Cray Supercomputers Get a Workout at Oak Ridge

By Nicole Hemsoth

October 27, 2006

With 54 teraflops of computing power, Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Cray XT3 is helping solve scientific grand challenges, but scheduling the many research projects and keeping the massive machine operating at peak capacity are challenges of their own.

The Cray, known as Jaguar, requires a complex infrastructure that can cool more than 5,000 dual-core processors; ensure reliable power; maintain optimum operation; and accommodate future expansion.

The facilities at ORNL are among the few in the world that meet these and other demanding criteria required for computer simulations at this scale in chemistry, combustion, astrophysics, biology, fusion, climate and physics.

Big science and the accompanying big applications that make the best use of the machine receive priority. In fact, ORNL frequently has a single project that uses all of the processors for up to 24 hours. The constant goal is to make the most of the computing resource.

“We have people and programs to ensure that we're utilizing the computer as efficiently as possible,” said Doug Kothe, director of science for the National Center for Computational Sciences. “That's part of our duty and responsibility to the taxpayers who support this leadership-class open resource.”

Built in to the design of Jaguar is the ability to detect and compensate for failures likely to occur in such a complex system. ORNL and Cray have people dedicated full time to keeping the machine operating.

Allocations of computing time (processor hours) for research projects are made under the U.S. Department of Energy's Innovative and Novel Computational Theory and Experiment program. Coordinated by DOE's Office of Science, INCITE is open to all scientific researchers and research organizations, including industry. The program is intended for computationally intensive research projects of large scale that can make high-impact scientific advances through the use of a large allocation of computer time, resources and data storage. Proposals are for projects that run for one to three years.

In the first phase of the INCITE awards process, proposals undergo a technical readiness review.

“We look at how the applications will utilize the capabilities of the Leadership Computing Facility supercomputing resources and make recommendations based on the scalability and performance of those applications,” said Ricky Kendall, group leader for the Scientific Computing Group at the Center for Computational Sciences. The technical readiness review team consists of scientists with diverse backgrounds and expertise in computational science.

In the second phase, DOE convenes a panel that reviews all aspects of the proposals for general scientific merit and comparisons are made across scientific disciplines. Proposals for 2007 awards were due in September. The panel will make recommendations to DOE, which will announce the awards in December.

Last year's call for INCITE proposals resulted in 43 submissions requesting more than 95 million processor hours. The proposals covered 11 scientific disciplines: accelerator physics, astrophysics, chemical sciences, climate research, computer science, engineering physics, environmental science, fusion energy, life sciences, materials sciences and nuclear physics.

A total of 18.2 million processor hours were awarded for 2006 INCITE and Leadership Computing Facility projects. Eighty percent of the Cray leadership-class computers — Jaguar and Phoenix — at ORNL are available to INCITE. Counting allocation awards from previous years, some 30 million processor hours are being run this year on ORNL's Jaguar and another nearly 6 million are being run on ORNL's Phoenix, a Cray X1E with 18.5 teraflops. The remaining allocations of computing time for this year were made for computers at Lawrence Berkeley, Argonne and Pacific Northwest national laboratories.

The largest Leadership Computing Facility project allocation at ORNL involves multidimensional simulations of core-collapse supernovae and consumes 3.55 million processor hours on Jaguar. The goal is to understand how stars more massive than 10 of our suns explode to produce many of the elements in the universe, like oxygen and iron, necessary for life. The lead researcher is Tony Mezzacappa of ORNL's Physics Division.

Next in line for processor hours with 3.5 million hours on Jaguar and 300,000 hours on Phoenix is a nano- and materials sciences project headed by Thomas Schulthess of the Computer Science and Mathematics Division and the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences. The project is aimed at a better understanding of complex functional nanostructures, which could lead to more much faster and more energy efficient electronic devices, and better materials for energy storage, transmission and production.

A turbulent combustion project headed by Sandia's Jacqueline Chen is allocated 3 million Jaguar hours and 600,000 processor hours on Phoenix, and Don Batchelor of ORNL's Fusion Energy Division leads a wave-plasma simulation project also awarded 3 million processor hours on Jaguar. Batchelor's work could ultimately help solve one of the obstacles to making fusion a reality. Other users include Dreamworks Animation, The Boeing Company, General Atomics, Harvard University, Auburn University and the University of Washington/Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

The Jaguar is scheduled to be upgraded to 100 teraflops (100 trillion mathematical calculations per second) by the end of this year. ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy. More information about INCITE is available at http://hpc.science.doe.gov/allocations/incite/.

