PNNL Launches Center for Advanced Technology Evaluation

By John Russell

November 13, 2015

With the recent launch of the Center for Advanced Technology Evaluation (CENATE), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is well positioned to serve as a nexus for evaluating technologies that will be foundational for extreme-scale systems – all within a first-of-its-kind computing proving ground. Funded by the Department of Energy Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research, CENATE’s mission is to deliver concrete benefits to PNNL and to the broader technology research community.

The idea is straightforward: By creating a focal point for the evaluation of early systems technologies that too often are conducted between isolated research teams and technology providers, CENATE provides a needed research and development connection function. The intent is to productively impact the major advancements needed in computing technology and energy efficiency in the transition to exascale and beyond.

“It will be essential to engage a hierarchy of strategic partnerships and integrated methodologies to accelerate both numerically and data-intensive breakthrough technologies toward efficient, productive, high-end computing,” said DOE-ASCR Research Division Director William Harrod. “CENATE’s entire operations model speaks directly to this.” PNNL opened CENATE in mid October and will be spreading the CENATE message as part of a contingent of national laboratories at the DOE booth at SC15 next week.

CENATE is a natural progression of activities within PNNL’s Performance and Architecture Lab (PAL). In the last few years, PNNL used internal investments to create a state-of-the-art measurement facility. The laboratory affords accurate measurements of performance, power, and thermal effects, from device to system level. PAL has also developed methods and tools for modeling and simulating performance and power; researchers will be able to the infrastructure and tools to gain deeper insight into system and application performance and, hopefully, an improved ability ‘to design ahead.’

“Application workloads and technologies under investigation will cover many scientific domains of interest to the DOE,” said Adolfy Hoisie, PNNL’s chief scientist for computing and CENATE’s principal investigator and director. “CENATE facilities will be made available to the DOE laboratory community, and our findings will be disseminated among the DOE complex and to technology provider communities within NDA and IP limitations. Moreover, we will make the most of our industry connections to provide added technology evaluation capabilities, including early access to technologies, equipment, and knowledge resources.”

CENATE_graphicsThe CENATE Resource
CENATE is designed to provide a multi-perspective, integrated approach in its evaluation process, undertaking empirical analyses affecting sub-system or constituent components to full nodes and small clusters with network switches that are fully populated with compute nodes. Sub-systems of interest include the processor socket (homogeneous and accelerated systems), memories (dynamic, static, memory cubes), motherboards, networks (network interface cards and switches), and input/output and storage devices.

The CENATE core encompasses instrumentation, testbeds, evaluation, and modeling and simulation research areas that primarily will focus on workload applications of interest to DOE with the notion that the broader high-performance computing community can take advantage of synergies as they develop. Hosie emphasized the specifichow, when, and what type of evaluation mechanism’ employed in the CENATE pipeline will depend completely on where the technology of interest is in its life cycle.

“Within CENATE, we can take a concept, an early idea where a hardware prototype doesn’t exist and employ modeling and simulation,” he said. “At another stage of the technology development pipeline, very early technologies may be available for measurement in the Advanced Measurement Lab at device level, such as 7nm technology. At another stage of technology maturity a subsystem such as a novel memory board would be available for measurements in AML.”

In both cases – from early measurements to assessment of the impact of such technologies on DOE applications, systems, and power performance – research will be conducted using PAL’s modeling and simulation bag of tools. This measure-model-design pipeline is just one of many potential options that CENATE capabilities afford for steering future system designs and application mapping for optimal performance under the constraints of power consumption.

Tools to Grow By
Measurement instrumentation will provide detailed power information facilitated by PNNL’s investments in technical capabilities that already include the AML. These dedicated physical labs will enable rapid evaluations of component technologies, while evaluations at small and medium scales will feed the analysis pipeline toward modeling and simulation to assess the impact of technologies at large-scale and explore how the technologies may evolve in subsequent generations.

