Berkeley Lab Deploys Next-Gen Supercomputer, Perlmutter, Bolstering U.S. Scientific Research

New Heterogeneous System Will Support Research in Advanced Computing, AI, Data Science & More

MAY 27, 2021 The Natio짯nal Ener짯gy Rese짯arch Sci짯en짯ti짯fic Com짯pu짯ting Cen짯ter (NERSC) at Law짯rence Ber짯ke짯ley Natio짯nal Labo짯ra짯to짯ry (Ber짯ke짯ley Lab) today for짯mal짯ly unvei짯led the first pha짯se of its next-gene짯ra짯ti짯on super짯com짯pu짯ter, Perl짯mut짯ter. The new sys짯tem, named in honor of the Lab셲 Nobel Pri짯ze-win짯ning astro짯phy짯si짯cist Saul Perl짯mut짯ter, will great짯ly increase the high per짯for짯mance com짯pu짯ting (HPC) capa짯bi짯li짯ty for a broad spec짯trum of unclas짯si짯fied sci짯en짯ti짯fic rese짯arch within the U.S. Depart짯ment of Ener짯gy (DOE) Office of Science.

The Perl짯mut짯ter sys짯tem will play a key role in advan짯cing sci짯en짯ti짯fic rese짯arch in the U.S. and is front and cen짯ter in a num짯ber of cri짯ti짯cal tech짯no짯lo짯gies, inclu짯ding advan짯ced com짯pu짯ting, arti짯fi짯ci짯al intel짯li짯gence, and data sci짯ence. The sys짯tem will also be hea짯vi짯ly used in stu짯dies of the cli짯ma짯te and the envi짯ron짯ment, clean ener짯gy tech짯no짯lo짯gies, semi짯con짯duc짯tors and microelec짯tro짯nics, and quan짯tum infor짯ma짯ti짯on science.

As part of a vir짯tu짯al cele짯bra짯ti짯on to announ짯ce the instal짯la짯ti짯on, Dr. Perl짯mut짯ter hims짯elf was on hand to release the first set of offi짯ci짯al jobs on the new sys짯tem. Dr. Perl짯mut짯ter is no stran짯ger to super짯com짯pu짯ting, having used NERSC in the rese짯arch that show짯ed that the expan짯si짯on of the uni짯ver짯se is acce짯le짯ra짯ting, for which he shared the 2011 Nobel Pri짯ze in Physics.

The Perl짯mut짯ter super짯com짯pu짯ter will help inspi짯re the next gene짯ra짯ti짯on of sci짯en짯tists and inno짯va짯tors, allo짯wing the U.S. and DOE to remain a lea짯der in using sci짯en짯ti짯fic com짯pu짯ta짯ti짯on to ans짯wer our grea짯test ques짯ti짯ons, said David Turk, DOE Depu짯ty Secre짯ta짯ry. 쏛s we con짯ti짯nue to enhan짯ce and deploy com짯pu짯ting plat짯forms like this, our natio짯nal labs will only be bet짯ter posi짯tio짯ned to deve짯lop solu짯ti짯ons to today셲 toug짯hest pro짯blems, from cli짯ma짯te chan짯ge to cybersecurity.

Depu짯ty Secre짯ta짯ry Turk was one of seve짯ral govern짯ment digni짯ta짯ries who, along with repre짯sen짯ta짯ti짯ves from sci짯ence and indus짯try, par짯ti짯ci짯pa짯ted in the dedi짯ca짯ti짯on event. The unvei짯ling goes hand in hand with Ber짯ke짯ley Lab셲 90th anni짯ver짯sa짯ry cele짯bra짯ti짯on,  which high짯lights the nine deca짯des of dis짯co짯very sci짯ence at Ber짯ke짯ley Lab and ima짯gi짯nes the next 90 years. The Perl짯mut짯ter sys짯tem ushers in a new chap짯ter in NERSC셲 high per짯for짯mance com짯pu짯ting sto짯ry that star짯ted more than 45 years ago.

