AMD Prepares Release of Instinct MI200 CDNA 2 Accelerators By End Of 2021

Jason R. Wilson
AMD Instinct MI200 CDNA 2 'Aldebaran' MCM HPC GPU Accelerator Launching Later This Year

AMD has reported over the last several months about new advancements in technology, from GPUs to CPUs. It appears that they are almost ready for the launch of their CDNA 2 architecture-powered Instinct MI200 accelerator, based on information from their most recent company's investor presentation, which was updated earlier this month. The AMD CDNA 2 architecture is speculated to utilize an MCM architecture.

AMD All Set To Unleash Its CDNA 2 MCM GPU Powered Instinct MI200 Accelerator By End of This Year

Unlike the first part of May, this most recent report that dropped at the end of July shows AMD presenting the CDNA 2 architecture and that the release date for it would land by the end of 2021. The accelerator will utilize an advanced process that may rely on either TSMC's 6nm or 7nm based tech.

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Dr. Lisa Su, AMD's CEO, has this to say about the CDNA 2 outlook for the future of AMD

Last year, we talked about our first-generation CDNA architecture. This year, as I said, we’re putting together our next-generation CDNA architecture. This is actually a key component that enabled us to win the largest supercomputer bids in the US around the Frontier Oak Ridge National Labs installment as well as the Lawrence Livermore National Labs installment with El Capitan and many others.

But it’s a coherent interconnect between CPUs and GPUs that allow us to fully optimize for HPC and for AI and ML applications. And we will be launching the next generation of that architecture, actually, later this year. We’re very excited about it. I think it’s progressed extremely well. It’s the next big step in sort of innovation around the data center architectures.

The AMD CDNA 2 architecture is set to power the next-gen AMD Instinct HPC accelerator models. One such CDNA 2 accelerator will be the AMD Instinct MI200. The Instinct MI200 is planned to feature the Aldebaran graphics processing unit. It is speculated that it will possibly be the first graphics card to showcase an MCM module. The AMD Instinct MI200 is planned to be in competition with Intel and their 7nm Ponte Vecchio, as well as NVIDIA and their updated Ampere structure. NVIDIA and Intel will also produce their own MCM models for their next-gen HPC accelerators.

Here's What To Expect From AMD Instinct MI200 'CDNA 2' GPU Accelerator

Inside the AMD Instinct MI200 is an Aldebaran GPU featuring two dies, a secondary and a primary. It has two dies with each consisting of 8 shader engines for a total of 16 SE's. Each Shader Engine packs 16 CUs with full-rate FP64, packed FP32 & a 2nd Generation Matrix Engine for FP16 & BF16 operations. Each die, as such, is composed of 128 compute units or 8192 stream processors. This rounds up to a total of 256 compute units or 16,384 stream processors for the entire chip. The Aldebaran GPU is also powered by a new XGMI interconnect. Each chiplet features a VCN 2.6 engine and the main IO controller.

The block diagram of AMD's CDNA 2 powered Aldebaran GPU which will power the Instinct MI200 HPC accelerator has been visualized. (Image Credits: Locuza)

As for  DRAM, AMD has gone with an 8-channel interface consisting of 1024-bit interfaces for an 8192-bit wide bus interface. Each interface can support 2GB HBM2e DRAM modules. This should give us up to 16 GB of HBM2e memory capacity per stack and since there are eight stacks in total, the total amount of capacity would be a whopping 128 GB. That's 48 GB more than the A100 which houses 80 GB HBM2e memory. The full visualization of the Aldebaran GPU on the Instinct MI200 is available here.

Source: AMD Investor Report 2021 (PDF)

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