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IBM announce centre for HPC in France

IBM has announced, together with Nvidia and Mellanox, the creation of a centre to focus on the development of its Power platform in Montpellier, France. The centre will primarily work on POWER Acceleration and Design with its preliminary goals being to promote the development of applications for big data tasks in research but also industrial and commercial applications.

The new centre provides developers of commercial and open source software with technical support to create applications for the HPC community. This is an extension of IBM's plans to support the new processor platform through the OpenPower foundation, an open development platform based on the POWER architecture. IBM, Nvidia, and Mellanox are among the founding members of the Community.

Technical experts from the three companies will help developers make the most of the OpenPower systems - including open and licensable Power architecture from IBM combined with Nvidia Tesla GPUs and the InfiniBand networking solutions from Mellanox. These systems have already been used in collaboration with the US Department of Energy for ‘Sierra’, one of the DOE’s next-generation supercomputers.

Dave Turek, vice president of HPC Market Engagement for IBM said: ‘The announcement of the new centre highlights the commitment of IBM for open development and cooperation and contributes significantly to the expansion of software and solutions ecosystem around OpenPower.’

In addition to the extension of the OpenPower ecosystem, the new centre will provide training for HPC software developers in the advanced HPC skills needed to make best use of these new technologies.

Experts from Nvidia and Mellanox as well as scientists from the IBM Client Center in Montpellier and the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory will lead the new centre. This is the second of its kind, as the first centre was already announced in Germany earlier this year, through a collaboration between IBM, Nvidia, and Forschungszentrum Jülich.

'The increase in computational power while minimising energy consumption is for our industry the biggest challenge in the race to exascale computing,’ explained Stefan Kraemer, Director HPC Business Development, EMEA, at Nvidia. He went on to explain that by equipping these centres with the latest technologies such as IBM Power CPUs with GPUs and the combination of NVLink high-speed interconnect technology they are helping scientists to achieve new breakthroughs in their research.

Gilad Shainer, vice president of marketing at Mellanox Technologies said: ‘The new Power Acceleration and Design Center will help scientists and engineers continue to manage the major challenges facing society in the fields of energy, environment, communications and health by using cutting-edge HPC architectures and technologies. Mellanox InfiniBand networking solutions are the result of more than ten years of experience in building the world's most powerful networks and are based on a unique offload architecture. Only Mellanox loads data movement, administration and even manipulations from the network level, thus ensuring that more valuable CPU cycles available for research applications available.’

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