Perl짯mut짯ter will pro짯vi짯de con짯sider짯a짯b짯ly more com짯pu짯ting power than our cur짯rent super짯com짯pu짯ter, Cori and will intro짯du짯ce seve짯ral key tech짯no짯lo짯gies that will be used in exas짯ca짯le sys짯tems in the coming years, said NERSC Direc짯tor Sudip Dosan짯jh. 쏧t will enable a lar짯ger ran짯ge of appli짯ca짯ti짯ons than pre짯vious NERSC sys짯tems and is the first NERSC super짯com짯pu짯ter desi짯gned from the very begin짯ning to meet the needs of both simu짯la짯ti짯on and data analysis.

Next-Generation HPC Fuels Team Science

Perl짯mut짯ter fea짯tures a hete짯ro짯ge짯neous archi짯tec짯tu짯re that will pro짯vi짯de four times the com짯pu짯ta짯tio짯nal power curr짯ent짯ly available at NERSC, making it among the fas짯test super짯com짯pu짯ters in the world for sci짯en짯ti짯fic simu짯la짯ti짯on, data ana짯ly짯sis, and arti짯fi짯ci짯al intel짯li짯gence appli짯ca짯ti짯ons. To ensu짯re that its users can rea짯di짯ly uti짯li짯ze this new tech짯no짯lo짯gy, NERSC has been working with key appli짯ca짯ti짯on deve짯lo짯p짯ment teams sin짯ce 2019 to prepa짯re codes for Perl짯mut짯ter through its NERSC Exas짯ca짯le Sci짯ence Appli짯ca짯ti짯ons Program.

The sys짯tem, an HPE Cray EX super짯com짯pu짯ter, is being deli짯ver짯ed in two pha짯ses. Pha짯se 1 fea짯tures 1,536 GPU-acce짯le짯ra짯ted nodes, each con짯tai짯ning four NVIDIA NVlink-con짯nec짯ted A100 Ten짯sor Core GPUs and one AMD EPYC 쏮ilan CPU Pro짯ces짯sor. Pha짯se 1 also includes a 35 PB all-flash Lust짯re file sys짯tem that will pro짯vi짯de very high-band짯width sto짯rage. Pha짯se 2, set to arri짯ve later this year, will add 3,072 CPU-only nodes, each with two AMD EPYC 쏮ilan pro짯ces짯sors and 512 GB of memo짯ry per node.

Today셲 launch show짯ca짯ses our strong col짯la짯bo짯ra짯ti짯on with Ber짯ke짯ley Lab by being one of the first sys짯tems to be powered by the HPE Cray EX super짯com짯pu짯ter, which lever짯a짯ges com짯pre짯hen짯si짯ve, next-gene짯ra짯ti짯on super짯com짯pu짯ting tech짯no짯lo짯gies, said Bill Man짯nel, vice pre짯si짯dent and gene짯ral mana짯ger, HPC, at HPE. 쏻e are hono짯red to be part of the Lab셲 spe짯cial day and look for짯ward to see짯ing Perl짯mut짯ter play an inte짯gral role in aug짯men짯ting rese짯arch efforts to sup짯port NERSC셲 ongo짯ing mis짯si짯on in advan짯cing insights for deve짯lo짯ping new ener짯gy sources.

Perl짯mut짯ter is a world-class super짯com짯pu짯ter with AI capa짯bi짯li짯ties that enable the sci짯en짯ti짯fic com짯mu짯ni짯ty to push the boun짯da짯ries of super짯com짯pu짯ting rese짯arch as we enter the exas짯ca짯le AI era, said Ian Buck, vice pre짯si짯dent and gene짯ral mana짯ger of acce짯le짯ra짯ted com짯pu짯ting at NVIDIA. NVIDIA GPU-acce짯le짯ra짯ted com짯pu짯ting pro짯vi짯des incre짯di짯ble per짯for짯mance and fle짯xi짯bi짯li짯ty to the wide ran짯ge of HPC and AI workloads Perl짯mut짯ter will tackle.

The짯re has never been a more exci짯ting time in high per짯for짯mance com짯pu짯ting. As an indus짯try, we are dri짯ving toward the exas짯ca짯le era with the most powerful super짯com짯pu짯ters that rese짯ar짯chers, sci짯en짯tists and tech짯no짯lo짯gy lea짯ders have ever seen, said For짯rest Nor짯rod, seni짯or vice pre짯si짯dent and gene짯ral mana짯ger, Data Cen짯ter and Embedded Solu짯ti짯ons Group, AMD. 쏷he new Perl짯mut짯ter sys짯tem, based on the 3rd Gen AMD EPYC ser짯ver pro짯ces짯sors, will levera짯ge our CPU per짯for짯mance to sup짯port the next wave of cri짯ti짯cal dis짯co짯veries in are짯as inclu짯ding arti짯fi짯ci짯al intel짯li짯gence, cli짯ma짯te and envi짯ron짯men짯tal rese짯arch, quan짯tum sci짯ence and more. We can짯not wait to see the sci짯ence and dis짯co짯veries that this sys짯tem will produce.

Ber짯ke짯ley Lab and NERSC have a long tra짯di짯ti짯on of sup짯port짯ing team sci짯ence, which is also a core tenet of Dr. Perlmutter셲 lega짯cy as a sci짯en짯tist, tea짯cher, and men짯tor. During the unvei짯ling event, a panel of sci짯en짯tists who have long used NERSC resour짯ces in their rese짯arch dis짯cus짯sed the impact that Perl짯mut짯ter is expec짯ted to have on sci짯en짯ti짯fic dis짯co짯very going forward.

This is a very exci짯ting time to be com짯bi짯ning the power of super짯com짯pu짯ter faci짯li짯ties with sci짯ence, and that is part짯ly becau짯se sci짯ence has deve짯lo짯ped the abili짯ty to coll짯ect very lar짯ge amounts of data and bring them all to bear at one time, Dr. Perl짯mut짯ter said. 쏷his new super짯com짯pu짯ter is exact짯ly what we need to hand짯le the짯se data짯sets. As a result, we are expec짯ting to find new dis짯co짯veries in cos짯mo짯lo짯gy, micro짯bio짯lo짯gy, gene짯tics, cli짯ma짯te chan짯ge, mate짯ri짯al sci짯en짯ces, and pret짯ty much any other field you can think of.

NERSC is a DOE Office of Sci짯ence user facility.

About NERSC and Ber짯ke짯ley Lab
The Natio짯nal Ener짯gy Rese짯arch Sci짯en짯ti짯fic Com짯pu짯ting Cen짯ter (NERSC) is a U.S. Depart짯ment of Ener짯gy Office of Sci짯ence User Faci짯li짯ty that ser짯ves as the pri짯ma짯ry high-per짯for짯mance com짯pu짯ting cen짯ter for sci짯en짯ti짯fic rese짯arch spon짯so짯red by the Office of Sci짯ence. Loca짯ted at Law짯rence Ber짯ke짯ley Natio짯nal Labo짯ra짯to짯ry, the NERSC Cen짯ter ser짯ves more than 7,000 sci짯en짯tists at natio짯nal labo짯ra짯to짯ries and uni짯ver짯si짯ties rese짯ar짯ching a wide ran짯ge of pro짯blems in com짯bus짯ti짯on, cli짯ma짯te mode짯ling, fusi짯on ener짯gy, mate짯ri짯als sci짯ence, phy짯sics, che짯mis짯try, com짯pu짯ta짯tio짯nal bio짯lo짯gy, and other disci짯pli짯nes. Ber짯ke짯ley Lab is a DOE natio짯nal labo짯ra짯to짯ry loca짯ted in Ber짯ke짯ley, Cali짯for짯nia. It con짯ducts unclas짯si짯fied sci짯en짯ti짯fic rese짯arch and is mana짯ged by the Uni짯ver짯si짯ty of Cali짯for짯nia for the U.S. Depart짯ment of Ener짯gy. 쨩Learn more about com짯pu짯ting sci짯en짯ces at Ber짯ke짯ley Lab.