Fujitsu will supply A64FX processors, which are Armv8 compatible, to power Cray’s new supercomputer. Cray, a supplier of supercomputers which is owned by HPE, is building a new supercomputer for research laboratories and universities.
The full specifications of the supercomputers have not yet been released. All that is certain is that, by 2020, they are expected to be shipped to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Los Alamos National Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy, as well as the Stony Brook University in New York. This is reported by The Register. Other organisations outside the USA are also on the list of buyers, including the RIKEN centre for computer science in Japan. The University of Bristol in the United Kingdom is eagerly waiting for the supercomputer as well.
The Fujitsu processor supports high-bandwidth memory (HBM), and Scalable Vector Extensions, an instruction set to speed up matrix calculations. This will make the supercomputer ideal for physics simulations, machine learning, and comparable heavy tasks. According to Cray, the maximum theoretical HBM-RAM bandwidth is greater than one terabyte per second.
The new supercomputers are likely to be used to model complex 3D systems. This can be used for e.g. meteorological purposes, but also for the modelling of nuclear energy or weapons design.
According to Gary Grider, deputy division leader of the HPC division at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the demanding computing work in the Los Alamos National Laboratory implies that “sparse, irregular, multi-physics, multi-link-scale, highly resolved, long running 3D simulations” will be created with the supercomputer. In other words, extremely complex 3D simulations. According to him, there are few existing architectures that are currently able to handle these types of workloads.