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

By Tiffany Trader

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 components with Intel Xeon, AMD Epyc, IBM Power, and Arm server chips all in the mix (and that’s just on the CPU side). A partnership announced today between Cray (now part of HPE) and Japanese IT giant Fujitsu is indicative of this trend and of a growing interest among leading HPC sites to field architecturally diverse systems that can serve double duty for simulation and AI processing.

The duo announced a partnership that will have Cray developing a commercial supercomputer powered by the Fujitsu A64FX Arm-based processor — that is of course the same chip going into the post-K “Fugaku” supercomputer to be deployed at RIKEN in 2021.

The new HPE-Cray system, part of the Cray CS500 lineup, will employ the Fujitsu A64FX Arm-based processor with Arm Scalable Vector Extensions (SVE) and second-generation high-bandwidth memory (HBM). Named as customers in today’s release are Los Alamos National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, RIKEN Center for Computational Science, Stony Brook University, and University of Bristol. Cray and Fujitsu said they will be exploring engineering collaboration, co-development, and joint go-to-market strategies to meet customer demand as supercomputing extends into the exascale era.

A64FX block diagram

“Our partnership with Fujitsu means customers now have a broader choice of processor technology to address their pressing computational needs,” said Fred Kohout, senior vice president and CMO at Cray. “We are delivering the development-to-deployment experience customers have come to expect from Cray, including exploratory development to the Cray Programming Environment (CPE) for Arm processors to optimize performance and scalability with additional support for Scalable Vector Extensions and high bandwidth memory.”

HBM2 on A64FX provides a maximum theoretical memory bandwidth greater than 1 terabyte per second (TB/s), a significant increase over DDR4, according to the companies.

“It’s a pleasure to partner with Cray on building technologies for the next era of computing,” said Takeshi Horie, corporate executive officer, vice head of service Platform Business Group at Fujitsu. “Both companies have a strong legacy of supercomputing and vector processing. The A64FX Arm processor was designed to empower a wide range of data-intensive applications and is the world’s first CPU to adopt the SVE of the Armv8-A instruction set architecture, specifically extended for supercomputers.”

FX1000

A few hours after the joint Cray-Fujitsu announcement was made, Fujitsu launched its own A64FX machines, the PRIMEHPC FX1000 and PRIMEHPC FX700 models that will employ the technology developed by RIKEN and Fujitsu for the Fugaku supercomputer.

As with the new Cray offering, the “Fujitsu Supercomputer PRIMEHPC” series will be equipped with the A64FX chip with Scalable Vector Extension (SVE), an extension of the Armv8-A architecture for supercomputers. “The CPU not only achieves a high memory bandwidth by using HBM2, a high-performance die-stacked memory, but also can handle half-precision arithmetic and multiply-add, which are important in such technologies as deep learning. In this way, the new supercomputers are expected to expand its use in the field of AI,” said Fujitsu.

For customers inside Japan, FX1000 deployments start at a minimum of 48 nodes, FX700 starts at a minimum of two nodes; for countries outside Japan, the entry point for FX1000 is 192 nodes and FX700 starts at a minimum of 128 nodes.

In a management direction briefing held in September, Fujitsu shared strategy for selling the new systems. “They are not being offered as stand-alone hardware, but alongside services, and we hope that they will be used in a variety of fields. At the same time, we introduced these products with the understanding that competing with just stand-alone hardware makes for an extremely difficult business environment,” said Takahito Tokita, President and Representative Director at Fujitsu Ltd.

Fujitsu will be presenting on its PRIMEHPC FX Series architecture at SC19 on Thursday, Nov. 21 (link).

Cray’s A64FX-powered CS500 system is scheduled to debut mid-2020; while Fujitsu says its new systems will start shipping in March 2020. It makes sense that Fujitsu would have a bit of a head start, but we’ll see. Fujitsu has not disclosed any customer wins yet (outside of Riken/Fugaku, of course, the flagship custom system), while Cray has four customers on record.

Among the first to purchase a Cray-Fujitsu system is Stony Brook University. Ookami, Japanese for wolf, is a $5 million testbed project funded by the NSF and conducted in collaboration with RIKEN CCS in Japan. “Memory-bandwidth-intensive applications will be especially accelerated by the ultra high-bandwidth memory while still being able to employ familiar and successful multi-core programming models,” said Robert Harrison, principal investigator and project director for Stony Brook University.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, future home of Frontier (the Cray-AMD exascale system), is another early customer. Jeff Nichols, associate lab director for computing and computational sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, commented that access “will enable our scientists to experiment with possible system architectures for the Exascale Era and advance the DOE mission.”

Los Alamos National Laboratory will also be testing out the new architecture. “The most demanding computing work at LANL involves sparse, irregular, multi-physics, multi-link-scale, highly resolved, long-running 3D simulations. There are few existing architectures that currently serve this workload well. We are excited to see a potential solution and are happy to be helping prove this Cray and Fujitsu technology is a viable alternative for this need. Having this type of capability will be quite complementary to other resources in the NNSA computing complex,” said Gary Grider, deputy division leader, HPC Division at Los Alamos.

In the UK, the University of Bristol, an early pioneer and proponent of Arm64 for HPC, is planning to build Isambard 2 on the Cray-Fujitsu architecture. Simon McIntosh-Smith, professor of high-performance computing at the University of Bristol and winner of the 2018 HPCwire Readers’ Choice Award for leadership, said his group expects to make these new technologies available to UK scientists later in 2020.

More Choices…

Globally, HPC efforts are increasingly reaching beyond traditional x86 suppliers to meet their computing requirements, spurred by the twin mandates of maintaining technological leadership and protecting national interests. The European Processor Initiative, which prioritizes technological self-reliance for the EU, is developing custom chips using Arm, RISC-V and FPGAs. RIKEN, of course, is working to field Fugaku in 2021, using primarily Japanese technologies. China has multiple homegrown technologies powering its largest supercomputers.

In the U.S., the next batch of leadership-class systems (going by current disclosures) will employ technologies from Cray/HPE, Intel, AMD, Nvidia and Mellanox. Sandia National Laboratories fielded the world’s first petascale Arm supercomputer, Astra, powered by Marvell/Cavium ThunderX2 processors in an HPE system. And the Tri-Lab Vanguard project was initiated to explore and develop Arm technologies for Sandia in partnership with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Lab.

At ISC in June, Nvidia announced it would be ramping up support for accelerated-ARM (Arm+GPUs) to a chorus of endorsements from Cray, Marvell, RIKEN and others. We expect updates from all the relevant players at SC19.

There is also growing interest in the vector architecture of another Japanese company, NEC. Los Alamos National Laboratory and the United States Naval Research Laboratory are both presenting on early work and benchmarking of the NEC SX-Aurora TSUBASA Vector Engine at NEC’s Aurora Forum, to be held at SC19 on Monday, Nov. 18 (link).

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!

NSF Budget Approved for $8.3B in 2020, a 2.5% Increase

January 16, 2020

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has been spared a President Trump-proposed budget cut that would have rolled back its funding to 2012 levels. Congress passed legislation last month that sets the budget at $8.3 bill Read more…

By Staff report

NOAA Updates Its Massive, Supercomputer-Generated Climate Dataset

January 15, 2020

As Australia burns, understanding and mitigating the climate crisis is more urgent than ever. Now, by leveraging the computing resources at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has updated its 20th Century Reanalysis Project (20CR) dataset... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Atos-AMD System to Quintuple Supercomputing Power at European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts

January 15, 2020

The United Kingdom-based European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), a supercomputer-powered weather forecasting organization backed by most of the countries in Europe, has signed a four-year, $89-million Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Julia Programming’s Dramatic Rise in HPC and Elsewhere

January 14, 2020

Back in 2012 a paper by four computer scientists including Alan Edelman of MIT introduced Julia, A Fast Dynamic Language for Technical Computing. At the time, the gold standard programming languages for fast performance Read more…

By John Russell

Quantum Computing, ML Drive 2019 Patent Awards

January 14, 2020

The dizzying pace of technology innovation often fueled by the growing availability of computing horsepower is underscored by the race to develop unique designs and application that can be patented. Among the goals of ma Read more…

By George Leopold

AWS Solution Channel

Challenging the barriers to High Performance Computing in the Cloud

Cloud computing helps democratize High Performance Computing by placing powerful computational capabilities in the hands of more researchers, engineers, and organizations who may lack access to sufficient on-premises infrastructure. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Intelligent HPC – Keeping Hard Work at Bay(es)

Since the dawn of time, humans have looked for ways to make their lives easier. Over the centuries human ingenuity has given us inventions such as the wheel and simple machines – which help greatly with tasks that would otherwise be extremely laborious. Read more…

Andrew Jones Joins Microsoft Azure HPC Team

January 13, 2020

Andrew Jones announced today he is joining Microsoft as part of the Azure HPC engineering & product team in early February. Jones makes the move after nearly 12 years at the UK HPC consultancy Numerical Algorithms Gr Read more…