The testbed infrastructure features numerous workbenches—with room for more—that accommodate black box, or complete systems, with standard I/O devices, network connections, and external power meters that can be evaluated in a relatively short turnaround. In addition, there are open-box, or white box, systems where carrier boards are exposed and only include the essentials, such as CPUs, memory, and storage. These systems require a longer setup but also provide added power evaluation via external digital-to-analog converters and voltage probes. CENATE also can manage gray box, or single-component, evaluations that require specific carrier boards and coarse power instrumentation to examine. Gray box evaluation times will vary by system.

“CENATE will assist in preparing applications for future technology generations by assessing the importance of components and their impact on large-scale system deployments still on the horizon,” said Darren Kerbyson, CENATE’s lead scientist. “Ultimately, our evaluations and prediction processes will weed out robustness issues associated with early hardware that can be an imposing barrier en route to production.”

CENATE_graphicsCENATE leverages PNNL’s existing expertise in analytical modeling of performance and power of large-scale applications and systems, as well as work on adapting open-source, near-cycle-accurate system simulations for small scales. Hoisie and Kerbyson manage the center, and the evaluation area leads include Roberto Gioiosa, Instrumentation; Andres Marquez, Testbeds (scalability and new technology); Nathan Tallent, Evaluation; and Kevin Barker, Modeling and Simulation.

“To enable extreme-scale science and computing, especially as defined by DOE-ASCR, we need viable methods for more effectively examining the applications that pave the way to the new state of the art,” Hoisie said. “These evaluations also must provide accessible feedback in the form of useful data about performance and energy efficiencies. These data then will be employed to refine technology using co-design methods and additional optimizations. CENATE is a clear bridge that also aligns well with the current Executive Order for the National Strategic Computing Initiative.”
Browse News From SC15The long-term goal is for CENATE to get deeply enmeshed in the many computing projects funded by DOE for exascale and beyond. To that end, CENATE facilities will be made available to the DOE laboratory community via an instrument-like resource and time allocation to assure broad connectivity. A Wiki is already in development to facilitate rapid dissemination of results, within the confines of non-disclosure and intellectual property agreements with industry partners, as well as to provide a users’ forum for observations, suggestions, and general comments. Workshops, webinars, and onsite host visitors, all aimed at developing new testing methods and procedures, will further promote interaction and augment CENATE general expertise through contributions from experts within the HPC scientific community.

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!

Why HPC Storage Matters More Now Than Ever: Analyst Q&A

September 17, 2021

With soaring data volumes and insatiable computing driving nearly every facet of economic, social and scientific progress, data storage is seizing the spotlight. Hyperion Research analyst and noted storage expert Mark No Read more…

GigaIO Gets $14.7M in Series B Funding to Expand Its Composable Fabric Technology to Customers

September 16, 2021

Just before the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, GigaIO introduced its Universal Composable Fabric technology, which allows enterprises to bring together any HPC and AI resources and integrate them with networking, Read more…

What’s New in HPC Research: Solar Power, ExaWorks, Optane & More

September 16, 2021

In this regular feature, HPCwire highlights newly published research in the high-performance computing community and related domains. From parallel programming to exascale to quantum computing, the details are here. Read more…

Cerebras Brings Its Wafer-Scale Engine AI System to the Cloud

September 16, 2021

Five months ago, when Cerebras Systems debuted its second-generation wafer-scale silicon system (CS-2), co-founder and CEO Andrew Feldman hinted of the company’s coming cloud plans, and now those plans have come to fruition. Today, Cerebras and Cirrascale Cloud Services are launching... Read more…

AI Hardware Summit: Panel on Memory Looks Forward

September 15, 2021

What will system memory look like in five years? Good question. While Monday's panel, Designing AI Super-Chips at the Speed of Memory, at the AI Hardware Summit, tackled several topics, the panelists also took a brief glimpse into the future. Unlike compute, storage and networking, which... Read more…

AWS Solution Channel

Supporting Climate Model Simulations to Accelerate Climate Science

The Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative (ASDI), AWS is donating cloud resources, technical support, and access to scalable infrastructure and fast networking providing high performance computing (HPC) solutions to support simulations of near-term climate using the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Community Earth System Model Version 2 (CESM2) and its Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM). Read more…

