The recently published rankings of the world’s most powerful supercomputers contained more than just the news that ARM now powers the fastest machine on the planet (with the A64FX inside). Sitting at number 7 in the list is a new entry, called Selene.
What makes this supercomputer so special is not that it contains AMD’s Rome EPYC 7742 processors (64 cores, clocked at 2.25GHz) and Nvidia’s latest A100 accelerators. No, the interesting part is that the machine is owned by Nvidia itself.
Why the company needs such a powerful supercomputer remains a mystery; perhaps to wow potential customers or to trial its cutting edge technology live.
Selene has 277,760 cores and half a petabyte of memory, with Nvidia’s own Mellanox HDR Infiniband connecting the lot. But, at 27.58 petaflops, the machine is still significantly less powerful than Fugaku, which currently reigns supreme.
In other developments in the world of supercomputing, AMD and HPE’s Cray have won two further contracts with the US Department of Energy to build two supercomputers that will crack the exaflop barrier.
The first, Frontier, is expected to be unveiled next year. The second, El Capitan, should enter operation in 2023 with a peak performance of two exaflops – roughly 80x faster than Selene.