IBM, NVIDIA and Mellanox Launch Design Center for HPC

By John Russell

July 2, 2015

Today’s launch by IBM, NVIDIA, and Mellanox of a new POWER Acceleration and Design Center in Montpellier, France, ratchets up their campaign to attract a wider developer community to the OpenPOWER platform and their efforts to build momentum for the march into the Intel-dominated HPC landscape.

The Montpellier-based center is the second of its kind, complementing the previously announced center in Germany at the Jülich Supercomputing Center in November. IBM has tens of client centers around the world and a rollout of similar design centers at other IBM sites seems likely. Technical experts from IBM, NVIDIA and Mellanox will help developers take advantage of OpenPOWER systems leveraging IBM’s open and licensable POWER architecture with the NVIDIA Tesla Accelerated Computing Platform and Mellanox InfiniBand networking solutions.

“[These centers] are crucial for engagement with the developer community and our clients. If you look at we are going with OpenPOWER at this point, it is trying to get the entire ecosystem of high performance computing, machine learning, data analytics, enterprise computing software developers, and ISVs onto the POWER platform,” Sumit Gupta, IBM vice president of HPC and OpenPOWER Operations told HPCwire in a pre-release briefing.

Not surprisingly, the OpenPOWER camp has broad goals. “If you look at the architecture NVIDIA and Mellanox are building with us, it is of course about scaling an application to hundreds and thousands of servers, but it’s also about taking massive advantage of a single server. Everything we do about scaling at the 100 petaflops level also helps the departmental cluster,” he said.

Quoted in the official announcement this morning, Stefan Kraemer, director of HPC business development, EMEA, at NVIDIA, said, “Increasing computational performance while minimizing energy consumption is a challenge the industry must overcome in the race to exascale computing. By providing systems combining IBM Power CPUs with GPU accelerators and the NVIDIA NVLink high-speed GPU interconnect technology, we can help the new Center address both objectives, enabling scientists to achieve new breakthroughs in their research.”

“The new POWER Acceleration and Design Center will help scientists and engineers address the grand challenges facing society in the fields of energy and environment, information and health care using the most advanced HPC architectures and technologies,” said Gilad Shainer, vice president of marketing at Mellanox Technologies. “Only Mellanox offloads data movement, management and even data manipulations (for example Message Passing – MPI collective communications) which are performed at the network level, enabling more valuable CPU cycles to be dedicated to the research applications.”

“Our launch of this new Center reinforces IBM’s commitment to open-source collaboration and is a next step in expanding the software and solution ecosystem around OpenPOWER,” said Dave Turek, IBM’s Vice President of HPC Market Engagement. “Teaming with NVIDIA and Mellanox, the Center will allow us to leverage the strengths of each of our companies to extend innovation and bring higher value to our customers around the world.” (see Is IBM Getting Openness Right?)

Come One, Come All?

According to Gupta the center is open for business now. Formally, the center is available to clients, all OpenPOWER members and free to academia. He was quick to add, “We are also proactively reaching out to the research community and application community. We have a very large application engagement team and welcome anyone who wants to work with us. Just get in touch with IBM we’re happy to engage.”

You can see his email inbox filling quickly.

The design center differs from the SuperVessel developer program (see IBM Introduces SuperVessel), which was launched in March in China. Supervessel is cloud-based (on OpenStack) while the Montpellier center is a traditional brick and mortar facility with an HPC cluster. Leading edge technology and expertise will be available from all three collaborators. Besides benefiting the developer and client community, Gupta notes it will enable NVIDIA, Mellanox and IBM to get faster feedback on how their technologies are working together.

As one would expect the competitive zeal runs hot in the battle between the Intel and OpenPOWER camps.

In characterizing POWER’s advantage, Gupta said, “The [POWER] CPU core is higher performance than an x86 core. We’ve been able to clock some of our cores up to 4GHz. Every core has eight threads while x86 only has two threads per core. On four processors sockets we can have 96 threads where on x86 you would have at best 24 threads. Our memory bandwidth is three times higher than x86 in most HPC applications. We can connect up to a terabyte of memory to any of our processor sockets which again enable us to operate on bigger data[sets].”

