Oak Ridge National Laboratory has announced plans for a new supercomputer that will use graphics-engine leader Nvidia’s CUDA GPU architecture, codenamed “Fermi”.
Nvidia graphics processors are now driving the “massively parallel” architectures of high-end computing applications.
Used to pursue research in areas such as energy and climate change, ORNL’s supercomputer is expected to be 10 times more powerful than today’s fastest supercomputer, Nvidia said.
Jeff Nichols, ORNL associate lab director for Computing and Computational Sciences, said “Fermi” would enable substantial scientific breakthroughs that would be impossible without the new technology.
“This would be the first co-processing architecture that Oak Ridge has deployed for open science, and we are extremely excited about the opportunities it creates to solve huge scientific challenges,” Nichols said. “With the help of Nvidia technology, Oak Ridge proposes to create a computing platform that will deliver exascale computing within ten years.”
ORNL also announced it will be creating the Hybrid Multicore Consortium. The goals of this consortium are to work with the developers of major scientific codes to prepare those applications to run on the next generation of supercomputers built using GPUs.
“The first two generations of the CUDA GPU architecture enabled Nvidia to make real in-roads into the scientific computing space, delivering dramatic performance increases across a broad spectrum of applications,” said Bill Dally, Nvidia chief scientist. “The ‘Fermi’ architecture is a true engine of science and with the support of national research facilities such as ORNL, the possibilities are endless.”