Two supercomputers from Cyfronet on the TOP500 list
On 22 May 2023, during ISC High Performance 2023 in Hamburg, Germany, the latest TOP500 list of supercomputers with the highest computing power in the world was announced. The list includes two supercomputers operating in Cyfronet: Athena and Ares.
The autumn TOP500 list (top500.org) is the seventh one which includes more than one Cyfronet's supercomputer. Additionally, Cyfronet's machines appeared in the Green500 list of most energy-efficinet supercomputers.
Athena – the fastest supercomputer in Poland
Athena is currently a flagship system of Cyfronet. It achieves the theoretical computing power of over 7.7 PetaFlops (7709 TeraFlops), giving the machine 123rd place in the May TOP500 list and making it the fastest supercomputer in Poland. The system installed in Cyfronet in 2021 provides the Polish scientific community and the economy with the most modern computing resources based on the latest generation GPGPU processors and accelerators and the necessary data storage subsystem found on high-speed flash memory. Athena's configuration includes 48 servers with AMD EPYC processors, 1 TB of RAM (6144 CPU cores), and 384 NVIDIA A100 GPGPU cards.
An indispensable element enabling the use of such high computing power effectively is to provide a high-performance internal network of a supercomputer (Infiniband HDR with a bandwidth of 4 x 200 Gb/s per server) and a high-speed disk subsystem. It’s built based on the Lustre open-source software (also used in the disk systems of the Prometheus and Zeus supercomputers) and dedicated disk servers equipped with flash memory in the NVMe standard. The system was installed in the existing Cyfronet data centre and integrated with the PLGrid infrastructure.
This type of infrastructure meets the needs of users of Cyfronet supercomputers, who use computing infrastructure both to perform standard high-performance scientific simulations (HPC) and to apply artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) methods in research in the field of medicine, pharmacology, biology, chemistry, physics, and many other areas of science. Athena's computing power for AI computing is almost 240 PetaFlops!
Ares – the warrior for science
Launched in 2021, the Ares supercomputer is built of computing servers with Intel Xeon Platinum processors, divided into three partitions:
· 532 servers equipped with 192 GB of RAM,
· 256 servers with 384 GB of RAM each,
· 9 servers with 8 NVIDIA Tesla V100 cards each.
The total theoretical performance of the Ares' CPU part is over 3.5 PetaFlops (3510 TeraFlops), and the GPU part is over 500 TFlops. Ares is also supported by a disk system with a capacity of over 11 PB. An InfiniBand EDR network is used for data transfer. The supercomputer has 37 824 computing cores and 147.7 TB of RAM. On the May TOP500 list, Ares took the 362nd position.
The world's top energy efficiency
Parallel to the announcement of the TOP500 list of supercomputers with the highest computing power, the Green500 list of the most ecological supercomputers is published. The main criterion (energy efficiency) is the ratio of the number of floating-point operations per second (computing power of a supercomputer) to energy consumption: Gflops/W. Athena's 19th place on the Green500 list of the world's most energy-efficient supercomputers is a particular success. This position proves the excellent ratio of the provided computing power to the electricity consumption. Ares was also on the list and took 101st place.
Scientific calculations in various fields
Scientists conducting research using Cyfronet's infrastructure represent many fields. Advanced modelling and numerical calculations are mainly used in physics, chemistry, biology, medicine and material technology, astronomy, geology, and environmental protection. Research topics include dynamic analysis of ceramic composite materials, modelling and optimisation of an energy-saving hydrogen fuel cell prototype, simulation of molecular dynamics of electrolytes for ion cells or using quantum methods for image analysis. Scientists also research gene expression in the Baltic Sea cod, study the interaction of influenza virus fusion peptides with lipid membranes, analyse the impact of underground fluid injection on stress drops induced by seismic tremors, and study microphysical processes in space plasma. Supercomputers in Cyfronet, which are available as part of the PLGrid infrastructure, are also used for high-energy physics (ATLAS, LHCb, ALICE and CMS projects), astrophysicists (CTA, LOFAR), Earth sciences (EPOS), European Spallation Source (ESS), biologists (WeNMR) and humanities and social scientists (CLARIN).
The World’s and European winners
Frontier, installed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in the USA, was announced as the fastest supercomputer in the world. Frontier is the first supercomputer which achieved more than 1 ExaFlop (1018 floating point operations per second), and its theoretical computing power is 1685.65 PFlops (1.69 EFlops).
The fastest European supercomputer was the LUMI supercomputer, built thanks to the cooperation of 10 European countries, including Poland. In the TOP500 list, LUMI was ranked 3rd place. The current theoretical computing power of the supercomputer is 429 PFlops. Polish scientists can access the supercomputer via the PLGrid infrastructure. ACC Cyfronet AGH coordinates activities in this area — more information: https://cyfronet.pl/lumi.
Polish supercomputers on the TOP500 list
In the current edition of the TOP500 list, one other supercomputer from Poland was mentioned apart from Athena and Ares. The complete list of achieved places with the values of computing power is as follows:
123 – Academic Computer Centre CYFRONET, Athena (7710 TFlops)
186 – Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Centre, Altair (5880 TFlops),
362 – Academic Computer Centre CYFRONET, Ares (3510 TFlops).
Use the power of supercomputers in your research
Supercomputers make it possible to significantly reduce the time of performing calculations, which using single computers would often take many years (in specific real cases, over 150, 700 or even 1000 years). Thanks to supercomputers, calculations can most often be performed in just a few hours and for large tasks – in a few days. Cyfronet’s users benefit from professional support – from training sessions to individual expert consultations. Information about Cyfronet's resources is available at https://cyfronet.pl. The list of services within the PLGrid infrastructure is available in the Application Catalog. We cordially invite you to register in the PLGrid Portal and use many unique services.
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