Qualcomm Centriq 2434 [https://www.nextplatform.com/2017/11/08/qualcomms-amberwing-...]:
- 40 cores (no SMT)
- 2.5 GHz peak
- 4 uops/instructions per cycle [https://www.qualcomm.com/media/documents/files/qualcomm-cent...]
- 110 W TDP
- 10 Guops/s/core
- 0.011 Guops/s/core/$
- 400 Guops/s
- 0.45 Guops/s/$
- 3.63 Guops/s/W
AMD Epyc 7401P [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epyc]:
- 24 cores (2x SMT)
- 2.8 GHz all-core boost
- 6 uops per cycle [http://www.agner.org/optimize/microarchitecture.pdf]
- 170 W TDP
- 16.8 Guops/s/core
- 0.016 Guops/s/core/$
- 403 Guops/s
- 0.37 Guops/s/$
- 2.37 Guops/s/W
So based on this the AMD processor has 170% the Qualcomm's per-core performance, equal on total throughput, 83% of Qualcomm's total thoughput per $ and 65% of Qualcomm's total throughput per W.
Note that the AMD CPU has SMT while the Qualcomm doesn't which improves utilization, and its components are probably faster (due to higher TDP and more experience making CPUs), so it looks like the AMD CPUs are likely to be strictly better in practice except possibly on performance/watt.
Also, with AMD/Intel, albeit at much lower performance/$, you can have 32-core instead of 24-core CPUs and there is up to 4/8-way SMP support that Qualcomm doesn't mention.
In reality things don't work like that. First of all some of the uops can only be loads, others stores and other branches. Second, you have factors like branch prediction, cache latency, branch mis-prediction penalty that plays a huge role on performance.
I am yet to see a workload that can saturate 6 execution ports, even with SMT.
In the real world Centriq is better in performance/watt, and is even better in perfomance/thread that an SMT thread on an Intel Skylake.
Is there one such thing as "in the real world"? I mean isn't it use-case dependent and if you want a build machine, a web server, or a database server you'll get different results out of your benchmarks?
That's also debatable. I've read HPC papers that show opterons outperforming xeons on heavy fp workloads due to the higher throughput and larger cache. Baseless claims regarding "real world performance" are only good for marketeers.
Will I ever do it again? I have no idea. At the time, I got a very nice bottle of wine for my bet.
It's not an edge case when we're talking about basic BLAS kernels.
> I once made a semi-retired 5 year-old server crush a brand new one on a specific workload just because I noticed the working dataset did fit entirely in its L2 cache.
You seem to be oblivious to the fact that for a long time cache access is the main bottleneck in HPC applications, and although the focus on parallel programming gets all the attention the bulk of the research in the field is placed on figuring ways to minimize cache misses while pumping data to the ever growing number of registers. Opterons outperformed xeons because researchers figured how to harness opteron's larger cache and throughput to avoid performance penalties imposed by cache misses and thrashing and it showed. That's also one of the reasons why the old bulldozer architecture showed linear per-core performance even when each pair of cores shared a floating point unit.
Cloud scale providers don't care about raw performance (within reason).
TCO wins the day, so if Qualcomm CPUs offer higher performance per watt than Intel or AMD, I can definitely see them buying these like hotcakes.
It is too bad someone has't made a graph of these two trajectories, Intel/AMD performance and ARM performance, over time. I bet it would let us see if there is going to be an intercept between the two and when it would happen. We have like 7 years of data now in this race, a graph should be possible.
1. Tier-1 server suppliers like HPE plan to make a Centriq server. For customers to stick their neck out and start porting critical software to a new architecture, they have to believe that there's going to be a refresh next year, and the year after that. Some adventurous customers will be ready to explore this territory but the critical mass won't move until they see momentum shift that way.
HPE and Qualcomm each have a popular brand and big budgets that can sustain a slow ramp of a couple generations of these products before they start to see major adoption.
2. What else is different this time is the ever-increasing popularity of: open source software, linux, containerization, python, golang, node/JS, Java, C#, etc. Redhat announced at SC this year that they will offer a supported ARM release. That means that all of the above will Just Work.
Their 48 core Centriq 2400 is listed at $2000. The 28 core Skylake they compare it to is $10000. They claim 4x better performance per dollar, which puts it at the chip level as 0.8x as fast as the Intel. That would peg every core as 0.5x as fast as the Intel.
It won't win a single-thread contest, but that puts it well within the "very fast" category.
It didn't pan out that time either, not even on machines with 64k processors.
Porting our code to run well on such machines is a bet people should start making.
Intel could sell bottom bin Xeon Phi chips as development systems. I don't care if half the cores have failed testing and are masked off or it won't run at full speed.
Developers always have the computers of the future on their desks. If Intel wants Phi to be part of that future, they'd better put them on developers' desks.
Most of the time, my laptop is doing workloads that would leave an Atom bored to death, but when I need it, I sure love those i7 cores.
I would gladly sacrifice one i7 core for 4 Atom ones, provided the OS knew what to do with them.
I don't think they target the same kind of applications anyway.
Well everyone is running into these problems.
However Intel's historical process advantage is probably drawing to a close (or at least the gap between Intel's best and say, TSMC's best, will be a lot smaller). So it's all about the micro-architecture from here on out.
On the flip side though, 65 vs 90 is basically the same % difference as 7 vs 10.
Obviously the performance difference of 7 vs 10 is smaller than historical changes (especially WRT power), but Intel's still ahead and looks like it will stay that way.
