AMD Throttles Up The TFLOPS With New FireStream GPUs

Advanced Micro Devices on Wednesday unveiled a pair of new FireStream GPU accelerator boards with passive heat sinks to better position AMD’s new top-of-the-line GPU products for server integrations.

’What we’re doing with the server integration of these boards is working with both server OEMs and system integrators, to wind up with good, strong integrated solutions,’ said Patricia Harrell, director of stream computing at Sunnyvale, Calif.-based AMD.

AMD will make the FireStream 9350, priced at $799, and the FireStream 9370, priced at $1,999, available in the third quarter of 2010.

The AMD FireStream 9350 succeeds the FireStream 9250 and ups the ante on its predecessor’s performance while costing well below the 9250’s current price tag of $999. With single precision floating point (SPFP) performance of 2.0 teraflops, or floating point operations per second, the 9350 offers two times the SPFP performance of its predecessor.

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The FireStream 9350 also boosts double precision floating point (DPFP) performance over the previous generation board from 200 gigaflops to 400 gigaflops, according to AMD. The FireStream 9350 is a 150-watt single-slot platform with 2GB of GDDR5 memory.

The FireStream 9370 delivers 2.64 teraflops of SPFP performance, more than double the 1.2 teraflops of its ultra-high end predecessor, the FireStream 9270, which is currently priced at $1,499. Built for dual-slot configurations in HPC, cloud and enterprise rack-mounted servers and expansion systems, the FireStream 9370 also offers 528 gigaflops of DPFP performance, 4GB of GDDR5 memory and 225-watt thermals.

AMD abandoned a case and fan cooling for the upcoming generation of FireStream boards to better accommodate server manufacturers who found that fan-cooled GPUs interfered with the air flow in their boxes, Harrell said.

AMD’s new FireStream boards are set to compete with the newest Fermi-class Tesla products from rival graphics chip maker Nvidia of Santa Clara, Calif. Nvidia’s latest Tesla products trail the new FireStream products on raw floating point performance, but incorporate Nvidia’s CUDA programming language and have error corrected memory (ECC), both of which are lacking on AMD’s accelerator boards.

The FireStream 9350 and 9370 do support the OpenCL, DirectX 11 and OpenGL application interfaces. AMD partners planning servers and expansion systems based on the new FireStream products include One Stop Systems and Supermicro, according to the chip maker.