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 industy updates delivered to you every week!

Oracle Cloud Now Offers AMD Epyc Compute Instances

October 23, 2018

Even as a press report yesterday declared that Intel has abandoned its current effort to produce a 10nm chip – a report denied by Intel – looming rival AMD and Oracle today announced the availability of the first AMD Epyc processor-based instance on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Read more…

By Doug Black

Scripps, Nvidia Tackle AI Tools and Best Practices for Genomics and Health Sensors

October 23, 2018

Nvidia and the Scripps Research Translational Institute today announced a collaboration to develop AI and deep learning best practices, tools and infrastructure to accelerate AI applications using genomic and digital hea Read more…

By John Russell

Automated Optimization Boosts ResNet50 Performance by 1.77x

October 23, 2018

From supercomputers to cell phones, every system and software device in our digital panoply has a growing number of settings that, if not optimized, constrain performance, wasting precious cycles and watts. In the f Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

One Small Step Toward Mars: One Giant Leap for Supercomputing

Since the days of the Space Race between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union, we have continually sought ways to perform experiments in space. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Energy Matters: Evolving Holistic Approaches to Energy and Power Management in HPC

Energy costs of running clusters has always been a consideration when operating an infrastructure for high-performance computing (HPC).  As clusters become larger in the drive to the next levels of computing performance, energy efficiency has emerged as one of the foremost design goals.  Read more…

South Africa CHPC: Home Grown Dynasty

October 22, 2018

Before the build up to the final event in the 2018 Student Cluster Competition season (the SC18 competition in Dallas), I want to take a moment to write about one of the great inspirational stories of these competitions. Read more…

By Dan Olds

Automated Optimization Boosts ResNet50 Performance by 1.77x

October 23, 2018

From supercomputers to cell phones, every system and software device in our digital panoply has a growing number of settings that, if not optimized, constrain  Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

South Africa CHPC: Home Grown Dynasty

October 22, 2018

Before the build up to the final event in the 2018 Student Cluster Competition season (the SC18 competition in Dallas), I want to take a moment to write about o Read more…

By Dan Olds

Penguin Computing Launches Consultancy for Piecing AI Strategies Together

October 18, 2018

AI stands before the HPC industry as a beacon of great expectations, yet market research repeatedly shows that AI adoption is commonly stuck in the talking phas Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

When Water Quality—Not Quantity—Hinders HPC Cooling

October 18, 2018

Attention has been paid to the sheer quantity of water consumed by supercomputers’ cooling towers – and rightly so, as they can require thousands of gallons per minute to cool. But in the background, another factor can emerge, bottlenecking efficiency and raising costs: water quality. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Paper Offers ‘Proof’ of Quantum Advantage on Some Problems

October 18, 2018

Is quantum computing worth all the effort being poured into it or should we just wait for classical computing to catch up? An IBM blog today posed those questio Read more…

By John Russell

Dell EMC to Supply U Michigan’s Great Lakes Cluster

October 16, 2018

The University of Michigan (U-M) today announced Dell EMC is the lead vendor for U-M’s $4.8 million Great Lakes HPC cluster scheduled for deployment in first Read more…

By John Russell

Houston to Field Massive, ‘Geophysically Configured’ Cloud Supercomputer

October 11, 2018

Based on some news stories out today, one might get the impression that the next system to crack number one on the Top500 would be an industrial oil and gas mon Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Platform Pushes GPUs into Machine Learning, High Performance Data Analytics

October 10, 2018

GPU leader Nvidia, generally associated with deep learning, autonomous vehicles and other higher-end enterprise and scientific workloads (and gaming, of course) Read more…

By Doug Black

TACC Wins Next NSF-funded Major Supercomputer

July 30, 2018

The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) has won the next NSF-funded big supercomputer beating out rivals including the National Center for Supercomputing Ap Read more…

