GW4, the MET Office, and Cray Power Up the Largest ARM-based Supercomputer in Europe

November 11, 2018

SEATTLE, November 11, 2018 — GW4, the Met Office and global supercomputer leader Cray Inc. today announced that the Arm-based supercomputer in Europe, named “Isambard,” is now live in the United Kingdom. It is the largest Arm-based system in the world outside of the U.S. and one of the first systems of its kind to be used for scientific research as well as to explore future computer architectures in the exascale era. Isambard is a Cray XC50 system with Marvell ThunderX2 processors based on the 64-bit ARMv8-A architecture and was designed by the GW4 Alliance in partnership with Cray and the Met Office.

Isambard cabinet at the Met Office

Isambard, named after famous 19th-century British engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, will be part of the EPSRC-funded Tier-2 High-Performance Computing ecosystem in the UK and leveraged by EPSRC-funded researchers as well as various labs within the GW4 Alliance – a coalition of four leading, research-intensive universities in the UK (Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter).

“The Isambard project was first conceived in early 2016 and we’re delighted to be nearing the production phase of our journey towards real Arm-based supercomputing,” said Professor Simon McIntosh-Smith, the principal investigator for the Isambard project and a professor of high-performance computing at the University of Bristol. “Isambard represents the first of what we expect will become a growing number of production supercomputers that will exploit Arm-based processors. These will deliver significant benefits in terms of price/performance and faster product innovation thanks to increased competition in the market.”

The GW4 Alliance and the Met Office partnered with Cray to design Isambard because of the flexibility the Cray XC50 system offers when integrated with Arm processors. Cray’s high-quality system software, including compilers, math libraries and performance analysis tools developed for Arm processors, also played a crucial role in choosing Cray to deliver the Isambard system.

“The Cray XC50 system was purpose-built for running today’s most challenging supercomputing, data analytics and AI workloads requiring sustained multi-petaflop performance,” said Steve Scott, CTO at Cray. “This flexible Arm-based production supercomputer provides researchers a full software environment, Arm-optimized compilers, libraries, tools and the computational performance they need to successfully get the job done.”

“With production deployments of Arm-based systems in key HPC environments now underway, Arm is proud to work with the GW4 Alliance to support its Isambard users at all stages of application development and testing,” said Brent Gorda, senior director of HPC, Infrastructure Line of Business, Arm. “Our ongoing collaboration has further expanded the Arm HPC software ecosystem, shown great performance results for prevalent HPC applications, and helped enable a larger variety of architecture options for the HPC community.”

“The Met Office is proud of being both the host for Isambard, and a fully contributing member of the project,” said Paul Selwood, Principal Fellow in Supercomputing at the Met Office. “We are really excited to see competitive early performance on the Met Office’s key weather forecast and climate prediction codes and look forward to improving this further as we gain more experience with the system.”

 

Isambard System Details
The liquid-cooled Cray XC50 includes the Cray-developed Aries interconnect with Dragonfly topology. Each node includes two Marvell Arm ThunderX2 32-core, 2.1 GHz processors and 16 GB DDR4-2666 dual-rank DIMMs, for a total of 256 GB DRAM per node. The system configuration includes 164 compute nodes and 10,496 cores.

Cray XC50 and Arm
Cray XC50 supercomputers with the Marvell ThunderX2 processors are available in both liquid-cooled cabinets and air-cooled cabinets to address a variety of datacenter needs. Compute blades can be mixed and matched with Intel Xeon Scalable processors, Intel Xeon Phi processors, and NVIDIA Tesla GPU accelerators.  Cray customers get a complete Arm-based supercomputer that features a full software environment, including the Cray Linux Environment and the Cray Programming Environment.

About the GW4 Alliance
The GW4 Alliance brings together four of the most research-intensive and innovative universities in the UK: Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter. From the creative arts to the physical sciences, the GW4 Alliance has world-leading scholarship, infrastructure and faculty. The GW4 Alliance has a combined turnover of over £1.8bn, employs over 8,000 staff and trains over 23,000 postgraduate students. The GW4 Alliance aims to cultivate the regional economy, develop a highly skilled workforce and enhance the research and innovation ecosystem for the South West England and South East Walesregion. For more information about GW4 see www.gw4.ac.uk or follow @GW4Alliance.

About Met Office
The Met Office is the UK’s national weather service. It provides weather and climate-related services to the Armed Forces, government departments, the public, civil aviation, shipping, industry, agriculture and commerce.

