Developments around the 'Isambard' ARM based supercomputer

17 Nov 2017 Bristol - On the GW4 blog, the new developments around the Isambard supercomputer are listed. Isambard is a collaboration between the GW4 universities (Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter), Cray and the Met Office. It will provide multiple advanced architectures within the same system in order to enable evaluation and comparison across a diverse range of hardware platforms. This will enable scientists to determine which architecture best suits their needs.

Earlier this week, Cray announced at the global Supercomputing 2017 conference that it is creating the world's first production-ready, Arm-based supercomputer, and that Isambard is one of the first supercomputing initiatives to use this new technology.

"GW4 Isambard project aims to deliver the world's first Arm-based, production-quality HPC service", stated Professor Simon McIntosh-Smith. "Ease of use, robustness, and performance, are all critical for a production service, and our early experiences are very promising."

Professor McIntosh-Smith will present Isambard's performance results at the conference and will take part in panel debates on the future of Arm-based supercomputing.

The Isambard team ran their first hackathon at Cray's UK headquarters in Bristol on 2-3 November 2017. The event attracted over 30 software developers from collaborators GW4, Met Office and Cray, as well as international institutions including the University of Vienna, ETH Zürich and KTH Stockholm.

The hackathon was jointly supported by a GW4 Accelerator grant and Cray Inc. Plans are already being made for a second hackathon in 2018.

Ad Emmen