CHIP DESIGNER AMD has beaten Nvidia's Tesla K20X with its Firepro S10000 accelerator in the Green 500 list.
AMD had an eventful showing in the Top 500 list despite having one one cluster in the top 10. Even though the firm only had one supercomputer in the top 10, that cluster, Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Titan, took the top spot, and in the Green 500 list the firm saw its new Firepro S10000 accelerator beat Nvidia's latest Tesla K20X in power efficiency.
AMD's Firepro S10000 accelerator card is based on the firm's current generation Graphics Core Next architecture and boasts peak performance of 5.91 TeraFLOPS in single-precision floating point and 1.48 TeraFLOPS in the all important double-precision floating point category. The firm's latest GPGPU card stacks up well against Nvidia's Tesla K20 series accelerator cards on paper, and going by the Green 500, it can match and surpass the efficiency of clusters boasting Nvidia's latest kit.
While the Top 500 list remains the most prestigious league in high performance computing, in recent years the Green 500 list has been gaining popularity because it takes into account power utilisation, a vital factor when deciding what kit to deploy in the real world.
AMD might have lost out to Intel's Xeon Phi for the top spot but its 200-plus MFLOPS/W advantage over the Tesla K20X Titan and Tesla K20 Todi clusters is impressive. Now AMD has to put some effort into pushing its accelerator cards as hard as Nvidia has done over the past few years, otherwise it might be squeezed out as Intel iterates its Xeon Phi product cycle. µ