AMD Announces New Machine Learning Initiative

Radeon Instinct accelerators will leverage the company’s GPU technologies.

AMD has unveiled a new line of Radeon accelerator products designed to “accelerate the machine intelligence era in server computing ….” The Radeon Instinct series essentially repurposes AMD's Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) technology for the machine intelligence market.

According to the announcement, Radeon Instinct accelerators feature “passive cooling, AMD MultiGPU (MxGPU) hardware virtualization technology, and 64-bit PCle addressing with Base Address Register (BAR) support.

AMD has also announced the MIOpen open source library for GPU accelerators, which is targeted at HPC machine intelligence applications. MIOpen, which will be released in 2017Q1, will be part of AMD's ROCm open source software stack for GPU-based HPC computing. According to AMD CEO Lisa Su, “Radeon Instinct is set to dramatically advance the pace of machine intelligence through an approach built on high-performance GPU accelerators, and free, open source software with MIOpen and ROCm.”

Some observers have noted that the Radeon Instinct series should help AMD compete with Nvidia in the market for high-end GPU-related technologies. The company also intends to include Instinct technology with its upcoming “Naples” server-class chips, which will keep AMD's CPU/GPU heterogeneous computing products in the conversation for high-end servers and HPC systems.