Intel would no doubt dispute the specific advantages and the battle of specs is likely to continue. What’s most important for OpenPOWER is winning support from a sufficient portion of the developer community and porting key HPC applications to the platform.

Gupta said, “One of the key metrics we look at is the number of developers that are adopting our platform. I think that’s critical for us to measure and there’s many ways to do it. You look at the number of developers but you also look at the number of applications that get onto the POWER platform and then of course you look eventually at the number of customers that are using your product.”

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

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

What We Know about Alice Recoque, Europe’s Second Exascale System

June 24, 2024

Europe officially announced its second exascale system, Alice Recoque, and you can expect to see that name on the Top500 supercomputer list in a few years. Alice Recoque is the new name for a supercomputer with the opera Read more…

Spelunking the HPC and AI GPU Software Stacks

June 21, 2024

As AI continues to reach into every domain of life, the question remains as to what kind of software these tools will run on. The choice in software stacks – or collections of software components that work together to Read more…

HPE and NVIDIA Join Forces and Plan Conquest of Enterprise AI Frontier

June 20, 2024

The HPE Discover 2024 conference is currently in full swing, and the keynote address from Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) CEO Antonio Neri on Tuesday, June 18, was an unforgettable event. Other than being the first busi Read more…

Slide Shows Samsung May be Developing a RISC-V CPU for In-memory AI Chip

June 19, 2024

Samsung may have unintentionally revealed its intent to develop a RISC-V CPU, which a presentation slide showed may be used in an AI chip. The company plans to release an AI accelerator with heavy in-memory processing, b Read more…

ASC24 Student Cluster Competition: Who Won and Why?

June 18, 2024

As is our tradition, we’re going to take a detailed look back at the recently concluded the ASC24 Student Cluster Competition (Asia Supercomputer Community) to see not only who won the various awards, but to figure out Read more…

Qubits 2024: D-Wave’s Steady March to Quantum Success

June 18, 2024

In his opening keynote at D-Wave’s annual Qubits 2024 user meeting, being held in Boston, yesterday and today, CEO Alan Baratz again made the compelling pitch that D-Wave’s brand of analog quantum computing (quantum Read more…

Spelunking the HPC and AI GPU Software Stacks

June 21, 2024

As AI continues to reach into every domain of life, the question remains as to what kind of software these tools will run on. The choice in software stacks – Read more…

HPE and NVIDIA Join Forces and Plan Conquest of Enterprise AI Frontier

June 20, 2024

The HPE Discover 2024 conference is currently in full swing, and the keynote address from Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) CEO Antonio Neri on Tuesday, June 18, Read more…

Slide Shows Samsung May be Developing a RISC-V CPU for In-memory AI Chip

June 19, 2024

Samsung may have unintentionally revealed its intent to develop a RISC-V CPU, which a presentation slide showed may be used in an AI chip. The company plans to Read more…

Qubits 2024: D-Wave’s Steady March to Quantum Success

June 18, 2024

In his opening keynote at D-Wave’s annual Qubits 2024 user meeting, being held in Boston, yesterday and today, CEO Alan Baratz again made the compelling pitch Read more…

Shutterstock_666139696

Argonne’s Rick Stevens on Energy, AI, and a New Kind of Science

June 17, 2024

The world is currently experiencing two of the largest societal upheavals since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. One is the rapid improvement and imp Read more…

Under The Wire: Nearly HPC News (June 13, 2024)

June 13, 2024

As managing editor of the major global HPC news source, the term "news fire hose" is often mentioned. The analogy is quite correct. In any given week, there are Read more…

Labs Keep Supercomputers Alive for Ten Years as Vendors Pull Support Early

June 12, 2024

Laboratories are running supercomputers for much longer, beyond the typical lifespan, as vendors prematurely deprecate the hardware and stop providing support. Read more…

MLPerf Training 4.0 – Nvidia Still King; Power and LLM Fine Tuning Added

June 12, 2024

There are really two stories packaged in the most recent MLPerf  Training 4.0 results, released today. The first, of course, is the results. Nvidia (currently Read more…

Atos Outlines Plans to Get Acquired, and a Path Forward

May 21, 2024

Atos – via its subsidiary Eviden – is the second major supercomputer maker outside of HPE, while others have largely dropped out. The lack of integrators and Atos' financial turmoil have the HPC market worried. If Atos goes under, HPE will be the only major option for building large-scale systems. Read more…

Comparing NVIDIA A100 and NVIDIA L40S: Which GPU is Ideal for AI and Graphics-Intensive Workloads?

