The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory (Argonne) has chosen AMD EPYC and NVidia’s accelerated computing platform to power a new supercomputer, called Polaris, which will prepare researchers for the forthcoming exascale supercomputer at Argonne called Aurora.

Polaris is built by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), will use 2nd Gen EPYC processors and then upgrade to 3rd Gen AMD EPYC processors, and will allow scientists and developers to test and optimise software codes and applications to tackle a range of AI, engineering, and scientific projects.

“AMD EPYC server processors continue to be the leading choice for modern HPC research, delivering the performance and capabilities needed GM: datacenter and embedded solutions business group at AMD. “We are extremely proud to support Argonne National Laboratory and their critical research into areas including low carbon technologies, medical research, astronomy, solar power and more as we draw closer to the exascale era.”

Polaris will use the AMD EPYC 7532 and EPYC 7543 processors, and NVidia A100 Tensor Core GPUs, to deliver approximately 44 petaflops of peak double precision performance, which is f0ur-times faster than Argonne’s current supercomputers.

“The era of exascale AI will enable scientific breakthroughs with massive scale to bring incredible benefits for society,” says Ian Buck, vice-president and GM of accelerated computing at NVidia. “NVidia’s GPU-accelerated computing platform provides pioneers like the ALCF breakthrough performance for next-generation supercomputers such as Polaris that let researchers push the boundaries of scientific exploration.”

“Polaris is a powerful platform that will allow our users to enter the era of exascale AI,” says ALCF director Michael Papka. “Harnessing the huge number of NVidia A100 GPUs will have an immediate impact on our data-intensive and AI HPC workloads, allowing Polaris to tackle some of the world’s most complex scientific problems.”

The system will accelerate transformative scientific exploration, such as advancing cancer treatments, exploring clean energy and propelling particle collision research to discover new approaches to physics. And it will transport the ALCF into the era of exascale AI by enabling researchers to update their scientific workloads for Aurora, Argonne’s forthcoming exascale system.

Polaris will also be available to researchers from academia, government agencies and industry through the ALCF’s peer-reviewed allocation and application programs. These programs provide the scientific community with access to the nation’s fastest supercomputers to address “grand challenges” in science and engineering.