The Mont-Blanc prototype: an alternative approach for high-performance computing systems
Document typeExternal research report
Rights accessOpen Access
High-performance computing (HPC) is recognized as one of the pillars for further advance of science, industry, medicine, and education. Current HPC systems are being developed to overcome emerging challenges in order to reach Exascale level of performance,which is expected by the year 2020. The much larger embedded and mobile market allows for rapid development of IP blocks, and provides more flexibility in designing an application-specific SoC, in turn giving possibility in balancing performance, energy-efficiency and cost. In the Mont-Blanc project, we advocate for HPC systems be built from such commodity IP blocks, currently used in embedded and mobile SoCs. As a first demonstrator of such approach, we present the Mont-Blanc prototype; the first HPC system built with commodity SoCs, memories, and NICs from the embedded and mobile domain, and off-the-shelf HPC networking, storage, cooling and integration solutions. We present the system’s architecture, and evaluation including both performance and energy efficiency. Further, we compare the system’s abilities against a production level supercomputer. At the end, we discuss parallel scalability, and estimate the maximum scalability point of this approach across a set of HPC applications.
CitationRajovic, N., Ramírez , A., Rico, A., Mantovani, F., Ruíz, D., Villarubi, O., Gómez, C., Backes, L., Nieto, D., Servat, H., Martorell, X., Labarta, J., Ayguadé, E., Valero, M., Adeniyi-Jones, C., Derradji, S., Gloaguen, H., Lanucara, P., Sanna, N., Mehaut, J., Pouget, K., Videau, B., Boyer, E., Allalen, M., Auweter, A., Brayford, D., Tafani, D., Brömmel, D., Halver, R., Meinke, J., Beivide, R., Benito, M., Vallejo, E. "The Mont-Blanc prototype: an alternative approach for high-performance computing systems". 2016.
Is part ofUPC-DAC-RR-CAP-2016-2