Cray Inc. (NASDAQ:CRAY), a global supercomputer company has announced that it will use the EPYC 7000 series processors from Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD) to power its new Cray CS500 cluster high-performance computing (HPC) systems.
The two companies have had a long and successful partnership. Initially, AMD supplied Cray with Opteron processors used in the big iron Cray supercomputers. These include the $97M 18,688 CPU Titan system deployed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Department of Energy and the National Center for Supercomputing Application (NCSA) Blue Waters which is at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The new partnership is therefore not a surprise given the two companies’ long history of working together. It will however be a significant step taken by AMD as it seeks to reclaim its position in the HPC space.
For AMD, the move is a step towards returning to the datacenter which started last year with the launch of Epyc. A number of OEM/ODMs plus several leading hyperscalers are now offering products and services that are based on Epyc or are in the process of starting to offer.
The CS500 can support over 11,000 nodes which can use either Intel Phi co-processors, or Intel Xeon SP CPUs that are accelerated by Nvidia Tesla GPUs. They also support Intel Stratix FPGA acceleration. Each rack can accommodate up to 72 nodes which are interconnected by Intel’s OmniPath fabric or EDR/FDR InfiniBand.
The Cray CS500 is designed to offer more flexibility. The CS500 cluster offers several node, blade and chassis options, multiple local storage options, interconnect topology options as well we network-attached file system options. It also offers system-management capabilities that are compatible to the needs of the large-scale HPC cluster. Cray is therefore adding the AMD EPYC processors to CS500 in order to expand its flexibility.
According to Hyperion Research senior vice president of research Steve Conway, there has been growing interest in AMD among HPC buyers. The partnership with Cray is therefore clear proof that AMD is aiming at HPC plus hyperscale with Epyc. Both companies are responding to increased demand from customers as well as expand opportunities by offering buyers with a wide choice. The Epyc processors offer highly scalable, energy-efficient and cost-effective performance.