Xeon Phi Coprocessor

hardwaregeek · 210


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on: February 22, 2023, 01:40:49 PM
Xeon Phi Coprocessor was originally designed for Chinese supercomputer at the last moment the sale was banned as a result you can buy these cards with 57  or more cpus for super cheap 40 or more us. The issue their very little support for them.  If a port of aros to them would benefit the community with super fast cpus and wouldallow our os to just be a window in windows.
Ebay-  https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2047675.m570.l1313&_nkw=Xeon_Phi&_sacat=0


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Reply #1 on: February 22, 2023, 04:29:40 PM
Theyre very slow compared to modern cpu's.
They also rely on a lot of parallelism to get the most out of them, which makes them extremely poor options for something like AROS.


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Reply #2 on: February 24, 2023, 07:17:14 AM
Not only that. They heavily rely on the massive vector unit (which, at the end, became AVX-512) which is integrated on each core, to squeeze the most of the theoretical computational power.

Another thing is that there are different Xeon Phi architectures, which aren't 100% compatible each other. I don't recall now after so long, but maybe KNL (Knights Landing) should be compatible with AVX-512.

Last but not really least, those are just coprocessors. Each core hasn't the full x86-64 instruction set, but some instructions are missing. That's they why they are sold as PCI cards: they need a regular PC to boot the o.s..
Since they are coprocessors, they require special code to be used: the PC's CPU should send data and code to the PCI card, and instruct the underlying card o.s. (there's a special Linux version there) to run the proper Xeon Phi code. After that the execution is done, the resulting data can be transferred to the PC's memory.
This is just a simplification to let you understand that things aren't easy with those coprocessors (albeit there are libraries and/or C/C++/Fortran compiler directives which makes the life quite easy).

TL;DR: don't use them.

P.S. I was a senior QA engineer at Intel working specifically for those coprocessors (and for the SGX extensions). ;)


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Reply #3 on: February 24, 2023, 12:13:17 PM
there is HP Workstation Series works fine with aros