Frontier Supercomputer Achieves Exaflop Performance

The Frontier/OLCF-5 supercomputer at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Leadership Computing Facility was named the fastest in the world in the 59th edition of the TOP500 List released today, 2022-05-30, at the International Supercomputing Conference 2022 in Hamburg, Germany.

The system, “Frontier - HPE Cray EX235A”, achieved measured performance on the Linpack HPL C language benchmark of 1.102 exaflops (1.102\times 10^{18} 64-bit floating point operations per second), becoming the first machine to surpass one exaflop in measured performance. The benchmark ran a problem of 24,440,832 elements. The benchmark estimated the theoretical peak performance of the machine as 1.68565 exaflops.

The Frontier system is composed of more than 9400 AMD Optimized 3rd Generation EPYC 64C 2 GHz processors, providing a total of 8,730,112 compute cores with HPE Slingshot-11 interconnects. The general purpose processors are augmented by more than 37,000 AMD Instinct MI250X accelerators [PDF], each of which has 220 compute units and 14,080 stream processors. The HPL-AI Mixed-Precision Benchmark, which attempts to measure performance on a machine learning workload in which much of the computation is done at 32-bit or 16-bit precision and uses the accelerators, rated the Frontier machine’s performance at 6.88 exaflops.

Here is Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s brag video about Frontier.

Frontier displaced Kobe, Japan’s Supercomputer Fugaku Fujitsu system, rated at 442.01 petaflops, or less than half Frontier’s performance, to the number 2 spot. Number 3 worldwide is the LUMI system in Kajaani, Finland, a smaller version (1,110,144 cores) of the same HPE Cray architecture as Frontier, rated at 151.9 petaflops.

Here is detailed information about Frontier from Oak Ridge.

In addition to claiming the top position on the TOP500 list, Frontier ranked second on the GREEN500 list, which scores computers on gigaflops per watt of electricity, delivering 52.227 gigaflops/watt while consuming 21.1 megawatts of power. The identical architecture but smaller (120,832 core) Frontier Test & Development System (TDS), took the top spot in GREEN500 at 62.684 gigaflops/watt.

Rumours that Oak Ridge National Laboratory will now self-fund a substantial portion of its budget by mining Bitcoin as a background job have been dismissed as “scurrilous nonsense”.

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