AMD FirePro S10000 Card Powers World’s No. 2 Greenest Supercomputer

AMD’s FirePro S10000 Accelerator Speeds Up Saudi Arabian Supercomputer

by Anton Shilov
11/15/2012 | 01:22 PM

Advanced Micro Devices said Thursday that its recently introduced AMD FirePro S10000 server graphics card powers Sanam supercomputer in Saudi Arabia. While the system in not in the Top 10 most powerful machines in the world, Sanam is the world’s second most power-efficient supercomputer.


"There is a massive shift in the HPC industry from defining supercomputing performance in terms of FLOPS to performance-per-watt and developing environmentally responsible technologies," said John Gustafson, senior fellow and chief product architect at graphics business unit at AMD.

Based on 4.8 thousand of Intel Xeon E5-2650 (8 cores, 2.0GHz) microprocessors and 420 AMD FirePro S10000 accelerators, the Sanam delivers 421.2TFLOPS Rmax Linpack performance or 1098TFLOPS Rpeak Linpack performance. Capable of providing a system energy efficiency of over 2.3GFLOPS per watt and performing 2351 million calculations per second per watt (2351MFLOPS/W), the Sanam supercomputer is the world’s second most energy-efficient supercomputer, according to Green500 list. Ironically, only Beacon, an Intel Xeon- and Intel Xeon Phi-based supercomputer is more efficient with 2499MFLOPS/W; even the Titan, the world's highest-performing supercomputer with AMD Opteron chips and Nvidia Tesla K20 accelerators inside, is at 2142MFLOPS/w. Sanam is currently the world’s No. 52 most powerful supercomputer.

“The Sanam supercomputer, equipped with AMD FirePro S10000 GPUs based on our Graphics Core Next architecture, consumes a mere 180kW power while running, which is incredibly low for a supercomputer. With solutions like the FirePro S10000 along with innovative software from AMD and technology partners […] we enable institutions engaged in cutting-edge research […] to achieve massive compute performance and processor density, while staying within their power budget,” added Mr. Gustafson.

Sanam is a joint project of Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies and King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. As an integral part of the high-speed cluster (HSC) project, Adtech Global provided technical research to identify a systems solution that would not only work for the high-speed cluster HSC application, but could also provide long-term development and modifications opportunities.

“We focused on utilizing technologies which would provide the ability to continuously improve performance, lower costs and reduce power consumption in the future. We knew at the outset that the Sanam supercomputer we worked on with University of Frankfurt and AMD was going to be special, but knowing is one thing and seeing is another. We have worked on many high-end, custom solutions; however, it is always exciting to flip the switch and witness the incredible performance of today's supercomputers. The performance-per-watt capability of this system is simply amazing,” said Rick Rozalsky, vice president of global business development at Adtech Global.