AMD chalks up much-needed Alibaba Cloud win

October 17, 2016 | 11:37

Tags: #alibaba #cloud #datacentre #data-centre #financial #firepro #lisa-su #mxgpu #radeon #radeon-pro #server

Companies: #amd

Fiscally tenuous chip designer AMD has a major win to celebrate, having signed a deal to put Radeon Pro GPUs into the cloud servers of Chinese tech giant Alibaba.

While AMD's earnings calls have included little but bad news - its financial year 2015 ending with a 28 percent revenue slip for a whopping $481 million operating loss - it has now announced a major deal that may help it dig its way back into the black: supply of AMD Radeon Pro graphics processors to the datacentres of Chinese technology giant Alibaba.

'The partnership between AMD and Alibaba Cloud will bring both of our customers more diversified, cloud-based graphic processing solutions,' claimed Simon Hu, president of Alibaba Cloud, of the deal. 'It is our vision to work together with leading technology firms like AMD to empower businesses in every industry with cutting-edge technologies and computing capabilities.'

'The collaboration between AMD and Alibaba Cloud leverages the world-class technology and software engineering capabilities of both companies to meet the growing demand for standards-based GPU computing solutions capable of enabling more immersive and intuitive cloud services,' added AMD president and chief executive Lisa Su. 'Working closely with industry leaders like Alibaba Cloud helps ensure the investments AMD is making in our high-performance graphics and computing datacentre products continue to align with the needs of the broader cloud market.'

The deal will see Alibaba use AMD's Radeon FirePro S7150 x2 graphics processors to drive Single Root Input/Output Virtualisation (SR-IOV) systems, which make use of the hardware's multi-user GPU (MxGPU) capabilities to run hardware-accelerated code for numerous simultaneous users. It's a major win for AMD at a time when it needs just that: while best known for its retail and wholesale platforms, Alibaba - much like its US equivalent Amazon - is a major player in the cloud computing market.

Financial terms of the deal, including how many GPUs Alibaba has agreed to purchase and at what price, have not been disclosed.
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