The Next Platform: BIG RED 200 supercomputer to feature ‘next-generation NVIDIA GPUs’

Published: Jan 31st 2020, 12:58 GMT   Comments

Indiana University (IU) is the first owner of Cray ‘Shasta’ supercomputer.

Next-Gen NVIDIA GPU to be “70-75% faster than a current generation”

According to The Next Platform:

  • Big Red 200 will feature NVIDIA’s next-generation GPUs
  • Those GPUs will be added to Big Red 200 this summer
  • New silicon is 70-75% faster than current-gen (in deep learning?)
  • Big Red 200 is expected to be 8x faster than Big Red 2

Brad Wheeler, vice president for information technology and chief information officer, told ‘The Next Platform’ that Big Red 200 supercomputer will feature NVIDIA’s next-generation GPUs. The new GPUs are expected to be added to the cluster this summer.

Big Red 200 is a codename for Indiana Unviesiry Cray Shasta supercomputer, currently operation with 672 dual-socket nodes with AMD “ROME” EPYC 7742 processors, which is the first phase. In the second phase, more EPYC nodes will be added allegedly alongside NVIDIA’s next-gen processors.

According to The Next Platform who are quoting Wheeler, the addition of new GPUs was “something of a fluke”, because “an opportunity presented itself to wait a bit longer and move up to Nvidia’s newer technology“.

The original plan for Big Red 200 was to use Tesla V100 (Volta) processors, but IU ended up buying a smaller number of next-Gen GPUs from NVIDIA, which are expected to deliver total computing power to 8 petaflops from original 5.9.

The current supercomputer used by IU is based on NVIDIA Kepler architecture (Tesla K20) and Tesla P100. The IU is also said to upgrade existing systems with 96 additional Tesla V100 accelerators.

Note: It appears that neither IU nor NVIDIA mentions next-gen GPUs. They do mention that Big Red 200 will use ‘Tensor Core GPU’, which is basically a rebadged Tesla V100 (reference).

NVIDIA is expected to launch “Ampere” GPU architecture a Graphics Technology Conference (GTC) in March.

Source: Nextplatform, Big Red 200 first-phase installation video

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