The newly deployed supercomputer is partly funded by STFC to drive the SKA computing system development within the newly formed "SKA Open Architecture LAB". The SKA is a multinational collaboration which is building the world's largest radio telescope which, at its centre, is a requirement for the world's largest streaming data processor, many times larger than the most powerful HPC system in operation today. The new system will take a central role driving system development for the SKA placing STFC and the University of Cambridge at the forefront of large scale Big-Data science.
"The network design was specifically architected to provide the highest I/O bandwidth for large scale Big-Data challenges and to have the highest message possible for large parallel application scaling", stated Paul J. Calleja, Director of High Performance Computing at the University of Cambridge. "We chose Mellanox's end-to-end FDR InfiniBand interconnects to connect the system, specifically by using their Connect-IB adapters in a dual rail network, as well as utilize the NVIDA GPUDirect RDMA communication acceleration to significantly increase the systems parallel efficiency."
"We are pleased to have Mellanoxs FDR InfiniBand solution as the interconnect of choice for the University of Cambridge's supercomputer, the UK's fastest academic-based supercomputer", stated Gilad Shainer, vice president of marketing at Mellanox Technologies. "Utilizing Mellanox's Connect-IB adapters, the University of Cambridge is able to take advantage of the adapter's leading message rate and bandwidth performance to enable fundamental advances in many areas of astrophysics and cosmology."
Connect-IB is the world's most scalable server and storage adapter solution for High-Performance Computing (HPC), Web 2.0, Cloud, Big Data, financial services, virtualized data centres and storage environments. Connect-IB adapters deliver the highest throughput of 100Gb/s utilizing PCI Express 3.0 x16, unmatched scaling with innovative transport services, sub-microsecond latency and 137 million messages per second - 4x higher message rate over competing solutions.
Available today, Mellanox's FDR 56Gb/s InfiniBand solution includes Connect-IB adapter cards, SwitchX-2 based switches (from 12-port to 648-port), fiber and copper cables, and ScalableHPC accelerator and management software.