One of the key metrics we’ve been waiting for since AMD launched its Zen architecture was when it would re-enter the top 10 supercomputer list. The previous best AMD system, built on Opteron CPUs, was Titan, which held the #1 spot in 2012 but slowly dropped out of the top 10 by June 2019. Now, in June 2020, AMD scores a big win for its Zen 2 microarchitecture by getting to #7. But there’s a twist in this tale.
It wasn’t until late 2019 that systems based on AMD EPYC show up. In November’s list that we saw two AMD Naples and two AMD Rome systems push AMD’s total up to six (5 based on EPYC, one on older Opterons). For the June 2020 announcement this week, another seven AMD Rome systems are in the list, making Rome the 10th most popular processor family for supercomputers. But it’s Selene at #7 that’s making the headlines.
Selene is the name of the new supercomputer sitting at #7. For host processors, it is using AMD’s Rome 7742 parts, which are the highest performing commercial parts available that aren’t for specialized markets – technically a list price of $6950 each. What makes Selene a bit odd for an AMD win is that it is part of a supercomputer built with NVIDIA A100 accelerators. And it’s also built for NVIDIA to use at NVIDIA.
The wins for AMD on Zen are now (with Rmax):
#7, Selene, an EPYC 7742 + A100 system for NVIDIA (27.6 PF)
#30, Belenos, an EPYC 7742 system for Meteo France (7.7 PF)
#34, Joliot-Curie Rome, an EPYC 7H12 system for CEA in France (7.0 PF)
#48, Mahti, an EPYC 7H12 system for CSC in Finland (5.4 PF)
#56, Betzy, an EPYC 7742 system for Sigam2 AS in Norway (4.44 PF)
#58, PreE, a Hygon C86 system for Sugon, China (4.32 PF)
#124, Freeman, an EPYC 7542 system for ERDC DSRC (2.5 PF)
#172, Betty, an EPYC 7542 system for the US Army Research Laboratory (2.1 PF)
#268, Cara, an EPYC 7601 system for German Aerospace Center (1.75 PF)
#292, an EPYC 7501 + Vega 20system for Pukou Advanced Computing Center, China (1.66 PF)
#483, Spartan, an EPYC 7H12 system for Atos, France (1.26 PF)
there is the irony of nvidia but AMD progressing in the server market - with a few feathers in their cap(?) -