About Cray Inc.
Cray Inc. (Nasdaq:CRAY) combines computation and creativity so visionaries can keep asking questions that challenge the limits of possibility. Drawing on more than 45 years of experience, Cray develops the world’s most advanced supercomputers, pushing the boundaries of performance, efficiency and scalability. Cray continues to innovate today at the convergence of data and discovery, offering a comprehensive portfolio of supercomputers, high-performance storage, data analytics and artificial intelligence solutions.  Go to www.cray.com for more information.


Source: Cray Inc.

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!

GTC 2019: Chief Scientist Bill Dally Provides Glimpse into Nvidia Research Engine

March 22, 2019

Amid the frenzy of GTC this week – Nvidia’s annual conference showcasing all things GPU (and now AI) – William Dally, chief scientist and SVP of research, provided a brief but insightful portrait of Nvidia’s rese Read more…

By John Russell

ORNL Helps Identify Challenges of Extremely Heterogeneous Architectures

March 21, 2019

Exponential growth in classical computing over the last two decades has produced hardware and software that support lightning-fast processing speeds, but advancements are topping out as computing architectures reach thei Read more…

By Laurie Varma

Interview with 2019 Person to Watch Jim Keller

March 21, 2019

On the heels of Intel's reaffirmation that it will deliver the first U.S. exascale computer in 2021, which will feature the company's new Intel Xe architecture, we bring you our interview with our 2019 Person to Watch Jim Keller, head of the Silicon Engineering Group at Intel. Read more…

By HPCwire Editorial Team

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

HPE and Intel® Omni-Path Architecture: How to Power a Cloud

Learn how HPE and Intel® Omni-Path Architecture provide critical infrastructure for leading Nordic HPC provider’s HPCFLOW cloud service.

powercloud_blog.jpgFor decades, HPE has been at the forefront of high-performance computing, and we’ve powered some of the fastest and most robust supercomputers in the world. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Insurance: Where’s the Risk?

Insurers are facing extreme competitive challenges in their core businesses. Property and Casualty (P&C) and Life and Health (L&H) firms alike are highly impacted by the ongoing globalization, increasing regulation, and digital transformation of their client bases. Read more…

What’s New in HPC Research: TensorFlow, Buddy Compression, Intel Optane & More

March 20, 2019

In this bimonthly feature, HPCwire highlights newly published research in the high-performance computing community and related domains. From parallel programming to exascale to quantum computing, the details are here. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

GTC 2019: Chief Scientist Bill Dally Provides Glimpse into Nvidia Research Engine

March 22, 2019

Amid the frenzy of GTC this week – Nvidia’s annual conference showcasing all things GPU (and now AI) – William Dally, chief scientist and SVP of research, Read more…

By John Russell

At GTC: Nvidia Expands Scope of Its AI and Datacenter Ecosystem

March 19, 2019

In the high-stakes race to provide the AI life-cycle solution of choice, three of the biggest horses in the field are IBM, Intel and Nvidia. While the latter is only a fraction of the size of its two bigger rivals, and has been in business for only a fraction of the time, Nvidia continues to impress with an expanding array of new GPU-based hardware, software, robotics, partnerships and... Read more…

By Doug Black

Nvidia Debuts Clara AI Toolkit with Pre-Trained Models for Radiology Use

March 19, 2019

AI’s push into healthcare got a boost yesterday with Nvidia’s release of the Clara Deploy AI toolkit which includes 13 pre-trained models for use in radiolo Read more…

By John Russell

It’s Official: Aurora on Track to Be First US Exascale Computer in 2021

March 18, 2019

The U.S. Department of Energy along with Intel and Cray confirmed today that an Intel/Cray supercomputer, "Aurora," capable of sustained performance of one exaf Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Why Nvidia Bought Mellanox: ‘Future Datacenters Will Be…Like High Performance Computers’

March 14, 2019

“Future datacenters of all kinds will be built like high performance computers,” said Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang during a phone briefing on Monday after Nvidia revealed scooping up the high performance networking company Mellanox for $6.9 billion. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Oil and Gas Supercloud Clears Out Remaining Knights Landing Inventory: All 38,000 Wafers

March 13, 2019

The McCloud HPC service being built by Australia’s DownUnder GeoSolutions (DUG) outside Houston is set to become the largest oil and gas cloud in the world th Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Quick Take: Trump’s 2020 Budget Spares DoE-funded HPC but Slams NSF and NIH

March 12, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2020 budget request, released yesterday, proposes deep cuts in many science programs but seems to spare HPC funding by the Depar Read more…

