Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Intel Steals AMD's Supercomputer Shopper

Cray and Intel announced today that they have established an R&D deal for research on next generation supercomputers. Cray Inc is one of the best Cray supercomputer and high-performance computing manufacturer and mainly has been using AMD processors in its machines. Cray and Intel will be researching on the use of Larabee accelerators in supercomputers.

Larabee is Intel's next-generation GPGPU initiative, which is the cunning plan to use graphic cards to do other computing tasks than just showing graphics. GPU are known to have high-floating point processing capabilities and the industry has decided its time to use it for some math. AMD's ATI acquisition was on similar grounds and AMD today manufactures AMD Stream Processors that do the same thing. Nvidia with its CUDA is also doing a same thing.

AMD must be pretty sad that it hasn't been able to pull something similar with its Stream Processors. AMD Opteron has been pretty popular among supercomputer manufacturers due to scalability brought through HyperTransport architecture. Cray shares seem to have risen due to some excitement with AMD's chip availability, but I suspect its more to do with the Intel partnership.

Stream Processing are going to be the future of high-performance computing. Even on desktops, it'll be either be processors doing GPU work or GPU doing processors work sometime in the future.

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