—–

Source: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

SIA Recognizes Robert Dennard with 2019 Noyce Award

November 12, 2019

If you don’t know what Dennard Scaling is, the chances are strong you don’t labor in electronics. Robert Dennard, longtime IBM researcher, inventor of the DRAM and the fellow for whom Dennard Scaling was named, is th Read more…

By John Russell

Leveraging Exaflops Performance to Remediate Nuclear Waste

November 12, 2019

Nuclear waste storage sites are a subject of intense controversy and debate; nobody wants the radioactive remnants in their backyard. Now, a collaboration between Berkeley Lab, Pacific Northwest National University (PNNL Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Using HPC and Machine Learning to Predict Traffic Congestion

November 12, 2019

Traffic congestion is a never-ending logic puzzle, dictated by commute patterns, but also by more stochastic accidents and similar disruptions. Traffic engineers struggle to model the traffic flow that occurs after accid Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Mira Supercomputer Enables Cancer Research Breakthrough

November 11, 2019

Dynamic partial-wave spectroscopic (PWS) microscopy allows researchers to observe intracellular structures as small as 20 nanometers – smaller than those visible by optical microscopes – in three dimensions at a mill Read more…

By Staff report

IBM Adds Support for Ion Trap Quantum Technology to Qiskit

November 11, 2019

After years of percolating in the shadow of quantum computing research based on superconducting semiconductors – think IBM, Rigetti, Google, and D-Wave (quantum annealing) – ion trap technology is edging into the QC Read more…

By John Russell

AWS Solution Channel

Making High Performance Computing Affordable and Accessible for Small and Medium Businesses with HPC on AWS

High performance computing (HPC) brings a powerful set of tools to a broad range of industries, helping to drive innovation and boost revenue in finance, genomics, oil and gas extraction, and other fields. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Tackling HPC’s Memory and I/O Bottlenecks with On-Node, Non-Volatile RAM

November 8, 2019

On-node, non-volatile memory (NVRAM) is a game-changing technology that can remove many I/O and memory bottlenecks and provide a key enabler for exascale. That’s the conclusion drawn by the scientists and researcher Read more…

By Jan Rowell

IBM Adds Support for Ion Trap Quantum Technology to Qiskit

November 11, 2019

After years of percolating in the shadow of quantum computing research based on superconducting semiconductors – think IBM, Rigetti, Google, and D-Wave (quant Read more…

By John Russell

Tackling HPC’s Memory and I/O Bottlenecks with On-Node, Non-Volatile RAM

November 8, 2019

On-node, non-volatile memory (NVRAM) is a game-changing technology that can remove many I/O and memory bottlenecks and provide a key enabler for exascale. Th Read more…

By Jan Rowell

MLPerf Releases First Inference Benchmark Results; Nvidia Touts its Showing

November 6, 2019

MLPerf.org, the young AI-benchmarking consortium, today issued the first round of results for its inference test suite. Among organizations with submissions wer Read more…

By John Russell

Azure Cloud First with AMD Epyc Rome Processors

November 6, 2019

At Ignite 2019 this week, Microsoft's Azure cloud team and AMD announced an expansion of their partnership that began in 2017 when Azure debuted Epyc-backed ins Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Launches Credit Card-Sized 21 TOPS Jetson System for Edge Devices

November 6, 2019

Nvidia has launched a new addition to its Jetson product line: a credit card-sized (70x45mm) form factor delivering up to 21 trillion operations/second (TOPS) o Read more…

By Doug Black

In Memoriam: Steve Tuecke, Globus Co-founder

November 4, 2019

HPCwire is deeply saddened to report that Steve Tuecke, longtime scientist at Argonne National Lab and University of Chicago, has passed away at age 52. Tuecke Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Spending Spree: Hyperscalers Bought $57B of IT in 2018, $10B+ by Google – But Is Cloud on Horizon?

October 31, 2019

Hyperscalers are the masters of the IT universe, gravitational centers of increasing pull in the emerging age of data-driven compute and AI.  In the high-stake Read more…

By Doug Black

Cray Debuts ClusterStor E1000 Finishing Remake of Portfolio for ‘Exascale Era’

October 30, 2019

Cray, now owned by HPE, today introduced the ClusterStor E1000 storage platform, which leverages Cray software and mixes hard disk drives (HDD) and flash memory Read more…

By John Russell

Supercomputer-Powered AI Tackles a Key Fusion Energy Challenge

August 7, 2019

Fusion energy is the Holy Grail of the energy world: low-radioactivity, low-waste, zero-carbon, high-output nuclear power that can run on hydrogen or lithium. T Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Using AI to Solve One of the Most Prevailing Problems in CFD

