Gigabyte unveils Arm server with up to 8 GPUs for AI, HPC • The Register

Arm-based servers continue to gain momentum with Gigabyte technology introducing a system based on Ampere’s Altra processors paired with Nvidia A100 GPUs, aimed at demanding workloads such as AI training and applications high performance computing (HPC).

The G492-PD0 runs an Ampere Altra or Altra Max processor, the latter providing 128 64-bit cores compatible with the Armv8.2 architecture.

It supports 16 DDR4 DIMM slots, which would be enough for up to 4TB of memory if all the slots were filled with 256GB memory modules. The chassis also has space for no less than eight Nvidia A100 GPUs. , which would be an expensive but very powerful system for workloads that benefit from GPU acceleration.

Gigabyte said it developed the G492-PD0 in response to demand for high-performance platform choices beyond the ubiquitous x86 server systems. It apparently joins the Gigabyte G492 server portfolio that supports the Nvidia HGX A100 8-GPU “Delta” base board, which is how the platform can support up to eight GPUs, interconnected at the using Nvidia’s NVSwitch chip.

Gigabyte G492-PD0

Gigabyte G492-PD0

In fact, the G492-PD0 chassis is a 4U rackmount enclosure, but most of the space seems to be devoted to housing the Nvidia base card and any installed GPUs, inside of which Gigabyte calls for a dedicated cooling chamber that ensures the highest possible airflow to cool performance components. The server motherboard is housed in a 1U server module that sits above this cooling chamber and contains all of the Ampere processor, memory, storage, and front-facing expansion slots.

The provision for storage covers 6 x 2.5-inch bays for U.2 NVMe drives, plus 4 M.2 slots internally for NVMe storage modules. For networking, there are two Gigabit Ethernet ports plus a dedicated port for management. Redundant power supplies are also standard.

According to Gigabyte, the HGX base card supports Nvidia GPUDirect RDMA, which enables direct data exchange between GPUs and third-party devices such as network cards or storage adapters. GPUDirect storage is also supported, which offloads data movement from storage to GPU memory from the CPU.

Gigabyte said it will continue to pursue a prolific line of servers in the market for all enterprise workloads, including Arm-based servers. Future platforms will be created based on market demand, hinting that this will include more liquid cooling solutions.

Gigabyte’s decision follows Microsoft’s recent announcement that its own Ampere Altra-based Azure servers are Arm SystemReady certified, which also applies to the Gigabyte G492-PD0.

More importantly, Microsoft and Arm have emphasized that these systems are ready for enterprise and data center deployment. ®