Nvidia Embraces Arm, Declares Intent to Accelerate All CPU Architectures

By Tiffany Trader

June 17, 2019

As the Top500 list was being announced at ISC in Frankfurt today with an upgraded petascale Arm supercomputer in the top third of the list, Nvidia announced its intention to make Arm a full citizen in the processing architectures it supports, along with x86 and Power. Noting the increased activity and momentum for the alternatives to x86 CPUs, Nvidia declared its backing for Arm, carving out a “new path for extremely energy-efficient, AI-enabled exascale supercomputers.”

Once upon a time, in 2011, Nvidia hatched a project to develop a full-featured Arm CPU capable of powering personal computers, workstations, servers and supercomputers. Project Denver, as it was called, failed to materialize in its original scope, but Nvidia did end up making Arm+GPU chips (Tegra/Xaviar and Jetson), designed for the embedded worlds of mobile, robotics, portable gaming and autonomous vehicles.

The company has also invested in Arm+GPU software development through PGI, which it owns, and OpenACC, the open source software project that it helps support, but from this reporter’s perspective those plans seemed to be on-again, off-again, or perennially in limbo.

In fact, questions we asked the OpenACC team about Arm support a few days ago were politely deflected just a day before we got the pre-briefing that Nvidia would be recommitting to Arm in a big way. Nvidia exercising caution and pumping the breaks as it did makes sense when you consider Arm-64’s trajectory. The transition from mobile platform to general purpose server CPU has been a bumpy one, with several false starts and setbacks before finding traction — starting in the HPC space. Now Marvell’s Cavium Arm server chips are powering the world’s first Arm petascale supercomputer at Sandia National Labs, Japan’s exascale Arm plan and execution are well under way, and Europe is committed to making a European Arm chip that will power its coming exascale-class machines.

Seeing the enthusiasm and momentum for Arm (HPC market watcher Addison Snell of Intersect360 Research has observed there are more Arm exascale plans in play than there are Intel), Nvidia has decided now is the time to throw its full and substantial weight into Arm support.

Nvidia plans to make its full stack of AI and HPC software — which accelerates more than 600 HPC applications and all AI frameworks — available to the Arm ecosystem by year’s end. “The stack includes all Nvidia CUDA-X AI and HPC libraries, GPU-accelerated AI frameworks and software development tools such as PGI compilers with OpenACC support and profilers,” says Nvidia.

“We’ve been working on this for the last two years, porting our platform and compiling it over, testing it out. We’re almost there, and for us it really wasn’t a question of if, but when,” said Ian Buck, general manager and vice president of accelerated computing at Nvidia,

“By marrying Arm and GPUs together, we can offer energy efficient supercomputing by taking all the heavy lifting of the computation – whether that means simulation flops or AI – and offload those portions of the computation while the CPU can focus on what it’s great at, which is fast single-threaded execution,” Buck added.

The launch today came with strong ecosystem support and over a dozen testimonials, from execs at Ampere Computing, Atos, CSC, HPE, Jülich Supercomputing Center, Marvell, Mellanox Technologies and others (below).

Support came in from partner Cray, which is invested in Arm compiler development. “At Cray our vision for the exascale era is systems that integrate AI and analytics with modeling and simulation, systems that enable and often require a diversity of processor architectures and systems that are built for data-intensive workloads required in science, engineering and digital transformation,” said Peter Ungaro, president and CEO, Cray. “We are excited to partner with Nvidia to help realize this vision in our supercomputers by leveraging their CUDA and CUDA-X HPC and AI software stack to the Arm platform and integrating it closely with our Cray system management and programming environment (compilers, libraries and tools) already enabled to support Arm processors across our XC and future Shasta supercomputers.”

EuroHPC is exploring Arm’s potential as an engine for its coming exascale systems. The European Processor Initiative roadmap, announced at the EuroHPC Summit Week in May, includes several generations of Made-in-Europe CPUs based on ARM with an acceleration thrust as well.

“The European Processor Initiative aims to endow the European Union with its own high-end, low-power, general purpose and accelerator solutions. EPI and SiPearl, its industrial hand, consider very positively the new possibilities offered by Nvidia. The combination between the EPI Arm-based microprocessor and Nvidia accelerator could make a perfect match for equipping building blocks in the future European exascale modular supercomputers,” said Philippe Notton, general manager at EPI.