October 17, 2019

How can artificial intelligence (AI) and high-performance computing (HPC) solve mesh generation, one of the most commonly referenced problems in computational engineering? A new study has set out to answer this question and create an industry-first AI-mesh application... Read more…

By James Sharpe

Cray Wins NNSA-Livermore ‘El Capitan’ Exascale Contract

August 13, 2019

Cray has won the bid to build the first exascale supercomputer for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Lawrence Livermore National Laborator Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

DARPA Looks to Propel Parallelism

September 4, 2019

As Moore’s law runs out of steam, new programming approaches are being pursued with the goal of greater hardware performance with less coding. The Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency is launching a new programming effort aimed at leveraging the benefits of massive distributed parallelism with less sweat. Read more…

By George Leopold

AMD Launches Epyc Rome, First 7nm CPU

August 8, 2019

From a gala event at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco yesterday (Aug. 7), AMD launched its second-generation Epyc Rome x86 chips, based on its 7nm proce Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

D-Wave’s Path to 5000 Qubits; Google’s Quantum Supremacy Claim

September 24, 2019

On the heels of IBM’s quantum news last week come two more quantum items. D-Wave Systems today announced the name of its forthcoming 5000-qubit system, Advantage (yes the name choice isn’t serendipity), at its user conference being held this week in Newport, RI. Read more…

By John Russell

Ayar Labs to Demo Photonics Chiplet in FPGA Package at Hot Chips

August 19, 2019

Silicon startup Ayar Labs continues to gain momentum with its DARPA-backed optical chiplet technology that puts advanced electronics and optics on the same chip Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Crystal Ball Gazing: IBM’s Vision for the Future of Computing

October 14, 2019

Dario Gil, IBM’s relatively new director of research, painted a intriguing portrait of the future of computing along with a rough idea of how IBM thinks we’ Read more…

By John Russell

Leading Solution Providers

ISC 2019 Virtual Booth Video Tour

CRAY
CRAY
DDN
DDN
DELL EMC
DELL EMC
GOOGLE
GOOGLE
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
PANASAS
PANASAS
VERNE GLOBAL
VERNE GLOBAL

Intel Confirms Retreat on Omni-Path

August 1, 2019

Intel Corp.’s plans to make a big splash in the network fabric market for linking HPC and other workloads has apparently belly-flopped. The chipmaker confirmed to us the outlines of an earlier report by the website CRN that it has jettisoned plans for a second-generation version of its Omni-Path interconnect... Read more…

By Staff report

Kubernetes, Containers and HPC

September 19, 2019

Software containers and Kubernetes are important tools for building, deploying, running and managing modern enterprise applications at scale and delivering enterprise software faster and more reliably to the end user — while using resources more efficiently and reducing costs. Read more…

By Daniel Gruber, Burak Yenier and Wolfgang Gentzsch, UberCloud

Dell Ramps Up HPC Testing of AMD Rome Processors

October 21, 2019

Dell Technologies is wading deeper into the AMD-based systems market with a growing evaluation program for the latest Epyc (Rome) microprocessors from AMD. In a Read more…

By John Russell

Intel Debuts Pohoiki Beach, Its 8M Neuron Neuromorphic Development System

July 17, 2019

Neuromorphic computing has received less fanfare of late than quantum computing whose mystery has captured public attention and which seems to have generated mo Read more…

By John Russell

Rise of NIH’s Biowulf Mirrors the Rise of Computational Biology

July 29, 2019

The story of NIH’s supercomputer Biowulf is fascinating, important, and in many ways representative of the transformation of life sciences and biomedical res Read more…

By John Russell

Xilinx vs. Intel: FPGA Market Leaders Launch Server Accelerator Cards

August 6, 2019

The two FPGA market leaders, Intel and Xilinx, both announced new accelerator cards this week designed to handle specialized, compute-intensive workloads and un Read more…

By Doug Black

When Dense Matrix Representations Beat Sparse

September 9, 2019

In our world filled with unintended consequences, it turns out that saving memory space to help deal with GPU limitations, knowing it introduces performance pen Read more…

By James Reinders

With the Help of HPC, Astronomers Prepare to Deflect a Real Asteroid

September 26, 2019

For years, NASA has been running simulations of asteroid impacts to understand the risks (and likelihoods) of asteroids colliding with Earth. Now, NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) are preparing for the next, crucial step in planetary defense against asteroid impacts: physically deflecting a real asteroid. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This