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Primeur weekly 2017-09-18

Special

2017 - Another year on the Road to Exascale: The state of exascale progress today ...

Focus

ETP4HPC plays instrumental role in development of European exascale programme ...

Atos/Bull to provide customers with mix of processor architectures and new BXI interconnect ...

Quantum computing

IBM pioneers new approach to simulate chemistry with quantum computing ...

The dark side of quantum computers ...

Toward unbreakable encrypted messages ...

First on-chip nanoscale optical quantum memory developed ...

Focus on Europe

HPC Advisory Council and ISC Group announce the 2018 Student Cluster Competition ...

Digital Infrastructures for Research 2017 to announce Call for Abstracts ...

HPC alliance GW4 shortlisted for Times Higher Education award ...

New GPU power for machine learning and HPC at CSC Finland ...

Mexico launches HPC initiative for Energy Research and Development supported by BSC ...

Middleware

PGI 17.7 compilers for heterogeneous supercomputing now available ...

Hardware

Supermicro launches petabyte scale 1U server and JBOF ...

Packet partners with Arm to accelerate adoption of Armv8-A for data centre workloads ...

Xilinx, Arm, Cadence, and TSMC announce world's first CCIX silicon demonstration vehicle in 7nm process technology ...

Applications

Supercomputing power to study brain function ...

Julia joins Petaflop Club ...

BSC participates in eTRANSAFE, a project for new drug safety assessment and integrative data analysis research ...

NERSC supercomputers help Berkeley Lab scientists map key DNA protein complex ...

Study clarifies how neural nets think when processing language ...

Modelling a city's minuscule changes ...

The Cloud

Oracle joins the Cloud Native Computing Foundation ...

Dell EMC and IBM to offer VMware solutions on the IBM Cloud ...

VMware speeds customer time to value for SDDC and multi-Cloud management with new vRealize suite 2017 ...

Atos/Bull to provide customers with mix of processor architectures and new BXI interconnect


20 Jun 2017 Frankfurt - On the ISC'17 Exhibition FloorPrimeur Magazinehad the opportunity to talk with Jean-Pierre Panziera, CTO for HPC at Atos/Bull. He showed a picture of the directly liquid-cooling Bull Sequana platform which was introduced last year and started shipping to the Netherlands for the customers at SURFsara. Since then, there have been new customers using this platform. Jean-Pierre Panziera mentioned three new customers. Two of them are located in the United Kingdom, namely the STFC research centre and the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE). Both are getting this system in the near future. The third customer that has announced to acquire the Bull Sequana platform is GENCI, the French PRACE zero system. All of these customer deals are ongoing.

This new platform that Atos/Bull started shipping at SURFsara is equipped with Xeon E5 v4 Broadwell processor nodes. Atos/Bull is ready to ship the next generation, still not announced at that moment, but in a couple of weeks from then, Intel would make a big announcement about the next generation of processors. Jean-Pierre Panziera thought everyone is aware of the codename Skylake. He confirmed that this platform is ready but he could not show it yet and talk to the public about it but some of the customers he mentioned will be using these processors.

Bull Sequana also has nodes that can integrate with the Pascal GPUs. When NVIDIA is ready to ship them, the customers will have the next one, called the Volta which promises about 1,5 more performance than the current Pascal. The design from the beginning is compatible with two generations of GPUs, so Atos/Bull will always be ready to ship as soon as NVIDIA will make them available.

One thing Jean-Pierre Panziera thought would be interesting is the availability of a blade with nodes that are based on ARM processors. For this new product, Atos/Bull selected the Cavium ThunderX2 processors. Atos/Bull presented the motherboard on the booth. The company was in the process of upgrading this solution to make it ready for shipping. The first systems will be part of the Mont-Blanc project, financed by the European Commission in the Horizon2020 Work Programme. That will be the first prototype. It will become an industrial product that will be shipping to customers early next year. Atos/Bull already has some customers that have committed and signed a purchase order for this system.

Primeur Magazinethought it to be remarkable that European projects lead to new products.

