AMD’s Flagship Instinct MI100 CDNA GPU Based Accelerator For HPC Launches on 16th November, The World’s Fastest Double Precision Powerhouse


AMD is all set to unveil its next-generation CDNA GPU-based Instinct MI100 accelerator on the 16th of November as per tech outlet, Aroged. The information comes from leaked documents which are part of the embargoed datasheets for its next-generation data center and HPC accelerators lineup.

AMD Instinct MI100 With First-Generation CDNA Architecture Launches on 16th November - Aims To Tackle NVIDIA's A100 In The Data Center Segment With Fastest Double Precision Power

The AMD Instinct MI100 accelerator was confirmed by AMD's CTO, Mark Papermaster, almost 5 months ago. Back then, Mark stated that they will be introducing the cDNA based Instinct GPU by the second half of 2020. Since we approach end of year, it looks like AMD is now all set to launch the most powerful data center GPU it has ever built under the leadership of RTG's new chief, David Wang.

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AMD's Radeon Instinct MI100 will be utilizing the CDNA architecture which is entirely different than the RDNA architecture that gamers will have access to later this month. The CDNA architecture has been designed specifically for the HPC segment and will be pitted against NVIDIA's Ampere A100 & similar accelerator cards.

ased on what we have learned from various prototype leaks, the Radeon Instinct MI100 'Arcturus' GPU will feature several variants. The flagship variant goes in the D34303 SKU which makes use of the XL variant. The info for this part is based on a test board so it is likely that final specifications would not be the same but here are the key points:

  • Based on Arcturus GPUs (1st Gen cDNA)
  • Test Board has a TDP of 200W (Final variants ~300-350W)
  • Up To 32 GB HBM2e Memory

Specifications that were previously leaked by AdoredTV suggest that the AMD Instinct MI100 will feature 34 TFLOPs of FP32 compute per GPU. Each Radeon Instinct MI100 GPU will have a TDP of 300W. Each GPU will feature 32 GB of HBM2e memory which should pump out 1.225 TB/s of total bandwidth.

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As per the embargo, the AMD Instinct MI100 HPC accelerator will be unveiled on 16th November at 8 AM CDT.

AMD Radeon Instinct Accelerators 2020

Accelerator NameAMD Instinct MI300AMD Instinct MI250XAMD Instinct MI250AMD Instinct MI210AMD Instinct MI100AMD Radeon Instinct MI60AMD Radeon Instinct MI50AMD Radeon Instinct MI25AMD Radeon Instinct MI8AMD Radeon Instinct MI6
CPU ArchitectureZen 4 (Exascale APU)N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
GPU ArchitectureTBA (CDNA 3)Aldebaran (CDNA 2)Aldebaran (CDNA 2)Aldebaran (CDNA 2)Arcturus (CDNA 1)Vega 20Vega 20Vega 10Fiji XTPolaris 10
GPU Process Node5nm+6nm6nm6nm6nm7nm FinFET7nm FinFET7nm FinFET14nm FinFET28nm14nm FinFET
GPU Chiplets4 (MCM / 3D Stacked)
1 (Per Die)
2 (MCM)
1 (Per Die)
2 (MCM)
1 (Per Die)
2 (MCM)
1 (Per Die)
1 (Monolithic)1 (Monolithic)1 (Monolithic)1 (Monolithic)1 (Monolithic)1 (Monolithic)
GPU Cores28,160?14,08013,3126656768040963840409640962304
GPU Clock SpeedTBA1700 MHz1700 MHz1700 MHz1500 MHz1800 MHz1725 MHz1500 MHz1000 MHz1237 MHz
FP16 ComputeTBA383 TOPs362 TOPs181 TOPs185 TFLOPs29.5 TFLOPs26.5 TFLOPs24.6 TFLOPs8.2 TFLOPs5.7 TFLOPs
FP32 ComputeTBA95.7 TFLOPs90.5 TFLOPs45.3 TFLOPs23.1 TFLOPs14.7 TFLOPs13.3 TFLOPs12.3 TFLOPs8.2 TFLOPs5.7 TFLOPs
FP64 ComputeTBA47.9 TFLOPs45.3 TFLOPs22.6 TFLOPs11.5 TFLOPs7.4 TFLOPs6.6 TFLOPs768 GFLOPs512 GFLOPs384 GFLOPs
VRAM192 GB HBM3?128 GB HBM2e128 GB HBM2e64 GB HBM2e32 GB HBM232 GB HBM216 GB HBM216 GB HBM24 GB HBM116 GB GDDR5
Memory ClockTBA3.2 Gbps3.2 Gbps3.2 Gbps1200 MHz1000 MHz1000 MHz945 MHz500 MHz1750 MHz
Memory Bus8192-bit8192-bit8192-bit4096-bit4096-bit bus4096-bit bus4096-bit bus2048-bit bus4096-bit bus256-bit bus
Memory BandwidthTBA3.2 TB/s3.2 TB/s1.6 TB/s1.23 TB/s1 TB/s1 TB/s484 GB/s512 GB/s224 GB/s
Form FactorOAMOAMOAMDual Slot CardDual Slot, Full LengthDual Slot, Full LengthDual Slot, Full LengthDual Slot, Full LengthDual Slot, Half LengthSingle Slot, Full Length
CoolingPassive CoolingPassive CoolingPassive CoolingPassive CoolingPassive CoolingPassive CoolingPassive CoolingPassive CoolingPassive CoolingPassive Cooling

AMD's Radeon Instinct MI100 'CDNA GPU' Performance Numbers, An FP32 Powerhouse In The Making?

In terms of performance, the AMD Radeon Instinct MI100 was compared to the NVIDIA Volta V100 and the NVIDIA Ampere A100 GPU accelerators. Interestingly, the slides mention a 300W Ampere A100 accelerator although no such configuration exists which means that these slides are based on a hypothesized A100 configuration rather than an actual variant which comes in two flavors, the 400W config in the SXM form factor and the 250W config which comes in the PCIe form factor.

As per the benchmarks, the Radeon Instinct MI100 delivers around 13% better FP32 performance versus the Ampere A100 and over 2x performance increase versus the Volta V100 GPUs. The perf to value ratio is also compared with the MI100 offering around 2.4x better value compared to the V100S and 50% better value than the Ampere A100. It is also shown that the performance scaling is near-linear even with up to 32 GPU configurations in Resenet which is quite impressive.

AMD Radeon Instinct MI100 vs NVIDIA's Ampere A100 HPC Accelerator (Image Credits: AdoredTV):

With that said, the slides also mention that AMD will offer much better performance and value in three specific segments which include Oil & Gas, Academia, and HPC & Machine Learning. In the rest of the HPC workloads such as AI & data analytics, NVIDIA will offer much superior performance with its A100 accelerator. NVIDIA also holds the benefit of Multi-Instance GPU architecture over AMD. The performance metrics show 2.5x better FP64 performance, 2x better FP16 performance, and twice the tensor performance thanks to the latest gen Tensor cores on the Ampere A100 GPU.

In addition to the Instinct MI100, AMD is also going to introduce its Instinct V640 and V620 GPU accelerators. Specifications of these products are not known yet but we will learn more on them soon.

AMD has proved that they can offer more FLOPs at a competitive price so maybe that is where Arcturus would be targetting. With 2H 2020 now set for the Radeon Instinct MI100, we will soon know how AMD's latest CDNA architecture competes against NVIDIA's Ampere based A100 GPU accelerator in the HPC segment.