ORNL's Titan Supercomputer to Deliver 10 - 20 PetaFLOPS Performance

AMD Opteron "Interlagos" 6200 and Nvidia Tesla "Fermi" and "Kepler" to Power ORNL's Titan Supercomputer

by Anton Shilov
10/12/2011 | 10:39 PM

Oak Ridge National Library this week said that it would upgrade its Jaguar supercomputer, which was once the most powerful system in the world, and create petascale Titan supercomputer. Powered by sixteen-core AMD Opteron "Interlagos" 6200 central processing units and Nvidia Tesla M2090 as well as Kepler next-gen compute accelerators, Titan will deliver a peak speed between 10 PetaFLOPS and 20 PetaFLOPS.


"All of these areas of science will benefit from Titan's enormous increase in computational power. Titan will allow for significantly greater realism in models and simulations and the resulting scientific breakthroughs and technological innovations will provide the return on this national investment. Discoveries that take weeks even on a system as powerful as Jaguar might take days on Titan," said Thom Mason, the director of ORNL.

The initial system upgrade will replace all of the processors with the latest AMD Opteron processors code named "Interlagos", taking the system from two six-core processors per node to one 16-core processor per node, and facilitate the addition of 960 Nvidia Tesla 2090 "Fermi" compute accelerators. In the second phase, to be performed in the second half of 2012, between 7000 and 18 000 of Nvidia's Tesla 3000-series "Kepler" compute accelerators GPUs will be added to the system, increasing the peak performance to between 10PFLOPS and 20PFLOPS, depending on architectural options executed. In total, the system will include 299 008 x86 cores (18688 CPUs) and 600TB of memory.

As one of the first deployments of the latest generation of AMD Opteron processors, the upgrade delivers one-third more cores in the same physical space compared with Jaguar while also doubling the memory and outfitting the system with Cray's powerful "Gemini" network to improve performance on scientific applications.

"But the game-changing new technology will be the inclusion of advanced GPUs. These Tesla GPUs are able to perform many more calculations for the same amount of power as conventional microprocessors and will work hand-in-hand with CPUs to deliver new levels of energy-efficient application acceleration," added Mr. Mason.

ORNL's Titan will be based on the Cray XK6 systems that pair AMD's next-generation Opteron processors with up to 16 cores code-named Interlagos powered by the Bulldozer micro-architecture (up to 96 per cabinet) and Nvidia Tesla compute cards (up to 96 per cabinet) to create a true hybrid supercomputer with intra-node flexibility.

"Cray has been fortunate to share in a great partnership with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Department of Energy's Office of Science, and we are excited that our relationship will continue with Titan. Scientists at Oak Ridge and across the DOE have been researching some of the world's most pressing energy and environmental challenges. As a company, it's an honor to know that this vitally important work has been, and will now continue to be, done on supercomputers built by Cray. It's a partnership we are very proud of," said Peter Ungaro, president and chief executive officer of Cray.

The system will be used for research in a broad range of fields, including material science, energy technology, medical research, geoscience, and others.