October 30, 2023

With long lead times for the NVIDIA H100 and A100 GPUs, many organizations are looking at the new NVIDIA L40S GPU, which it’s a new GPU optimized for AI and g Read more…

Everyone Except Nvidia Forms Ultra Accelerator Link (UALink) Consortium

May 30, 2024

Consider the GPU. An island of SIMD greatness that makes light work of matrix math. Originally designed to rapidly paint dots on a computer monitor, it was then Read more…

Nvidia H100: Are 550,000 GPUs Enough for This Year?

August 17, 2023

The GPU Squeeze continues to place a premium on Nvidia H100 GPUs. In a recent Financial Times article, Nvidia reports that it expects to ship 550,000 of its lat Read more…

Nvidia’s New Blackwell GPU Can Train AI Models with Trillions of Parameters

March 18, 2024

Nvidia's latest and fastest GPU, codenamed Blackwell, is here and will underpin the company's AI plans this year. The chip offers performance improvements from Read more…

Choosing the Right GPU for LLM Inference and Training

December 11, 2023

Accelerating the training and inference processes of deep learning models is crucial for unleashing their true potential and NVIDIA GPUs have emerged as a game- Read more…

Synopsys Eats Ansys: Does HPC Get Indigestion?

February 8, 2024

Recently, it was announced that Synopsys is buying HPC tool developer Ansys. Started in Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1970 as Swanson Analysis Systems, Inc. (SASI) by John Swanson (and eventually renamed), Ansys serves the CAE (Computer Aided Engineering)/multiphysics engineering simulation market. Read more…

Some Reasons Why Aurora Didn’t Take First Place in the Top500 List

May 15, 2024

The makers of the Aurora supercomputer, which is housed at the Argonne National Laboratory, gave some reasons why the system didn't make the top spot on the Top Read more…

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

Nvidia Shipped 3.76 Million Data-center GPUs in 2023, According to Study

June 10, 2024

Nvidia had an explosive 2023 in data-center GPU shipments, which totaled roughly 3.76 million units, according to a study conducted by semiconductor analyst fir Read more…

Google Announces Sixth-generation AI Chip, a TPU Called Trillium

May 17, 2024

On Tuesday May 14th, Google announced its sixth-generation TPU (tensor processing unit) called Trillium.  The chip, essentially a TPU v6, is the company's l Read more…

Intel’s Next-gen Falcon Shores Coming Out in Late 2025 

April 30, 2024

It's a long wait for customers hanging on for Intel's next-generation GPU, Falcon Shores, which will be released in late 2025.  "Then we have a rich, a very Read more…

AMD MI3000A

How AMD May Get Across the CUDA Moat

October 5, 2023

When discussing GenAI, the term "GPU" almost always enters the conversation and the topic often moves toward performance and access. Interestingly, the word "GPU" is assumed to mean "Nvidia" products. (As an aside, the popular Nvidia hardware used in GenAI are not technically... Read more…

The NASA Black Hole Plunge

May 7, 2024

We have all thought about it. No one has done it, but now, thanks to HPC, we see what it looks like. Hold on to your feet because NASA has released videos of wh Read more…

AMD Clears Up Messy GPU Roadmap, Upgrades Chips Annually

June 3, 2024

In the world of AI, there's a desperate search for an alternative to Nvidia's GPUs, and AMD is stepping up to the plate. AMD detailed its updated GPU roadmap, w Read more…

Q&A with Nvidia’s Chief of DGX Systems on the DGX-GB200 Rack-scale System

March 27, 2024

Pictures of Nvidia's new flagship mega-server, the DGX GB200, on the GTC show floor got favorable reactions on social media for the sheer amount of computing po Read more…

How the Chip Industry is Helping a Battery Company

May 8, 2024

Chip companies, once seen as engineering pure plays, are now at the center of geopolitical intrigue. Chip manufacturing firms, especially TSMC and Intel, have b Read more…

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
HPCwire