On Monday, AMD unveiled a tiny supercomputer called Project 47 that achieves a whopping 1 petaFLOPS while being stuffed inside a single server rack. 1 petaFLOPS is equal to the world’s most powerful supercomputer circa 2007, IBM’s $100 million Roadrunner.
IBM’s Roadrunner took up 296 racks and 6000 square feet of floor space and used 2,350,000 watts of electricity. The cluster consisted primarily of around 6,912 Opteron CPUs and 12,960 PowerXCell processors.
Now ten years later the Law of Accelerating Returns (a lot of engineering work) has enabled the construction of a system that consumes 98% less power and takes up 99.93% less space than Roadrunner did.
With an energy efficiency of 30 gigaFLOPS per watt, Project 47 requires only 33.3 kW for a petaFLOPS of computation.
Project 47’s unveiling,
Project 47 is powered by 20 AMD EPYC 7601 processors and 80 Radeon Instinct GPUs. It also contains included 10TB of Samsung memory and 20 Mellanox 100G cards (and 1 switch).
To scale Project 47 up to 1 exaFLOPS would require one thousand Project 47 racks and 33.3 MW of power.
AMD reports that its Project 47 rack has more cores/threads, compute units, I/O lanes and memory channels in simultaneous use than in any other comparable system.
Project 47 is planned to go on sale sometime later this year, AMD has not released any pricing details.