Jean-Pierre Panziera confirmed that it is a commercial product. So far, the European projects have been mostly targeted at scientific investigation. For Mont-Blanc, it took three different phases of the project to go from something that started in 2010 with exploring ways and developing a very basic hardware to get to the booth where one can offer to customers a system that is really ready for production level and with a good level of performance. Atos/Bull is also integrating it fully into the Bull Sequana platform. The company already has some customers who have signed up for this product. It is deploying systems with several kinds of processors. This is a good achievement for all these European projects. This one is financed by the Work Programme 2020. One is midway in this project and one is already showing some prototypes at ISC'17. By the end of the project, one will have industrialized systems.

The project actually has a larger scope than just the industrialization of this prototype. The partners are also preparing the architecture for the next generation of processors, that will be in the area of the pre-exascale and exascale systems. This is also part of the Mont-Blanc project. This is something that will come into production by 2020-2021.

When one considers the evolution on this platform, Atos/Bull is able to offer to its customers a mix of different architectures. The company is ready for the next generation, all the way to the exascale as the new generation of systems. So far, the company has been targeting the high end and mid-range of the customers but it also is starting a new series of air-cooled systems. These are the classical white boxes of 1U or 2U with four nodes and quite dense to populate the HPC data centre. Atos/Bull is also coming up with new blade systems of 8U with 20 nodes so companies can build their data centre with air-cooled systems. This is what Atos/Bull is preparing and showing for the hardware.

Jean-Pierre Panziera also wanted to tell something about the technology for the interconnect. The systems that Atos/Bull has been shipping so far are usually provided with Infiniband. For the Bull Sequana, the company is preparing the new Bull eXascale Interconnnect (BXI). It will be the backbone of the next big system that Atos/Bull customer, the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), will be deploying early next year. All the 8000 nodes will be interconnected by BXI.

Primeur Magazineasked Jean-Pierre Panziera what the plans are for the exascale.

Jean-Pierre Panziera thought that exascale possibly might not yet be for 2020. To have it in production by 2021 might well be quite a challenge. The system in 2020 may not be fully exascale but will certainly be providing 100 times more performance than the systems that one has deployed in the petascale era, back in 2010-2011.

Ad Emmen

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2017-09-18

Special

2017 - Another year on the Road to Exascale: The state of exascale progress today ...

Focus

ETP4HPC plays instrumental role in development of European exascale programme ...

Atos/Bull to provide customers with mix of processor architectures and new BXI interconnect ...

Quantum computing

IBM pioneers new approach to simulate chemistry with quantum computing ...

The dark side of quantum computers ...

Toward unbreakable encrypted messages ...

First on-chip nanoscale optical quantum memory developed ...

Focus on Europe

HPC Advisory Council and ISC Group announce the 2018 Student Cluster Competition ...

Digital Infrastructures for Research 2017 to announce Call for Abstracts ...

HPC alliance GW4 shortlisted for Times Higher Education award ...

New GPU power for machine learning and HPC at CSC Finland ...

Mexico launches HPC initiative for Energy Research and Development supported by BSC ...

Middleware

PGI 17.7 compilers for heterogeneous supercomputing now available ...

Hardware

Supermicro launches petabyte scale 1U server and JBOF ...

Packet partners with Arm to accelerate adoption of Armv8-A for data centre workloads ...

Xilinx, Arm, Cadence, and TSMC announce world's first CCIX silicon demonstration vehicle in 7nm process technology ...

Applications

Supercomputing power to study brain function ...

Julia joins Petaflop Club ...

BSC participates in eTRANSAFE, a project for new drug safety assessment and integrative data analysis research ...

NERSC supercomputers help Berkeley Lab scientists map key DNA protein complex ...

Study clarifies how neural nets think when processing language ...

Modelling a city's minuscule changes ...

The Cloud

Oracle joins the Cloud Native Computing Foundation ...

Dell EMC and IBM to offer VMware solutions on the IBM Cloud ...

VMware speeds customer time to value for SDDC and multi-Cloud management with new vRealize suite 2017 ...