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).
Provided by Dell, Grace consists of 936 nodes: 800 compute nodes, each equipped with dual 2nd-generation Intel Xeon Scalable 3.0GHz CPUs and 384GB of DDR4 memory; 100 double-precision GPU nodes, bearing the same specs as the compute nodes with additional Nvidia A100 GPUs; seventeen single-precision GPU nodes, nine of which use Nvidia RTX 6000 GPUs and eight of which use Nvidia T4 GPUs; eight large-memory nodes, each with four second-generation Intel Xeon Scalable 20-core 2.5GHz CPUs and over three terabytes of DDR4 memory; five login nodes; and six management nodes. These nodes are served by Nvidia HDR InfiniBand networking and 5.12 petabytes of DDN storage.
In aggregate, Texas A&M expects Grace to offer up to 6.2 peak petaflops of performance, offering a twenty-fold speedup over its predecessor (337 peak teraflops).
“The Grace system represents the next generation of supercomputing – reshaping how science and engineering are transforming massive data into solutions that address the world’s greatest challenges,” said Mark A. Barteau, vice president for research at Texas A&M. “In the groundbreaking research performed today, access to superior high-performance computing is vital to our mission of advancing knowledge and inspiring innovation. Grace will enable researchers in the Texas A&M Institute of Data Science and across the university to tackle problems once thought impractical or impossible.”
According to Texas A&M, the upgrade is necessary to serve the university’s growing computing needs: the HPRC user base has roughly doubled over just the last four years. The users, Texas A&M says, use supercomputing to conduct research in fields ranging from drug design and biophysics to quantum computing and autonomous vehicles.
“HPRC has a mission to infuse computational and data analysis technologies into the research and creative activities of every academic discipline at Texas A&M,” said Honggao Liu, executive director of HPRC. “We support compute- and data-intensive workloads and enable researchers to use cutting-edge processor, accelerator and data analytic technologies to solve complex research problems. In this era of converged demand for advanced computing resources, a new supercomputer like Grace is needed to support complex workflows and allow researchers to continue in their pursuit of discoveries and inventions.”
Grace, which was funded by a variety of departments at Texas A&M – as well as contributions from several individual faculty members – is scheduled to launch to users in December.
Header image: the Grace supercomputer. Image courtesy of Texas A&M.