Conserving Time On Asia’s Race To Exascale


Asian Scientist Mag (Oct. 12, 2022) —By way of Jill Arul and Hannan Azmir — As a overall rule of the business, researchers are repeatedly operating in opposition to reaching larger, higher and sooner equipment. That is very true relating to excessive efficiency computing (HPC)—a box that underpins various fashionable analysis endeavors from local weather research to biomedical sciences.

For the ultimate 14 years, the field has been running at petascale—starting with IBM’s Roadrunner in 2008, able to a sustained efficiency of one.026 quadrillion floating level operations consistent with 2nd, or 1.026 petaFLOPS. The following main milestone, running at a quintillion FLOPS—referred to as exascale—has simply been formally reached. Having a look forward, exascale computing is anticipated to pressure analysis around the globe with rapid and environment friendly calculations.

Simply this yr, the TOP500 checklist of the arena’s quickest supercomputers printed the Frontier machine at Oak Ridge Nationwide Laboratory in the US to be the primary ‘true’ exascale gadget—reaching a LINPACK efficiency of one.102 exaFLOPS. Then again, it is very important word that there were different machines to perform at exascale, like Japan’s Fugaku, the place the feat was once completed at selection benchmarks slightly than essentially the most repeatedly implemented LINPACK benchmark.

Whilst the Frontier machine is thought of as the primary true exascale gadget at the present time, it will not be the one one for lengthy as Asia’s supercomputing facilities bounce in opposition to sustained exascale efficiency.


Greater than a drop within the ocean

Working at 93 petaFLOPS, China’s Sunway Taihu Gentle on the Nationwide Supercomputing Heart in Wuxi stays within the most sensible 10 of the arena’s maximum tough supercomputers. Then again, it kind of feels that China has extra within the works. The country is considered running two exascale supercomputers—neither one has been formally publicly disclosed.

The successor to the Sunway TaihuLight, referred to as the Sunway Oceanlite is reported to have reached a 1.3 exaFLOPS top efficiency after being benchmarked in March 2022.

In step with to be had analysis, the gadget is already in use and performs a starring function in a up to date challenge designed to way brain-scale AI the place the selection of parameters is very similar to the selection of synapses within the human mind. In truth, the challenge is the primary to focus on coaching brain-scale fashions on a complete exascale supercomputer, revealing the entire possible of the gadget.

Up to now, it’s been reported that the most important examined configuration of the OceanLight machine accessed 107,520 notes for an outstanding 41.93 million cores throughout 105 cupboards.

In the meantime, on the Nationwide College of Protection Generation, China holds every other supercomputer, Tianhe-3, doubtlessly able to functioning at more or less the similar speeds. In a similar fashion deployed for coaching deep neural networks, Tianhe-3 operates on absolutely home structure. Particularly, the gadget is in response to the FeiTing line of processors from Phytium. As China continues to forge forward as a number one HPC heart, it does so independently and is dependent upon local architectures to construct larger and sooner machines.


The significance of utility

Working at a LINPACK benchmark of 442 petaFLOPS, Japan’s Fugaku supercomputer prior to now held the highest spot at the TOP500 checklist from June 2020 to November 2022. Housed on the RIKEN Heart for Computational Science and collectively advanced via Fujitsu and RIKEN, the gadget has performed a vital function in analysis in Japan—resulting in breakthroughs in drugs and local weather modeling.

As an example, it was once introduced that with Fugaku, researchers had been in a position to broaden a brand new synthetic intelligence (AI) machine able to rapidly predicting tsunami flooding on common computer systems. In January 2021, the supercomputer was once extensively utilized to simulate the motion of molecules and decide how proteins engage with more or less 2,000 present medication to search out an efficient remedy for COVID-19.

In such programs, supercomputers can perform at decreased precision to extend efficiency whilst keeping up enough accuracy—a state wherein Fugaku has completed efficiency above one exaFLOP.

“In most cases, there are masses, even 1000’s, of jobs working on Fugaku,” defined Professor Satoshi Matsuoka, director of the RIKEN Heart for Computational Science, in an interview with Supercomputing Asia. “It’s arduous to decide if it’s running at complete exascale at anybody time, but it surely’s undoubtedly running at a degree that’s anticipated of exascale machines.”

Considerably, Matsuoka describes the Fugaku supercomputer as a general-purpose gadget—with parts of it to be had to researchers and industrial customers all over the place the arena for various makes use of. As such, initiatives typically don’t absorb very a lot of the gadget and would possibly not reveal its complete energy. Then again, whilst it’s transparent that assembly the desires of researchers exceeds the symbolic wish to succeed in explicit benchmarks—it stays vital to now and again reveal the boundaries of the supercomputer.

“We will have to now not handiest check the boundaries of the technique, but additionally decide how briskly the gadget is going at a complete scale run with part or extra of it in use,” stated Matsuoka.

Since pushing the envelope with Fugaku’s features, the crew at RIKEN has begun operating on its extra tough successor slated to be introduced via finish of the last decade.

“This gadget might be a substantial effort involving the entire main supercomputing stakeholders in Japan, in addition to entities and main corporations out of the country,” shared Matsuoka.


Running in combination for exascale good fortune

Leaps in supercomputing also are going down in Southeast Asia. On the finish of 2021, the Nationwide Supercomputing Heart (NSCC) Singapore and Nationwide College Well being Device (NUHS) introduced an settlement that might result in Singapore’s 3rd supercomputer. The brand new gadget, named PRESCIENCE, is a petascale supercomputer that might be devoted in opposition to offering higher healthcare and making improvements to the present knowledge infrastructure in Singapore’s public healthcare machine.

An abundance of affected person information is generated and stored via public well being techniques globally, with an estimated reasonable of fifty petabytes of knowledge produced once a year. With this, hospitals are in a major place to use this information the usage of gadget studying and AI to supply additional perception right into a affected person’s end result and provides the most efficient process remedy to strengthen their wellbeing if the affected person’s well being is deteriorating—NUHS plans to just do that with PRESCIENCE.

The present collaborative settlement with NUHS is a part of the NSCC’s better roadmap in opposition to rising and maturing Singapore’s HPC analysis panorama, which come with shifting in opposition to exascale computing.

The NSCC has already made headways to paintings with supercomputing facilities in Japan, Finland and Australia in a long-term bid to building up the country’s personal HPC sources and supply a lot wanted get admission to to established exascale computing.


The street forward

Previous this yr, India’s Nationwide Supercomputing Project (NSM) introduced the deployment of “PARAM Ganga”, a brand new petascale supercomputer a part of the “PARAM” (“perfect” in Sanskrit) collection of machines on the Indian Institute of Generation (IIT) Roorkee. Working at 1.66 petaFLOPS, this gadget is considered one of a whopping 9 new supercomputing techniques slated to release this yr.

The NSM, introduced in 2015, has deployed 15 techniques around the country since its inception. With many extra machines deliberate, this follows the Indian govt’s bold function of creating its personal supercomputing techniques constructed with portions advanced and manufactured in India. Construction of indigenous era is a part of the Indian govt’s larger function of furthering supercomputing analysis and boosting India’s personal analysis features throughout the private and non-private sectors.

Sooner or later, upscaling from present petascale computing to exascale computing by the use of the PARAM collection is the next move ahead for India. This function is inching ever nearer with the deliberate release of the PARAM SHANKH exascale machine in 2024, which might overtake India’s present maximum tough gadget the PARAM Siddhi-AI, clocking in at a LINPACK efficiency of four.62 petaFLOPS.

Between now and the PARAM SHANKH release, India’s researchers and engineers are operating on creating and making improvements to local structure to strengthen exascale computing. Global partnerships with Intel Foundry Services and products and Taiwan Semiconductor Production Corporate are additional using India’s growth to exascale computing thru collaboration.

As Asia continues to make nice strides, so too does the remainder of the arena. Over within the EU, Finland’s LUMI machine now occupies the 3rd spot within the TOP500 checklist clocking in a LINPACK efficiency of 151.9 petaFLOPS. Along with velocity, LUMI and the United States’ Frontier machine are excited by energy potency as neatly, with each achieving the highest 3 within the TOP500’s GREEN500 checklist.

Then again, in checking out and rating the boundaries of supercomputers international, it is very important take into account the cause of their lifestyles—now not simply to compete for velocity, however to help researchers successfully and successfully as they collaborate to hunt answers to the arena’s maximum urgent demanding situations.


Accelerating computing and modeling at CityU

A brand new HPC cluster constructed via international edge-to-cloud corporate Hewlett Packard Endeavor (HPE) has lately arrived on campus on the Town College of Hong Kong (CityU). Named CityU Burgundy, this supercomputing cluster can ship just about ten occasions sooner computing velocity over the college’s earlier HPC sources to advance analysis discoveries from biomedicine to behavioral science. CityU Burgundy options HPE Apollo 2000 and HPE Apollo 6500 Gen10 Plus techniques, which can be purpose-built and density-optimized platforms designed for tough HPC and AI programs. The brand new cluster could also be supplied with 328 AMD EPYC™ 7742 processors, 56 Nvidia V100 Tensor Core graphical processing devices (GPUs) and 8 Nvidia A100 80-gigabyte Tensor Core GPUs. In combination, those elements can be offering extra environment friendly symbol research, modeling and simulation features which can be key in AI and gadget studying.

But even so the considerable spice up in velocity, CityU Burgundy could also be set to strengthen inclusive and collaborative analysis. It serves as a centralized facility, consolidating the HPC sources right into a unmarried location to allow more uncomplicated get admission to for more than a few stakeholders whilst lowering house necessities for information facilities.

Biomedical researchers are already the usage of the brand new HPC cluster to combine genetic and environmental information from numerous populations. Such endeavors search to raised perceive the complexity of persistent sicknesses and discover novel diagnostic and remedy approaches.

With the enhanced GPU features and decrease latency, CityU Burgundy’s sources also are being implemented to different disciplines that historically weren’t use circumstances for HPC—together with new information visualization initiatives, analytics for public coverage and client behavioral science.

“The brand new HPC cluster brings us one step nearer to construction Hong Kong’s maximum tough HPC platform for academia whilst reaching operational potency and decreased prices,” stated Dr. Dominic Chien, senior clinical officer (HPC), in a press unlock. “HPC performs a vital function in serving to us construct and strengthen a world-class analysis crew to proceed making clinical breakthroughs for humankind.”


Leveling up Singapore’s quantum ecosystem

As a thriving hub for virtual innovation, Singapore has additional invested in its quantum sector, launching 3 nationwide platforms to take the rustic’s technological prowess to new heights. The 3 tasks are the Nationwide Quantum- Protected Community (NQSN), Nationwide Quantum Computing Hub (NQCH) and Nationwide Quantum Fabless Foundry (NQFF).

Beneath Singapore’s Analysis, Innovation and Endeavor 2020 (RIE2020) plan, the Quantum Engineering Programme of the Nationwide Analysis Basis Singapore (NRF) has pledged a minimum of S$23.5 million to strengthen those platforms for as much as 3 and a part years.

Onboard the NQSN challenge are over 15 deepest and govt collaborators, together with the Infocomm Media Construction Authority (IMDA), with the initiative led via the Centre for Quantum Applied sciences (CQT) groups on the Nationwide College of Singapore, in addition to Nanyang Technological College, Singapore. The NQSN will behavior national trials on quantumsafe conversation applied sciences, aiming to succeed in tough community safety to safeguard delicate information and important infrastructure.

Along side A*STAR’s Institute of Top Efficiency Computing (IHPC), CQT groups also are concerned within the NQCH initiative to broaden quantum computing {hardware} and middleware. In strengthen, the Nationwide Supercomputing Heart (NSCC) Singapore will host a quantum computing facility and supply sources to discover commercial programs in finance, logistics, chemistry and extra.

In the meantime, the NQFF at A*STAR’s Institute of Fabrics Analysis and Engineering (IMRE) will broaden microfabrication tactics to fabricate element fabrics and quantum units for computation, conversation and sensing programs.

“The release of the 3 nationwide platforms indicators the intent and ambition of Singapore to construct upon our previous investments in quantum applied sciences, and take it additional thru shut trade building with our spouse businesses,” shared NRF CEO Professor Low Teck Seng, to the clicking.

By way of fostering ability building and forging public-private partnerships, those nationwide quantum tasks are envisioned to create an enabling atmosphere for quantum innovation throughout Singapore.


Scaling the supercomputing sector

Secure expansion is at the horizon for the HPC trade within the coming decade, after international earnings hit US$42 billion international in 2021. Marketplace analysis and consultancy company Emergen Analysis has forecasted a 6.2-percent compound annual expansion fee (CAGR) to push the marketplace measurement to US$71.8 billion via 2030.

In the meantime, in step with era analysis and advisory corporate Technavio, the Asia-Pacific area is anticipated to account for 49 % of the worldwide HPC marketplace’s expansion from 2021 to 2026. Technavio additionally predicted extra vital growth, pegging the CAGR at 11.31 % and an general earnings building up of US$27.15 billion over the forecast duration.

Particularly, the cloud computing and information heart segments are prone to grow to be key drivers of the HPC sector’s expansion. Cloud computing can doubtlessly inspire HPC adoption amongst small and medium-sized enterprises via connecting them to in a different way high-cost and inaccessible supercomputing sources.

With giant information analytics on the upward thrust, supercomputer servers and information facilities are had to retailer and procedure voluminous quantities of knowledge—in the end to generate significant insights and boost up virtual transformation throughout industries. As such, this section could also be predicted to realize additional flooring amongst enterprises and governments, spurring considerable HPC marketplace expansion over the last decade.


This text was once first printed within the print model of Supercomputing Asia, July 2022.
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Copyright: Asian Scientist Mag. Representation: Shelly Liew



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