Arm processors take their place as credible alternative to x86 processors for HPC applications
Arm processors continue to gain momentum across the high performance computing (HPC) industry. So it’s without a doubt that we’re excited to announce the (coming) availability of HPE’s newest Apollo system—the Arm-based HPE Apollo 80.
Previously announced as a Cray CS500, the HPE Apollo 80 system is a Fujitsu A64FX-based platform and will be available with HPE’s leading cluster management solution (HPCM), leading compiler (Cray Programming Environment), and HPE Pointnext support. