Supermicro packs nearly 1500 cores into a rack

Not to mention 7 PCIe slot mobos

SUPERMICRO HAD FOUR neat items on display, ranging from the very low end to the insanely high. The servers and workstations ran from a half-U Atom based server to boxes with almost 1500 cores per rack.

Supermicro 7 slot mobo

7 slots of fun

For those of you who feel limited by the 7 PCIe slot Asus Nehalem boards, they are a little underpowered, Supermicro has the board for you. The new X8DTH-6F has two CPUs, 7 PCIe physical slots, most are not 16x electrically, room for 12 DIMMs, and 6 SATA ports. It has SAS-6G as an option in case you are looking for real performance, and options for KVMs as well. Should you need more GPU power, it also has an onboard VGA controller, likely an ancient ATI server part.

Supermicro Atom jokes

The other end of the server spectrum

Should a Nehalem be too powerful, and an Istanbul have too many cores, The X8SIL-F is for you. Take an Atom core that struggles for breath running The Broken OS, and slap it in a half-U server box. Other than the board being dwarfed by such a big case, you have a low low power, possibly fanless, server.

Before you laugh, there are needs for this kind of device in hot and enclosed spaces where heat dissipation is a problem. Telecom guys love this kind of thing, but they are an odd lot to begin with.

Next up is a line from Supermicro called the 2U Twin^2, or simply Twin Squared. These chassis put two half-U blade-like machines in a single 1U box, so you have two PCs in a box with shared nothing config.

The new 2U version stacks two of these in a 2U box, so you get PCs in a single chassis. The front panel has 12 drives, so each computer gets 3, enough for RAID5 if you want. The drives alone make it worth the upgrade from the 1U variant.

24 core blade 

4 socket in .7U

Last up, we have an mild upgrade to the Superblade line. These beasts are a 7U blade chassis that can take 10 vertical blades each. So far, nothing new, but the new tweaks adds Istanbul support to the mix, meaning six cores.

7U means 6 chassis per 42U rack. At 10 blades per chassis, 4 sockets per blade, and 6 cores per socket, math tells us 6 * 10 * 4 * 6 = 1440 cores per rack. That is very close to the magical ‘enough’, but if it isn’t, Magny Cours will be out in about 6 months, so this count should double. If that isn’t enough, well, you will have to wait about a year for a lot more, but Supermicro is trying.S|A


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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also available through Guidepoint and Mosaic. FullyAccurate