The FINANCIAL — IBM, in collaboration with NVIDIA and Mellanox, and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Hartree Centre on October 22 announced plans for the UK’s first POWER Acceleration and Design Center (PADC) designed to help UK businesses exploit high performance computing on OpenPOWER systems for Modelling & Simulation and Big Data Analytics.
The new facility marks a running start to the Government’s recently announced investment and expansion of the Hartree Centre at Daresbury, which is designed to boost Modelling & Simulation, Big Data Analytics and Cognitive Computing research in the UK in order to deliver economic growth on a national scale, according to IBM.
Increasing application performance while minimizing energy consumption are challenges businesses face in exploiting conventional high performance computing technologies and the resulting race towards exascale computing. Optimizing existing applications on POWER-based systems can offer businesses significant competitive advantages.
Dr. Peter Allan, acting Director of the Hartree Centre, said: “The POWER Acceleration and Design Center will help industry and academia take advantage of IBM and NVIDIA’s technological leadership in supercomputing and the Hartree Centre’s expertise and experience in delivering solutions to real-world problems. It will also provide industry and academia with access to the Hartree Centre’s research capabilities and network of global partners. The PADC will help the Government’s ambition to provide world-leading facilities to enable UK businesses use Modelling & Simulation and Big Data Analytics to develop better products and services that will boost productivity, drive growth and create jobs.”
The POWER Acceleration and Design Center will be uniquely placed in the UK to provide both POWER-based infrastructure and consulting. The Hartree Centre, working with IBM, already has a history of collaborating on research and development with industry and academic institutions, and in providing access to its supercomputing facilities. These services are being extended to help organizations define application design and optimization projects and will assist in bringing together an ecosystem of computational scientists and engineers with expertise in specific domains such as chemistry, fluid dynamics, structures, and acoustics.
“This new POWER Acceleration and Design Center demonstrates IBM’s commitment to expanding the software ecosystem around OpenPOWER. The center extends and complements the Acceleration and Design Centers in Jülich, Germany, and Montpellier, France, to a new class of industrial and commercial organizations,” said Dave Turek, IBM’s Vice President of High Performance Computing. “To that end, establishing it at the Hartree Center is in recognition of its successful engagement with industry and its record in commercializing technological developments.”
Staff from IBM Research, NVIDIA and Hartree Centre will provide expertise and consultation to help improve performance for the GPU-accelerated OpenPOWER systems. To achieve the highest levels of performance it is important to exploit all components of a POWER-based system: architecture, memory, storage, interconnects and integration. Consequently, the Center will also be supported by the expertise of other OpenPOWER partners, including Mellanox, and will host a POWER-based system with the Tesla Accelerated Computing Platform, consisting of energy-efficient, high-performance NVIDIA Tesla GPU accelerators and enabling software.
“Building upon NVIDIA’s long-standing collaboration with STFC, we look forward to working with IBM, Mellanox and the Hartree Centre to help UK science and industry achieve major new milestones using Tesla GPU-accelerated OpenPOWER systems,” said Jeremy Purches, Director of High Performance Computing UK&I at NVIDIA. “The Tesla platform was designed from the ground up to deliver unmatched energy-efficient performance for today’s most difficult computational challenges, and will ultimately play an important role in enabling the industry to achieve exascale computing levels.”
“As founding members of the OpenPOWER Foundation, IBM, NVIDIA, and Mellanox share a common vision to bring a new class of systems with advanced interconnect technology to market faster to tackle today’s data challenges,” said Gilad Shainer, vice president of marketing, Mellanox Technologies. “Our joint collaboration with STFC Hartree Centre will enable businesses of all sizes to take advantage of scalable, higher application performance for optimal return-on-investment.”