The Department of Energy’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center [NERSC] has officially accepted a series of upgrades to its Cray XT4 supercomputing system. The upgrade to Franklin included a phased series of quad-core processor upgrades and memory upgrades.
Franklin’s upgrade has already provided a tremendous benefit to the DOE computational science community, which now has a system in which the aggregate system performance is double that of the original Franklin system,” says Kathy Yelick, NERSC Division Director. “The key to improving application throughput is to maintain balance for that workload, so when we doubled the number of cores, we also doubled the memory capacity and bandwidth, and tripled the I/O bandwidth.”
Later in the effort, Franklin’s file system was increased to 460 terabytes of capacity. The resulting system roughly doubled the amount of available computing time to DoE scientists. Post upgrade, the peak performance of Franklin is 355 Tflops, which is 3 1/2 times the original system.
Our focus has always been on application performance, and we estimated the doubling of total system performance prior to the upgrade; the growing gap between application performance and peak emphasizes the need to measure and evaluate real application performance,” says Yelick.
For more info on the Franklin internals, read the full release here.