Trinity Supercomputer’s Haswell and KNL Partitions Are Merged

By HPCwire Staff

July 19, 2017

Trinity supercomputer’s two partitions – one based on Intel Xeon Haswell processors and the other on Xeon Phi Knights Landing – have been fully integrated and are now available for use on classified work in the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)’s Stockpile Stewardship Program, according to an announcement today. The KNL partition had been undergoing testing and was available for non-classified science work.

“The main benefit of doing open science was to find any remaining issues with the system hardware and software before Trinity is turned over for production computing in the classified environment,” said Trinity project director Jim Lujan. “In addition, some great science results were realized,” he said. “Knights Landing is a multicore processor that has 68 compute cores on one piece of silicon, called a die. This allows for improved electrical efficiency that is vital for getting to exascale, the next frontier of supercomputing, and is three times as power-efficient as the Haswell processors,” Archer noted.

The Trinity project is managed and operated by Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories under the New Mexico Alliance for Computing at Extreme Scale (ACES) partnership. In June 2017, the ACES team took the classified Trinity-Haswell system down and merged it with the KNL partition. The full system, sited at LANL, was back up for production use the first week of July.

The Knights Landing processors were accepted for use in December 2016 and since then they have been used for open science work in the unclassified network, permitting nearly unprecedented large-scale science simulations. Presumably the merge is the last step in the Trinity contract beyond maintenance.

Trinity, based on a Cray XC30, now has 301,952 Xeon and 678, 912 Xeon Phi processors along with two pebibytes (PiB) of memory. Besides blending the Haswell and KNL processors, Trinity benefits from the introduction of solid state storage (burst buffers). This is changing the ratio of disk and tape necessary to satisfy bandwidth and capacity requirements, and it drastically improves the usability of the systems for application input/output. With its new solid-state storage burst buffer and capacity-based campaign storage, Trinity enables users to iterate more frequently, ultimately reducing the amount of time to produce a scientific result.

“With this merge completed, we have now successfully released one of the most capable supercomputers in the world to the Stockpile Stewardship Program,” said Bill Archer, Los Alamos Advanced Simulation and Computing (ASC) program director. “Trinity will enable unprecedented calculations that will directly support the mission of the national nuclear security laboratories, and we are extremely excited to be able to deliver this capability to the complex.”

Trinity Timeline:

  • June 2015, Trinity first arrived at Los Alamos, Haswell partition installation began.
  • February 12 to April 8, 2016, approximately 60 days of computing access made available for open science using the Haswell-only partition.
  • June 2016, Knights Landing components of Trinity began installation.
  • July 5, 2016, Trinity’s classified side began serving the Advanced Technology Computing Campaign (ATCC-1)
  • February 8, 2017, Trinity Open Science (unclassified) early access shakeout began on the Knights Landing partition before integration with the Haswell partition in the classified network.
  • July 2017, Intel Haswell and Intel Knights Landing partitions were merged, transitioning to classified computing.
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