Last week at ISC 2015, Eurotech announced that the company has completed the installation of a new supercomputer prototype at the University of Regensburg. With 15,872 compute cores, the QPACE2 supercomputer is ranked #370 on the June 15 TOP500 list.
The new system finalizes the 2 year research project QPACE2, which aimed to design and build a new generation QCD machine based on a novel HPC architecture flexible enough to fit Lattice QCD and a wide range of other applications.
We worked very hard to design and deploy the new QPACE2 architecture” – says Prof. Dr. Tilo Wettig of the Institute of Theoretical Physics at the University of Regensburg – “We are happy that the prototype machine is now up and running in Regensburg. We thank Eurotech for the collaboration that made this possible.”
In the project, funded by the D.F.G. (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft – German Research Foundation), Eurotech R&D and the University of Regensburg scientists collaborated to design the complete system, including electronic boards, server architecture, network, mechanics and cooling. This effort resulted in an innovative HPC architecture and a supercomputing prototype, the QPACE2 machine, which excels in energy efficiency, performance and density.
The prototype machine in Regensburg has 64 nodes connected via Infiniband, with a total peak performance of 310 TFlop/s in double precision. It also has a very high density: 8 nodes fit in 3 height units of a 19-inch rack. Each node having a DP peak performance of 4.8 TFlop/s, this means a density of 12.8 TFlop/s per height unit.
Each node of the system has 4 Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors version 7120X, a dual-port FDR Infiniband card (Mellanox Connect-IB), and a low-power Intel Xeon CPU (E3-1230L v3), all components connected by a PCIe switch. In QPACE2 the coprocessors perform all calculations leaving to the CPUs only the system management services task: this is one of the unique characteristics of the system and one that significantly reduces cost and energy consumption, with the additional value of simplifying programming.
The QPACE 2 system employs a novel liquid-cooling concept developed by Eurotech, the Aurora Direct Hot Liquid Cooling gen 2, based on lighter and thinner cold plates. This new technology allows for year-round free cooling in any climate zone, significantly cutting cooling costs and increasing the density of the system.
The University Of Regensburg developed a custom code that achieves strong scaling to at least 1024 KNCs for typical problem sizes used in Lattice QCD.
We are delighted that our long term collaboration with the University of Regensburg on the QPACE 2 project has reached this important milestone” – states Fabio Gallo, general manager HPC at Eurotech – “The combined efforts of Eurotech and U. Regensburg have resulted in a highly innovative system concept, with best-in-class density and energy efficiency.”