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-   -   Opteron HT coprocessors (http://www.fpgacentral.com/group/showthread.php?t=58481)

JJ 04-28-2006 07:45 PM

Opteron HT coprocessors
 
In comp.arch (and others) there is a thread on this Opteron Virtex4
coprocessor that sits in socket 940.

http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=1920
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/04....dailytech.com
http://www.drccomputer.com/pages/products.html

I wonder what others think of this, at $4500 its way to steep for most
individual buyers who might happen to have a dual socket Opteron board
(I don't), but I wonder if companies like Digilent, Enterpoint and
others might see any opportunity to build a much lower cost edu version
that is more in line with the cost of an Opteron cpu chip say <$1k and
based on best Spartan3 or Virtex2,4 that can still use Webpack.

I also wonder how much faster exactly the HT link is over any of the
PCI interfaces.

John Jakson
transputer guy


Rainer Buchty 04-28-2006 08:44 PM

Re: Opteron HT coprocessors
 
In article <[email protected] .com>,
"JJ" <[email protected]> writes:
|> I wonder what others think of this, at $4500 its way to steep for most
|> individual buyers

Still way cheaper than a Cray XD-1...

Rainer

JJ 04-28-2006 09:02 PM

Re: Opteron HT coprocessors
 
Of course that is the point, get rid of what you don't really need, the
special purpose motherboards that can only be made in tiny volumes at
very high NRE costs, and get on to something alot more HPC people
already have, a spare socket perhaps.

Next step is to use cheaper parts for entry level but I suppose the
PCi... boards could fill that role.

John Jakson
transputer guy


c d saunter 04-28-2006 10:55 PM

Re: Opteron HT coprocessors
 
JJ ([email protected]) wrote:
: In comp.arch (and others) there is a thread on this Opteron Virtex4
: coprocessor that sits in socket 940.

: http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=1920
: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/04....dailytech.com
: http://www.drccomputer.com/pages/products.html

: I wonder what others think of this, at $4500 its way to steep for most
: individual buyers who might happen to have a dual socket Opteron board
: (I don't), but I wonder if companies like Digilent, Enterpoint and
: others might see any opportunity to build a much lower cost edu version
: that is more in line with the cost of an Opteron cpu chip say <$1k and
: based on best Spartan3 or Virtex2,4 that can still use Webpack.

John,
I expect the $4500 reflects development costs and what the market will
bear more than anything else - after all the only thing I've seen near it
was the old Pilchard FPGA on a DIMM research project.

: I also wonder how much faster exactly the HT link is over any of the
: PCI interfaces.

HT can be implemented much faster than parallel PCI but perhaps more
importantly when used with an Opteron is that it's much more tightly
coupled to the CPU. Looking at the upcoming HT3 I feel the best is yet
to come.

One of the posibilities that interest me is a V4 module sitting in a 940
socket with some MGTs wired up (space is tight - I realise that!) - if
you happen to be dealing in high speed data aquisition and processing on
the bit/word and (large) frame level then a tightly coupled
FPGA/commodity CPU system is really quite exciting.

cds

: John Jakson
: transputer guy


JJ 04-29-2006 05:35 AM

Re: Opteron HT coprocessors
 

c d saunter wrote:
> JJ ([email protected]) wrote:
> : In comp.arch (and others) there is a thread on this Opteron Virtex4
> : coprocessor that sits in socket 940.
>
> : http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=1920
> : http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/04....dailytech.com
> : http://www.drccomputer.com/pages/products.html
>
> : I wonder what others think of this, at $4500 its way to steep for most
> : individual buyers who might happen to have a dual socket Opteron board
> : (I don't), but I wonder if companies like Digilent, Enterpoint and
> : others might see any opportunity to build a much lower cost edu version
> : that is more in line with the cost of an Opteron cpu chip say <$1k and
> : based on best Spartan3 or Virtex2,4 that can still use Webpack.
>
> John,
> I expect the $4500 reflects development costs and what the market will
> bear more than anything else - after all the only thing I've seen near it
> was the old Pilchard FPGA on a DIMM research project.
>


Ofcourse, I recall Xilinx VC funded that or another FPGA-DIMM company,
not quite the right time.

