Monday, November 20th 2017

"Summit" Supercomputer to Propel US Back to Number 1 in Top 500 by 2018

China has been increasingly - and steadily - gaining relevance in the supercomputing world, with most of the top-500 entries being controlled by that country. In fact, China can boast of having the number one supercomputer in the world, the Sunway TaihuLight, which can deliver 93 PetaFLOPS of computing power - just 3x more computational power than the second most powerful machine, China's own Tianhe-2). However, supercomputing, and the amount of money that's earned by selling processing slices of these supercomputers for private or state contractors, i a very attractive pull - especially considering the increasingly more expensive computational needs of the modern world.

The Summit is to be the United State's call to fame in that regard, bringing the country back to number one in raw, top-of-the-line single-machine supercomputing power. Summit is promising to more than double the PetaFLOPS of China's TaihuLight, to over 200 PetaFLOPs. That amounts to around 11x more processing grunt than its predecessor, the Titan, in a much smaller footprint - the Titan's 18,688 processing nodes will be condensed to just ~4,600 nodes on the Summit, with each node achieving around 40 TeraFLOPS of computing power. The hardware? IBM and NVIDIA, married in water-cooled nodes with the powerful GV100 accelerator that's still eluding us enthusiasts - but that's a question for another day.
The silicon pieces that will make Summit tick and propel it to the, well, summit of the world's TOP 500 supercomputing lists is based on IBM's water-cooled Power Systems AC922 nodes - each of these packs 2x IBM POWER9 processors (which support up to eight memory channels, for a total of 16 channels per server that provide 340GB/s of aggregate bandwidth) alongside 6x Nvidia Volta GV100 GPUs. The Power9 processors are true beasts - they pack 8 billion transistors, and have up to 24 cores that can execute up to 96 threads. no, that's not a typo - it's thanks to the chips' SMT4 capabilities, which allow - you guessed it - up to four-way multithreading.
Memory-wise, these processing nodes feature an aggregate of 512 GB of coherent DDR4 and HBM2 (High Bandwidth Memory) - along with a mind-blowing 1,600 GB of non-volatile RAM (out of a maximum 2,000 GB). These 1,600 GB of RAM per node serve as a burst buffer - they absorb bursts of data before transferring it to the remote primary storage pool, giving the system time to flush all of that data to more permanent, denser, slower memory banks.

However fast a supercomputer might be, one of the most common bottlenecks in today's supercomputing tasks is having enough inter-chip connectivity that can feed all processing hardware with information, while offering ways to store finished workloads to memory. For that, Summit will employ 96 lanes of PCIe 4.0 alongside a dual-port Mellanox EDR InfiniBand adapter, on which AMD has measured throughput of 392 Gb/s: just 8 Gb/s short of its theoretical maximum of 400 Gb/s. Naturally, NVIDIA's own NVLink 2.0 makes an appearance as well, alongside traditional PCIe 3.0. The NVLink interface provides 100GB/s of throughput for CPU-to-GPU and GPU-to-GPU traffic, with the GPUs being arranged in a dual-mesh design.~
The Summit supercomputer will consume 15 MW of power (the site where it'll be deployed will be able to deliver up to 20 MW), which is on-par with China's Sunway - but remember, it more than doubles the peak PetaFlops from 93 to 200. For reference, the Titan system that came before it made do with 9 MW, but here, we're looking at around 35% increased power consumption for a roughly 11x increase in computing power - it's a vastly more efficient system. The entire Summit supercomputer will consume a space roughly the size of two basketball courts and require 136 miles of cabling - but even considering those massive engineering undertakings, it's on-schedule for deployment in 2018, and barring a top-secret supercomputer being in development by another country, it should propel the U.S. back into the supercomputing lead - at least for a time.Source: Tom's Hardware
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32 Comments on "Summit" Supercomputer to Propel US Back to Number 1 in Top 500 by 2018

#1
Jism
Can it run crysis?
Posted on Reply
#2
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Nope, but it can probably tell you how poorly you run Crysis. Because maths.


The water cooled aspect of this machine is the most interesting and likely where a lot of the power savings comes from. I wonder if they're just using giant external radiators or if there's some kind of phase change system involved somewhere.

