Waiting to exascale: Now that IBM has Summit-ed, who's to node what comes next?

www.theregister.co.uk | 6/14/2018 | Staff
ashb0101 (Posted by) Level 3
Click For Photo: https://regmedia.co.uk/2018/06/13/climbersummit.jpg?x=1200&y=794

Comment IBM's 200 petaFLOPS (200,000 trillion calculations per second) Summit supercomputer was unveiled at Oak Ridge National Laboratory last Friday and, scaled up, has proven itself capable of exascale computing in some applications.

That's 1,000 petaFLOPS or one quintillion floating point operations per second.

Comparison - Cray/Intel - Aurora - Supercomputer - Project

In comparison, the Cray/Intel Aurora supercomputer project clocked in at 180 petaFLOPS with 50,000 x86 nodes, interconnected with 200Gbit/s OmniPath 2.

These nodes were supposed to be augmented with Intel's Knights Hill version of its multicore Phi co-processor. However, the Knights Hill development was canned in November 2017. Aurora has given way to Aurora 2, due for delivery in 2021, which should be an exascale system with redesigned Phi processors.

US - Department - Energy - Development - Computers

The US Department of Energy is part-funding the development of exascale computers through its Coral-2 programme (Coral being "Collaboration of Oak Ridge, Argonne and Livermore", three national labs). The original Coral programme generated the Aurora and Summit systems, the latter of which was kicked off by IBM in 2014. Cray and Intel were awarded $200m in April 2015 to build Aurora. Though Aurora was due to be delivered this year, the failed co-processor design meant that wasn't possible.

Six bidders – AMD, Cray, HPE, IBM, Intel and Nvidia – were invited by the DoE to respond to a Coral-2 request for proposals and some or all did so by May 24. The individual bidders have not been revealed and the bids are being evaluated.

System - Builders - Cray - HPE - IBM

There are three server/HPC system builders – Cray, HPE and IBM – and three processor/co-processor vendors – AMD, Intel and Nvidia.

We may assume Cray/Intel are bidding for the Aurora follow-on (called A21), and we looked at aspects of an HPE exascale system, suggesting an HPE/AMD partnership might be feasible.

Summit - Reveal - Hints - IBM - Exascale

The Summit reveal provided hints about an IBM exascale system and that's what we're going to dig into.

Summit has just...
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