Japan’s RIKEN research institute, which is pinning its exascale strategy on custom-designed Fujitsu Arm chips, also not surprisingly is backing the effort. “We have been a pioneer in using Nvidia GPUs on large-scale supercomputers for the last decade, including Japan’s most powerful ABCI supercomputer,” said Satoshi Matsuoka, director, RIKEN Center for Computational Sciences (R-CCS) and professor, Tokyo Institute of Technology “At Riken R-CCS, we are currently developing the next-generation, Arm-based, exascale Fugaku supercomputer and are thrilled to hear that Nvidia’s GPU acceleration platform will soon be available for Arm-based systems.”

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!

Red Hat’s Disruption of CentOS Unleashes Storm of Dissent

January 22, 2021

Five weeks after angering much of the CentOS Linux developer community by unveiling controversial changes to the no-cost CentOS operating system, Red Hat has unveiled alternatives for affected users that give them severa Read more…

By Todd R. Weiss

China Unveils First 7nm Chip: Big Island

January 22, 2021

Shanghai Tianshu Zhaoxin Semiconductor Co. is claiming China’s first 7-nanometer chip, described as a leading-edge, general-purpose cloud computing chip based on a proprietary GPU architecture. Dubbed “Big Island Read more…

By George Leopold

HiPEAC Keynote: In-Memory Computing Steps Closer to Practical Reality

January 21, 2021

Pursuit of in-memory computing has long been an active area with recent progress showing promise. Just how in-memory computing works, how close it is to practical application, and what are some of the key opportunities a Read more…

By John Russell

HiPEAC’s Vision for a New Cyber Era, a ‘Continuum of Computing’

January 21, 2021

Earlier this week (Jan. 19), HiPEAC — the European Network on High Performance and Embedded Architecture and Compilation — published the 8th edition of the HiPEAC Vision, detailing an increasingly interconnected computing landscape where complex tasks are carried out across multiple... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Supercomputers Assist Hunt for Mysterious Axion Particle

January 21, 2021

In the 1970s, scientists theorized the existence of axions: particles born in the hearts of stars that, when exposed to a magnetic field, become light particles, and which may even comprise dark matter. To date, however, Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

AWS Solution Channel

Fire Dynamics Simulation CFD workflow on AWS

Modeling fires is key for many industries, from the design of new buildings, defining evacuation procedures for trains, planes and ships, and even the spread of wildfires. Read more…

Intel® HPC + AI Pavilion

Intel Keynote Address

Intel is the foundation of HPC – from the workstation to the cloud to the backbone of the Top500. At SC20, Intel’s Trish Damkroger, VP and GM of high performance computing, addresses the audience to show how Intel and its partners are building the future of HPC today, through hardware and software technologies that accelerate the broad deployment of advanced HPC systems. Read more…

Researchers Train Fluid Dynamics Neural Networks on Supercomputers

January 21, 2021

Fluid dynamics simulations are critical for applications ranging from wind turbine design to aircraft optimization. Running these simulations through direct numerical simulations, however, is computationally costly. Many Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Red Hat’s Disruption of CentOS Unleashes Storm of Dissent

January 22, 2021

Five weeks after angering much of the CentOS Linux developer community by unveiling controversial changes to the no-cost CentOS operating system, Red Hat has un Read more…

By Todd R. Weiss

HiPEAC Keynote: In-Memory Computing Steps Closer to Practical Reality

January 21, 2021

Pursuit of in-memory computing has long been an active area with recent progress showing promise. Just how in-memory computing works, how close it is to practic Read more…

By John Russell

HiPEAC’s Vision for a New Cyber Era, a ‘Continuum of Computing’

January 21, 2021

Earlier this week (Jan. 19), HiPEAC — the European Network on High Performance and Embedded Architecture and Compilation — published the 8th edition of the HiPEAC Vision, detailing an increasingly interconnected computing landscape where complex tasks are carried out across multiple... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Saudi Aramco Unveils Dammam 7, Its New Top Ten Supercomputer

January 21, 2021

By revenue, oil and gas giant Saudi Aramco is one of the largest companies in the world, and it has historically employed commensurate amounts of supercomputing Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

President-elect Biden Taps Eric Lander and Deep Team on Science Policy

January 19, 2021

Last Friday U.S. President-elect Joe Biden named The Broad Institute founding director and president Eric Lander as his science advisor and as director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Lander, 63, is a mathematician by training and distinguished life sciences... Read more…

By John Russell

Pat Gelsinger Returns to Intel as CEO

January 14, 2021

The Intel board of directors has appointed a new CEO. Intel alum Pat Gelsinger is leaving his post as CEO of VMware to rejoin the company that he parted ways with 11 years ago. Gelsinger will succeed Bob Swan, who will remain CEO until Feb. 15. Gelsinger previously spent 30 years... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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…

