At ISC 2023 we saw two interesting machines from ASUS. For AI training, we saw ASUS’s NVIDIA HGX H100 platform. For CPU compute, we saw the dense AMD EPYC Genoa (and soon Bergamo/ Genoa-X) 2U4N platform.
ASUS ESC N8-E11 NVIDIA HGX H100 AI Server
The top portion of this chassis is for the ~4U NVIDIA HGX H100 tray called Delta Next. The bottom as all of the storage, networking, power, and the main CPU compute area.
Aside from the interestingly arranged array of six power supplies, the rear I/O on this system is also very fun with 12 I/O plates.
That is a huge system! While the ESC N8-E11 is focused on GPU compute, dense CPU compute was also a theme for ASUS as we will see next.
ASUS RS720QA-E12-RS8U for Dense AMD EPYC Compute
The second system we saw was a new dense AMD EPYC SP5 machine, the ASUS RS720QA-E12-RS8U. This is a 2U 4-node (2U4N) system. Something that was different about this is that the compute nodes are so wide that the C19/C20 plugs are all that fit next to the nodes on the rear. In previous generations, we would have seen power supplies here, but power supplies are wider than just the plugs so they had to move in this generation to the front.
The wider nodes are needed because they allow dual AMD EPYC SP5 sockets with 12x DDR5 DIMM slots. Fitting 12x DIMM slots and a SP5 socket in a 2U4N is extremely challenging and that is why ASUS made the PSU trade-off.
Still, we are getting two PCIe Gen5 x16 risers at the rear which was quite surprising.
Here is a look at the rear I/O of a node pulled out of the chassis.
We saw a number of other designs, with 8x DIMMs per socket instead of 12x at ISC, so this represents innovation by ASUS. Also, AMD has said Bergamo will launch this quarter. Bergamo is 128x cores meaning this 2U system will have 1,024 cores and 2,048 threads in just a few weeks.
ISC 2023 is smaller than its US counterpart show, but it was still great to see the new hardware at the show. Dense AMD compute as well as GPU compute for HPC and AI is a big deal, and it is great to see ASUS have the NVIDIA/ Intel HGX H100 and the dense AMD EPYC machines at the show.