HPE to build Singapore’s new national supercomputer

Over two years ago, Singapore’s National Supercomputing Center (NSCC) announced an investment of SGD $ 200 million (~ US $ 151 million) to increase its supercomputing power by an order of magnitude. Today, those plans are coming to fruition with the announcement that Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has received SGD $ 40 million from this fund to provide a new, more powerful supercomputer for the NSCC.

The new NSCC system will be built using an HPE Cray EX supercomputer comprising nearly 900 CPU and GPU nodes, collectively equipped with more than 100,000 third-generation AMD Epyc “Milan” processor cores and 352 Nvidia A100 GPUs. . The system will also be complemented by a number of upgrades, including HPE Slingshot networking and a Cray ClusterStor E1000 storage system that will offer 10 petabytes of storage and read / write performance of 300 GB / s.

ASPIRE 1. Image provided by NSCC.

The new system will succeed the Fujitsu-built ASPIRE 1, a 1,288 node system installed in 2016. Based on Intel Xeon processors and Nvidia Tesla GPUs, ASPIRE 1 is rated at a Linpack petaflops of intensive computing power and has been overwhelmed by demand, supporting around 4,000 users and therefore operating reliably at over 90% capacity. When the investment was announced, NSCC was targeting 15-20 petaflops of computing power for its new system, but HPE now claims that the new system will be “8 times faster than NSCC’s existing HPC resource pool,” providing approximately 10 petaflops.

“Supercomputers have enabled the Singapore scientific community to make significant progress in their research,” said Tan Tin Wee, NSCC Managing Director. “The new system will provide the necessary resources to meet the growing supercomputing needs of our researchers and to enable more such important scientific breakthroughs nationally and globally.”

Initial research goals for the system included supercomputing applications in climate modeling and industrial simulation for oil rigs and engines – but in the meantime, of course, a lot has changed. In today’s announcement, COVID-19 research took first place among research applications, with NSCC highlighting its work to understand the spread of airborne droplets from coughs – a sound result Special call for projects, published in March 2020, which prioritized COVID research on NSCC’s HPC systems. The NSCC also highlighted applications to accelerate weather and climate modeling in Singapore and Southeast Asia and to improve safety in autonomous driving using AI training powered by HPC. .

“As a major user of the NSCC supercomputers, the Center for Climate Research Singapore (CCT) of the National Environment Agency (CCRS) is pleased to hear the announcement of the new national system upgrade. supercomputers, ”said Dale Barker, director of CCT. “CCT will use enhanced NSCC computing resources to provide updated regional ‘V3’ climate projections, in support of our mission to advance scientific understanding of tropical climate variability and change and associated weather systems. affecting Singapore and the wider Southeast Asia region. “

Lim Keng Hui, executive director of the Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC), added that the new supercomputer “will allow the IHPC to deepen research in critical innovation areas such as environmental modeling for sustainability. urban, the design of materials for the circular economy and low carbon emissions. and AI to improve healthcare. “

“We are inspired by how the Singapore scientific community has leveraged high performance computing to enhance ongoing research efforts,” said Bill Mannel, vice president and general manager of HPE. “The new system will provide a significant boost to R&D, enabling Singapore’s scientific and engineering community to make greater contributions that will unlock innovation, economic value and, overall, strengthen the position. of the nation by becoming more digitally focused.

Beyond the supercomputer, the NSCC announced in 2019 that it would use a large portion of the SGD $ 200 million to fund other upgrades, including a high-performance network (as well as other upgrades from network) and an “ultra-green” data center. NSCC detailed some of these investments today, confirming that the new system will be hosted in a durable data center and the system itself will use liquid cooling and adding that the system’s network infrastructure will be extended with multiple 100 Gbps links to the supplied Lightwave Internet Exchange. by the Singapore Advanced Research and Education Network (SingAREN).

The new system, which remains unnamed, should become operational “early 2022”.


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