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Video: Arm HPC Update from ISC 2019

In this video, Brent Gorda provides an update on the progress on Arm HPC from the ISC 2019 conference in Frankfurt.

From the perspective of Arm in HPC, it was an excellent event with several high-profile announcements that caught everyone’s attention. The Arm ecosystem was well represented with our partners visible on the show floor and around town.

Highlights:

Fugaku Supercomputer Preview

Fugaku supercomputer preview. Leading up to ISC, RIKEN and Fujitsu announced more details on the post-K system. The supercomputer is now officially called “Fugaku”, a nickname for the famous Mt. Fuji in Japan. The name is an appropriate choice as the new computer is reported to be up to 100 times faster than the existing K computer (recently turned off to facilitate site modifications for the new system). The A64FX custom SoC offers per node memory bandwidth of 1 TB/s, and the first implementation of the Arm SVE IP with 2×512 vector engines. It is indeed a system to keep an eye on.

CUDA support for Arm. A major ecosystem step was also highlighted, on Monday of ISC19, as NVIDIA announced that they will bringing full CUDA stack support to Arm-based platforms for their market-leading GPU products. The promise of their complete stack of AI and HPC software generated quite a buzz. Several key sites I met with suggested this was causing them to rethink plans for upcoming systems as their pro-Arm opinions had been hindered by the lack of support for the current market-leading performance delivered by GPUs. We look forward to working with NVIDIA in support of this effort.

Arm on the TOP500. The good news for Arm is that the Sandia National Labs Astra system did quite well, moving up in ranks to #156. The HPE system is the first major Arm-based computer to make the list. It had been in the #203 spot as it was being installed at the time the previous list was published at SC18 and with a bit of further triage and tuning jumped ahead almost 50 places for ISC19. Arm continues to collaborate with HPE both at Sandia as well as under the umbrella of the Catalyst UK project at three major universities (Edinburgh, Leicester, and Bristol) in the UK.

Taking a walk around the exhibition floor we saw vendors large and small touting Arm-based platforms, from Mellanox, HPE, Fujitsu and Gigabyte to storage centric partners such as Ambedded and Softiron. Furthermore, we saw a strong HPC cloud presence at ISC, with mainstays such as Amazon AWS and Google holding court alongside up and coming players such as Verne Global. Cloud based services are a key vertical for Arm and its partners and we look forward to an increasing presence for HPC in that realm. With the launch of the Amazon AWS Graviton CPU and their new A1 instances, we now have an immediate developer platform for porting codes and tire-kicking toolchains. We also have bare-metal HPC cluster offerings from Verne Global with their HPCDirect now offering Marvell ThunderX2 platforms.

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