By Staff report

Atos-AMD System to Quintuple Supercomputing Power at European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts

January 15, 2020

The United Kingdom-based European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), a supercomputer-powered weather forecasting organization backed by most of Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Julia Programming’s Dramatic Rise in HPC and Elsewhere

January 14, 2020

Back in 2012 a paper by four computer scientists including Alan Edelman of MIT introduced Julia, A Fast Dynamic Language for Technical Computing. At the time, t Read more…

By John Russell

White House AI Regulatory Guidelines: ‘Remove Impediments to Private-sector AI Innovation’

January 9, 2020

When it comes to new technology, it’s been said government initially stays uninvolved – then gets too involved. The White House’s guidelines for federal a Read more…

By Doug Black

IBM Touts Quantum Network Growth, Improving QC Quality, and Battery Research

January 8, 2020

IBM today announced its Q (quantum) Network community had grown to 100-plus – Delta Airlines and Los Alamos National Laboratory are among most recent addition Read more…

By John Russell

HPCwire Awards Highlight Supercomputing Achievements in the Sciences

January 7, 2020

In November at SC19 in Denver, the HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice awards program celebrated its 16th year of honoring remarkable achievements in high-performance computing. With categories ranging from Best Use of HPC in Energy to Top HPC-Enabled Scientific Achievement, many of the winners contributed to groundbreaking developments in the sciences. This editorial highlights those awards. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Blasts from the (Recent) Past and Hopes for the Future

December 23, 2019

What does 2020 look like to you? What did 2019 look like? Lots happened but the main trends were carryovers from 2018 – AI messaging again blanketed everything; the roll-out of new big machines and exascale announcements continued; processor diversity and system disaggregation kicked up a notch; hyperscalers continued flexing their muscles (think AWS and its Graviton2 processor); and the U.S. and China continued their awkward trade war. Read more…

By John Russell

ARPA-E Applies ML to Power Generation Designs

December 19, 2019

The U.S. Energy Department’s research arm is leveraging machine learning technologies to simplify the design process for energy systems ranging from photovolt Read more…

By George Leopold

Focused on ‘Silicon TAM,’ Intel Puts Gary Patton, Former GlobalFoundries CTO, in Charge of Design Enablement

December 12, 2019

Change within Intel’s upper management – and to its company mission – has continued as a published report has disclosed that chip technology heavyweight G Read more…

By Doug Black

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

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

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

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

Julia Programming’s Dramatic Rise in HPC and Elsewhere

January 14, 2020

Back in 2012 a paper by four computer scientists including Alan Edelman of MIT introduced Julia, A Fast Dynamic Language for Technical Computing. At the time, t 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

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

Leading Solution Providers

SC 2019 Virtual Booth Video Tour

AMD
AMD
ASROCK RACK
ASROCK RACK
AWS
AWS
CEJN
CJEN
CRAY
CRAY
DDN
DDN
DELL EMC
DELL EMC
IBM
IBM
MELLANOX
MELLANOX
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
PANASAS
PANASAS
SIX NINES IT
SIX NINES IT
VERNE GLOBAL
VERNE GLOBAL
WEKAIO
WEKAIO

IBM Unveils Latest Achievements in AI Hardware

December 13, 2019

“The increased capabilities of contemporary AI models provide unprecedented recognition accuracy, but often at the expense of larger computational and energet Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

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

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

Jensen Huang’s SC19 – Fast Cars, a Strong Arm, and Aiming for the Cloud(s)

November 20, 2019

We’ve come to expect Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang’s annual SC keynote to contain stunning graphics and lively bravado (with plenty of examples) in support of GPU Read more…

By John Russell

Top500: US Maintains Performance Lead; Arm Tops Green500

November 18, 2019

The 54th Top500, revealed today at SC19, is a familiar list: the U.S. Summit (ORNL) and Sierra (LLNL) machines, offering 148.6 and 94.6 petaflops respectively, Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

51,000 Cloud GPUs Converge to Power Neutrino Discovery at the South Pole

November 22, 2019

At the dead center of the South Pole, thousands of sensors spanning a cubic kilometer are buried thousands of meters beneath the ice. The sensors are part of Ic Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Azure Cloud First with AMD Epyc Rome Processors

November 6, 2019

At Ignite 2019 this week, Microsoft's Azure cloud team and AMD announced an expansion of their partnership that began in 2017 when Azure debuted Epyc-backed instances for storage workloads. The fourth-generation Azure D-series and E-series virtual machines previewed at the Rome launch in August are now generally available. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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

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