GPUs Power Five of World’s Top Seven Supercomputers

By Tiffany Trader

June 25, 2018

The top 10 echelon of the newly minted Top500 list boasts three powerful new systems with one common engine: the Nvidia Volta V100 general-purpose graphics processor. With the rollout of the 50th Top500 listing in Frankfurt this morning, Nvidia highlighted its role in powering the new number one system, Summit at Oak Ridge National Lab; the new number three system, Sierra at Livermore Lab, and Japan’s new fastest supercomputer, the number-five machine, ABCI. Nvidia GPUs are also under the hood of the world’s fastest industrial supercomputer, Italian energy company Eni’s HPC4 system, which enters the list at number 13.

Debuting at Oak Ridge National Lab earlier this month, the new number-one champ Summit achieved 122.30 petaflops on its Linpack submission, recapturing the U.S lead at the top of the list and displacing China’s Sunway TaihuLight, now in second place with 93 Linpack petaflops (out of a potential 125 theoretical peak petaflops). The benchmarked Summit is spec’d at 187.66 petaflops peak, putting its Linpack efficiency at 65 percent. You’ll note that the Rpeak is 28 petaflops shy of the full build comprised of 4,608 IBM Power9 nodes, which at 7.8 teraflops per V100 GPU comes out to 215.65 peak petaflops based on the GPUs alone (the Power9s add roughly 5 percent more flops). “At the point that we had to turn it in, that was as large as we could run,” Buddy Bland, project director of the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, told HPCwire, “and it will continue to get better.”

Sierra, based at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and purchased under the same CORAL RFP as Summit, was somewhat of a surprise entrant in third position with 71.61 Linpack petaflops out of 119.19 Rpeak petaflops, delivered using 17,280 GPUs. That’s a Linpack efficiency of 60 percent. Both machines were built by IBM in collaboration with Nvidia and Mellanox for the United States Department of Energy, but Sierra’s deployment was running a few weeks behind Summit, so it was not certain (from our perspective at least) that it would be benchmarked in time for this list installation.

The IBM/Nvidia/Mellanox CORAL machines Summit and Sierra also took the first two spots on the HPCG benchmark. On the Green500, there was a large spread between the machines with the six-GPU node Summit at number five and four-GPU node Sierra ranked 276th.

Source: Top500 (June 2018, systems 1-10)

In fifth place, Japan’s fastest system AI Bridging Cloud Infrastructure (ABCI) delivers 19.6 petaflops of performance (out of a peak of 32.58 petaflops) using 4,352 V100 GPUs. The Fujitsu-made supercomputer is installed in Japan at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) at the Kashiwa II campus of the University of Tokyo. (See our earlier coverage here.)

Nvidia also powers two existing top ten machines: the Cray XC50 Piz Daint – Europe’s fastest, deployed at the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) – and the previous U.S. title-holder Titan, installed at Oak Ridge National Lab in 2012 as an upgrade to Jaguar. Delivering 19.5 petaflops of Linpack performance using 5,320 P100 GPUs, Piz Daint drops to sixth place from its previous third-place position. Titan, the Cray XK7 with Nvidia K20x’s that was once the world fastest supercomputer (with 17.59 petaflops of Linpack performance) fell two spots to number seven.

“The new systems reflect the broader shift to accelerators in the Top500 list,” said Nvidia, characterizing the machines as “AI supercomputers … uniquely capable of processing both traditional HPC simulations and revolutionary new AI workloads.”

“GPUs now power five out of the world’s seven fastest systems as well as 17 of the 20 most energy efficient systems on the new Green500 list,” the company remarked, adding that the “majority of computing performance added to the Top500 list comes from Nvidia GPUs.”

The Volta Tensor Core GPU makes it possible to “combine simulation with the power of AI to advance science, find cures for disease and develop new forms of energy,” said CUDA inventor Ian Buck.

The same GPUs are also inside HPC4, the new entrant at number 13 that is the world’s most powerful publicly announced commercial system, providing 12.21 Linpack petaflops (out of a potential theoretical 18.62 petaflops) for Italian energy company Eni’s oil and gas exploration activities. Built by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), the cluster encompasses 1,600 ProLiant DL380 nodes, each equipped with two Intel 24-core Skylake processors and two Nvidia Tesla P100 GPU accelerators.

The latest Top500 report includes 110 systems with some manner of accelerator and/or co-processor technology, up from 101 six months ago. 98 are equipped with Nvidia chips, seven systems utilize Intel Xeon Phi (coprocessor) technology and four are using PEZY technology. Two systems (ranked 52 and 252) employ a combination of Nvidia and Intel Xeon Phi accelerators/coprocessors. The newly upgraded Tianhe-2a (now in fourth position with 61.44 petaflops up from 33.86 petaflops), installed at the National Super Computer Center in Guangzhou, employs custom-built Matrox-2000 accelerators. 19 systems now use Xeon Phi as the main processing unit.

“This year’s Top500 list represents a clear shift toward systems that support both HPC and AI computing,” said Jack Dongarra, professor at the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Top500 author.  “Accelerators, such as GPUs, are critical to deliver this capability at the performance and efficiency targets demanded by the supercomputing community.”

Source: Top500 (June 2018, systems 11-15)
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!

