Companies to bring first high-bandwidth memory Arm processor to market

Global supercomputer leader Cray, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, and leading Japanese information and communication technology company Fujitsu, today announced a partnership to offer high performance technologies for the exascale era. Under the alliance agreement, Cray is developing the first-ever commercial supercomputer powered by the Fujitsu A64FX Arm®-based processor with high-bandwidth memory (HBM) and supported on the proven Cray CS500 supercomputer architecture and programming environment. Initial customers include Los Alamos National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, RIKEN Center for Computational Science, Stony Brook University, and University of Bristol. As part of this new partnership, Cray and Fujitsu will explore engineering collaboration, co-development, and joint go-to-market in an effort to meet customer demand in the supercomputing space.

Our partnership with Fujitsu means customers now have a broader choice of processor technology to address their pressing computational needs,” said Fred Kohout, senior vice president and CMO at Cray, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company. “We are delivering the development-to-deployment experience customers have come to expect from Cray, including exploratory development to the Cray Programming Environment (CPE) for Arm processors to optimize performance and scalability with additional support for Scalable Vector Extensions and high bandwidth memory.

Cray customers are leaders in their respective fields and often look for opportunities to gain the next edge in performance. The new Fujitsu processor is unique in that it is the first processor to deliver HBM and Arm Scalable Vector Extensions (SVE). HBM2 provides transfer speeds that are significantly faster than DDR4 giving the A64FX a maximum theoretical memory bandwidth greater than 1 terabyte per second (TB/s), and support for Arm SVE provides improved performance for artificial intelligence and analytics. The Cray CS500 system can apply this compute power to a wide range of HPC and AI workloads while still delivering hallmark features of Arm-based systems with high parallelization, low power consumption and high reliability.

It’s a pleasure to partner with Cray on building technologies for the next era of computing,” said Takeshi Horie, Corporate Executive Officer, Vice Head of Service Platform Business Group at Fujitsu. “Both companies have a strong legacy of supercomputing and vector processing. The A64FX Arm processor was designed to empower a wide range of data-intensive applications and is the world’s first CPU to adopt the SVE of the Armv8-A instruction set architecture, specifically extended for supercomputers.

The Cray supercomputer powered by Fujitsu A64FX Arm will be available through Cray to customers in mid-2020.

Supporting Quotes

Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) –The most demanding computing work at LANL involves sparse, irregular, multi-physics, multi-link-scale, highly resolved, long running 3D simulations,” said Gary Grider, deputy division leader, HPC division at LANL. “There are few existing architectures that currently serve this workload well. We are excited to see a potential solution and are happy to be helping prove this Cray and Fujitsu technology is a viable alternative for this need. Having this type of capability will be quite complementary to other resources in the NNSA computing complex.”

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) –The U.S. Department of Energy is the world’s leader in high-performance computing in support of its missions, which include ensuring America’s prosperity by addressing energy and environmental challenges through transformative science and technology solutions,” said Jeff Nichols, Associate Lab Director for Computing and Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. “This new system will enable our scientists to experiment with possible system architectures for the exascale era and advance the DOE mission.

RIKEN Center for Computational Science (R-CCS) –The new Fujitsu A64FX processor, one of the fastest Arm processors in the world and to be made commercially available from Cray and Fujitsu, also underpins ‘Fugaku,’ Japan’s next-generation flagship supercomputer at our RIKEN Center for Computational Science,” said Satoshi Matsuoka, Director of R-CCS. “We are extremely interested how A64FX on Cray CS500 machines with the Cray Programming Environment will excel in performance, and hope it will have a major impact on high-performance computing, especially as converged workloads take precedence in the field. We look forward to working with Cray and our partner Fujitsu to further enhance the software ecosystem for high-performance Arm.

Stony Brook University –Using the latest technologies is critical to advancing the frontiers of research, whether in industry or academia, and we’re looking forward to putting our Cray-Fujitsu system, named Ookami, which is Japanese for wolf, into production,” said Robert Harrison, principal investigator and project director for Stony Brook University. “Funded by the National Science Foundation, the new system will boost national competitiveness and enable U.S. researchers to achieve extremely high performance for a wide range of applications. Memory-bandwidth-intensive applications will be especially accelerated by the ultrahigh-bandwidth memory while still being able to employ familiar and successful multi-core programming models.

University of Bristol –We’ve been on a journey toward Arm-based supercomputing and the new Cray and Fujitsu Arm system will bring us closer to that reality,” said Professor Simon McIntosh-Smith, professor of high-performance computing at the University of Bristol. “We are looking forward to innovating and pushing the boundaries of what Arm technologies are capable of and witnessing the tremendous performance that will come about on the Cray A64FX Arm supercomputer. To that end, we are planning a new system, Isambard 2, which expects to incorporate these new technologies and make them available to UK scientists later in 2020.

Arm –As the Arm Neoverse ecosystem continues to expand, we’re seeing growing demand for the performance and innovation Arm-based processors deliver,” said Chris Bergey, senior vice president and general manager, Infrastructure Line of Business, Arm. “Fujitsu and Cray have leveraged this innovation and achieved a significant milestone being the first high-bandwidth memory supercomputing system in market, and Arm is proud to be part of it.

Source: Cray, Inc. (a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company) & Fujitsu – USA, Japan – 13 November 2019

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