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Dell Technologies backs Graphcore

Nov 16, 2018

First reveal of Dell-Graphcore IPU platform

Written By:

Nigel Toon

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The way Graphcore has built a new type of processor from the ground up for Machine Intelligence, we find really interesting.’ This is how Michael Dell called us out, speaking on stage at the Dell AI and Analyst event this week in Chicago.

Dell EMC became a strategic investor in Graphcore through their venture arm, Dell Technologies Capital, back in 2016. What’s more, we have been working closely with teams across the Dell Technologies’ family of businesses since then, to access their unique global scale, channel, OEM, product integration and go-to-market relationships for our Intelligence Processing Unit (IPU) products.

When we started shipping our first C2 IPU-Processor PCIe cards to early access customers earlier this year, Dell was one of the first to receive hardware and software and we have been working closely with their technical teams to build out a full IPU-based product range from Dell.

The analysts in the audience at the event were the first to see a sneak peak of the first joint Dell-Graphcore IPU-Appliance for enterprise datacenters. The IPU-based platform contains 8 C2 IPU-Processor PCIe cards, each with 2 Colossus GC2 IPU-Processors. It delivers over 2 petaflops of machine intelligence compute, spread across over 100,000 independent parallel programs, working on the machine intelligence model held inside the IPUs, and with memory bandwidth of nearly 1 Petabyte/sec, for dramatically higher performance and energy efficiency.

The Dell IPU-based platform, combined with our Poplar software stack forms a flexible and easy-to-use platform for machine intelligence innovation.

Demand for product is high and we already have a full order book at Graphcore from our early access customers for our first batch of production silicon and C2 hardware.

We are looking forward to sharing more details closer to general availability.