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Frontera - World’s most powerful academic supercomputer - launched in the US.

frontera supercomputer launched in hte us in 2019

The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) announced the official launch of its new Frontera supercomputer, the world's most powerful academic supercomputer that already ranked fifth on the TOP500 list of fastest supercomputers in June 2019.

The system built by Dell EMC in partnership with Intel, Mellanox, DataDirect Networks, NVIDIA, IBM, CoolIT, and Green Revolution Cooling was funded by the $60-million National Science Foundation (NSF) leadership computing award.

The primary Frontera’s system includes 8,008 dual-socket nodes, each powered by Intel’s Xeon Platinum 8280s, interconnected with HDR-100 links to each node, and full 200 Gbps HDR links between leaf and core switches.

The machine is capable of 23.5 Linpack petaflops and 38.75 petaflops of peak double-precision performance.

Frontera also enjoys an innovative, SSD-based storage system (50+ PB disk, 3PB of flash, 1.5/TB sec of I/O capability) from DataDirect Networks.

The supercomputer’s liquid-cooled infrastructure is developed by CoolIT and Green Revolution Cooling. In particular, liquid coolant filled racks built by the latter are used for submerging one of the two Frontera’s subsystems, a cluster comprised of 360 NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 GPUs. Quadro cards are utilized for computing operations that do not require a high degree of accuracy (FP32 or less).

Frontera also includes an IBM Power9 subsystem based on 448 V100 GPUs. This is necessary to accelerate the training of neural networks and the use of AI, research in molecular dynamics and other calculations.

Altogether, these and other Frontera’s features provide enough capabilities to meet the needs of diverse large-scale scientific research projects. Some of the early science projects planned for the supercomputer include black hole modeling, advanced cancer research, solar photovoltaics research, and drug discovery.

In the coming months, Frontera will be integrating Microsoft, Google, and Amazon cloud services to provide researchers instant access to emerging computing technologies as well as long-term data storage.

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