Story image

HPE leaping ahead in exascale race with world's largest Arm supercomputer

19 Jun 2018

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) today announced a major stepping stone in its path to exascale computing.

The global giant announced its collaboration with Sandia National Laboratories and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to implement the world’s largest Arm supercomputer.

The new Arm-based system will be used by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to conduct advanced modelling and simulation workloads for addressing areas such as national security, energy, and science.

With the system – which has been given the name Astra and is part of the Vanguard project – HPE is delivering over 2.3 theoretical peak petaflops of performance, 33 percent better memory performance than traditional market offerings, and greater system density.

Astra will be deployed at Sandia National Laboratories and will run on the HPE Apollo 70, a purpose-built HPC platform based on the Cavium ThunderX2 Arm processor. The supercomputer is comprised of over 145,000 cores in 2,592 dual-processor servers and offers greater density with four compute nodes in a 2U form factor.

HPE advanced technology group vice president Mike Vildibill says today’s data-intensive environment has given rise to an insatiable demand for higher compute performance as organizations continue to conduct research-intensive tasks that require processing and analyzing large data sets to address challenges across medicine, climate change, space, and oil and gas exploration.

“By introducing Arm processors with the HPE Apollo 70, a purpose-built HPC architecture, we are bringing powerful elements, like optimal memory performance and greater density, to supercomputers that existing technologies in the market cannot match,” says Vildibill.

“Sandia National Laboratories has been an active partner in leveraging our Arm-based platform since its early design, and featuring it in the deployment of the world’s largest Arm-based supercomputer, is a strategic investment for the DOE and an industry as a whole as we race toward achieving exascale computing.”

Of course, the HPC ecosystem has traditionally been dominated by x86-based technologies, a trend HPE is looking to change with new processors like Arm to build a network that offers more competitive options to power next-gen supercomputers and accelerate the path to exascale.

The NNSA is an agency within the DOE that is responsible for the management and security of the nation’s nuclear weapons, nuclear nonproliferation, and naval reactor programs. The agency will use the supercomputer advance modeling and simulation tools to improve analysis on data-intensive science experiments.

“We are committed to fielding the most advanced technologies as part of the Vanguard program,” says Sandia National Laboratories Vanguard project lead James Laros.

“We are collaborating with HPE to advance the Arm ecosystem and prove the viability of this architecture to support our national security mission.”

Protecting data centres from fire – your options
Chubb's Pierre Thorne discusses the countless potential implications of a data centre outage, and how to avoid them.
Opinion: How SD-WAN changes the game for 5G networks
5G/SD-WAN mobile edge computing and network slicing will enable and drive innovative NFV services, according to Kelly Ahuja, CEO, Versa Networks
TYAN unveils new inference-optimised GPU platforms with NVIDIA T4 accelerators
“TYAN servers with NVIDIA T4 GPUs are designed to excel at all accelerated workloads, including machine learning, deep learning, and virtual desktops.”
AMD delivers data center grunt for Google's new game streaming platform
'By combining our gaming DNA and data center technology leadership with a long-standing commitment to open platforms, AMD provides unique technologies and expertise to enable world-class cloud gaming experiences."
Inspur announces AI edge computing server with NVIDIA GPUs
“The dynamic nature and rapid expansion of AI workloads require an adaptive and optimised set of hardware, software and services for developers to utilise as they build their own solutions."
365 Data Centers secures additional funding for expansion
The company asserts the financing commitments come as it looks to invest in further substantial internal and external growth.
HPE launches 'right mix' hybrid cloud assessment tool
HPE has launched an ‘industry-first assessment software’ to help businesses work out the right mix of hybrid cloud for their needs.
ADLINK and Charles announce multi-access pole-mounted edge AI solution
The new solution is a compact low profile pole or wall mountable unit based on an integration of ADLINK’s latest AI Edge Server MECS-7210 and Charles’ SC102 Micro Edge Enclosure.