IBM has revealed more details about the firm's forthcoming supercomputer that will be capable of 200 petaflops and should see the US overtake China at the top of the supercomputer charts.
The Summit machine will be delivered to the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory in early 2018, and will be more powerful than originally planned. The project was announced in 2014 with the aim of building a machine capable of 150 petaflops.
The Summit and Sierra supercomputers were announced in 2014 in a $325m deal between the US Department of Energy and IBM.
Summit will be the first to be delivered, and will use IBM Power9 microprocessors combined with Nvidia Volta GPUs for maths co-processing.
The machine will deliver more than five times the computational performance of its predecessor Titan's 18,688 nodes using only around 3,400 nodes, claimed IBM.
Each node will contain multiple IBM Power9 microprocessors and Nvidia Volta co-processor GPUs, all connected with Nvidia's high-speed NVLink communications protocol.
Each node will have more than 500GB of coherent memory (high-bandwidth DDR4 memory), plus 800GB of non-volatile RAM to serve as a burst-buffer or extended memory.
"To provide a high rate of I/O throughput, the nodes will be connected in a non-blocking fat-tree using a dual-rail Mellanox EDR InfiniBand interconnect," according to Oak Ridge.
The Titan supercomputer it replaces had 32GB per node and was based on AMD Opteron microprocessors and Nvidia Kepler co-processors.
China's Sunway TaihuLight took top spot in the TOP500 rankings, but Titan is no slouch and still occupies third place.
The Sunway claims a benchmark performance of 93 petaflops and a peak performance of as much as 124.5 petaflops. Most notably, however, it eschews US-designed parts for components designed and made in China. The ranking therefore raised more than a few eyebrows.
Intel now dominates the market for supercomputer microprocessors, with a smattering of AMD and IBM Power microprocessors, but the Sunway TaihuLight is powered by Sunway 260-core SW26010 microprocessors (PDF) combined with a custom proprietary interconnect.
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