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NVIDIA Tesla D870 GPU card

NVIDIA Tesla C870 quad GPU HPC system

NVIDIA Tesla S870 dual GPU 1U HPC system
NVIDIA takes on AMD's Stream Computing Initiative with its Tesla GPU cards and HPC systems

Late last year AMD and ATI merged into one company, forming not just a bigger entity but creating a very specific roadmap altogether. AMD's grand scheme with ATI is to develop a single chip handling both general purpose computing as well as graphics. The Fusion project as AMD calls it is this very goal.

Today, NVIDIA reveals that it is not behind when it comes to general purpose GPU, or GPGPU, computing. Earlier this year the company announced its complete unified device architecture, or CUDA, Technology, which laid the groundwork for GPGPU programming for NVIDIA GPUs. CUDA Technology directly competes with AMD’s Stream Computing initiative.

The GPGPU product lineup will be known as Tesla. Tesla is a top to bottom product lineup consisting of internal PCIe cards and external high-performance computing, or HPC, systems – Tesla C870, S870 and D870.

The internal PCIe solution consists of an output-less GeForce 8-series based card on a PCIe x16 card. The Tesla D870 is NVIDIA’s only internal GPGPU card for desktops. The GPGPU still requires two external PCIe power connectors and consumes up to 170-watts of power at maximum. NVIDIA claims the Tesla D870 delivers 518 Gigaflops of GPGPU processing power.

Last year, the company announced a highly integrated graphics sub-system named QuadroPlex. Using a number of GPUs in a tightly integrated system, the QuadroPlex family of machines accelerated 3D rendering and graphics work. QuadroPlex became the stepping-stone for the new Tesla C870.

The Tesla C870 GPGPU server packs two GeForce 8-series GPUs in an external system with packaging similar to the QuadroPlex. The GPGPU delivers one Teraflop of GPGPU computing power while consuming up to 550-watts of power.

Finally, the Tesla S870 comes equipped with four GeForce 8-series GPUs and offers up to two Teraflops of computing power. The Tesla S870 consumes up to 800-watts of power and fits into a stackable 1U chassis.

Tesla C870 and S870 systems connect to workstation systems via an external PCIe Gen2 x16 interconnect. The machines contain PCIe switches and can be daisy-chained with more systems. As with the Tesla D870 GPU card, the Tesla C870 and S870 systems lack output capabilities. Theoretically, customers can purchase multiple Tesla GPGPU systems and chain them up for big increases in performance.

NVIDIA designed the new Tesla family for everything from graphics rending to medical research and data farming. At the core level, GPUs are far more efficient at dealing with parallel computing than general-purpose processors. This makes Tesla very powerful for cluster-type applications.

The Tesla S870, D870 and C870 carry an MSRP of $12,000, $1,499 and $7,500, respectively.

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They are still single precision units!
By Lord Banshee on 6/20/2007 8:02:45 PM , Rating: 3
From what i know "MOST" R&D houses will not use this unless they come with double precision. All GPUs today are single precision as games do not require so detail in decimals. But for work on volcanic eruptions, impact analysis, and 90% of all HPC software works with double precision.

So the question is this just prototypes for nvidia and ati to show what is coming or are HPC houses really buying these and are they ok with single precision?

On another note, i heard that Nvidia's next GPU will be double precision maybe for this reason alone. If this is the case they see some large amounts of cash from such a new market.

RE: They are still single precision units!
By Ajax9000 on 6/20/2007 10:04:13 PM , Rating: 2
NVIDIA CUDA Release Notes V0.8:
Q: Does CUDA support Double Precision Floating Point arithmetic?
A: CUDA supports the C "double" data type. However on G80 (e.g. GeForce 8800) GPUs, these types will get demoted to 32-bit floats. NVIDIA GPUs supporting double precision in hardware will become available in late 2007.

Unless they have quietly added 64bit to a new revision of the G80 (unlikely, and even more unlikely that they'ed NOT shout about it), you'd be mad to shell out $12k now for 32b if 64b is less than 6 months away.

By peternelson on 6/21/2007 12:59:22 AM , Rating: 2
Precisely! I'm in the market for this kit but full double precision would be much more useful. If the real big iron will be out by year end, that would make me inclined to hold off until then. Meanwhile, some report are that performance of directx10 games and demos give poor frame rates, therefore demand will exist for faster dx10 capable cards. Anandtech please find out any roadmap, schedule or product details for the cards with double precision gpus, and when they will be available in these form factors. Any rumours would be more than what we know now.

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