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Nvidia, NERSC claim Perlmutter is world’s fastest AI supercomputer

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Nvidia and the Nationwide Power Analysis Medical Computing Heart (NERSC) on Thursday flipped the “on” transfer for Perlmutter, billed as the sector’s quickest supercomputer for AI workloads. Named for astrophysicist Saul Perlmutter, the brand new supercomputer boasts 6,144 NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPUs and will likely be tasked with sewing in combination the most important ever 3-d map of the visual universe, amongst different initiatives.

Perlmutter is “the quickest gadget in the world” at processing workloads with the 16-bit and 32-bit mixed-precision math utilized in synthetic intelligence (AI) packages, stated Nvidia international HPC/AI product advertising and marketing lead Dion Harris all through a press briefing previous this week. Later this yr, a 2d segment will upload much more AI supercomputing energy to Perlmutter, which is housed at NERSC on the Lawrence Berkeley Nationwide Laboratory.

“In a single mission, the supercomputer will lend a hand collect the most important 3-d map of the visual universe thus far. It’ll procedure knowledge from the Darkish Power Spectroscopic Tool (DESI), a type of cosmic digital camera that may seize as many as five,000 galaxies in one publicity,” Harris wrote in a weblog put up pronouncing the scoop.

“Researchers want the rate of Perlmutter’s GPUs to seize dozens of exposures from one evening to understand the place to indicate DESI the following evening. Making ready a yr’s value of the knowledge for e-newsletter would take weeks or months on prior techniques, however Perlmutter will have to lend a hand them accomplish the duty in as low as a couple of days,” he wrote.

Supercharging HPC with AI and gadget finding out

Firing up an AI-optimized supercomputer “represents an overly actual milestone,” stated Wahid Bhimji, performing lead for NERSC’s knowledge and analytics services and products staff.

“AI for science is a expansion space on the U.S. Division of Power, the place evidence of ideas are transferring into manufacturing use instances in spaces like particle physics, fabrics science, and bioenergy,” he stated.

“Persons are exploring greater and bigger neural-network fashions and there’s a requirement for get admission to to extra tough sources, so Perlmutter with its A100 GPUs, all-flash document gadget, and streaming knowledge features is easily timed to satisfy this want for AI,” Bhimji added.

Perlmutter will give NERSC’s roughly 7,000 supported researchers get admission to to 4 exaflops of mixed-precision computing functionality for AI-assisted medical initiatives. Along with the DESI mapping mission, researchers are teeing up time with the supercomputer for paintings in fields like local weather science, the place Perlmutter will lend a hand in probing subatomic interactions to find inexperienced power assets.

That mission, which can generate simulations of atoms interacting, calls for the particular mix of AI and high-performance computing (HPC) that Perlmutter delivers, Harris stated.

“Conventional supercomputers can slightly deal with the maths required to generate simulations of a couple of atoms over a couple of nanoseconds with systems reminiscent of Quantum Coffee. However by way of combining their extremely correct simulations with gadget finding out, scientists can learn about extra atoms over longer stretches of time,” he stated.

The facility to leverage AI in supercomputing additionally has researchers positive in regards to the DESI mission. Along with mapping the identified universe, the mission “objectives to make clear darkish power, the mysterious physics in the back of the accelerating growth of the universe,” NERSC knowledge architect Rollin Thomas stated. Device namesake Saul Perlmutter, who stays a running astrophysicist at Berkeley Lab, used to be awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize for Physics for his contributions to the invention of darkish power.

“To me, Saul is an instance of what other folks can do with the right mix of insatiable interest and a dedication to optimism,” Thomas stated.

He added that during preparatory paintings with researchers to get code able for Perlmutter supercomputer workloads, NERSC used to be already seeing 20x sooner GPU processing functionality than in up to now to be had techniques.


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