Intel, AMD Just Created a Headache for Datacenters | marketrealtime.com


An anonymous reader shares a report: In pursuit of ever-higher compute density, chipmakers are juicing their chips with more and more power, and according to the Uptime Institute, this could spell trouble for many legacy datacenters ill equipped to handle new, higher wattage systems. AMD’s Epyc 4 Genoa server processors announced late last year, and Intel’s long-awaited fourth-gen Xeon Scalable silicon released earlier this month, are the duo’s most powerful and power-hungry chips to date, sucking down 400W and 350W respectively, at least at the upper end of the product stack. The higher TDP arrives in lock step with higher core counts and clock speeds than previous CPU cores from either vendor.

It’s now possible to cram more than 192 x64 cores into your typical 2U dual socket system, something that just five years ago would have required at least three nodes. However, as Uptime noted, many legacy datacenters were not designed to accommodate systems this power dense. A single dual-socket system from either vendor can easily exceed a kilowatt, and depending on the kinds of accelerators being deployed in these systems, boxen can consume well in excess of that figure. The rapid trend towards hotter, more power dense systems upends decades-old assumptions about datacenter capacity planning, according to Uptime, which added: “This trend will soon reach a point when it starts to destabilize existing facility design assumptions.”

A typical rack remains under 10kW of design capacity, the analysts note. But with modern systems trending toward higher compute density and by extension power density, that’s no longer adequate. While Uptime notes that for new builds, datacenter operators can optimize for higher rack power densities, they still need to account for 10 to 15 years of headroom. As a result, datacenter operators must speculate as the long-term power and cooling demands which invites the risk of under or over building. With that said, Uptime estimates that within a few years a quarter rack will reach 10kW of consumption. That works out to approximately 1kW per rack unit for a standard 42U rack.



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