Today the GW4 Alliance in the UK unveiled Isambard, the world’s first ARM-based production supercomputer at today’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) launch at the Thinktank science museum in Birmingham. “Isambard is able to provide system comparison at high speed as it includes over 10,000, high-performance 64-bit ARM cores, making it one of the largest machines of its kind anywhere in the world. Such a machine could provide the template for a new generation of ARM-based services.”
The UK is launching six HPC centers this month. Funded by £20 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) the centres are located around the UK, at the universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh, Exeter, and Oxford, Loughborough University, and UCL. “These centres will enable new discoveries, drive innovation and allow new insights into today’s scientific challenges. They are important because they address an existing gulf in capability between local university systems and the UK National Supercomputing Service ARCHER,” said Professor Philip Nelson, EPSRC’s Chief Executive.
“2017 will see the introduction of many technologies that will help shape the future of HPC systems. Production-scale ARM supercomputers, advancements in memory and storage technology such as DDN’s Infinite Memory Engine (IME), and much wider adoption of accelerator technologies and from Nvidia, Intel and FPGA manufacturers such as Xilinx and Altera, are all helping to define the supercomputers of tomorrow.”
In this podast, the Radio Free HPC Team looks at the Cray’s new ARM-based Isambard supercomputer that will soon be deployed in the UK. After that, we discuss how Persistent Memory will change the way vendors architect systems for Big Data workloads.
“This is an exciting time in high performance computing,” said Prof Simon McIntosh-Smith, leader of the project and Professor of High Performance Computing at the University of Bristol. “Scientists have a growing choice of potential computer architectures to choose from, including new 64-bit ARM CPUs, graphics processors, and many-core CPUs from Intel. Choosing the best architecture for an application can be a difficult task, so the new Isambard GW4 Tier 2 HPC service aims to provide access to a wide range of the most promising emerging architectures, all using the same software stack.”