Intel Unveils The world’s Fastest Supercomputer, Frontera

Intel and Dell technologies unveiled the 5th most powerful supercomputer in the world. Last year, in August 2018 Intel and Dell jointly announced to design the academic supercomputer, Frontera, which would replace Stampede 2 at the University of Texas at Austin’s Texas Advanced Computing Centre. National Science Foundation funded $60 million for this project.

Intel Collabs with Dell EMC to Design Frontera

The new supercomputer is based on 2nd generation Intel Xeon Scalable Processor, it features Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory that would help to accelerate the research process. Optane DC Persistent Memory combines small DRAM pools with large caches for better performance. When paired with the Xeon Scalable Processor. Intel limits Optane DC Persistent Memory performance at 287,000 operations per second with 17 second restart time. Dell EMC PowerEdge servers handle Frontier’s bulky computational lifting, also Nvidia nodes handle single-precision computing.

Frontier engages liquid cooling for most of its nodes, with Dell EMC supplying oil and water cooling from CoolIT and Green Revolution Cooling. Each node is believed to draw almost 65 kilowatts of power which is roughly 1⁄3rd of what Austin’s Texas Advanced Computing Centre is acquiring from solar power and wind power production. Mellanox HDR and HD-100 are interconnected to transmit data at a speed of up to 200Gbps.

“The Frontera system will provide researchers computational and artificial intelligence capabilities that have not existed before for academic research,” stated Trish Damkroger, Vice President and General Manager of Extreme Computing Organisation at Intel.

“With Intel technology, this new supercomputer opens up new possibilities in science and engineering to advance research, including cosmic understanding, medical cures, and energy needs” 

Intel claims that Frontera is the world’s fastest academic supercomputer and it will enable the development of research across various fields including medicine, artificial intelligence, astronomy and quantum mechanics. Projects being tested on Frontera includes ‘diagnosing and treating Glioma brain tumours’ by Professor George Biros of UT Austin, ‘Origin of energy bursts emitted during a neutron star merger’ by Manuela Campanelli, professor of astrophysics at Rochester Institute of Technology and director for the center for computational relativity and gravitation, ‘training of AI model which explains the potential energy and force fields of molecules based on their 3D structure’ by Olexandr Isayev, assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Frontera was announced last year in August and this Supercomputer was built during early 2019. It earned the fifth spot on the list of top 500 world’s most advanced supercomputer on the LINPACK benchmark which ranks the world’s most powerful non-distributed computer systems. Intel professes that Frontera is capable of reaching peak performance of 38.7 petaflops which makes it the world’s fastest computer.

Image Source – Extremetech

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