HPC Workload Convergence Paves the Way for AI in the Exascale Era

By Trish Damkroger

May 15, 2020

Today, we are witnessing a significant shift in the ways high performance computing (HPC) workloads and artificial intelligence (AI) converge, creating a powerful synergy between the two. The convergence is happening now in industries such as climate research and health and life sciences. Examples include:

  • Climate modeling and simulation, where AI is getting integrated into HPC workflows to accelerate weather pattern detection
  • Cancer research and drug discovery efforts at leading research facilities that perform molecular dynamics simulations combined with unsupervised machine learning to inform the next logical series of simulations
  • Supervised machine learning models that are used to predict responses between drug properties and tumors undergoing analysis
  • CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, that has demonstrated generative adversarial network (GAN) enabled models to run faster than traditional first principle based models

With so many use cases, organizations today need the flexibility to choose an architecture that meets their unique needs.

While the benefits of convergence are clear, it will take time to overcome challenges. The HPC community has traditionally focused on compute-centric workflows where distributed memory algorithms, double-precision floating-point math, and large-scale data storage take precedence. In contrast, the AI community builds upon the analysis and interpretation of a multi-sourced data deluge. They focus on data-centric workflows where reduced precision math, and a range of applications from image classification, translation, and recommendation engines to autonomous driving take center stage.

These differences create the potential for the expansion of two ecosystems rather than one. Instead, we need to bring them together to tackle new and more complex challenges. It’s not just HPC that benefits from this convergence, though. As AI models continue to grow in their size and need for compute power, training workloads will need rely more heavily on the technologies underlying HPC like MPI and fabric. The convergence will tie the two ecosystems together, innately, over time providing mutual benefit.

Intel recognizes that a critical element of accelerating this convergence is building an infrastructure comprised of technologies focused on delivering high performance across a broad range of workloads, including AI. The Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor does just that. Innovations such as Intel® AVX-512 and Intel® DL Boost technology offer instructions to make optimal use of hardware. Currently, over 20 million developers worldwide code for the Intel Architecture.

Intel also recognizes that given the evolving and nascent nature of AI algorithms, and demand for varying power and performance curves, there is a need for other compute architectures such as FPGA, GPU and ASIC, further driving Intel’s investments in these areas.

Empowering convergence

Exascale systems, being designed today for delivery soon, will enable innovations and discovery across a range of fields, while further accelerating the convergence of HPC and AI. However, I think we are still in the initial forays of a fully HPC-AI converged world, where smart cities are commonplace and autonomous driving grows in adoption. These changes will require a paradigm shift in system design.

Some of the critical areas where I believe this will take place are:

  • A strong focus on workflow optimization will help organizations get the most from their infrastructure. Dynamic reconfigurability and composability will facilitate a broad set of evolving workloads powered by diverse compute architectures. oneAPI will offer developers additional resources to reduce the complexities associated with application development and optimization in heterogeneous environments.
  • An expanded memory storage hierarchy will provide access to a larger memory pool to reduce I/O bottlenecks without trade-offs between performance, capacity, and capability. Distributed Asynchronous Object Storage (DAOS), the open source Exascale-capable storage stack, aids in this advancement with the low-latency, high-bandwidth, and I/O throughput needed to speed converged workflows.
  • Simplified software abstraction capability with hardware-agnostic programming models will help facilitate application portability and maintainability. Developers also gain greater freedom in coding knowing their applications can run effectively across different architectures.
  • new intelligent system software paradigm that can manage all aspects of the infrastructure with orchestration driven by AI/machine learning-driven discovery, management of resources, dynamic application-aware provisioning, and real-time manageability via industry standard APIs.

Bringing the convergence at Exascale to reality

We are excited to partner with the Argonne National Laboratory (Argonne) to enable them to deploy one of the first US Exascale systems named “Aurora.” It is anticipated that Aurora will deliver an exaflop — and an amazing  performance increase on traditional HPC, AI, and high performance data analytics applications in comparison with Argonne’s existing system.[1]

Additionally, Argonne expects that the mix of applications running on Aurora will change over the next 3-5 years, with up to 40% of the supercomputing jobs run on Aurora to be machine learning applications. Leading research & academia programs are engaged to harness the capabilities of Aurora and enable the software ecosystem, all while driving an unprecedented level of innovation across HPC, machine learning, and data analytics. The foundation of Aurora will be a future Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor codenamed “Sapphire Rapids.” In addition, there will be a GPU based on Intel® Xe architecture codenamed “Ponte Vecchio.” Ponte Vecchio will be optimized for HPC and AI, Intel® Optane™ Persistent memory technology, and oneAPI, the unified programming model based on open standards.

In the coming weeks, I will be authoring two more blogs that will walk through some of the other innovations we are driving across software, heterogeneous computing, and at the system level. These advancements, coupled with oneAPI, will accelerate the convergence of HPC and AI. Thanks for reading!


Notices & Disclaimers
Intel technologies may require enabled hardware, software or service activation.
No product or component can be absolutely secure.
Your costs and results may vary.
All product plans and roadmaps are subject to change without notice.
Intel does not control or audit third-party data.  You should consult other sources to evaluate accuracy.
© Intel Corporation.  Intel, the Intel logo, and other Intel marks are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries.  Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

[1] https://aurora.alcf.anl.gov/

Return to Solution Channel Homepage

Intel’s Vision for Exascale Computing

Follow @IntelHPC

Interactive Demos

Podcasts

Intel Resources

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