> : I also wonder how much faster exactly the HT link is over any of the
> : PCI interfaces.
>
> HT can be implemented much faster than parallel PCI but perhaps more
> importantly when used with an Opteron is that it's much more tightly
> coupled to the CPU. Looking at the upcoming HT3 I feel the best is yet
> to come.


Much lower latency I hope.

>
> One of the posibilities that interest me is a V4 module sitting in a 940
> socket with some MGTs wired up (space is tight - I realise that!) - if
> you happen to be dealing in high speed data aquisition and processing on
> the bit/word and (large) frame level then a tightly coupled
> FPGA/commodity CPU system is really quite exciting.
>


Takes one back to when you could interface 68000s or whatever to your
custom logic or even wire wrap your own mobo, its been along time since
one could "touch" a processor.

Whats you acquisition area?

> cds
>
> : John Jakson
> : transputer guy



c d saunter 04-29-2006 08:13 PM

Re: Opteron HT coprocessors
 
JJ ([email protected]) wrote:

: > One of the posibilities that interest me is a V4 module sitting in a 940
: > socket with some MGTs wired up (space is tight - I realise that!) - if
: > you happen to be dealing in high speed data aquisition and processing on
: > the bit/word and (large) frame level then a tightly coupled
: > FPGA/commodity CPU system is really quite exciting.
: >

: Takes one back to when you could interface 68000s or whatever to your
: custom logic or even wire wrap your own mobo, its been along time since
: one could "touch" a processor.

I hate to say it, but that's before my time other than tinkering with the
CPU bus sticking out the back of an old Amstrad CPC... There are various
things now bringing high end commodity CPUs (as opposed to specialist DSP
hardware) and FPGAs close together - offerings from Cray, SGI, this new
opteron socketed thingie etc. Most of the fuss is around their use in
reconfigurable computing so the offerings tend to be lacking for raw
serial IO...

: Whats you acquisition area?

Starlight - astronomical adaptive optics. Potentially you can be talking
about multiple CCDs of many thosands of pixels framing at over 1KHz...

cds

[email protected] 05-05-2006 11:38 PM

Re: Opteron HT coprocessors
 
>things now bringing high end commodity CPUs (as opposed to specialist DSP
>hardware) and FPGAs close together - offerings from Cray, SGI, this new
>opteron socketed thingie etc. Most of the fuss is around their use in
>reconfigurable computing so the offerings tend to be lacking for raw
>serial IO...


>: Whats you acquisition area?


>Starlight - astronomical adaptive optics. Potentially you can be talking
>about multiple CCDs of many thosands of pixels framing at over 1KHz...


CCD -> Hyperthread -> FPGA -> Hyperthread .. other cpu(s).

(just a quick thought)


Thomas Womack 05-06-2006 12:18 PM

Re: Opteron HT coprocessors
 
In article <[email protected]s.luth.se>,
<[email protected]> wrote:
>>things now bringing high end commodity CPUs (as opposed to specialist DSP
>>hardware) and FPGAs close together - offerings from Cray, SGI, this new
>>opteron socketed thingie etc. Most of the fuss is around their use in
>>reconfigurable computing so the offerings tend to be lacking for raw
>>serial IO...

>
>>: Whats you acquisition area?

>
>>Starlight - astronomical adaptive optics. Potentially you can be talking
>>about multiple CCDs of many thosands of pixels framing at over 1KHz...

>
>CCD -> Hyperthread -> FPGA -> Hyperthread .. other cpu(s).


I'm not sure that a hypertransport-attached CCD is very practical: HT
is a short-range interconnect, and I suspect it's fast enough that
you'd have great difficulty implementing it in the rather peculiar fab
processes required to make a CCD.

I can't find a datasheet for a modern CCD, but the obsolete TC237
has only twelve pins, requires rather complicated digital waveforms
on five of them, and outputs analogue pixel data on two more; you
want to keep the ADC as close to the detector as possible, I'd have
thought connecting the ADCs via an FPGA to gigabit-ethernet channels
would be a reasonable way to go, leaving the problem of data
acquisition from lots of gigabit ethernet connectors as one already
solved by the WAN people.

Tom

JJ 05-07-2006 06:25 AM

Re: Opteron HT coprocessors
 

Thomas Womack wrote:
> In article <[email protected]>,
> <[email protected]> wrote:
> >>things now bringing high end commodity CPUs (as opposed to specialist DSP
> >>hardware) and FPGAs close together - offerings from Cray, SGI, this new
> >>opteron socketed thingie etc. Most of the fuss is around their use in
> >>reconfigurable computing so the offerings tend to be lacking for raw
> >>serial IO...

