The Frontier is capable of over a quintillion operations per second thanks to AMD processors.
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Last year, we reported that scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (USA) plan to make their Frontier supercomputer reach 1.5 exaflops in 2022. And recently it became known that they are close to this goal – the device demonstrated a constant power of 1.1 exaflops, according to AMD.
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Engineers indicate that peak power exceeded their expectations and amounted to more than 1.5 exaflops – 1.68 exaflops (exaflops – quintillion (billion billion, number with 18 zeros) operations per second – ed.). Of course, the device requires not only a huge amount of energy, but also processors with accelerators. For the supercomputer, the hardware giant AMD supplied 9,408 AMD EPYC modification chips, more than 37,000 AMD Instinct MI250x accelerators. All this “stuffing” helped to overcome the barrier of 1 exaflops.
This achievement gives Frontier the right to take first place in the Top 500 supercomputers, a list compiled annually by the University of Mannheim. It is noted that the second supercomputer on the list has half the power.
Despite its high power consumption, the Frontier is an energy efficient device in its class thanks to the Frontier TDS system. Engineers were able to achieve a balance of performance and efficiency in power consumption using video cards as part of Instinct MI250x accelerators. It is worth noting that for each central 64-core processor, 4 accelerators are provided. AMD EPYC Milan is clocked at 2 GHz.
The Frontier supercomputer is based on the HPE Cray EX235a platform and is located on 74 racks, which required 144 km of network cables to connect. The device is cooled with water, which pumps over 22 thousand liters every minute. 4 pumps with a capacity of 350 hp are responsible for pumping. each. AMD says these pumps could fill a 50-meter tank in 30 minutes. – they are so powerful.
The weight of one rack is more than 3.6 thousand kg, and the power consumption of the entire device is 40 MW, while the amount of storage is also impressive – 700 petabytes.
It is planned that at the end of 2022 the device will be able to use a limited circle of scientists. This will be a kind of dress rehearsal before the commissioning of the system, which is scheduled for early 2023.