ECMWF Opens Bologna Datacenter in Preparation for Atos Supercomputer

September 14, 2021

In January 2020, the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) – a juggernaut in the weather forecasting scene – signed a four-year, $89-million contract with European tech firm Atos to quintuple its supercomputing capacity. With the deal approaching the two-year mark, ECMWF... Read more…

GigaIO Gets $14.7M in Series B Funding to Expand Its Composable Fabric Technology to Customers

September 16, 2021

Just before the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, GigaIO introduced its Universal Composable Fabric technology, which allows enterprises to bring together Read more…

Cerebras Brings Its Wafer-Scale Engine AI System to the Cloud

September 16, 2021

Five months ago, when Cerebras Systems debuted its second-generation wafer-scale silicon system (CS-2), co-founder and CEO Andrew Feldman hinted of the company’s coming cloud plans, and now those plans have come to fruition. Today, Cerebras and Cirrascale Cloud Services are launching... Read more…

AI Hardware Summit: Panel on Memory Looks Forward

September 15, 2021

What will system memory look like in five years? Good question. While Monday's panel, Designing AI Super-Chips at the Speed of Memory, at the AI Hardware Summit, tackled several topics, the panelists also took a brief glimpse into the future. Unlike compute, storage and networking, which... Read more…

ECMWF Opens Bologna Datacenter in Preparation for Atos Supercomputer

September 14, 2021

In January 2020, the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) – a juggernaut in the weather forecasting scene – signed a four-year, $89-million contract with European tech firm Atos to quintuple its supercomputing capacity. With the deal approaching the two-year mark, ECMWF... Read more…

Quantum Computer Market Headed to $830M in 2024

September 13, 2021

What is one to make of the quantum computing market? Energized (lots of funding) but still chaotic and advancing in unpredictable ways (e.g. competing qubit tec Read more…

Amazon, NCAR, SilverLining Team for Unprecedented Cloud Climate Simulations

September 10, 2021

Earth’s climate is, to put it mildly, not in a good place. In the wake of a damning report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), scientis Read more…

After Roadblocks and Renewals, EuroHPC Targets a Bigger, Quantum Future

September 9, 2021

The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking (JU) was formalized in 2018, beginning a new era of European supercomputing that began to bear fruit this year with the launch of several of the first EuroHPC systems. The undertaking, however, has not been without its speed bumps, and the Union faces an uphill... Read more…

How Argonne Is Preparing for Exascale in 2022

September 8, 2021

Additional details came to light on Argonne National Laboratory’s preparation for the 2022 Aurora exascale-class supercomputer, during the HPC User Forum, held virtually this week on account of pandemic. Exascale Computing Project director Doug Kothe reviewed some of the 'early exascale hardware' at Argonne, Oak Ridge and NERSC (Perlmutter), while Ti Leggett, Deputy Project Director & Deputy Director... Read more…

Ahead of ‘Dojo,’ Tesla Reveals Its Massive Precursor Supercomputer

June 22, 2021

In spring 2019, Tesla made cryptic reference to a project called Dojo, a “super-powerful training computer” for video data processing. Then, in summer 2020, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted: “Tesla is developing a [neural network] training computer called Dojo to process truly vast amounts of video data. It’s a beast! … A truly useful exaflop at de facto FP32.” Read more…

Berkeley Lab Debuts Perlmutter, World’s Fastest AI Supercomputer

May 27, 2021

A ribbon-cutting ceremony held virtually at Berkeley Lab's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) today marked the official launch of Perlmutter – aka NERSC-9 – the GPU-accelerated supercomputer built by HPE in partnership with Nvidia and AMD. Read more…

Esperanto, Silicon in Hand, Champions the Efficiency of Its 1,092-Core RISC-V Chip

August 27, 2021

Esperanto Technologies made waves last December when it announced ET-SoC-1, a new RISC-V-based chip aimed at machine learning that packed nearly 1,100 cores onto a package small enough to fit six times over on a single PCIe card. Now, Esperanto is back, silicon in-hand and taking aim... Read more…

Enter Dojo: Tesla Reveals Design for Modular Supercomputer & D1 Chip

August 20, 2021

Two months ago, Tesla revealed a massive GPU cluster that it said was “roughly the number five supercomputer in the world,” and which was just a precursor to Tesla’s real supercomputing moonshot: the long-rumored, little-detailed Dojo system. “We’ve been scaling our neural network training compute dramatically over the last few years,” said Milan Kovac, Tesla’s director of autopilot engineering. Read more…

CentOS Replacement Rocky Linux Is Now in GA and Under Independent Control

June 21, 2021

The Rocky Enterprise Software Foundation (RESF) is announcing the general availability of Rocky Linux, release 8.4, designed as a drop-in replacement for the soon-to-be discontinued CentOS. The GA release is launching six-and-a-half months after Red Hat deprecated its support for the widely popular, free CentOS server operating system. The Rocky Linux development effort... Read more…

Intel Completes LLVM Adoption; Will End Updates to Classic C/C++ Compilers in Future

August 10, 2021

Intel reported in a blog this week that its adoption of the open source LLVM architecture for Intel’s C/C++ compiler is complete. The transition is part of In Read more…

Google Launches TPU v4 AI Chips

May 20, 2021

Google CEO Sundar Pichai spoke for only one minute and 42 seconds about the company’s latest TPU v4 Tensor Processing Units during his keynote at the Google I Read more…

AMD-Xilinx Deal Gains UK, EU Approvals — China’s Decision Still Pending

July 1, 2021

AMD’s planned acquisition of FPGA maker Xilinx is now in the hands of Chinese regulators after needed antitrust approvals for the $35 billion deal were receiv Read more…

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

Hot Chips: Here Come the DPUs and IPUs from Arm, Nvidia and Intel

August 25, 2021

The emergence of data processing units (DPU) and infrastructure processing units (IPU) as potentially important pieces in cloud and datacenter architectures was Read more…

10nm, 7nm, 5nm…. Should the Chip Nanometer Metric Be Replaced?

June 1, 2020

The biggest cool factor in server chips is the nanometer. AMD beating Intel to a CPU built on a 7nm process node* – with 5nm and 3nm on the way – has been i Read more…

Julia Update: Adoption Keeps Climbing; Is It a Python Challenger?

January 13, 2021

The rapid adoption of Julia, the open source, high level programing language with roots at MIT, shows no sign of slowing according to data from Julialang.org. I Read more…

HPE Wins $2B GreenLake HPC-as-a-Service Deal with NSA

September 1, 2021

In the heated, oft-contentious, government IT space, HPE has won a massive $2 billion contract to provide HPC and AI services to the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA). Following on the heels of the now-canceled $10 billion JEDI contract (reissued as JWCC) and a $10 billion... Read more…

Quantum Roundup: IBM, Rigetti, Phasecraft, Oxford QC, China, and More

July 13, 2021

IBM yesterday announced a proof for a quantum ML algorithm. A week ago, it unveiled a new topology for its quantum processors. Last Friday, the Technical Univer Read more…

Intel Launches 10nm ‘Ice Lake’ Datacenter CPU with Up to 40 Cores

April 6, 2021

The wait is over. Today Intel officially launched its 10nm datacenter CPU, the third-generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor, codenamed Ice Lake. With up to 40 Read more…

Frontier to Meet 20MW Exascale Power Target Set by DARPA in 2008

July 14, 2021

After more than a decade of planning, the United States’ first exascale computer, Frontier, is set to arrive at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) later this year. Crossing this “1,000x” horizon required overcoming four major challenges: power demand, reliability, extreme parallelism and data movement. Read more…

Intel Unveils New Node Names; Sapphire Rapids Is Now an ‘Intel 7’ CPU

July 27, 2021

What's a preeminent chip company to do when its process node technology lags the competition by (roughly) one generation, but outmoded naming conventions make it seem like it's two nodes behind? For Intel, the response was to change how it refers to its nodes with the aim of better reflecting its positioning within the leadership semiconductor manufacturing space. Intel revealed its new node nomenclature, and... Read more…

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
HPCwire