream processor. This time it's shifting focus from hardened developers to a broader HPC market — your friendly neighborhood medical imager, seismic modeler or computational fluid dynamicist.

The FireStream 9170 Stream Processor and accompanying development kit is a general purpose graphics processor unit, or GPGPU. Basically, it's a graphics chip modified to handle software that normally runs on mainstream server and desktop processors.

Most of today's general purpose processors handle computational tasks in succession. After one piece is done, the chip moves to the next. Parallel computing divides the tasks up and works on many pieces at the same time. The main goal of stream processing is to stage data so that it can be moved (streamed) through the memory system at high efficiency.

The catch is coding applications to run well for streaming, which can be a real bitch compared to standard x86 chips.

The 9170 has 500 gigaflops of compute power, which AMD theoretically places it in line with today's supercomputers. AMD says it will support double-precision floating point tailored for scientific and engineering calculations with the new product.

It consumes less that 150 watts of power, and can be added to existing servers or workstations via a PCI Express 2.0 x 16 interface. The processor board includes 2GB of GDDR3 (Graphic Double Data Rate 3) memory to relieve CPU traffic when handling large datasets. The circuitry is just 55 nanometers wide, smaller than the 65 nanometer circuits found in AMD's top-end computer processors.

Don't expect to be running Doom off this any time soon. Besides, you'd run a pretty fair risk of actually opening a portal to hell if you booted it up with this one.

The package is listed at $1,999, and is scheduled to be out during the Q1 of next year.

Nvidia has a similar product with its Tesla unit, and Intel is beavering away on an x86 chip to handle these HPC tasks.®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo: Turn your phone into a 72GB beast
USB-usiness in the front, micro-USB party in the back
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
BOFH: Oh DO tell us what you think. *CLICK*
$%%&amp Oh dear, we've been cut *CLICK* Well hello *CLICK* You're breaking up...
AMD's 'Seattle' 64-bit ARM server chips now sampling, set to launch in late 2014
But they won't appear in SeaMicro Fabric Compute Systems anytime soon
Amazon reveals its Google-killing 'R3' server instances
A mega-memory instance that never forgets
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
Microsoft builds teleporter weapon to send VMware into Azure
Updated Virtual Machine Converter now converts Linux VMs too
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.