NVIDIA Top500 Wins and Announcements from ISC 2018

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NVIDIA Top 500 ISC 2018 Cover
NVIDIA Top 500 ISC 2018 Cover

NVIDIA opened up ISC 2018 with a number of new announcements, although none of them tied to a new GPU. On the pre-briefing call, NVIDIA touted a few of its major supercomputer wins, but also some of the software behind the wins.

NVIDIA’s ISC 2018 Top500 Roster

Perhaps the biggest announcement is ORNL’s Summit supercomputer that utilizes over 27,000 NVIDIA Volta GPUs, IBM Power9 CPUs, and Mellanox EDR Infiniband. We covered this new system in our US DoE Announces Summit with IBM Power and NVIDIA Tesla piece recently. Beyond Summit, the LLNL Sierra supercomputer is another machine from the US DOE’s CORAL program that will be #3 on the June 2018 Top500 list. NVIDIA’s GPUs power five of the top eight on this list.

NVIDIA Top 500 ISC 2018 June 2018 Volta
NVIDIA Top 500 ISC 2018 June 2018 Volta

As a percentage of new FLOPS on the Top500 list NVIDIA is showing that its overall share is growing. There is a question regarding how well traditional CPU and GPU architectures will scale towards an exascale future slated for around 2021. For now, NVIDIA is gaining share.

NVIDIA Top 500 ISC 2018 June 2018 Volta FLOP
NVIDIA Top 500 ISC 2018 June 2018 Volta FLOP

The HPC community, by adopting the NVIDIA Tesla V100, also gains access to an accelerator that is designed for matrix multiply. That means that Tesla V100 machines have the prowess to enable AI/ deep learning workloads alongside and to augment traditional HPC workloads.

NVIDIA ISC 2018 Volta Use Cases
NVIDIA ISC 2018 Volta Use Cases

This is an area where two architectures significantly converge to the point that the NVIDIA Tesla V100 offers supercomputer operators a lot of value.

NVIDIA ISC 2018 AI Tensor Core
NVIDIA ISC 2018 AI Tensor Core

Other News from NVIDIA at ISC 2018

The NGC is adding new HPC containers. These containers make it easy to deploy HPC applications and are maintained by NVIDIA. You can read about that in our piece: NVIDIA GPU Cloud is one important step in democratizing deep learning.

NVIDIA ISC 2018 New Containers
NVIDIA ISC 2018 New Containers

The other highlight from NVIDIA was that its software stack is maturing as well.

NVIDIA ISC 2018 Fermi To Volta
NVIDIA ISC 2018 Fermi To Volta

This slide essentially shows that NVIDIA has continued to develop hardware and software and that those two combine to improve performance. Of course, these are not raw hardware gains but are hardware and software which is a concept NVIDIA is keen to push.

Final Words

The NVIDIA Tesla V100 was announced over a year ago so we are getting fairly late in the product cycle at this point. HPC teams know what the NVIDIA Tesla V100 is capable of, and can choose to deploy it or something more exotic. Intel by moving away from the Knights Landing/ Knights Mill architecture on the path to exascale has ceded ISC 2018 to NVIDIA. We are told there is something coming for the exascale future but we need to stay tuned for that.

4 COMMENTS

  1. @Misha Engel Not sure about that comment. No NDA on this article. The embargo was at midnight Pacific on when the Top500 list came out. Everything in the presentation/ article above was public even before that I believe?

  2. NVIDIA only gave 2 days to journalists to sign new NDA. The document describes how confidential information should be used by journalists and other parties. The German website Heise.de, claims that the new document attacks journalistic principles. In fact, their legal team ‘has clapped their hands over their heads as they read the document’.

    The new NDA does not refer to any particular product, such as upcoming GeForce. It does, however, outline how new products or events should be reported — and here’s the real problem.

    NVIDIA’s new NDA basically says that any confidential information provided to the party must be used ‘solely for the benefit of NVIDIA‘. This could be understood in many ways, but for a journalist sharing confidential information does not always mean reporting in favor of the new product, sometimes it is the opposite. So does criticism break new NDA? Heise.de is worried this could prevent journalists from writing whatever they want.

    Furthermore, new NDA also imposes 5-year expiration on confidential information. Journalists from Heise are concerned this could keep their mouth shut for 5 years should they decide to sign it.

    NVIDIA’s new NDA also mentions trade secrets, which are never to be talked about. This could theoretically prevent a journalist from sharing confidential information gathered from other sources. Especially when the same documents prevents journalists from posting ‘hypothesis’ or ‘predictions’ based on confidential information.

    The Heise.de team has decided not to sign the document. This will prevent them from obtaining samples for future products.

  3. We sign *very* few NDAs, and usually only for specific events/ launches. Then again, we are an enterprise site versus a consumer site. We did not sign the new NVIDIA NDA.

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