Although they’ve been rather quiet compared to their competitors in the general server, GPU and of course, overall HPC market, it might be too early to write off AMD just yet. If we’re to look at their silence as the “calm before the storm” consider it typhoon season, at least according Suresh Gopalakrishnan, corporate vice president and general manager of the AMD server business unit, whom we spoke with this week.
The last time we checked in with AMD, we were told that HPC represented a small share of the overall business focus. At the time, they had a dwindling share of the Top 500 (which hasn’t recovered—AMD claims less than 45 systems across processor generations on the list) and their focus seemed to be targeting anything but high performance computing workloads. But with stiff competition in the mainstream server market from the largely-dominant Intel, the drawn-out death of the PC, and a struggling presence in high-end computing, AMD did the smart thing—they branched out to tackle key segments of the market where they still have a chance. Among those areas is still the ARM server ecosystem—one that they’ll be aggressively attacking with their “Seattle” approach this year. Add to that their APU, which has an HSA shine for developers and a rather powerful GPU to exploit, and they might reclaim their status in an HPC ecosystem that’s moved on with rising shares of discrete GPUs and increasingly, coprocessors like the Xeon Phi.
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