" ITREALMS: Intel’s secret for future high-performance PCs

Monday, December 01, 2014

Intel’s secret for future high-performance PCs

Intel Corporation has revealed the anticipated secret of future high-performance computing, reports DigitalSENSE Business News.

The new and enhanced technologies, DigitalSENSE Business News reports would bolster Intel’s leadership in high performance computing (HPC), which would include the future generation Intel Xeon Phi Processor, tagged ‘Knights Hill,’ and Intel ‘Omni-Path’ architecture; a new high speed interconnect technology optimized for HPC deployments.

Also DigitalSENSE Business News gathered that the new software releases and collaborative efforts were designed to make it easier to extract the full performance potential from current and future Intel Industry- standard hardware.

Charles Wuischpard, Vice President, Data Center Group, and General Manager of Workstations and HPC at Intel affirmed this secret to DigitalSENSE Business News, stressing that this innovation will address the dual challenges of extreme scalability and mainstream use of high performance computing systems while providing the foundation for a cost-effective path to superb computing.

The new Intel Xeon Phi Product family, Knights Hill, he told DigitalSENSE Business News via a press statement, will be built using Intel’s 10mm process technology and integrate Intel Omni- Path Fabric technology. Noting that industry investment in Intel Xeon Phi processors continues to grow with more than 50 providers expected to offer systems built using the new processor version of Knights Landing with many more systems using the coprocessor PCle card version of the product.

Intel equally disclosed to DigitalSENSE Business News that the Intel Omni-Path Architecture is expected to offer 100 Gbps line speed and up to 56 per cent lower switch fabric latency in medium-to-large clusters than InfiniBand alternatives.  

The Intel Omni-Path Architecture will use a 48 port switch chip to deliver greater port density and system scaling compared to the current 36 port InfiniBand alternatives.  Providing up to 33 percent more nodes per switch chip is expected to reduce the number of switches required, simplifying system design and reducing infrastructure costs at every scale.  

“Intel is excited about the strong market momentum and customer investment in the development of HPC systems based on current and future Intel Xeon Phi processors and high-speed fabric technology. The integration of these fundamental HPC building blocks, combined with an open standards-based programming model, will maximize HPC system performance, broaden accessibility and use, and serve as the on-ramp to exascale,”  he said.

Charles Wuischpard pointed out that the expected benefits of the system scale include up to 1.3x greater port density than InfiniBand – enabling smaller clusters to maximize single switch investments and use up to 50 per cent fewer switches than a comparable InfiniBand-based cluster of medium- to large-size and up to 2.3x higher scaling in a two-tier fabric configuration using the same number of switches as an InfiniBand-based cluster – allowing for more cost-effective scaling for very large cluster-based systems.
Recent high-profile Knights Landing deals, DigitalSENSE Business News recalls  include the Trinity supercomputer, a joint effort between Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories, and the Cori supercomputer, announced by The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Research Scientific Computing (NERSC) Center. Additionally, DownUnder GeoSolutions a geosciences company, recently announced the largest commercial deployment of current-generation Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors, and the National Supercomputing Center IT4Innovations announced a new supercomputer that will become the largest Intel Xeon Phi coprocessor-based cluster in Europe.

Dr. Matt Lamont, managing director, DownUnder GeoSolutions “The combination of Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors with our proprietary software allows us to provide our customers with one of the most powerful geo-processing production systems to date,” said. “Our Intel Xeon Phi powered solutions enable interactive processing and imaging from each of our geophysicists’ individual computers. A testing regime that once took weeks can now be achieved in days. We’re thrilled with the Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors and look forward to evaluating the next-generation product.”

            Intel-based systems account for 86 percent of all supercomputers and 97 percent of all new additions, according to the 44th edition of the TOP500 list announced today. In the two years since the introduction of the first-generation Intel Xeon Phi product family, these many-core coprocessor-based systems represent 17 percent of the aggregated performance of all TOP500 supercomputers. The complete TOP500 list is available at www.top500.org.

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