Now not only has TSMC or Samsung shrank the gap to less then a year or so, they now both enjoy the same economy of scale provided by the mobile phone market. 1.7 Billion Smartphones Vs 250M PC. While many of the smartphones aren't using cutting edge tech, the same goes to PC market as well.
Unless there is any change of pace from Intel, TSMC will likely have the same level of tech as Intel in 2019, and a scale that Intel wont match assuming Apple dont change course and continue to Fab with TSMC.
They will need to sell more chips, more transistor, keep the Fab fully utilize, with the ~200M Modem from Apple next year that is going to help tremendously, but given Apple switch supplier from time to time their move into GPU in 2 - 3 years time seems like a backup plan incase anything goes south.
Check out the last table comparing TSMC and Samsung's 7nm features vs Intel's 10nm:
Intel may still have a 6-months lead or so, but it's nowhere near its 2-3 year lead it used to have only 5 years ago, when not only did it have smaller transistors than the competition, but also used FinFET transistors, with much better thermal performance.
Intel won't even be the first to EUV now, which may not be a huge advantage at first (cost-wise), but it does give Samsung a lead in EUV expertise, from which I think they'll benefit in the long term.
"estimates"? Did they actually benchmark it?
Driving an open ecosystem around the Qualcomm Centriq 2400 processor is a critical pillar of our strategy.
Show us the datasheets. This being Qualcomm, I'm not holding my breath for that...
ARM managed to take the entire mobile market because those low power consumption ARM SoCs are everywhere, you can buy a tiny ARM board running Linux for $50 or less and there are thousands of sellers on ebay.com/taobao.com. However, it is a completely different situation when it comes to ARM for data centres - it is damn hard to find any 64bit ARM platform that allow you have say 32GBytes RAM and a few PCIE slots at reasonable price (e.g. comparable to Xeons). Not talking about cloud, I want 3 such ARM machines sitting in my home lab working 24/7 at 100% load for me and I need to play on the hardware side a little bit (e.g. try different SSDs).
As of writing, most of those devboards you can see on the market come with an application processor without modem. The ones that really see huge volumes are the ones with integrated modems, e.g. MTK processors with modem or the Snapdragon series, interestingly you are not going to get any of them for $50.
Do you know why no desktop software is optimized for Xeon Phi, SPARC, POWER9? Because almost nobody plays with them.
We're going to reach the limit for CPU miniaturization soon.
That's like saying in the 90s, "why do we need 1Gbps internet, 56k is completely enough to check your emails or browse newsgroups."
And the ancient supercomputers are now in our pockets
Not really, since QC is not computing like today except a lot faster. It's a very different way for solving some problems. They are not general purpose computing devices.
> And the ancient supercomputers are now in our pockets
Yeah, about that pocket-sized dilution refrigerator...
I don't think we understand the quantum world and quantum computers well enough today to define 100% of the things we'll be using quantum computers for 50 years from now. We'll start with cryptography, molecule interaction simulations, and some optimization problems, but I think we'll think of new ways to use them in the future.
Sure, why not? What is a modern GPU if not a bunch (well, a very large bunch!) of vector processors? Vector supercomputers were a thing in the 1970'ies, parallel vector supercomputers in the early 1980'ies. The 1980'ies also saw the beginnings of massively parallel systems (e.g. Connection Machine, Transputer). So take the state of supercomputing in the 1980'ies, extrapolate using Moore's law up to today, and you might arrive at something quite close to a GPU chip.
Now, that this chip full of vector processors would be a side-effect of the $$$ available for graphics rendering, largely for entertainment purposes, is probably a historical fluke few would have predicted.
But my point was that Quantum Computing really is different. It's not a general purpose computing method (in the sense of Turing completeness etc.), and AFAIK so far all attempts at it require very low temperatures in order to drive down thermal fluctuations. Sub-K refrigerators have advanced considerably in the past few decades, but still it's far away from something portable.
> I don't think we understand the quantum world and quantum computers well enough today to define 100% of the things we'll be using quantum computers for 50 years from now. We'll start with cryptography, molecule interaction simulations, and some optimization problems, but I think we'll think of new ways to use them in the future.
Oh, absolutely. I'm just not convinced it'll be something every Tom, Dick, and Harry will use to go about their daily lives, even 50 years from now.
"The Cray-1 was the first supercomputer to successfully implement the vector processor design. These systems improve the performance of math operations by arranging memory and registers to quickly perform a single operation on a large set of data."
What nobody anticipated is that we'd be using stuff that was originally designed for games.
Mostly yes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Connection_Machine
From the 60's: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ILLIAC_IV
The problem with timesharing and QC is that you need to preserve and restore the quantum state of the computer when switching tasks. I am not sure how you would go about with that or if that's even possible.
Quantum computing architectures are a whole different beast.
Each core can still only process one instruction stream but if there are multiple threads sharing the same instruction stream they all get executed at once.
> Would you say GPU compute was envisioned in the 80's?
Well, GPUs aren't used for general computation either. There are specific sets of problems that they're good at, but we don't run the OS on them.
Xeon Phi's predecessor, the Larrabee, was designed as a GPU. Intel now has a Phi that can be the only CPU in your computer.
It all depends on the code that the GPU cores run.
Some time ago, while musing about what a modern-day Amiga would be, I'd imagined it'd have a GPU and run all (or, at least most of) its software on it.
Actually, my cheap smartphone is orders of magnitude faster than the ancient supercomputers.
I don't see that requirement relaxing in the next ten years.