Together, they plan to set up the POWER Acceleration and Design Centre to “advance the creation and optimisation of research applications on GPU-accelerated OpenPower-compatible systems”. The Centre will bring experts together from the Jülich institution and IBM R&D boffins from Böblingen (also in Germany) and Zurich.
It is interesting to note the emphasis on “OpenPower-compatible” in this announcement. Recent developments make it clear that Big Blue thinks the future of its Power-based ecosystem now relies on collaboration. Its OpenPower consortium now consists of 70 industry players and some of them are making their own hardware – so it’s a term we can expect to hear more of in the future.
Announcing the plan, Stefan Kraemer, EMEA director of HPC business development at Nvidia, said: “Increasing application performance while minimising energy consumption are challenges the industry faces in the race toward exascale computing. By providing systems combining IBM Power CPUs and Nvidia’s Tesla GPU accelerators via the Nvidia NVLink high-speed GPU interconnect technology, we can help the new centre address both areas, and enable scientists to achieve new milestones in their research.”
Professor Thomas Lippert, director of the Jülich Supercomputing Centre, said: “The POWER Acceleration and Design Centre will help scientists and engineers to address the grand challenges facing society in the fields of energy and environment, information and health care using most advanced HPC architectures and technologies.”
IBM and the Jülich Supercomputing Centre have a long-standing relationship which has resulted in the installation of several generations of Blue Gene systems.
For example, 2009’s Jugene featured 65,536 PowerPC 450 cores and topped out at 222.8 teraflops. It was replaced by Juqueen (pictured) in 2013 which now features 458,752 cores on 28,672 PowerPC A2 nodes (16 cores per node) and has a industry rating of 5 petaflops.
The two have been collaborating on exascale architectures since 2011. Jülich has had a similar relationship with Nvidia since 2012.