ORNL completes first phase of Titan supercomputer transition

February 29, 2012

Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Jaguar supercomputer has completed the first phase of an upgrade that will keep it among the most powerful scientific computing systems in the world.

Acceptance testing for the upgrade was completed earlier this month. The testing suite included leading scientific applications focused on , high-temperature superconductivity, , and combustion.

Jaguar, manufactured by ., is operated by the Oak Ridge Leadership (OLCF). Even before this month's upgrade to 3.3 petaflops it was the United States' most powerful supercomputer, capable of 2,300 trillion calculations each second, or 2.3 petaflops. The same number of calculations would take an individual working at a rate of one per second more than 70 million years.

When the upgrade process is completed this autumn, the system will be renamed Titan and will be capable of 10 to 20 petaflops. Users have had access to Jaguar throughout the upgrade process.

"During our upgrade, we have kept our users on Jaguar every chance we get," said Jack Wells, director of science at the OLCF, "We have already seen the positive impact on applications, for example in , from the doubled memory."

The DOE Office of Science-funded project, which was concluded ahead of schedule, upgraded Jaguar's AMD Opteron cores to the newest 6200 series and increased their number by a third, from 224,256 to 299,008. Two six-core Opteron processors were removed from each of Jaguar's 18,688 nodes and replaced with a single 16-core processor. At the same time, the system's interconnect was updated and its memory was doubled to 600 terabytes.

In addition, 960 of Jaguar's 18,688 compute nodes now contain an NVIDIA graphical processing unit (GPU). The GPUs were added to the system in anticipation of a much larger GPU installation later in the year. The GPUs act as accelerators, giving researchers a serious boost in in a far more energy-efficient system.

"Applications that were squeezing onto our Cray XT5 nodes can now make full use of the 16-core processor. Doubling the memory can have a dramatic impact on application workflow," Wells said.

"The new Gemini interconnect is much more scalable," Wells added, "helping applications like molecular dynamics that have demanding network communication requirements."

GPUs will add a level of parallelism to the system and allow Titan to reach 10 to 20 petaflops within the same space as Jaguar and with essentially the same power requirements. While the Opteron processors have 16 cores and are therefore able to carry out 16 computing tasks simultaneously, the GPUs will be able to tackle hundreds of computing tasks at the same time.

With nearly 1,000 GPUs now available, researchers will have an opportunity to optimize their applications for the accelerated Titan system.

"This is going to be an exciting year in Oak Ridge as our users take advantage of our new XK6 architecture and get ready for the new NVIDIA Kepler GPUs in the fall," Wells said. "A lot of work by many people is beginning to pay off."

Explore further: 'Jaguar' supercomputer gaining speed

Related Stories

'Jaguar' supercomputer gaining speed

October 12, 2011

Cray Inc. said it has sealed a deal to overhaul the US Department of Energy's "Jaguar" supercomputer, making it faster than any other machine on the planet.

ORNL Jaguar supercomputer surpasses 50 teraflops

August 25, 2006

An upgrade to the Cray XT3 supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the most powerful supercomputer available for general scientific research in the United States, has increased the system's computing power to 54 teraflops, ...

Jaguar upgrade brings ORNL closer to petascale computing

May 15, 2008

Upgrades to Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Jaguar supercomputer have more than doubled its performance, increasing the system’s ability to deliver far-reaching advances in climate studies, energy research, and a wide ...

Recommended for you

US faces moment of truth on 'net neutrality'

December 14, 2017

The acrimonious battle over "net neutrality" in America comes to a head Thursday with a US agency set to vote to roll back rules enacted two years earlier aimed at preventing a "two-speed" internet.

FCC votes along party lines to end 'net neutrality' (Update)

December 14, 2017

The Federal Communications Commission repealed the Obama-era "net neutrality" rules Thursday, giving internet service providers like Verizon, Comcast and AT&T a free hand to slow or block websites and apps as they see fit ...

The wet road to fast and stable batteries

December 14, 2017

An international team of scientists—including several researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory—has discovered an anode battery material with superfast charging and stable operation ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.