MareNostrum 4 Power 9 Racks Begin Operation With High Expectation for AI-Based Research

June 13, 2018

BARCELONA, June 13, 2018 — The MareNostrum 4 supercomputer has incorporated into production three racks of last IBM Power technologies with a peak performance of 1.5 petaflops. With this incorporation, the Barcelona Supercomputing Center’s (BSC) aims to explore the high potential of this technology to accelerate Artificial Intelligence-based research.

With the new Power 9 Volta GPU racks, Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) becomes the first center in Europe to offer access to the same technologies of the brand new Summit supercomputer, with which the US has snatched from China the throne of the most powerful supercomputer in the world.

Mateo Valero, director at Barcelona Supercomputing Center states to have “expectations that IBM Power Systems will help BSC accelerate MareNostrum’s ability to advance research in personalized medicine, deep learning, and AI applications.”


The new 3 racks have a peak performance of 1,48 Petaflops, 50% more than the MareNostrum 3 supercomputer, which was uninstalled just one and a half year ago and had a performance of 1,1 Petaflops. On Linpack benchmark it obtains 1,01 Pflops, using 85,8 Kw, for 11,77 Gflops/watt, and on HPCG benchmark is 28 Tflops using 27,48 kw, for 0,59 GFlops/watt.

MareNostrum 4 is a heterogeneous supercomputer entirely aimed at generating scientific knowledge and innovation. It is formed by a main block for current research workloads and three blocks of emerging technologies that are being added and updated as they become available. The main block, formed of Intel Xeon Platinum chips with a performance of 11,15 Petaflops, begun operation in July 2017. Power 9 racks are the first block of emerging technologies that has been installed. IBM delivered them on the 29th of December and they started operation in May 2018.

The aim of gradually incorporating emerging technologies like POWER9 into MareNostrum 4 is to allow BSC to experiment with what are expected to be the most advanced technological developments over the next few years. The goal of the center is to evaluate which applications will get a better cost/performance ratio in each architecture and their suitability for future iterations of MareNostrum.

“By selecting IBM POWER9, Barcelona Supercomputing Center has positioned its MareNostrum Supercomputer to accelerate the most demanding data-intensive workloads like deep learning and personalized medicine research,” said David Turek, IBM VP of Exascale Systems. “IBM POWER9 Systems were designed from the ground up for big data and advanced analytics that fuel AI and high performance computing applications, making it an ideal platform to advance BSC’s research.”

Technical information

The 3 new racks of MareNostrum 4 are formed of 54 nodes of IBM POWER9 processors. Each node has 2 Witherspoons processors (with 20 cores of 3,1 GHz each), 4 Volta NVIDIA GPUS (with 16 GiB each), and 6,4 TB of NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory).

The three new racks have 30,7 Terabytes of main memory, 207 Terabytes of SSD storage, 345,6 TB of NVMe, and the different nodes are connected to each other with a high speed Mellanox EDR network, and interconnected to BSC file systems allowing MareNostrum to handle large, complex data sets and models.

Built from the ground-up for the most demanding workloads like deep learning and AI, IBM’s new POWER9 processor includes the latest IO subsystem technology to accelerate the most data-intensive workloads.

MareNostrum 4 has been built by IBM with key industry partners. When completed, it will have a performance capacity of 13,7 Petaflops.

About BSC

Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) is the national supercomputing centre in Spain. BSC specialises in High Performance Computing (HPC) and its mission is twofold: to provide infrastructure and supercomputing services to European scientists, and to generate knowledge and technology to transfer to business and society.

BSC is a Severo Ochoa Center of Excellence and a first level hosting member of the European research infrastructure PRACE (Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe). BSC also manages the Spanish Supercomputing Network (RES).

It was created in 2005 and is a consortium formed by the Spanish Government Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness (60%), the Catalan Government Department of Enterprise and Knowledge (30%) and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) (10%).

Source: BSC

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!

Nvidia Debuts Turing Architecture, Focusing on Real-Time Ray Tracing

August 16, 2018

From the SIGGRAPH professional graphics conference in Vancouver this week, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang unveiled Turing, the company's next-gen GPU platform that introduces new RT Cores to accelerate ray tracing and new Tenso Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC Coding: The Power of L(o)osing Control

August 16, 2018

Exascale roadmaps, exascale projects and exascale lobbyists ask, on-again-off-again, for a fundamental rewrite of major code building blocks. Otherwise, so they claim, codes will not scale up. Naturally, some exascale pr Read more…

By Tobias Weinzierl

STAQ(ing) the Quantum Computing Deck

August 16, 2018

Quantum computers – at least for now – remain noisy. That’s another way of saying unreliable and in diverse ways that often depend on the specific quantum technology used. One idea is to mitigate noisiness and perh Read more…

By John Russell

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Introducing the First Integrated System Management Software for HPC Clusters from HPE

How do you manage your complex, growing cluster environments? Answer that big challenge with the new HPC cluster management solution: HPE Performance Cluster Manager. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Super Problem Solving

You might think that tackling the world’s toughest problems is a job only for superheroes, but at special places such as the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, supercomputers are the real heroes. Read more…

NREL ‘Eagle’ Supercomputer to Advance Energy Tech R&D

August 14, 2018

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has contracted with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) for a new 8-petaflops (peak) supercomputer that will be used to advance early-stage R&a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

STAQ(ing) the Quantum Computing Deck

August 16, 2018

Quantum computers – at least for now – remain noisy. That’s another way of saying unreliable and in diverse ways that often depend on the specific quantum Read more…

By John Russell

NREL ‘Eagle’ Supercomputer to Advance Energy Tech R&D

August 14, 2018

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has contracted with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) for a new 8-petaflops (peak Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

CERN Project Sees Orders-of-Magnitude Speedup with AI Approach

August 14, 2018

An award-winning effort at CERN has demonstrated potential to significantly change how the physics based modeling and simulation communities view machine learni Read more…

By Rob Farber

Intel Announces Cooper Lake, Advances AI Strategy

August 9, 2018

Intel's chief datacenter exec Navin Shenoy kicked off the company's Data-Centric Innovation Summit Wednesday, the day-long program devoted to Intel's datacenter Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

SLATE Update: Making Math Libraries Exascale-ready

August 9, 2018

Practically-speaking, achieving exascale computing requires enabling HPC software to effectively use accelerators – mostly GPUs at present – and that remain Read more…

By John Russell

Summertime in Washington: Some Unexpected Advanced Computing News

August 8, 2018

Summertime in Washington DC is known for its heat and humidity. That is why most people get away to either the mountains or the seashore and things slow down. H Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

NSF Invests $15 Million in Quantum STAQ

August 7, 2018

Quantum computing development is in full ascent as global backers aim to transcend the limitations of classical computing by leveraging the magical-seeming prop Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

By the Numbers: Cray Would Like Exascale to Be the Icing on the Cake

August 1, 2018

On its earnings call held for investors yesterday, Cray gave an accounting for its latest quarterly financials, offered future guidance and provided an update o Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

SC17 Booth Video Tours Playlist

Altair @ SC17


AMD @ SC17


ASRock Rack @ SC17

ASRock Rack



DDN Storage @ SC17

DDN Storage

Huawei @ SC17


IBM @ SC17


IBM Power Systems @ SC17

IBM Power Systems

Intel @ SC17


Lenovo @ SC17


Mellanox Technologies @ SC17

Mellanox Technologies

Microsoft @ SC17


Penguin Computing @ SC17

Penguin Computing

Pure Storage @ SC17

Pure Storage

Supericro @ SC17


Tyan @ SC17


Univa @ SC17


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