AMD has unveiled its highly anticipated processor, the Instinct MI300, which will serve as the first data centre APU (Application Processing Unit). This advanced silicon chip is set to power the upcoming supercomputer, El Capitan, touted to be the fastest in the world. Tomshardware’s Paul Alcorn has provided an in-depth analysis of the remarkable capabilities of this chip, based on presentations from the ISC 2023 and ITF World 2023 conferences.
The MI300 boasts an impressive configuration, featuring 24 CPU Zen 4 cores (possibly a variant of the EPYC 9224), CDNA 3 GPU technology, and a groundbreaking 128GB HBM3. This processor is expected to be one of the first modern x86 chips to incorporate memory directly on the die, following in the footsteps of Apple’s Arm-based M1 and M2 chips. Consolidating all components onto a single silicon area leads to lower power consumption, improved performance, and reduced latency, and eliminates issues associated with traditional memory modules.
Dr. Lisa Su, AMD’s CEO, outlined the company’s mission to decrease the cost of data transfer between memory and computing with the unified memory architecture. The MI300 represents AMD’s first product to embody this philosophy, building on the groundwork laid by their Fusion APU in 2011. While the MI300 won’t be available for consumer PCs, AMD is primarily targeting the enterprise, database, and high-performance computing (HPC) markets, where the unique features of the MI300 will prove most beneficial.
In the future, we can expect more variants of the MI300 as AMD leverages its position to expand the CPU+GPU+RAM triumvirate across its product lineup. This APU holds great potential for powering workstations and could even compete for the title of best mini PC. Although specific performance gains remain undisclosed, it is worth noting that the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), the organization behind El Capitan, chose AMD’s MI300 over an Arm-based solution, such as Fujitsu’s A64FX that powers the current most powerful supercomputer, Fugaku.
With its cutting-edge features, including a powerful GPU and faster, high-capacity memory, the Instinct MI300 positions AMD as a formidable competitor in the enterprise and HPC markets. As El Capitan nears completion, AMD’s breakthrough APU is set to deliver exceptional performance, solidifying the company’s position as a leader in advanced computing solutions.