On the Spack Track @SC19

December 5, 2019

At the annual supercomputing conference, SC19 in Denver, Colorado, there were Spack events each day of the conference. As a reflection of its grassroots heritage, nine sessions were planned by more than a dozen thought leaders from seven organizations, including three U.S. national Department of Energy (DOE) laboratories and Sylabs... Read more…

By Elizabeth Leake

Intel’s New Hyderabad Design Center Targets Exascale Era Technologies

December 3, 2019

Intel's Raja Koduri was in India this week to help launch a new 300,000 square foot design and engineering center in Hyderabad, which will focus on advanced computing technologies for the AI and exascale era. "Over th Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AWS Debuts 7nm 2nd-Gen Graviton Arm Processor

December 3, 2019

The “x86 Big Bang,” in which market dominance of the venerable Intel CPU has exploded into fragments of processor options suited to varying workloads, has now encompassed CPUs offered by the leading public cloud serv Read more…

By Doug Black

Medical Imaging Gets an AI Boost

December 3, 2019

AI technologies incorporated into diagnostic imaging tools have proven useful in eliminating confirmation bias, often outperforming human clinicians who may bring their own prejudices. Another issue slowing progress is t Read more…

By George Leopold

Ride on the Wild Side – Squyres SC19 Mars Rovers Keynote

December 2, 2019

Reminding us of the deep and enabling connection between HPC and modern science is an important part of the SC Conference mission. And yes, HPC is a science itself. At SC19, Steve Squyres’ opening keynote recounting th 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

AI Needs Intelligent HPC infrastructure

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has revolutionized entire industries and enables humanity to solve some of the most daunting challenges. To accomplish this, it requires massive amounts of data from heterogeneous sources that is processed it new ways that differs significantly from HPC applications. Read more…

NSCI Update – Adapting to a Changing Landscape

December 2, 2019

It was November of 2017 when we last visited the topic of the National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI). As you will recall, the NSCI was started with an Executive Order (E.O. No. 13702), that was issued by President Obama in July of 2015 and was followed by a Strategic Plan that was released in July of 2016. The question for November of 2017... Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

On the Spack Track @SC19

December 5, 2019

At the annual supercomputing conference, SC19 in Denver, Colorado, there were Spack events each day of the conference. As a reflection of its grassroots heritage, nine sessions were planned by more than a dozen thought leaders from seven organizations, including three U.S. national Department of Energy (DOE) laboratories and Sylabs... Read more…

By Elizabeth Leake

Intel’s New Hyderabad Design Center Targets Exascale Era Technologies

December 3, 2019

Intel's Raja Koduri was in India this week to help launch a new 300,000 square foot design and engineering center in Hyderabad, which will focus on advanced com Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AWS Debuts 7nm 2nd-Gen Graviton Arm Processor

December 3, 2019

The “x86 Big Bang,” in which market dominance of the venerable Intel CPU has exploded into fragments of processor options suited to varying workloads, has n Read more…

By Doug Black

Ride on the Wild Side – Squyres SC19 Mars Rovers Keynote

December 2, 2019

Reminding us of the deep and enabling connection between HPC and modern science is an important part of the SC Conference mission. And yes, HPC is a science its Read more…

By John Russell

NSCI Update – Adapting to a Changing Landscape

December 2, 2019

It was November of 2017 when we last visited the topic of the National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI). As you will recall, the NSCI was started with an Executive Order (E.O. No. 13702), that was issued by President Obama in July of 2015 and was followed by a Strategic Plan that was released in July of 2016. The question for November of 2017... Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

Tsinghua University Racks Up Its Ninth Student Cluster Championship Win at SC19

November 27, 2019

Tsinghua University has done it again. At SC19 last week, the eight-time gold medal-winner team took home the top prize in the 2019 Student Cluster Competition Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

SC19: IBM Changes Its HPC-AI Game Plan

November 25, 2019

It’s probably fair to say IBM is known for big bets. Summit supercomputer – a big win. Red Hat acquisition – looking like a big win. OpenPOWER and Power processors – jury’s out? At SC19, long-time IBMer Dave Turek sketched out a different kind of bet for Big Blue – a small ball strategy, if you’ll forgive the baseball analogy... Read more…

By John Russell

How the Gordon Bell Prize Winners Used Summit to Illuminate Transistors

November 22, 2019

At SC19, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) awarded the prestigious Gordon Bell Prize to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich. The Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

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

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

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

SC19: IBM Changes Its HPC-AI Game Plan

November 25, 2019

It’s probably fair to say IBM is known for big bets. Summit supercomputer – a big win. Red Hat acquisition – looking like a big win. OpenPOWER and Power processors – jury’s out? At SC19, long-time IBMer Dave Turek sketched out a different kind of bet for Big Blue – a small ball strategy, if you’ll forgive the baseball analogy... 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

Cray, Fujitsu Both Bringing Fujitsu A64FX-based Supercomputers to Market in 2020

November 12, 2019

The number of top-tier HPC systems makers has shrunk due to a steady march of M&A activity, but there is increased diversity and choice of processing compon 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

Intel Debuts New GPU – Ponte Vecchio – and Outlines Aspirations for oneAPI

November 17, 2019

Intel today revealed a few more details about its forthcoming Xe line of GPUs – the top SKU is named Ponte Vecchio and will be used in Aurora, the first plann Read more…

By John Russell

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

SC19: Welcome to Denver

November 17, 2019

A significant swath of the HPC community has come to Denver for SC19, which began today (Sunday) with a rich technical program. As is customary, the ribbon cutt Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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