Meet Slingshot: An Innovative Interconnect for the Next Generation of Supercomputers

Today Cray is announcing our next-generation “Shasta™” supercomputer, featuring our latest generation of scalable interconnect, code-named “Slingshot.” As a long-time network architect, I’m pretty excited. Slingshot is our 8th major generation of scalable HPC network, and there have been some great milestones along the way. We started back in 1992 with the Cray T3D, Cray's first massively parallel system. Implemented in BiCMOS, its network latency was just 12 ns per hop. That was followed in 1996 by the pioneering Cray T3E system, which had the first-ever implementation of adaptive routing in an HPC network (by a long shot!). In 2005, Cray pioneered the design of high-radix switches. Our YARC switch for the Cray X2 implemented ... [ Read More ]

3 Reasons Why CosmoFlow on a Cray System is a Big Deal

Today, Cray, NERSC (the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) and Intel announced the results of a three-way collaboration around CosmoFlow, a deep learning 3D convolutional neural network (CNN) that can predict cosmological parameters with unprecedented accuracy using the Intel-powered Cray® XC™ series “Cori” supercomputer at NERSC. Supercomputers are unique in their ability to be instruments of discovery for problems on the smallest and largest of scales — from subatomic scale to the cosmos. Cosmologists who study the origin, evolution and eventual fate of the universe use a combination of empirical observations and theoretical computer simulations to define and refine a ... [ Read More ]

Can LS-DYNA Scale Any Higher?

Processing and memory bottlenecks can run but they can’t hide. Not indefinitely, at least. And especially not when four technology leaders combine efforts against them. Cray, Livermore Software Technology Corporation (LSTC), the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) and Rolls-Royce are partnering on an ongoing project to explore the future of implicit finite element analyses of large-scale models using LS-DYNA, a multiphysics simulation software package, and Cray supercomputing technology. As the scale of finite element models — and the systems they run on — increase, so do scaling issues and the amount of time it takes to run a model. Understanding that, ultimately, only time and resource constraints limit the size ... [ Read More ]

Inside Isambard — the World’s First Production Arm Supercomputer

The Isambard Project, a GW4 Alliance initiative, recently disclosed the latest results from its benchmarking of Arm-based processors for HPC, the first such results for dual socket Cavium ThunderX2 nodes. Prof. Simon McIntosh-Smith gave a talk at the Cray User Group (CUG) Conference in Stockholm on May 23, 2018, in which he described the results of a detailed performance comparison between Cavium™ ThunderX2® Arm®-based CPUs and the latest state-of-the-art Intel Skylake x86 processors. Results focused on the HPC codes that are most heavily used on the UK’s national supercomputer, ARCHER, and showed that for these kinds of workloads, ThunderX2 is competitive with the best x86 CPUs available today, but with a significant cost ... [ Read More ]

How to Make Solving I/O Bottlenecks Look Easy

We live for a good customer challenge. And you can’t get a much better challenge than one that turns into a new product with broad application. The challenge came to us by way of Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). LANL launched their “Trinity” supercomputer in 2015. Based on Cray® XC™ series architecture, Trinity is the first installation of the NNSA Simulation and Computing program’s initiative to develop and deploy a series of advanced technology systems. Together they’re exploring compute technology so they can provide platforms with higher performance for predictive capability — all while solving national security challenges. In short, NNSA and LANL are working ... [ Read More ]