Cambridge University Turns to Xeon Phi

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server_roomOver at ComputerworldUK, Matthew Finnegan writes that the University of Cambridge plans to transition their HPC workloads to Intel’s Xeon Phi co-processors.

The leading university announced a partnership with Intel earlier this week, which will see the chip-maker invest in its HPC facilities. The deal will see Intel work along with Dell staff to upgrade the high performance infrastructure used to serve research departments within the university, working in areas such as genomics and astronomy, as well as a growing number of businesses with large compute demands.

While today’s Intel Xeon Phi chips act as co-processors, second generation Phi processors that can boot Linux are expected later this year.

We have a large test-bed for Xeon Phi where we will be using that to generate demand to help users port their code,” Paul Calleja, head of HPC services at the University of Cambridge, told ComputerworldUK. “When Intel releases its second generation Phi product it will coincide with the increase in demand that we create with the test bed, and we will deploy a large Xeon Phi cluster.”

Calleja said that the university will continue to use its Nvidia GPUs. but that it is easier to program for the Phi platform.

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