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Opteron Powers nearly Half Of The Top 25 SuperComputers

According to John Fruehe of AMD in his latest blog.


  • AMD Opteron processors:             11 (44%)
  • Intel Xeon processors:                    8 (32%)
  • IBM PowerPC processors:             4 (16%)
  • Fujitsu SPARC processors:             1 (4%)
  • AMD Opteron + IBM Cell:             1 (4)

In the CPU-only realm only Sun SPARC has scored higher on the industry standard LinPack benchmark.


From the site:

LINPACK is a collection of Fortran subroutines that analyze and solve linear equations and linear least-squares problems. The package solves linear systems whose matrices are general, banded, symmetric indefinite, symmetric positive definite, triangular, and tridiagonal square. In addition, the package computes the QR and singular value decompositions of rectangular matrices and applies them to least-squares problems. LINPACK uses column-oriented algorithms to increase efficiency by preserving locality of reference.

LINPACK was designed for supercomputers in use in the 1970s and early 1980s. LINPACK has been largely superceded by LAPACK, which has been designed to run efficiently on shared-memory, vector supercomputers.


AMD has been a staple of the Top500 since Opteron was released in 2003. Cray has created the most scalable HPC architecture including the Gemini interconnect that is said to scale out to HALF A MILLION CPU cores.

Upcoming versions of AMD Cray SCs are the XK6, their first truly hybrid SC made by combining AMDs Opteron 6200 (Codenamed Bulldozer) processors and NVidia’s Tesla X2090 (Codename Fermi) GPUs. Cray estimates this to provide up to 50PF (PetaFlops) of LinPack performance.


Users of the Cray systems include the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), the Lawrence Livermore Labs; the Oak Ridge National Lab; the Finnish Meteorological Institute and many others as these installations lease out “rack space” too many universities around the world.

The 6200 Opterons look to continue this trend as the NOAA reported the latest upgrades to their XE6 system will take it from 260TFlops to 386 TFlops using Interlagos 16 core CPUs. A new XE6 will be added natively based on Opteron 6200 processors and will achieve a theoretical 720TFlops. Cray’s current champ, the Jaguar achieves 1.7PetaFlops of performance, slightly behind the 2.4PF of the Tianhe GPU Hybrid but well behind the new leader, the SPARC based K Computer in Japan’s Riken Institute, which scores 8.1PF, though it does so with 2X the cores and power.

Llano Mobile Available Now

Llano, AMDs new APU for mainstream laptops and desktops is making lots of noise in the retail world just scant weeks after its launch it is in the guts of no less than 5 mobile Best Buy models ranging from $529-679.

Not to be outdone, online retailer Newegg is sporting 6 of these APU beauties from Toshiba ranging from the dual core A4 to the quad core A6, perfect systems for students, video enthusiasts and even light gamers as the 240 SP Radeon HD6400 series along with a high clocked A4 has shown to provide frame rates for games like WoW, Sims Online and others.

Notebooks of this power and price were impossible before Llano and its early appearance denotes a real push by the major OEMs to get these chips in their inventory. AMD though does plan an aggressive ramp of the A, C and E series APUs and phase out all AM3 processors by the middle of next year so we can expect to see more and more APU-based systems as the year progresses.


HP is up first with the A8-3500M-equipped DV6-6135dx, but following behind is the new Toshiba A6-3400M-equipped L775D-S7210. They both weigh in at under $700 with the HP model costing a svelte $679 and the Toshiba slims that price down to an admittedly anorexic $579. Both models come complete with Radeon HD 6000 graphics. The HP system has 6GB RAM, 400 SPs (Shader Processors) running at 444MHz while the Toshiba gets by with 4GB RAM and 320 SPs ticking away at 400MHz. The HP system truly ups the ante, providing a Radeon HD 6750 for Dual Graphics gaming goodness. Not to be outdone, Toshiba tosses in a 17.3” LCD up from the 15.6 of the HP model.

FD-SOI Ready To Make An Appearance

The Semiconductor Manufacturing and Design web site reports that the big players in SOI wafers are prepared for mass production of FD-SOI wafers. AMD is said to be adopting FD-SOI rather than the FinFETs of Intel and TSMC.

IBM, STMicro, GlobalFoundries, Renesas, and Toshiba all have signed on for the wafers while SOITEC – the largest manufacturer of SOI wafers has begun its production along with MEMC of St Louis and SEH in Taiwan – the largest overall wafer producer.

One thing the SOI Consortium and Intel agree on: bulk silicon CMOS “is not going to cut it past the 22nm node.”

Llano Reviews Part 2

KitGuru – Desktop Llano Review


Today we are going to examine the top-end ‘Lynx’ APU, the A8-3850, and compare it to Intel’s i3-2105 CPU.  The Lynx platform has a completely redesigned socket, named FM1, meaning the APUs aren’t backwards compatible with existing motherboards.  So we will also be looking at one of the first Lynx motherboards to market, the Asus F1A75-M Pro. This is a Micro-ATX model that is perfect for a small-form factor PC and should let us achieve a reasonable overclock.


Hexus – AMD Llano A8-3500M APU notebook review: redefining mainstream computing

The aggregation of a CPU and GPU is a clever feat that's also been achieved by Intel with its equivalent Sandy Bridge chips. But neither firms' integration extends to pulling all the necessary inputs and outputs on to one chunk of silicon, and this is why a separate chip, referred to as the Fusion Controller Hub, co-exists with the A-Series APU. Future iterations of the APU will doubtless pull everything together, but for now, both x86 companies use a two-chip mindset.


Phoronix - Llano Graphics / Radeon HD 6620G On Linux


If you wish to run AMD Llano Fusion APUs on the open-source driver, you must be building everything from source as the necessary Linux kernel / Mesa / DDX components do not have Llano in released form. With that said, this initial Llano support is likely buggy. The open-source Llano support could not be tested as we only had remote access to the A8-3500M system and could not monitor the process for OpenGL rendering issues or other problems along with it being more difficult to remotely handle system hangs and other problems. The open-source Llano Linux support will not be tested until we have our hands physically on the Llano systems.

Llano Review In Progress

I'm hard at work at our review of AMD's new Llano.   Don't expect it today however.  I've had as usual plenty of things to suck away my time.  Here's a shot of the CPU.


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