Numascale SMP Solution All About Programming Ease and App Performance

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It’s been almost a month since SC10 ended, and I’m still catching up on all the interviews I did at the show. And as I go through my notes, one theme keeps popping up: tackling complexity.

Every season, HPC users have contend more nodes, cores, and threads if they want to scale application performance. And while the programming tools are coming along, parallel programming at this level is not the forte of many scientists who just want to get their work done.

Enter Numascale, the Norwegian technology company that enables you to build an SMP out of commodity Opteron servers using their ccNuma and Numa low latency shared memory interconnect. It may sound complicated, but according to Numascale’s Einar Rustad, it’s all about programmer productivity.

Effectively, what we deliver to the end user is an SMP with scalable, cache-coherent, shared memory. With a single system image, it’s much easier for users to program, analyze, and optimize their code. In my experience, MPI programs tend to have twice the number of lines per code than are needed on a shared memory machine. You need PhD-level guys to do that kind of message-passing code, but undergrads can easily handle coding for SMP.”

Rustad went on to day that another advantage of the Numascale SMP solution is that it can run any OS for the x86 architecture, including unmodified distributions of Linux. From the OS’s point of view, its just a bigger machine. How big? With Numascale, you can build a system with up to 256 Tbytes of DRAM. And to speed applications by optimizing data locality, each Numascale card has up to 4 Gbytes of cache for storing remote data. This cache-based solution offers significant performance advantages over software-based solutions.

Call me impressed. Check out Doug Eadline’s whitepaper on Numascale technology for a closer look.


  1. sounds great…..but show me a board that has an HTX slot on it….i think they stopped making those 7yrs ago….ok, maybe 5yrs ago….how do you connect the card if there is no HTX slot? is there a PCIe version?
    “Numascale’s SMP Adapter is an HTX card made to be used with commodity servers with AMD processors that feature an HTX connector to its HyperTransport interconnect.”
    Surely you dont want to use this on AMD’s platform from years ago… i missing something?

  2. Swanny, thanks for your question/comment. Numascale did a lot of work to make these cards work and to allow customers to add them to industry standard AMD servers. Yes for now HTX is the way to plug them into systems. As you said HTX slots have been standardized and offered on a few models at least for the past 5 years or more. There some recent models that you may not know about that have HTX slots and a few new ones coming out soon with HTX slots that will support the G34 AMD chips. If you are interested in trying some out please contact numascale for details. Vendors with HTX slots include SuperMicro, Asus, HP, IBM and others.

  3. Swanny,

    Your assumption is not accurate. Your are right that the number of HTX systems has diminished, but IBM, HP (several systems), have servers with HTX slots, but Supermicro have the latest and greatest servers for the most recent G34 chipsets.