Nvidia and IBM join forces in super computing technologies.

Nvidia and IBM join forces in super computing technologies.

NVIDIA and IBM have teamed up with the U.S. Department of Energy to unveil an ambitious plan: the construction of two cutting-edge supercomputers set to revolutionize computing power. Anticipated to outperform today’s most advanced systems by at least threefold, these supercomputers represent a significant step toward achieving exascale computing, a long-held aspiration in the tech world.

Expected to be operational by 2017, these supercomputers will be powered by next-generation IBM POWER servers, enhanced with NVIDIA Tesla GPU accelerators, and integrated with NVIDIA NVLink high-speed GPU interconnect technology. This collaboration promises to deliver unprecedented computational capabilities, surpassing even the current speed leaders like Oak Ridge’s “Titan” and China’s Tianhe-2, which boast 27 and 55 peak petaflops, respectively.

Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO and co-founder of NVIDIA, emphasized the critical role of supercomputers in advancing scientific research and technological innovation. He highlighted how these powerful machines enable scientists to tackle monumental challenges across various scales, from quantum to global to galactic. Huang also underscored the significance of GPU acceleration in paving the way for exascale computing, offering researchers a powerful tool to unlock groundbreaking discoveries.

In essence, this collaboration between NVIDIA, IBM, and the U.S. Department of Energy marks a significant milestone in the journey toward achieving exascale computing, bringing us closer to unlocking the full potential of scientific exploration and technological advancement.




New Technologies Hasten Exascale Computing

The supercomputing community has for many years worked toward building exascale systems, which can perform a quintillion – a billion billion or 1018 – floating point calculations per second, known as FLOPS. A FLOP is equivalent to a single mathematical calculation, like multiplying two numbers together. Summit and Sierra will be the next major step on the path to reaching exascale computing levels by virtue of a number of breakthrough technologies. One is the NVIDIA NVLink high-speed GPU interconnect, which will be integrated into NVIDIA GPUs and IBM POWER CPUs powering the new systems. NVLink allows GPUs and CPUs to share data five to 12 times faster than today, and is designed to ultimately enable supercomputers that are 50 to 100 times faster than today’s fastest systems.

The systems will also feature NVIDIA’s future generation GPU architecture, Volta, which will deliver considerably higher performance than the company’s current Maxwell architecture and subsequent Pascal™ design. Delivering significantly higher levels of computational performance than anything available today, NVIDIA GPUs will provide Summit and Sierra with more than 90 percent of the peak floating point processing capability. “Our users have the most complex scientific problems and need exceptionally powerful computers to meet national goals,” said Buddy Bland, project director of the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. “The projected performance of Summit would not have been possible without the combination of these technologies, which will give our users an exceptionally powerful tool to accomplish these goals.”