By John Russell

Intel ‘Ice Lake’ Server Chips in Production, Set for Volume Ramp This Quarter

January 12, 2021

Intel Corp. used this week’s virtual CES 2021 event to reassert its dominance of the datacenter with the formal roll out of its next-generation server chip, the 10nm Xeon Scalable processor that targets AI and HPC workloads. The third-generation “Ice Lake” family... Read more…

By George Leopold

Esperanto Unveils ML Chip with Nearly 1,100 RISC-V Cores

December 8, 2020

At the RISC-V Summit today, Art Swift, CEO of Esperanto Technologies, announced a new, RISC-V based chip aimed at machine learning and containing nearly 1,100 low-power cores based on the open-source RISC-V architecture. Esperanto Technologies, headquartered in... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

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…

By John Russell

Azure Scaled to Record 86,400 Cores for Molecular Dynamics

November 20, 2020

A new record for HPC scaling on the public cloud has been achieved on Microsoft Azure. Led by Dr. Jer-Ming Chia, the cloud provider partnered with the Beckman I Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

NICS Unleashes ‘Kraken’ Supercomputer

April 4, 2008

A Cray XT4 supercomputer, dubbed Kraken, is scheduled to come online in mid-summer at the National Institute for Computational Sciences (NICS). The soon-to-be petascale system, and the resulting NICS organization, are the result of an NSF Track II award of $65 million to the University of Tennessee and its partners to provide next-generation supercomputing for the nation's science community. Read more…

Is the Nvidia A100 GPU Performance Worth a Hardware Upgrade?

October 16, 2020

Over the last decade, accelerators have seen an increasing rate of adoption in high-performance computing (HPC) platforms, and in the June 2020 Top500 list, eig Read more…

By Hartwig Anzt, Ahmad Abdelfattah and Jack Dongarra

Aurora’s Troubles Move Frontier into Pole Exascale Position

October 1, 2020

Intel’s 7nm node delay has raised questions about the status of the Aurora supercomputer that was scheduled to be stood up at Argonne National Laboratory next year. Aurora was in the running to be the United States’ first exascale supercomputer although it was on a contemporaneous timeline with... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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…

By Doug Black

Programming the Soon-to-Be World’s Fastest Supercomputer, Frontier

January 5, 2021

What’s it like designing an app for the world’s fastest supercomputer, set to come online in the United States in 2021? The University of Delaware’s Sunita Chandrasekaran is leading an elite international team in just that task. Chandrasekaran, assistant professor of computer and information sciences, recently was named... Read more…

By Tracey Bryant

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

Top500: Fugaku Keeps Crown, Nvidia’s Selene Climbs to #5

November 16, 2020

With the publication of the 56th Top500 list today from SC20's virtual proceedings, Japan's Fugaku supercomputer – now fully deployed – notches another win, Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Texas A&M Announces Flagship ‘Grace’ Supercomputer

November 9, 2020

Texas A&M University has announced its next flagship system: Grace. The new supercomputer, named for legendary programming pioneer Grace Hopper, is replacing the Ada system (itself named for mathematician Ada Lovelace) as the primary workhorse for Texas A&M’s High Performance Research Computing (HPRC). Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

At Oak Ridge, ‘End of Life’ Sometimes Isn’t

October 31, 2020

Sometimes, the old dog actually does go live on a farm. HPC systems are often cursed with short lifespans, as they are continually supplanted by the latest and Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Gordon Bell Special Prize Goes to Massive SARS-CoV-2 Simulations

November 19, 2020

2020 has proven a harrowing year – but it has produced remarkable heroes. To that end, this year, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) introduced the Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Nvidia and EuroHPC Team for Four Supercomputers, Including Massive ‘Leonardo’ System

October 15, 2020

The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking (JU) serves as Europe’s concerted supercomputing play, currently comprising 32 member states and billions of euros in funding. I Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Intel Xe-HP GPU Deployed for Aurora Exascale Development

November 17, 2020

At SC20, Intel announced that it is making its Xe-HP high performance discrete GPUs available to early access developers. Notably, the new chips have been deplo Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia-Arm Deal a Boon for RISC-V?

October 26, 2020

The $40 billion blockbuster acquisition deal that will bring chipmaker Arm into the Nvidia corporate family could provide a boost for the competing RISC-V architecture. As regulators in the U.S., China and the European Union begin scrutinizing the impact of the blockbuster deal on semiconductor industry competition and innovation, the deal has at the very least... Read more…

By George Leopold

HPE, AMD and EuroHPC Partner for Pre-Exascale LUMI Supercomputer

October 21, 2020

Not even a week after Nvidia announced that it would be providing hardware for the first four of the eight planned EuroHPC systems, HPE and AMD are announcing a 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