Inspur and Baidu Jointly Launch World’s First OAI Compliant Open AI Computing Solution
Posted to HPC Wire.
Amsterdam, Netherlands, Sept. 27, 2019 – Inspur, a leading data center and AI full-stack solutions provider, today announced two AI-technology driven open computing systems. The X-MAN 4.0, developed with Baidu, is the world’s first OAI (Open Accelerator Infrastructure) compliant and liquid cooling rack-scale AI computing product optimized specifically for deep neural network applications. The Inspur OAI UBB system, meanwhile, is a 21-inch Full-Rack OAM solution delivering efficiency, flexibility and management.
Workloads in data centers are growing more diverse and complex with artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies and applications spreading rapidly. Plus, Internet companies are struggling with AI’s increasing hardware complexity—integrating an AI accelerator typically takes 6 to 12 months. That is to say, improving the flexibility of AI hardware is imperative. The OAI specification—led by Baidu, Facebook and Microsoft in the OCP (Open Compute Project) community—unifies the technical specifications of the accelerator module and simplifies the design complexity of the AI accelerator system, thereby shortening time to market for the hardware system. With the joint launch of X-MAN 4.0 with Baidu and as the key promoter to realize OAI UBB development with OCP, Inspur has rapidly followed up on this standard with solutions, in order to help customers accelerate business innovation.
X-MAN 4.0 provides powerful performance with strong scalability and interconnect technology
X-MAN 4.0, as the fourth generation of Baidu’s X-MAN series of full-rack AI computing products, is the latest example of Inspur’s leadership in providing the world’s most powerful AI server platforms. X-MAN 4.0 provides a variety of performance, flexibility, cost and other advantages over traditional graphics processing unit (GPU) servers.
X-MAN 4.0’s strong scalability and interconnect technology provide powerful performance for data center users. Not only does the system include eight AI accelerators in a single box and scale to 32 AI accelerators per rack, but also the boxes are interconnected through QSFP-DD cables to minimize communication latency across nodes. X-MAN 4.0 is the first in Baidu’s series of full-rack AI computing products to introduce OAM-compliant accelerators; besides, accelerator resources can be specified in a software-defined manner. Together, these features mean flexible, multi-vendor support for supporting AI applications of different workloads. UBB boards with various topologies can be configured directly and flexibly according to the different application requirements.
Baidu’s X-MAN series products had several pioneering design concepts such as hardware disagregation in X-MAN 1.0, liquid cooling in X-MAN 2.0 and modular and open design in X-MAN 3.0. Baidu contributed such design concepts to the OCP community, led the OAI project and also designed the first OAI compliant and liquid cooling AI computing system. As one of Baidu’s key partners, Inspur has been actively participating in the development of X-MAN series product.
OAI UBB system delivers breakthrough efficiency, flexibility and management
The newly launched OAI UBB system also delivers breakthrough efficiency, flexibility and management. The 21-inch Full-Rack OAI solution provides simplified inter-module communication to scale up and input/output bandwidth to scale out to support disparate network architectures through OAM direct connection. And, Inspur can feature two out of the three OCP interconnect topologies: Hybrid Cube Mesh (HCM) and Fully Connected (FC).
The new UBB system and X-MAN 4.0 highlight Inspur’s longstanding commitment to leadership in open computing technologies. Moreover, with these launches, Inspur is enabling its global internet customers to leverage OAI to bring their innovative new AI solutions to market quickly.
“Inspur continues to pioneer the technologies that enable next-generation AI applications,” said Peter Peng, Inspur Group senior vice president. “As a member of the OCP, Open 19 and ODCC global open computing standards organizations, Inspur has always been an active promoter of open source technology to help users build open data centers. We work to facilitate cooperation among all key open standards to help our customers accelerate business innovation and more efficiently and effectively bring about next-generation AI applications.”