Detailing the Isambard 3 supercomputer

May 23, 2023 by
Filed under: News 

The third generation of supercomputer at Bristol will use over 55,000 ARM 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. This will provide 2.7 petaflops of FP64 peak performance while consuming less than 270 kilowatts of power.

This would rank the project as one of the world’s three greenest non-accelerated supercomputers once it goes into production in sprint 2024. The consortium is led by the University of Bristol as part of the research consortium the GW4 Alliance, together with the universities of Bath, Cardiff and Exeter,

Each Grace chip has 144 ARM Neoverse V2 cores with 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 complex structures such as wind farms and fusion reactors.

“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.”


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