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Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Prepare for Exascale Era with New Test Bed Supercomputer


Newswise – The new Argonne National Laboratory system, Polaris, built by HPE, will optimize AI, engineering and scientific projects for the future Aurora exascale supercomputer.

MOUNT, He is HOUSTON, August 25, 2021 – The United States Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE: HPE) today unveiled a new test bed supercomputer to prepare critical workloads for future exascale systems that will deliver performance up to four times faster than current Argonne supercomputers.

The new system, which Argonne named Polaris, will be built by HPE, and hosted and managed by the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF), an American DOE Office of Science User Facility. It will allow scientists and developers to test and optimize software code and applications to tackle a range of artificial intelligence (AI), the engineering and scientific projects planned for the future exascale supercomputer, Dawn, a collaboration between Argonne, Intel and HPE.

Polaris is well equipped to help move the ALCF in the exascale era of computer science by accelerating the application of AI capabilities to the increasing demands for data and simulation from our users. – Michael E. Papka, ALCF director

Polaris is designed with advanced high performance computing (CHP) and AI solutions to advance the investigation of the most complex and pressing societal problems, from understanding the biology of viruses to revealing the secrets of the universe. It will also augment Argonne’s ongoing efforts and achievements in areas such as clean energy, climate resilience, and manufacturing.

In addition, Polaris will help researchers integrate CHP and AI with other experimental facilities, including the Argonne Advanced Photon Source and the Center for Nanoscale Materials, both DOE Facilities for users of the Science Office.

Polaris is well equipped to help move the ALCF in the exascale era of computer science by accelerating the application of AI to the growing data and simulation needs of our users, ”said Michael E. Papka, Director of ALCF.In addition to preparing for Aurora, Polaris will further provide a platform to experiment with the integration of supercomputers and large-scale experimentation facilities, such as the Advanced Photon Source, making CHP accessible to more scientific communities. Polaris will also provide a broader opportunity to help prototype and test the integration of CHP with real-time experiments and sensor networks.

Polaris: Argonne’s polar star propels a new era of exascale

Polaris will deliver approximately 44 peak performance petaflops in double precision and close to 1.4 theory exaflops AI performance, which is based on mixed precision computing capabilities.

It will be built using 280 HPE Gen Apolloten More systems, which are CHP and AI architectures designed for the exascale era and customized to include the following end-to-end solutions:

  • Powerful computation to improve modeling, simulation and data-intensive workflows using 560 2sd and 3e Generator AMD EPYC™ processors
  • Supercharged AI capabilities to support data and image-intensive workloads while optimizing future GPU deployments at the exascale level using 2240 NVIDIA® A100 GPU Tensor Core, making it ALCFthe largest GPU-based system to date.
  • Respond to requests for higher speed and congestion control for more data and AI workloads with HPE Slingshot, the world’s only high-performance Ethernet fabric designed to CHP and AI solutions. HPE Slingshot will also be present in the Aurora d’Argonne exascale system.
  • Enable fine centralized monitoring and management for optimal performance with HPE Performance cluster manager, a system management software solution.

As the exascale era approaches, which will propel a new era of analysis and innovation, high performance computing (CHP) will play a pivotal role in harnessing data to address the world’s most pressing challenges. Increasingly, the computational power and scale required to process artificial intelligence and machine learning datasets can only be provided by CHP systems, and HPE uniquely provides a powerful software platform capable of handling complex scientific data and simulations, ”said Justin Hotard, senior vice president and general manager, CHP and mission critical solutions to HPE.The US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science continues to have a tremendous impact by accelerating scientific and technical breakthroughs using CHP. Our last collaboration with the DOEThe Argonne National Laboratory to build and deliver the Polaris test bench supercomputer will continue its mission by preparing users for the scale of technological advancements that exascale systems will offer. “

Polaris prepares scientists to tackle exascale-level problems

Initially, Polaris will be dedicated to research teams participating in initiatives such as the DOEExascale Computing Project and the ALCFAurora Early Science Program, which is already tackling complex issues such as:

  • Advance cancer treatment by accelerating research into understand the role of biological variables in the pathway of a tumor cell advancing the use of data science to drive analysis of extreme-scale fluid-structure interaction simulations; and predict the drug response to tumor cells by making it possible to screen billions of virtual drugs from one to several combinations, while predicting their effects on tumor cells.
  • Advance the country’s energy security, while minimizing climate impact through biochemical research through NWchemEx project, funded by the DOEBureau of Biological and Environmental Research Sciences. Researchers solve the molecular problems of biofuel production by developing models that optimize feedstocks to produce biomass and analyze the process of converting materials from biomass to biofuels.
  • Pushing the limits of physics with research into particle collisions in the ATLAS experience, which uses the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, located at CERN, near Geneva Switzerland. Scientists are studying the complex products of particle collisions in very large detectors to deepen our understanding of the fundamental constituents of matter, including the search for evidence of dark matter.

User communities within the DOEThe Exascale Computing project will also use Polaris to optimize engineering tasks for the Aurora d’Argonne, which includes the scaling of CPU- and GPU systems and the complex integration of workflows combining modeling, simulation, AI and other data-intensive components.

Polaris delivery and installation is expected to begin this month. It will be used from the start 2022 and will be open to the widest CHP community in the spring of 2022 prepare workloads for the next generation of DOEhigh-performance computing resources of.

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About Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE: HPE) is the global edge-to-cloud company that helps organizations accelerate results by unlocking value from all their data, everywhere. Built on decades of reinventing the future and innovating to change the way people live and work, HPE provides unique, open and intelligent technology solutions delivered as a service – spanning compute, storage, software, smart edge, high performance computing, and mission-critical solutions – with a consistent experience across all clouds and edges, designed to help customers develop new business models, engage in new ways and increase operational performance. For more information visit:

The Argonne Leadership Computing Center provides high-performance computing capabilities to the scientific and engineering community to advance fundamental discovery and understanding across a wide range of disciplines. Supported by the US Department of Energy (DOE‘s) Office of Science, Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) program, the ALCF is one of the two DOE Leading IT facilities in the country dedicated to open science.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to urgent national problems in science and technology. The country’s leading national laboratory, Argonne conducts cutting-edge fundamental and applied scientific research in virtually all scientific disciplines. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of businesses, universities, and federal, state, and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance U.S. scientific leadership, and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees over 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, SARL for the United States Department of Energy Science Office.

The Office of Science of the United States Department of Energy is the largest proponent of basic physical science research in the United States and strives to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information visit https: // ener gy .gov / s c ience.