> >
> >>: Whats you acquisition area?

> >
> >>Starlight - astronomical adaptive optics. Potentially you can be talking
> >>about multiple CCDs of many thosands of pixels framing at over 1KHz...

> >
> >CCD -> Hyperthread -> FPGA -> Hyperthread .. other cpu(s).

>
> I'm not sure that a hypertransport-attached CCD is very practical: HT
> is a short-range interconnect, and I suspect it's fast enough that
> you'd have great difficulty implementing it in the rather peculiar fab
> processes required to make a CCD.
>
> I can't find a datasheet for a modern CCD, but the obsolete TC237
> has only twelve pins, requires rather complicated digital waveforms
> on five of them, and outputs analogue pixel data on two more; you
> want to keep the ADC as close to the detector as possible, I'd have
> thought connecting the ADCs via an FPGA to gigabit-ethernet channels
> would be a reasonable way to go, leaving the problem of data
> acquisition from lots of gigabit ethernet connectors as one already
> solved by the WAN people.
>
> Tom


One fast image sensor project I bumped into that was not an end user
camera, was based on a cmos sensor, not that I have ever been impressed
with cmos web or picture cameras. In that design I was told of a 4k x
4k sensor with 1KHz or so frame rates with multi stacking of cm size
chips, the processing logic was in pixel blocks in a second layer. If
the A/D conversion could have been done in pixel tiles parallel style,
I am sure one could have put HT on it too (for bottomless $ budget). HT
only makes sense in an interactive compute situation, not a
input/output only one.

The serial data rate would have been quite fast but as you say, better
to use standard gig networking that you can use plug n play to any
workstation.

John Jakson


c d saunter 05-07-2006 12:39 PM

Re: Opteron HT coprocessors
 
Thomas Womack ([email protected]) wrote:

: I'm not sure that a hypertransport-attached CCD is very practical: HT
: is a short-range interconnect, and I suspect it's fast enough that
: you'd have great difficulty implementing it in the rather peculiar fab
: processes required to make a CCD.

: I can't find a datasheet for a modern CCD, but the obsolete TC237
: has only twelve pins, requires rather complicated digital waveforms
: on five of them, and outputs analogue pixel data on two more; you
: want to keep the ADC as close to the detector as possible, I'd have
: thought connecting the ADCs via an FPGA to gigabit-ethernet channels

Indeed. Most CCDs are analogue devices with external drivers for a reason
- they need rapidly slewing clocks to read them out and very low noise
amplifiers + ADCs to digitize the data. For sure gigabit eth or whatever
serial protocal may be used, doesn't rally matter as long as the rate's
high enough and the latency low enough - it'd just be nice if the opteron
socketed FPGA and similar projets had serial transcievers to talk such
high speed serial links :-)

cds


Guru 05-08-2006 12:27 PM

Re: Opteron HT coprocessors
 
Hi folks,

The only imaging chips of that speed (1k frames/s) are CMOS. The
easiest way to connect multiple CMOS imaging chips through a large
distance is serial LVDS interface. I know that Micron produces one CMOS
chip with serial LVDS interface, but framerate is only about 30 FPS.

Cheers, Guru


JJ 05-10-2006 08:05 PM

Re: Opteron HT coprocessors
 

Rainer Buchty wrote:
> In article <[email protected] .com>,
> "JJ" <[email protected]> writes:
> |> I wonder what others think of this, at $4500 its way to steep for most
> |> individual buyers
>
> Still way cheaper than a Cray XD-1...
>
> Rainer


Aha, looks like Cray has seen the light and is now partnering with DRC,
lets the customer choose the configuration they want rather than fixed
board level design.

John Jakson


Oleg O. 05-11-2006 01:08 AM

Re: Opteron HT coprocessors
 
In article <[email protected] .com>,
JJ <[email protected]> wrote:
>In comp.arch (and others) there is a thread on this Opteron Virtex4
>coprocessor that sits in socket 940.


Here's a similar product from another company, using Altera's Stratix II:

http://www.xtremedatainc.com/Products.html


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