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Nvidia GPUs Make HPC Workloads Possible for ARM64

By - Source: Nvidia

Nvidia announced on Wednesday that the world's first 64-bit ARM development systems for high performance computing (HPC) are using its GPUs for acceleration. Why is this important? Because ARM64 processors are highly energy efficient and designed for micro-servers and web servers. But with a Nvidia Tesla GPU by their side, these ARM64 chips can take on HPC-class workloads, a task they can't do on their own.

"That's why server vendors like Cirrascale, E4, and Eurotech have come to Nvidia to create new GPU-accelerated systems for HPC with Applied Micro ARM64 CPUs. Other ARM64 CPU providers are queuing up their own products. Broadcom is working on its Vulcan ARM chips. Cavium has big plans for its new ThunderX ARM Processors," writes Ian Buck, VP of Accelerated Computing at Nvidia.

According to Nvidia, these systems will consist of Applied Micro X-Gene ARM64 CPUs and Nvidia Tesla K20 GPU accelerators. Users will be able to utilize hundreds of existing CUDA-accelerated scientific and engineering HPC applications just by compiling them on ARM64 systems.

Cirrascale Corp. and E4 Computer Engineering will be the first to bring development platforms next month, followed by production systems shipping later this year. The Eurotech Group also plans to ship a production system later this year.

The Cirrascale RM1905D will be a two-in-one 1U server with two Tesla K20 GPU accelerators, and will focus on private cloud, public cloud, HPC, and enterprise applications. The E4 EK003 will be a "production ready" low-power 3U dual-motherboard server appliance. This solution will include two Tesla K20 GPU accelerators, and focus on seismic, signal and image processing, video analytics, track analysis and more.

As for the upcoming Eurotech device, it will be a high-density "energy efficient" and modular Aurora HPC server configuration. The Eurotech device will be based on proprietary "Brick Technology" and include direct hot liquid cooling.

"Nvidia has built the industry's most comprehensive accelerated computing platform -- including servers, software, development tools, processors, and related technologies -- optimized for the HPC industry," said Ian Buck. "GPUs are the enabling technology that allow server vendors to build HPC-class systems around flexible ARM64 processors. The result is new, highly innovative computing solutions for HPC."

In the Nvidia blog, Buck points out that the industry is expected to continue using x86 processors and alternate architectures like POWER. But with the new ARM64 offerings, HPC "pros" will have a few more options.