AMD demos next-gen x86 server APU running Fedora Linux

AMD demos next-gen x86 server APU running Fedora Linux

Summary: AMD Opteron X-Series APUs running Fedora Linux are an important development for companies looking to transition to x86 APU servers but who don't want to introduce new tools and software platforms into the IT environments.

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TOPICS: Hardware
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Chipmaker AMD has announced a major milestone in the development of its enterprise software ecosystem with the first public demonstration of its second-generation AMD Opteron X-Series APU, codenamed "Berlin," running Fedora Linux at the Red Hat Summit 2014. 

According to AMD this is an important development for companies looking to transition to x86 APU servers but who don't want to introduce new tools and software platforms into the IT environments, so this demo represents a step forward in expanding the footprint of x86 APU accelerated performance within the data center.

This demo of "Berlin" showcases the world's first Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) featured server APU, and comes ahead of the chip's official launch later this year. The demo highlighted new advancements including "Project Sumatra," technology that allows Java applications to take advantage of the GPUs inside the APUs. The combination of Linux and Java on AMD APU platforms creates a platform for server-based multimedia workloads and general purpose GPU compute that will, according to AMD, help drive new levels of workload efficiency in the data center. 

AMD also plans to demo software-based on OpenCL parallel programming open standard and OpenGL cross-language, multi-platform application programming interface (API) for rendering 2D and 3D vector graphics on the "Berlin" APUs.  

"As servers adapt to new and evolving workloads, it’s critical that the software ecosystem support the requirements of these new workloads," said Suresh Gopalakrishnan, corporate vice president and general manager of the Server Business Unit, AMD. "We are actively engaged with a broad set of partners in the data center software community who are bringing to market the software infrastructure to seamlessly enable x86 APU based servers."

Topic: Hardware

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7 comments
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  • Sounds interesting

    APUs in servers could be quite useful if they could really leverage the power of GCN w/ HSA. And server tech is more likely to be updated faster than desktop tech, as server efficiency is $ for big data people.
    They should make some 8 - 16 Core Jaguar servers! Those would be low power with alot of processing power!
    Jimster480
  • Will this have a negative effect on the network?

    I see many benefits to pushing the graphics workload onto the server, but won't it create a bandwidth problem between the server and the clients? A handful of active clients doing 3d renderings might saturate the network. What happens to a wireless network when an architect gets busy on his new HD tablet?
    Programmer1028
    • depends entirely on how it is used.

      One way for video is to use it to only send the changed display grid elements (a relatively small rectangle). The computation for the identification of the changes would all be done on the server - as could the generation of the image in the first place.
      jessepollard
    • well

      its not only physical graphics. Like for example video calling, the server transcodes the video for different devices on the fly. Or even image serving, they can be transcoded into different formats and different sizes based on requests (like google pagespeeds does) and have this be accelerated. There are many tasks overall that are largely parallel on a server and GPU cores can really help with these tasks.
      Jimster480
  • More details like how many cores and capability to virtualize?

    How many cores do these models come with? Can they do virtualization? AMD should have demoed some virtualization.
    cp10000
    • all AMD cores can do virtualization

      They have all had VT for a long time so yes. I believe at the moment they are only in quad core configurations.
      Jimster480
  • Great! Now Johnie can play his game on the cloud

    bring in those cheap floating point AMD servers.
    Sixpacker