nCore Ships First BrownDwarf Supercomputer to PNNL

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This week nCore HPC announced that Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has become the first customer of nCore’s BrownDwarf Y-class supercomputer. BrownDwarf is a heterogeneous ARM & DSP-based system that delivers  supercomputer-class performance at significantly reduced power levels.

The system will be used by PNNL for projects that aim to advance the performance and power efficiency of embedded computers for a variety of applications. BrownDwarf’s SoC (System on a Chip) will be used as a “baseline architecture” to study and, ultimately, advance the state-of-the-art for high-performance, power-efficient embedded systems.

PNNL’s selection of BrownDwarf is a major confirmation of the innovations advanced by nCore, and we are thrilled to partner with them,” said Ian Lintault, Managing Director of nCore HPC. “We look forward to being a key part of PNNL’s team, whose goal is to overcome the challenges of limited electrical power availability, heat dissipation issues and limitations in size and weight common to mobile systems.”

Boasting a unique, advanced parallel computing architecture, and a high performance, low latency interconnect, the BrownDwarf Y-Class supercomputer represents a new era in high performance computing marked by power-efficient, heterogeneous systems. Achieving an unparalleled level of power efficiency when looking at total system power consumption, a 144 node configuration delivers 70 Teraflops of performance at 10kw inside a 42U high rack.

Many systems today have sensors that collect more information than can be processed in real time.  nCore technology will be used in an effort to address this problem by achieving very high processing rates per watt by taking new approaches to processing power efficiency, including near threshold voltage operation and massive heterogeneous processing concurrency.

The BrownDwarf Y-Class node leverages multiple Texas Instruments (TI) KeyStone™ I and KeyStone II SoC components. Each node integrates four ARM® Cortex™-A15 MPCore™ processors, 24 TMS320C66x digital signal processor (DSPs) cores and 26GB of ECC memory.

TI’s KeyStone processors fulfill an instrumental role in the BrownDwarf system selected by PNNL,” said Sanjay Bhal, focused and end equipment manager for HPC and cloud computing, TI. “nCore is pushing the barriers of delivering more computational power within ATCA chassis boundaries, a critical challenge limiting HPC systems to date. We look forward to continuing our innovative work with nCore.”

Visit nCore at Texas Instruments Booth # 3725 at SC13.