Sweden backs AMD for supercomputer

March 01, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
Sweden backs AMD for supercomputer
Sweden’s largest technical university is installing a new HPE Cray supercomputer based around AMD's EYPC processors and Instinct GPUs

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is to build a new supercomputer for KTH Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm based around the latest AMD EPYC processor and Instinct GPU.

The 13.5 petaflop supercomputer is named “Dardel” in honour of a Swedish novelist, Thora Dardel, and her first husband, Nils Dardel, a post-impressionist painter. This replaces KTH’s current flagship system, Beskow, and will be housed on KTH’s main campus at the Centre for High Performance Computing (PCD).

HPE will install the first phase of the supercomputer this summer. It will feature over 65,000 CPU cores and it be ready for research use in July 2021. The second phase of the installation will consist of GPUs which will be installed later this year and be ready for use in January 2022.

Dardel will use AMD’s Infinity Architecture, which is also used for the EuroHPC LUMI pre-exascale system is currently being installed in neighbouring Finland.

The system will also include HPE’ Slingshot for HPC networking for higher speed and congestion control for data-intensive workloads, including computational fluid dynamics, biophysics and quantum chemistry.

The Dardel system will have a large CPU partition, which will be suitable for a wide range of computational applications, plus a forward-looking partition based on the GPUs, which is intended for the most computationally demanding applications.

“In recent times, we have seen a dramatic increase in the extent to which researchers need to use accelerators (mainly in the form of GPUs). We will soon be able to meet that demand through the accelerator partition in Dardel," says Prof. Hans Karlsson, Director of the SNIC, the Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing, which is investing around SEK100m (€10m) in the system, as well as paying the operational costs for at least the next five years.

"Dardel will significantly increase the Swedish capacity for research that requires access to large-scale computational resources," he said.

Example companies currently using PDC’s HPC systems for R&D include trucking manufacturer Scania and several technical


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