Earlier this year, we discussed the new Intel Xeon Phi Coprocessors at a high level. I wanted to provide more details on the internals of these coprocessors.
For now, it’s best if Linux is your operating system of choice when testing Xeon Phi. Intel is working on support for Microsoft Windows (see below), but that effort is not as mature. Additionally, the Phi itself runs an embedded copy of Linux. In most cases, a Linux+Linux environment is going to be more seamless than a Windows+Linux environment.
Essentially, you should view each Xeon Phi card as a separate computer with its own processors, memory, storage, network stack and operating system. You can use the Phi as a traditional coprocessor – offloading work to it. You can also do more interesting things with them, such as connecting via SSH.
Xeon Phi 5110P under Linux
Intel’s tool for checking the status of Xeon Phi coprocessors is
micinfo. When you first start using the cards, you’ll also need to use the
micflash utilities. For the output below, we were running CentOS Linux 6.3 with all updates. The Linux kernel module (mic kmod) for Phi was rebuilt using
rpmrebuild. Here’s the information dump from Intel’s
micinfo utility on the passively-cooled Xeon Phi 5110P*:
MicInfo Utility Log Created Thu Feb 14 17:01:06 2013 System Info Host OS : Linux OS Version : 2.6.32-279.22.1.el6.x86_64 Driver Version : 4982-15 MPSS Version : 2.1.4982-15 Host Physical Memory : 32849 MB CPU Family : GenuineIntel Family 6 Model 45 Stepping 7 CPU Speed : 1200.000 Threads per Core : 2 Device No: 0, Device Name: Intel(R) Xeon Phi(TM) Coprocessor Version Flash Version : 2.1.05.0375 UOS Version : 126.96.36.199-g32944d0 Device Serial Number : xxxxxxxxx820 Board Vendor ID : 8086 Device ID : 2250 SubSystem ID : 2500 Coprocessor Stepping ID : 3 PCIe Width : x16 PCIe Speed : 5 GT/s PCIe Max payload size : 256 bytes PCIe Max read req size : 512 bytes Coprocessor Model : 0x01 Coprocessor Model Ext : 0x00 Coprocessor Type : 0x00 Coprocessor Family : 0x0b Coprocessor Family Ext : 0x00 Coprocessor Stepping : B1 Board SKU : B1PRQ-5110P ECC Mode : Enabled SMC HW Revision : Product 225W Passive CS Core Total No of Active Cores : 60 Voltage : 980000 uV Frequency : 1052631 kHz Thermal Fan Speed Control : N/A SMC Firmware Version : 1.7.4172 FSC Strap : 14 MHz Fan RPM : N/A Fan PWM : N/A Die Temp : 47 C GDDR GDDR Vendor : Elpida GDDR Version : 0x1 GDDR Density : 2048 Mb GDDR Size : 7936 MB GDDR Technology : GDDR5 GDDR Speed : 5.000000 GT/s GDDR Frequency : 2500000 kHz GDDR Voltage : 1000000 uV
Xeon Phi 3120A under Windows
Intel has announced beta support for Windows. While you will face a less-robust software stack, we are able to provide workstations and servers with Intel Xeon Phi co-processors. Here’s the output from the actively-cooled Xeon Phi 3120A*:
MicInfo.exe Version: 6720-12 Copyright 2011-2013 Intel Corporation All Rights Reserved. MicInfo Utility Log Created Mon Jun 17 12:29:20 2013 System Info Host OS : Microsoft Windows 7 x64 OS Version : Microsoft Windows 6.1.7601.2 Driver Version : 2.1.6720.12 MPSS Version : 2.1.6720.12 Host Physical Memory : 68667 MB Device No: 0, Device Name: Intel(R) Xeon Phi(TM) Coprocessor Version Flash Version : 2.1.02.0386 uOS Version : 188.8.131.52-g5f2543d Device Serial Number : xxxxxxxxx873 Board Vendor ID : 8086 Device ID : 225d Subsystem ID : 2500 Coprocessor Stepping ID : 3 PCIe Width : x16 PCIe Speed : 5 GT/s PCIe Max payload size : 256 bytes PCIe Max read req size : 512 bytes Coprocessor Model : 0x01 Coprocessor Model Ext : 0x00 Coprocessor Type : 0x00 Coprocessor Family : 0x0b Coprocessor Family Ext : 0x00 Coprocessor Stepping : B1 Board SKU : B1PRQ-3115A ECC Mode : Enabled SMC HW Revision : Product 300W Active CS Core Total No of Active Cores : 57 Voltage : 1037000 uV Frequency : 1100000 kHz Thermal Fan Speed Control : On SMC Firmware Version : 1.14.4616 FSC Strap : 14 MHz Fan RPM : 2700 Fan PWM : 50 Die Temp : 49 C GDDR GDDR Vendor : Hynix GDDR Version : 0x3 GDDR Density : 2048 Mb GDDR Size : 5952 MB GDDR Technology : GDDR5 GDDR Speed : 5.000000 GT/s GDDR Frequency : 2500000 kHz GDDR Voltage : 1501000 uV
Intel also provides a graphical monitoring utility for the MIC-based products called
micsmc. It’s not as comprehensive, but is valuable for monitoring the real-time status of your coprocessor cards.
Take note that these coprocessors require 225W to 300W of power per Phi card. If you’re not certain your existing systems will accept such a card, get in touch! At Microway, We Speak HPC™, and we speak Intel Xeon Phi. Contact us at WeSpeakHPC@Microway.com.
* Astute readers will note that these were pre-productions boards. The information output may vary slightly from the production models.