Looks like only two 40mm fans per rack in the power supply. I wonder why they don't make the power system 12v DC vastly simplifying the power system in each unit.
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#3
natr0n
Do they use pool pumps ?
Posted on Reply
#4
bug
It's the software that runs on these things that make you #1 or not, not the pure computing power. But you read so little about the software...
Posted on Reply
#5
Xzibit
bug said:
It's the software that runs on these things that make you #1 or not, not the pure computing power. But you read so little about the software...
THE LINPACK BENCHMARK

the performance of a dedicated system for solving a dense system of linear equations.
Posted on Reply
#6
lexluthermiester
FordGT90Concept said:
Nope, but it can probably tell you how poorly you run Crysis. Because maths.
Actually, I'll bet it could. Given the compute power, I'm guessing a few 10's of thousands of times over.
Posted on Reply
#7
R-T-B
bug said:
It's the software that runs on these things that make you #1 or not, not the pure computing power. But you read so little about the software...
Uh, no. The TOP500 has no say at all about software and literally no shits are given on that front. It's all about the hardware and making that hardware talk for PFLOPS, baby.
Posted on Reply
#8
lexluthermiester
R-T-B said:
Uh, no. The TOP500 has no say at all about software and literally no shits are given on that front. It's all about the hardware and making that hardware talk for PFLOPS, baby.
Hardware does nothing without software to instruct it..
Posted on Reply
#9
R-T-B
lexluthermiester said:
Hardware does nothing without software to instruct it..
I'm very aware. You are talking to a programmer.

My point is that the software is neigh near irrelevant compared to the hardware though. He made it sound like it's literally the software the makes or breaks the machines standing position.
Posted on Reply
#10
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
I just want 3 gv100 cards for my machine.
Posted on Reply
#11
XiGMAKiD
That is an expensive setup for mining coin
/joke

With Nvidia prefer it's product to be paired with IBM Power, it's another reason for Intel to develop it's own discrete GPU
Posted on Reply
#12
lexluthermiester
R-T-B said:
I'm very aware. You are talking to a programmer. My point is that the software is neigh near irrelevant compared to the hardware though. He made it sound like it's literally the software the makes or breaks the machines standing position.
Ah, point taken.
XiGMAKiD said:
That is an expensive setup for mining coin /joke
Joking aside, that supercomputer could very likely crank out bitcoin in minutes instead of days/weeks. But good grief the power bill!
XiGMAKiD said:
With Nvidia prefer it's product to be paired with IBM Power, it's another reason for Intel to develop it's own discrete GPU
That's an assumption which isn't supported by real-world fact. NVidia has it's hands in a lot of technological sectors. Their are not going to abandon the gaming and PC markets. They are simply expanding into other markets to which they have something good to offer. Their GPGPU offerings are very powerful and can be tailored fit a number of computing requirements. AMD, likewise has much to offer and are gearing up to do so.
Posted on Reply
#13
R0H1T
cdawall said:
I just want 3 gv100 cards for my machine.
But can it run crysis @4k :rolleyes:

Seriously though, weren't there rumors that GV100 (compute oriented) can't run games?
XiGMAKiD said:
That is an expensive setup for mining coin
/joke

With Nvidia prefer it's product to be paired with IBM Power, it's another reason for Intel to develop it's own discrete GPU
I wonder if anyone ever thought of that, you could probably mine billions of $ with this kind of setup during the early days of BTC or ETH.
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#14
yotano211
I would love to mine with this machine.
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#16
R-T-B
yotano211 said:
I would love to mine with this machine.
Pay the powerbill and you might take that back, depending on how optimized it is for it. ;)
Posted on Reply
#17
R0H1T
R-T-B said:
Pay the powerbill and you might take that back, depending on how optimized it is for it. ;)
Can you rent this, like AWS or Azure IIRC?
Posted on Reply
#18
lexluthermiester
R0H1T said:
Can you rent this, like AWS or Azure IIRC?
I'm betting that is going to be a thing. That's what many supercomputer owners do.
Posted on Reply
#19
R0H1T
lexluthermiester said:
I'm betting that is going to be a thing. That's what many supercomputer owners do.
Not sure if you're being sarcastic or serious, if serious that'd be great. Even a handful of nodes could do certain tasks pretty quickly, assuming that it's feasible.
Posted on Reply
#20
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
R0H1T said:
Can you rent this, like AWS or Azure IIRC?
I don't think they request money. They need to know what project you're going to run and how much time it requires. Then they work with you to optimize your code for the hardware. Then they schedule you time on the machine to execute your code. National Laboratories supercomputers are for science.
Posted on Reply
#21
R0H1T
FordGT90Concept said:
I don't think they request money. They need to know what project you're going to run and how much time it requires. Then they work with you to optimize your code for the hardware. Then they schedule you time on the machine to execute your code. National Laboratories supercomputers are for science.
I understand that, I was just wondering if they could do that without making money, probably relying solely(?) on grants.
Posted on Reply
#22
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Pretty sure the National Laboratories are run under Department of Energy's budget. When not working on external projects, they're running simulations on the US nuclear arsenal.
Posted on Reply
#23
P4-630
The Way It's Meant to be Played
natr0n said:
Do they use pool pumps ?
Posted on Reply
#24
bug
R-T-B said:
Uh, no. The TOP500 has no say at all about software and literally no shits are given on that front. It's all about the hardware and making that hardware talk for PFLOPS, baby.
That's what I said. It's easier to make news about "my PFLOPS is bigger than your PFLOPS". But the exciting part about supercomputers is elsewhere.
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