Fun to watch
Other institutions like CSCS (Swiss National Supercomputing Centre) run their weather codes on Nvidia GPUS; it could be rather fun to see how these architectures perform in the medium to long term.
A fellowship of four UK universities, along with HPC veteran Cray and the Met Office, have been handed £3m to build a 10,000+ ARM core supercomputer. The project could settle whether ARM-based supercomputers can beat Xeon ones on cost while offering the right performance. The scheme is called Isambard, after 19th century Brit …
Dunno about 'fun' but I'm very interested to see how it goes.
Although seemingly primarily based on Arm, with that mixture of Arm, x86(Xeon and Phi) and GPU it seems more like a test/evaluation system. I can't see a good reason to incorporate all of those technologies in a single system unless it is to compare the different processor architectures within the same system architecture, so perhaps testing the system architecture as well as Arm technology.
Wow, £3m. That's a massive 20,000sq ft of London office space (for a year).
For comparison, the House of Commons Administration reports: "In 2015-16 net income of £16.4 million was generated predominantly from commercial activities including retail, tour activities, catering and from property receipts. "
Could be a great day for ARM.
I find it hard to believe that an ARM array at the same clock frequency and with appropriately sized caches on each processor, would not beat an Intel code museum.
The results should be very interesting, but I suspect not without dispute.
1) Supercomputing code generally is written by scientists and runs horribly. I've done multiple tests and found that I often can rewrite their code and perform better on 40 processor cores and 4 GPUs than they do on 3 million pound computers.
2) We're not comparing ARM to x86 here. That comparison can be accomplished far better with a few desktop systems. Performance-wise, you're making the assumption that performance is related to instruction set. It's generally about instruction execution performance and memory performance. Intel uses more transistors on their multipliers than ARM uses in their entire chip. This may sound inefficient, but it is those things which given Intel an edge. Let's also consider that memory performance is almost all about management of DDR bursts and block alignment. ARM has much tighter restrictions on those things. Also, more often than not, the scientific code makes profiting from cache utterly meaningless. Ask a scientist working on this code whether they can describe the DDR burst architecture or whether they can describe cache coherency within the CPU ring bus or whether they can explain the process of mutexing within a NUMA environment.
This is about whether shitty code costs less to run on one computer 100 times larger than it should be vs another.
For 3 million pounds, I would imagine they could have bought a gaming PC and a programmer.
I think this chip is interesting:
The thing I kinda worry about is that it might be as difficult to program as one of those old cell processors. A super computer was actually built of cell processors but abandoned after 3 year. Reading between the lines it seems no one could or was interested in programming the thing.
Exclusive A court case which would have seen Atos take on the UK government over a £854 million (c $1 billion) supercomputer contract for the Meteorological Office has ended before it began.
The case, Atos Services UK Ltd v Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy and The Meteorological Office, concerns an agreement last year between the Met Office and Microsoft to provision a new supercomputer to "take weather and climate forecasting to the next level."
The system is intended to be the world's most advanced weather and climate system, and was expected to be twice as powerful as any other supercomputer in the UK when it becomes operational in the summer.
The UK government is continuing efforts to have chip designer and licensor Arm listed on the London Stock Exchange after its public offering rather than New York, as is the current plan.
At stake is whether Arm moves its headquarters to the US, potentially leading to the further loss of UK jobs.
Speaking to the Financial Times, UK minister for Technology and the Digital Economy Chris Philp said the government was still "working closely with" Arm management on the IPO process, despite its parent SoftBank having previously indicated that it was planning to list Arm on the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York.
Interview 2023 is shaping up to become a big year for Arm-based server chips, and a significant part of this drive will come from Nvidia, which appears steadfast in its belief in the future of Arm, even if it can't own the company.
Several system vendors are expected to push out servers next year that will use Nvidia's new Arm-based chips. These consist of the Grace Superchip, which combines two of Nvidia's Grace CPUs, and the Grace-Hopper Superchip, which brings together one Grace CPU with one Hopper GPU.
The vendors lining up servers include American companies like Dell Technologies, HPE and Supermicro, as well Lenovo in Hong Kong, Inspur in China, plus ASUS, Foxconn, Gigabyte, and Wiwynn in Taiwan are also on board. The servers will target application areas where high performance is key: AI training and inference, high-performance computing, digital twins, and cloud gaming and graphics.
The UK government is upping the ante in attempts to have Arm listed on the London stock exchange, with reports suggesting it is considering the threat of national security laws to force the issue with owner SoftBank.
According to the Financial Times, the British administration is considering whether to apply the National Security and Investment Act (NSIA), which came into force at the start of the year, in a bid to have SoftBank change its mind over listing Arm exclusively on the Nasdaq in New York, as it has previously indicated.
The FT cites the usual "people familiar with the matter", who indicated there had not yet been a formal debate over using national security legislation, and the idea was opposed by some government officials.
Arm is most likely to list on the US stock exchange Nasdaq, according to Masayoshi Son, chief executive of SoftBank Group, which bought the chip designer in 2016 for $32 billion.
Although he stressed no final decision had been made, Son told investors that the British chip designer was better suited to a US listing. "Most of Arm's clients are based in Silicon Valley and... stock markets in the US would love to have Arm," Son told shareholders at the company's annual general meeting.
He said there were also requests to list Arm in London without elaborating on where they came from. The entrepreneur did not say whether the conglomerate is considering a secondary listing for Arm there.
Amid the renewed interest in Arm-based servers, it is easy to forget that one company with experience in building server platforms actually brought to market its own Arm-based processor before apparently losing interest: AMD.
Now it has emerged that Jim Keller, a key architect who worked on Arm development at AMD, reckons the chipmaker was wrong to halt the project after he left the company in 2016.
Keller was speaking at an event in April, and gave a talk on the "Future of Compute", but the remarks were unreported until picked up by WCCF TECH.
RISC OS, the operating system of the original Arm computer, the Acorn Archimedes, is still very much alive – and doing relatively well for its age.
In June 1987, Acorn launched the Archimedes A305 and A310, starting at £800 ($982) and running a new operating system called Arthur. At the time, it was a radical and very fast computer. In his review [PDF] for Personal Computer World, Dick Pountain memorably said: "It loads huge programs with a faint burping noise, in the time it takes to blink an eye."
Arthur was loosely related to Acorn's earlier MOS, the BBC Micro operating system but looked very different thanks to a prototype graphical desktop, implemented in BBC BASIC, that could charitably be called "technicolor."
One of the longest-lived GUI operating systems in the world has its origins as an emergency project – specifically the means by which Acorn planned to rescue the original Archimedes operating system.
This is according to the original Acorn Arthur project lead, Paul Fellows, who spoke about the creation of RISC OS at the RISC OS User Group Of London, ROUGOL [after some helpful arrangements made by Liam Proven – Ed].
On Monday, your correspondent hosted and moderated a reunion of four of the original developers of Acorn's RISC OS.
Lenovo has inked an agreement with Spain's Barcelona Supercomputing Center for research and development work in various areas of supercomputer technology.
The move will see Lenovo invest $7 million over three years into priority sectors in high-performance computing (HPC) for Spain and the EU.
The agreement was signed this week at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center-National Supercomputing Center (BSC-CNS), and will see Lenovo and the BSC-CNS try to advance the use of supercomputers in precision medicine, the design and development of open-source European chips, and developing more sustainable supercomputers and datacenters.
HPE has scored another supercomputing win with the inauguration of the LUMI system at the IT Center for Science, Finland, which as of this month is ranked as Europe's most powerful supercomputer.
Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022