UK gets supercomputer with 11,696 AMD EPYC Rome CPUs

Posted on Thursday, Oct 17 2019 @ 13:25 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
AMD wasn't a common name in the supercomputer space as this market was completed dominated by Intel but that's changing as the company's EPYC "Rome" processor will be used by ARCHER2, a new supercomputer for UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). Made by Cray, this system will house 5,848 compute nodes, each with dual AMD Rome 64-core CPUs at 2.2GHz, for 748,544 cores in total and 1.57PB of total system memory. Additionally, the supercomputer will also feature four nodes with sixteen next-gen AMD GPUs. ARCHER 2 will offer a maximum performance of 28 petaflops.
Following a procurement exercise, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) are pleased to announce that Cray have been awarded the contract to supply the hardware for the next national supercomputer, ARCHER2.

ARCHER2 should be capable on average of over eleven times the science throughput of ARCHER, based on benchmarks which use five of the most heavily used codes on the current service. As with all new systems, the relative speedups over ARCHER vary by benchmark. The ARCHER2 science throughput codes used for the benchmarking evaluation are estimated to reach 8.7x for CP2K, 9.5x for OpenSBLI, 11.3x for CASTEP, 12.9x for GROMACS, and 18.0x for HadGEM3. Needless to say, ARCHER2 represents a significant step forwards in capability for the UK science community, with the system expected to sit among the fastest fully general purpose (CPU only) systems when it comes into service in May 2020.

As has been previously announced, because ARCHER2 is being installed in the same room as the current ARCHER system, there will be a period of downtime where no service will be available. Therefore, users should plan their work appropriately. ARCHER is due to end operation on 18th February 2020, and ARCHER2 will be operational from 6th May 2020. However, please note that from the 6th May, there will be a period of 30 days continuous running to stress-test the new machine and sort out any issues before full service, where access will be possible but may be limited. We will be providing information about allocations and access routes for ARCHER2 shortly.
Further details can be found over here.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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