AMD rolls out Emerald clustering environment for dual-core Opterons

Posted on Tuesday, November 15 2005 @ 21:42 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
AMD today unveiled its Emerald cluster installation. The AMD Developer Center's Emerald is its newest and largest system, as well as its first publicly available cluster based entirely on Dual-Core AMD Opteron(TM) processors with Direct Connect Architecture. AMD is offering use of Emerald to industry partners, developers, customers and end users as a cutting-edge, multi-core test and development platform.

"Supercomputing is all about performance. The combination of AMD dual-core processors with AMD64's Direct Connect Architecture not only delivers leading-edge performance, but also excels in energy efficiency and performance per watt, key issues in datacenters today," said Joe Menard, corporate vice president, software strategy, AMD. "AMD is helping set the standard for commercial computing, so Emerald allows customers, partner companies and end users to test and optimize applications across hundreds of dual-core processors. To make Emerald happen, we worked with an outstanding group of industry associates that showcase their extraordinary products alongside our multi-core technology."

"As AMD continues to offer innovative solutions for multi-core computing, Rackable Systems' Dual-Core AMD Opteron processor-based servers help offer the scalability to achieve such impressive results," said Colette LaForce, vice president of marketing, Rackable Systems. "As AMD successfully responds to the need for multi-core testing and development in compute-intensive environments, Rackable Systems is fully aligned with and proud to be part of the AMD Emerald cluster."

This cluster is comprised of 144 Rackable Systems nodes, each containing two Dual-Core AMD Opteron processors model 275, for a total of 576 cores. For the HPC Challenge benchmark suite, using a 512-core Emerald configuration, AMD was able to achieve the #1 score in the Random Access (GUPs) benchmark and also measure 1.865 TFlop/s for an efficiency rate of 82.8 percent ( The HPC Challenge benchmark is designed to measure a variety of factors influencing application performance, including sustainable memory bandwidth and latency. These benchmarks are highly sensitive to memory update performance and the speed of network communications, and showcase the clear advantages of AMD64's Direct Connect Architecture.

The Emerald cluster has 1,152 GB RAM, and includes Cyclades TS3000 Console Server; a Force10 Networks E300 Series Switch; Iwill DK8-HTX motherboards; Panasas ActiveScale Storage Cluster; Pathscale InfiniPath HTX InfiniBand Adapters; Rackable Systems servers leveraging DC Power technology; Samsung Electronics 2GB DDR400 memory modules based on single-rank 1Gbit technology; and a Silverstorm 9120 InfiniBand Switch.

The AMD Developer Center has helped hundreds of leading innovators test and optimize their products, enterprise configurations and clusters for AMD64 technology. Located in Sunnyvale, Calif., the AMD Developer Center provides on-site technical support and global virtual access to the AMD64 environment -- enabling scheduled sessions onsite or remotely at

More than 85 of the top 100 of the Forbes Global 2000 companies or their subsidiaries, representing the world's most competitive industries, now rely on AMD Opteron(TM) processor-based systems. The AMD64 processor platform with Direct Connect Architecture is the gold standard for 64-bit computing, evolving industry standards to deliver break-through performance by reducing bottlenecks inherent in traditional front-side bus architectures and enabling a more efficient approach to virtualization. Single- and Dual-Core AMD Opteron processors deliver the highest performance and performance-per-watt in the market because they were designed from the ground up for multi-core computing.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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