In this Tech Shift podcast, Michael Papka and Susan Coghlan from Argonne National Laboratory discuss the 180 Petaflop Aurora supercomputer scheduled for deployment in 2018.
This morning Intel and the U.S. Department of Energy announced a $200 million supercomputing investment coming to Argonne National Laboratory. As the third of three Coral supercomputer procurements, the deal will comprise an 8.5 Petaflop “Theta” system based on Knights Landing in 2016 and a much larger 180 Petaflop “Aurora” supercomputer in 2018. Intel will be the prime contractor on the deal, with sub-contractor Cray building the actual supercomputers.
Today Intel announced that the company will deliver two next-generation supercomputers to Argonne National Laboratory. “The contract is part of the DOE’s multimillion dollar initiative to build state-of-the-art supercomputers at Argonne, Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge National Laboratories that will be five to seven times more powerful than today’s top supercomputers.”
“To achieve good scalability performance on the HPC scientific applications typically involves good understanding of the workload though performing profile analysis, and comparing behaviors of using different hardware which pinpoint bottlenecks in different areas of the HPC cluster. In this session, a selection of HPC applications will be shown to demonstrate various methods of profiling and analysis to determine the bottleneck, and the effectiveness of the tuning to improve on the application performance.”
The Open Compute Project partners with leading CPU vendors such as Intel, AMD and ARM-based vendors to create reference designs that may be used by board and system vendors. These designs are bare-bones systems, with expansion options designed in for other types of I/O and storage. The reference design from Intel (REF) is 6.5 inches wide and 20 inches deep. These dimensions allow for three servers to be placed side by side in a newly designed Open Compute rack, increasing density.
“Computers used as datacenter servers have usage patterns that differ substantially from those of desktop or laptop computers. We discuss four key differences in usage and their first-order implications for designing computers that are particularly well-suited as servers: data movement, thousands of transactions per second, program isolation, and measurement underpinnings. Maintaining high-bandwidth data movement requires coordinated design decisions throughout the memory system, instruction-issue system, and even instruction set.”