By John Russell

Nvidia Wins Mellanox Stakes for $6.9 Billion

March 11, 2019

The long-rumored acquisition of Mellanox came to fruition this morning with GPU chipmaker Nvidia’s announcement that it has purchased the high-performance net Read more…

By Doug Black

Quantum Computing Will Never Work

November 27, 2018

Amid the gush of money and enthusiastic predictions being thrown at quantum computing comes a proposed cold shower in the form of an essay by physicist Mikhail Read more…

By John Russell

The Case Against ‘The Case Against Quantum Computing’

January 9, 2019

It’s not easy to be a physicist. Richard Feynman (basically the Jimi Hendrix of physicists) once said: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourse Read more…

By Ben Criger

ClusterVision in Bankruptcy, Fate Uncertain

February 13, 2019

ClusterVision, European HPC specialists that have built and installed over 20 Top500-ranked systems in their nearly 17-year history, appear to be in the midst o Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Why Nvidia Bought Mellanox: ‘Future Datacenters Will Be…Like High Performance Computers’

March 14, 2019

“Future datacenters of all kinds will be built like high performance computers,” said Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang during a phone briefing on Monday after Nvidia revealed scooping up the high performance networking company Mellanox for $6.9 billion. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Intel Reportedly in $6B Bid for Mellanox

January 30, 2019

The latest rumors and reports around an acquisition of Mellanox focus on Intel, which has reportedly offered a $6 billion bid for the high performance interconn Read more…

By Doug Black

Looking for Light Reading? NSF-backed ‘Comic Books’ Tackle Quantum Computing

January 28, 2019

Still baffled by quantum computing? How about turning to comic books (graphic novels for the well-read among you) for some clarity and a little humor on QC. The Read more…

By John Russell

Contract Signed for New Finnish Supercomputer

December 13, 2018

After the official contract signing yesterday, configuration details were made public for the new BullSequana system that the Finnish IT Center for Science (CSC Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

It’s Official: Aurora on Track to Be First US Exascale Computer in 2021

March 18, 2019

The U.S. Department of Energy along with Intel and Cray confirmed today that an Intel/Cray supercomputer, "Aurora," capable of sustained performance of one exaf Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

SC 18 Virtual Booth Video Tour

Advania @ SC18 AMD @ SC18
ASRock Rack @ SC18
DDN Storage @ SC18
HPE @ SC18
IBM @ SC18
Lenovo @ SC18 Mellanox Technologies @ SC18
NVIDIA @ SC18
One Stop Systems @ SC18
Oracle @ SC18 Panasas @ SC18
Supermicro @ SC18 SUSE @ SC18 TYAN @ SC18
Verne Global @ SC18

Deep500: ETH Researchers Introduce New Deep Learning Benchmark for HPC

February 5, 2019

ETH researchers have developed a new deep learning benchmarking environment – Deep500 – they say is “the first distributed and reproducible benchmarking s Read more…

By John Russell

IBM Quantum Update: Q System One Launch, New Collaborators, and QC Center Plans

January 10, 2019

IBM made three significant quantum computing announcements at CES this week. One was introduction of IBM Q System One; it’s really the integration of IBM’s Read more…

By John Russell

IBM Bets $2B Seeking 1000X AI Hardware Performance Boost

February 7, 2019

For now, AI systems are mostly machine learning-based and “narrow” – powerful as they are by today's standards, they're limited to performing a few, narro Read more…

By Doug Black

The Deep500 – Researchers Tackle an HPC Benchmark for Deep Learning

January 7, 2019

How do you know if an HPC system, particularly a larger-scale system, is well-suited for deep learning workloads? Today, that’s not an easy question to answer Read more…

By John Russell

HPC Reflections and (Mostly Hopeful) Predictions

December 19, 2018

So much ‘spaghetti’ gets tossed on walls by the technology community (vendors and researchers) to see what sticks that it is often difficult to peer through Read more…

By John Russell

Arm Unveils Neoverse N1 Platform with up to 128-Cores

February 20, 2019

Following on its Neoverse roadmap announcement last October, Arm today revealed its next-gen Neoverse microarchitecture with compute and throughput-optimized si Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Move Over Lustre & Spectrum Scale – Here Comes BeeGFS?

November 26, 2018

Is BeeGFS – the parallel file system with European roots – on a path to compete with Lustre and Spectrum Scale worldwide in HPC environments? Frank Herold Read more…

By John Russell

France to Deploy AI-Focused Supercomputer: Jean Zay

January 22, 2019

HPE announced today that it won the contract to build a supercomputer that will drive France’s AI and HPC efforts. The computer will be part of GENCI, the Fre Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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