Bristol looks to third generation Isambard ARM supercomputer with 55,000 cores

Bristol looks to third generation Isambard ARM supercomputer with 55,000 cores

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

A consortium in the south west UK is to build its third generation of ARM-based supercomputer using over 55,000 Neoverse V2 cores in Nvidia’s Grace processor.

The Isambard 3 supercomputer will be built by HP Enterprise and based at the Bristol & Bath Science Park in the UK. It will have 384 Grace CPU Superchips, giving 55,296 cores to give 2.7 petaflops of FP64 peak performance while consuming less than 270 kilowatts of power#

This would rank the project, led by the University of Bristol, as part of the research consortium the GW4 Alliance, together with the universities of Bath, Cardiff and Exeter, as one of the world’s three greenest non-accelerated supercomputers.

The Grace chip has 144 ARM Neoverse V2 cores with Scalable Vector Extensions (SVE2) and 1 terabyte per second (TB/s) of memory bandwidth using LPDDR5X with error-correcting code (ECC).

The 900 gigabyte per second (GB/s) CVLink scalable coherent interface is 7X faster than PCIe Gen 5 with 3.2TB/s of aggregate bisectional bandwidth.

“As climate change becomes an increasingly existential problem, it’s vital for computing to embrace energy-efficient technologies,” said Ian Buck, vice president of hyperscale and HPC at Nvidia. “Nvidia is working alongside the ARM Neoverse ecosystem to provide a path forward for the creation of more energy-efficient supercomputing centres, driving important breakthroughs in scientific and industrial research.”

“From climate change to medicine, supercomputing is already enabling academic and industry leaders to take on some of the world’s biggest challenges,” said Mohamed Awad, senior vice president and general manager of infrastructure at ARM. “Expanding on important areas of research requires a level of performance and energy efficiency that Arm Neoverse uniquely delivers, and through our collaboration with NVIDIA, we’re proud to bring this to life in the Isambard 3 system.”

Isambard 3 will be able to create detailed models of exceptionally complex structures, such as wind farms and fusion reactors, to help researchers unlock new advances in clean and green energy.

“Isambard 3’s application performance efficiency of up to 6x its predecessor, which rivals many of the 50 fastest TOP500 systems, will provide scientists with a revolutionary new supercomputing platform to advance groundbreaking research,” said Simon McIntosh-Smith, principal investigator for the Isambard project and professor of HPC at the University of Bristol. “The Arm-based NVIDIA Grace CPU enables the breakthrough energy efficiency required to push the boundaries of scientific discovery and solve some of humanity’s most difficult challenges.”

Once the system goes into production in spring 2024, Bristol expects the number of registered users to increase significantly beyond the current 800.


Linked Articles