SuperMicro shows 4 and 7 GPU boards

IDF 2009: Evolutionary servers aplenty

SUPERMICRO WAS AT IDF showing off the usual server and workstation toys. Because it had a bunch of new products at Computex, and there haven’t subsequently been any really new Intel chips, the boards on display were evolutionary, not revolutionary.

The first one is the X8DTH-6F we told you about at Computex. It is a real product, and you can buy it now. That plus 7 Junipers and a few low power Nehalems would make a dandy high efficiency HPC compute node. Go buy 17 now, you won’t regret it until the credit card bill comes in.

 SuperMicro shows 4 and 7 GPU boards

X8DTG-QF 4 slot board

A variant of that might be a little more sane for the average user or gamer, take a look at the X8DTG-QF. You can’t buy this as a mainboard, it needs to be bundled as a system, but it has room for 4 2-slot GPUs. It is also has two IOH-36D ‘southbridges’. This means only 72 PCIe lanes, but you have to cut corners somewhere. Gamers, your LAN party bragging rights board has arrived.

Moving on, here is a part that wasn’t quite on display yet, the new TwinBlade. It just barely missed the IDF cutoff, but it will be there for the next show that SuperMicro attends. The idea behind TwinBlade is the roughly the same thing that drove its 1U Twin boards, basically a 1/2U server. TwinBlades take the standard SuperBlade that packs 10 blades into 7U, and cuts them in half. You can now pack 10 blades in 3.5U, or 20 blades in 7U if you don’t feel like ‘pulling an Nvidia’ on your chassis. The end result is twice the density, leading to an impressive 120 servers per rack.

Last up, we have the SuperServer 6016T-6R+F, a product that’s so new SuperMicro doesn’t have a page up for it yet. As you can tell from the name, it is obviously a server. Made by SuperMicro. If you read the spec sheet, you soon realize that it is also a Xeon 5500 (Tylersburg) based 2S 1U server, and has a close cousin in the 1026T-6R+F.

It is pretty standard fare for a 1U, 18 DIMMs, an optional riser for a 16x PCIe card and another for an 8x card. The usual 650W PSU is there, as is dual ethernet, remote management, and all the other goodies from across the Intel chipset world. The main difference between the two servers is that the 6016 has 4 3.5″ hot plug bays, while the 1026 has 8 2.5″ bays.

 SuperMicro shows 4 and 7 GPU boards

Note the differently angled SAS2 ports

The standout feature is an LSI SAS2 controller with RAID 0,1,10 and with an optional RAID 5 card. Packing a SAS2 controller into a 1U 2S server that can take two PCIe cards is not an easy engineering task though. If you look at the picture above, you will see the SAS sockets are not only angled, but each of them is angled differently. This not only aids in board layout, but cable routing as well. Quite an unusual packaging job.S|A

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 SuperMicro shows 4 and 7 GPU boards

Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and SemiAccurate.com. SemiAccurate.com is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of SemiAccurate.com, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also a council member with Gerson Lehman Group.