Inphi reports Q2 2012 results

LRDIMM sales occur – and benchmarks

Inphi reported Q2 2012 results.

Inphi suggests sales of both 16GB LRDIMMs and 32GB LRDIMMs.

It is likely that most of these may be 32GB LRDIMMs, since 16GB LRDIMMs are non-viable vs. RDIMMs.

Inphi is shy about reporting benchmarks for LRDIMMs – saying they will be available second half of 2012.

Benchmarks for LRDIMMs should have been available prior to LRDIMM launch.
Inphi Corporation Announces Second Quarter 2012 Results
SANTA CLARA, Calif., July 25, 2012

The conference call is at:
Webcast Image Webcast
Q2 2012 Inphi Corp Earnings Conference Call (Replay)
07/25/12 at 2:00 p.m. PT

Here is a blog post prior to the Inphi conference call where Inphi and Netlist’s HyperCloud were examined:
Inphi to report July 25
July 20, 2012

Now that we have the Inphi conference call, we find that no analyst asked about the threat from HyperCloud HCDIMMs.

There were some questions about a second-source for LRDIMMs – probably referring to Montage.

For more on Montage:
Is Montage another MetaRAM ?
June 21, 2012

Inphi said they are the major provider of LRDIMMs – 90% of OEM LRDIMMs use Inphi LRDIMM buffer chipsets.

This further confirms the absence of IDTI and Texas Instruments from this space, as covered on this blog before.
LRDIMM buffer chipset makers
May 24, 2012

Inphi said there are 4 OEMs who currently have qualified LRDIMMs using Inphi LRDIMM buffer chipset.

Inphi has talked of growth of 16GB LRDIMMs and 32GB LRDIMMs – yet mention of 16GB LRDIMMs is surprising because 16GB LRDIMMs are non-viable vs. RDIMMs.

HP does not even list 16GB LRDIMMs (non-viable) and 32GB RDIMMs 4-rank (non-viable):
Latency and throughput figures for LRDIMMs emerge
July 26, 2012

Note that HP does NOT bother listing the 32GB RDIMMs 4-rank (non-viable) and the 16GB LRDIMMs (non-viable).

As demonstrated on this blog, 16GB LRDIMMs are non-viable vs. RDIMM.
Why are 16GB LRDIMMs non-viable ?
June 19, 2012

And 32GB LRDIMMs are non-viable vs. 32GB HyperCloud HCDIMMs.
Non-viability of 32GB RDIMMs
June 20, 2012

On the non-viability of LRDIMMs in general:
Examining LRDIMMs
July 5, 2012

Inphi seeks validation of LRDIMM performance

In the Inphi Q2 2012 conference call, Inphi talks about the paucity of benchmark information about LRDIMMs (this is odd, given the Intel promotion of LRDIMMs for Romley rollout).

Inphi talks about an IBM benchmark (that uses Samsung 32GB LRDIMMs) as validation for LRDIMMs – yet that benchmark demonstrates improvement over PREVIOUS generation servers, and says very little about the relative advantage of LRDIMMs vs. the RDIMM-compatible options i.e. RDIMMs or HyperCloud HCDIMMs.

Here is Inphi talking about the benchmark info currently available (IBM database benchmark) and says that benchmarks may become available in second half of 2012.

It should be noted that Inphi is currently the sole-supplier of LRDIMM buffer chipsets (as IDTI and Texas Instruments have skipped LRDIMMs for Romley altogether – although there may be another smaller company called Montage also offering LRDIMMs in the future).

Inphi, IDTI and Texas Instruments are the top 3 buffer chipset makers. Inphi therefore makes buffer chipsets for RDIMMs as well as LRDIMMs.
Webcast Image Webcast
Q2 2012 Inphi Corp Earnings Conference Call (Replay)
07/25/12 at 2:00 p.m. PT

at the 19:50 minute mark:

Ford Tamer – CEO:

Going to the computing market .. uh .. again similar we saw strength in LRDIMM and we see that strength continuing in the second half.

And on the base register business (i.e. for RDIMMs) .. uh .. we see Romley accelerating adoption in the second half, opening up a larger TAM (Total Addressable Market).

So .. uh .. when we look at macroeconomic, we .. uh .. still confident where we are going because we are based on new technologies.

We see a bit of headwinds in our more earlier technology like 10Gig.

at the 20:30 minute mark:

Doug Friedman of RBC Capital:

Great. If you could give us a little bit of idea around the LRDIMM adoption.

Where are you seeing the uptick in demand there, and what is really driving it.

Are you successful in getting new customer engagements, or is this stuff that is happening through channels and through “pull” through the OEM partners.

at the 20:45 minute mark:

Ford Tamer – CEO:

Doug, we had said that we wanted to get some benchmarks out and we are continuing to work on them.

But we are very excited to have benchmarks .. uh .. this quarter which are helping us draw and drive adoption.

And so .. uh .. the benchmark by IBM of having THE fastest TPC-E and TPC-C ever on LRDIMM .. uh .. was as much as 20% and 40% performance improvement .. uh .. compared to next-best server.

It’s just phenomenal.

So .. we we we’ve been saying we we could drive a significant performance advantage and we weren’t able to quantify it until now.

And now we feel like we can stand and talk about a very significant performance with LRDIMM.

So that’s one.

Two, I think .. uh .. we’ve seen announcement on 768GB and 1.5TB by HP and IBM and again that increased capacity means a lot to .. uh .. in-memory .. uh .. database in-memory applications .. uh .. high performance applications, financial trading. And so that’s number two.

Number three, what’s happening is we’ve seen the price of some of these LRDIMM modules drop by almost 50% (that’s because they were priced absurdly high to begin with) as the volumes are picking up.

at the 22:10 minute mark:

So really during the quarter, we’ve seen tremendous support from both our OEM partners .. server OEM partners as well as our module partners.

In addition, we continue to work with some of the software partners and expect additional benchmarks to be published in the second half of the year.

So these benchmarks are helping us clearly articulate the benefit of LRDIMM and drive the adoption.

Doug Friedman of RBC Capital:


Thank you for all the detail.

The followup I have and then I’ll jump back in the queue if I have any more.

The IBM database benchmark

The IBM database benchmark that Inphi references does not actually validate LRDIMMs – that benchmark compares current Romley generation servers (using 32GB LRDIMMs from Samsung and using Inphi LRDIMM buffer chipset) with PREVIOUS generation pre-Romley servers.

As a result these “benchmark” results say very little about LRDIMMs performance relative to RDIMM-compatible memory options available right now – RDIMMs and HyperCloud HCDIMMs.

Here is the IBM database benchmark that Inphi is referring to:
IBM posts best 2-processor performance ever published on TPC-E benchmark
IBM System x3650 M4 sets new record for 2-processor server performance on TPC-E

March 6, 2012 … IBM has published a benchmark result that sets a new record for 2-processor
performance on the TPC-E benchmark, which is designed to enable clients to more objectively
measure and compare the performance and price of OLTP systems.

The IBM System x3650 M4 server achieved 1,863.23 tpsE (transactions per second E) at $207.85
USD / tpsE. (1) This result is faster than all the other currently published TPC-E results for 2-
processor servers, and represents a significant performance benefit compared to systems using
previous-generation processors. For example, the x3650 M4’s result is more than 45% faster than the
HP ProLiant DL380 G7 server’s result. (2)

LRDIMM actual performance numbers are available from HP

For an examination of the LRDIMM “loaded latency” and “throughput” figures, checkout:
Latency and throughput figures for LRDIMMs emerge
July 26, 2012

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