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AMD Shows Off "Berlin," Its Next Gen Opteron X-Series APUs

By - Source: AMD

AMD is one step closer to releasing its next generation Opteron X Series APU codenamed "Berlin." At the annual Red Hat Summit, happening this week in San Francisco, the company's new x86 accelerated processing unit was shown running Fedora, Red Hat's sponsored community Linux distro. AMD is hoping to demonstrate "a significant step forward in expanding the footprint of x86 APU accelerated performance within the data center." 

[Read: AMD Reveals Plans for 3 New Server CPUs: "Berlin," "Warsaw" & "Seattle"]

The new APUs represents a serious push for actualizing Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) for enterprise-class database architectures. Accelerated processing units combine CPUs and other processing units that would normally be separately integrated into the computing system as a whole, such as a GPU. This can significantly speed up compute processes by bridging the gap between CPU and other processors necessary for intensive workloads.

Multiple processing units can be seen as separate people all speaking different languages, yet they must communicate with each other constantly in order to carry out their designated tasks. Imagine if this problem could be solved by putting multiple brains into a single person. This is exactly what an APU does for a computer.

One of the biggest problems with implementing this technology is learning how to utilize it when companies have designed entire environments around a completely different manner of computing. As AMD points out on its HSA page, "it is not sufficient to ask application vendors to change their software to fit a new kind of hardware -- that path leads to niche success at best."

AMD's new Opteron X Series demonstration showed Project Sumatra applications utilizing GPU processing within the APU. Project Sumatra is Java's development kit tailored specifically for creating applications to run on APUs.

These APU resources provide a familiar starting point for enterprises thinking about moving some workloads over to APU-based systems. And not only are they familiar, they seem to actually work.

"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."

AMD's "Berlin" APU is planned for release later this year. For more information on other X-Series APUs, visit amd.com.

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