By John Russell

IBM at Hot Chips: What’s Next for Power

August 23, 2018

With processor, memory and networking technologies all racing to fill in for an ailing Moore’s law, the era of the heterogeneous datacenter is well underway, Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Requiem for a Phi: Knights Landing Discontinued

July 25, 2018

On Monday, Intel made public its end of life strategy for the Knights Landing "KNL" Phi product set. The announcement makes official what has already been wide Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

CERN Project Sees Orders-of-Magnitude Speedup with AI Approach

August 14, 2018

An award-winning effort at CERN has demonstrated potential to significantly change how the physics based modeling and simulation communities view machine learni Read more…

By Rob Farber

House Passes $1.275B National Quantum Initiative

September 17, 2018

Last Thursday the U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Quantum Initiative Act (NQIA) intended to accelerate quantum computing research and developm Read more…

By John Russell

Summit Supercomputer is Already Making its Mark on Science

September 20, 2018

Summit, now the fastest supercomputer in the world, is quickly making its mark in science – five of the six finalists just announced for the prestigious 2018 Read more…

By John Russell

New Deep Learning Algorithm Solves Rubik’s Cube

July 25, 2018

Solving (and attempting to solve) Rubik’s Cube has delighted millions of puzzle lovers since 1974 when the cube was invented by Hungarian sculptor and archite Read more…

By John Russell

D-Wave Breaks New Ground in Quantum Simulation

July 16, 2018

Last Friday D-Wave scientists and colleagues published work in Science which they say represents the first fulfillment of Richard Feynman’s 1982 notion that Read more…

By John Russell

Leading Solution Providers

HPC on Wall Street 2018 Booth Video Tours Playlist

Arista

Dell EMC

IBM

Intel

RStor

VMWare

TACC’s ‘Frontera’ Supercomputer Expands Horizon for Extreme-Scale Science

August 29, 2018

The National Science Foundation and the Texas Advanced Computing Center announced today that a new system, called Frontera, will overtake Stampede 2 as the fast Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE No. 1, IBM Surges, in ‘Bucking Bronco’ High Performance Server Market

September 27, 2018

Riding healthy U.S. and global economies, strong demand for AI-capable hardware and other tailwind trends, the high performance computing server market jumped 28 percent in the second quarter 2018 to $3.7 billion, up from $2.9 billion for the same period last year, according to industry analyst firm Hyperion Research. Read more…

By Doug Black

Intel Announces Cooper Lake, Advances AI Strategy

August 9, 2018

Intel's chief datacenter exec Navin Shenoy kicked off the company's Data-Centric Innovation Summit Wednesday, the day-long program devoted to Intel's datacenter Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Germany Celebrates Launch of Two Fastest Supercomputers

September 26, 2018

The new high-performance computer SuperMUC-NG at the Leibniz Supercomputing Center (LRZ) in Garching is the fastest computer in Germany and one of the fastest i Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

MLPerf – Will New Machine Learning Benchmark Help Propel AI Forward?

May 2, 2018

Let the AI benchmarking wars begin. Today, a diverse group from academia and industry – Google, Baidu, Intel, AMD, Harvard, and Stanford among them – releas Read more…

By John Russell

Houston to Field Massive, ‘Geophysically Configured’ Cloud Supercomputer

October 11, 2018

Based on some news stories out today, one might get the impression that the next system to crack number one on the Top500 would be an industrial oil and gas mon Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Aerodynamic Simulation Reveals Best Position in a Peloton of Cyclists

July 5, 2018

Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and KU Leuven research group conducts the largest numerical simulation ever done in the sport industry and cycling discipline. The goal was to understand the aerodynamic interactions in the peloton, i.e., the main pack of cyclists in a race. Read more…

No Go for GloFo at 7nm; and the Fujitsu A64FX post-K CPU

September 5, 2018

It’s been a news worthy couple of weeks in the semiconductor and HPC industry. There were several HPC relevant disclosures at Hot Chips 2018 to whet appetites Read more…

By Dairsie Latimer

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