Friday, June 10, 2022

Frontier supercomputer powered by AMD is the fastest and first exascale machine

The Frontier supercomputer, built at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, has now become the world's first known supercomputer to demonstrate a processor speed of 1.1 exaFLOPS (1.1 quintillion floating point operations per second, or FLOPS).  The Frontier supercomputer's exascale performance is enabled by  world's most advanced pieces of technology from HPE and AMD.

Frontier supercomputer powered by AMD is  the first exascale machine meaning it can process more than a quintillion calculations per second with an HPL score of 1.102 Exaflop/s. Based on the latest HPE Cray EX235a architecture and equipped with AMD EPYC 64C 2GHz processors, the system has 8,730,112 total cores and a power efficiency rating of 52.23 gigaflops/watt. It relies on gigabit ethernet for data transfer. 

Exascale is the next level of computing performance. By solving calculations five times faster than today’s top supercomputers—exceeding a quintillion [ or 1018  ] calculations per second—exascale systems will enable scientists to develop new technologies for energy, medicine, and materials. The Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility will be home to one of America’s first exascale systems, Frontier, which will help guide researchers to new discoveries at exascale.

It's based on HPE Cray’s new EX architecture and Slingshot interconnect with optimized 3rd Gen AMD EPYC™ CPUs for HPC and AI, and AMD Instinct™ 250X accelerators.


The Frontier test and development system (TDS) secured the first place in the Green500 list, delivering 62.68 gigaflops/watt power-efficiency from a single cabinet of optimised 3rd Gen AMD EPYC processors and AMD Instinct MI250x accelerators. It could lead to breakthroughs in medicine, astronomy, and more. 


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The result was confirmed in a benchmarking test called High-Performance Linpack (HPL). As impressive as that sounds, the ultimate limits of Frontier are even more staggering, with the supercomputer theoretically capable of a peak performance of 2 quintillion calculations per second. Among all these massively powerful supercomputers, only Frontier has achieved true exascale performance, at least where it counts, according to TOP500.