Stampede 2 supercomputer to help meet US demand for HPC

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Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) has been awarded $30 million by The National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund the development of a new supercomputer, Stampede 2.

The system will provide high-performance computing (HPC) resources for thousands of researchers across the US.

‘NSF is proud to join with the University of Texas at Austin in supporting the nation's academic researchers in science and engineering with the latest in advanced computing technology and expertise,’ said Irene Qualters, NSF division director for advanced cyberinfrastructure. ‘Stampede 2's capabilities will complement and significantly expand the diverse portfolio of computing resources increasingly essential to exploration at the frontiers of science and engineering.’

The use of NSF-supported cyberinfrastructure resources is at an all-time high and continuing to increase across all science and engineering disciplines. Since 2005, the number of active institutions using this research cyberinfrastructure has doubled, the number of principal investigators has tripled, and the number of active users has quintupled. Furthering the Stampede system will help enable a growing number of scientists to have access to computation at-scale.

To meet this increasing demand for HPC resources, the new system will deliver a peak performance of up to 18 petaflops, more than twice the overall system performance of the current Stampede supercomputer. This upgrade builds on technology and expertise developed for the first Stampede system, funded by NSF 2011.

‘The original Stampede system has run more than seven million simulation and data analysis jobs for tens of thousands of users around the country and the world,’ noted Dan Stanzione, executive director of TACC and principal investigator of the Stampede and Stampede 2 projects.

‘Stampede has been used for everything from determining earthquake risks to help set building codes for homes and commercial buildings, to computing the largest mathematical proof ever constructed. We thank the NSF for trusting us again with the tremendous responsibility of supporting our nation's researchers as they push the boundaries of discovery.’

The new system will be deployed in phases, using a variety of new and upcoming technologies. The processors in the system will include a mix of upcoming Intel Xeon Phi Processors, code-named ‘Knights Landing’, and future-generation Intel Xeon processors, connected by Intel Omni-Path Architecture. The last phase of the system will include integration of the upcoming 3D XPoint non-volatile memory technology.

‘The first Stampede system has been the workhorse of XSEDE, supporting the advanced modelling, simulation, and analysis needs of many thousands of researchers across the country,’ said Omar Ghattas, a computational geoscientist/engineer at UT Austin and recent winner of the Gordon Bell Prize for an outstanding achievement in high performance computing.

The announcement was made today during an event at TACC recognizing the centre’s 15th anniversary and dedicating a new building for advanced computing on the UT Austin J.J. Pickle Research Campus.

Stampede 2 will be deployed by TACC in conjunction with vendor partners Dell, Intel, and Seagate, and operated by a team of cyberinfrastructure experts at TACC, UT Austin, Clemson University, Cornell University, the University of Colorado at Boulder, Indiana University, and Ohio State University.

Researchers across the nation can gain access to Stampede and other advanced computing resources, including other HPC machines, high throughput computing machines, visualisation systems, data storage, testbeds, and services through the NSF-funded Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE).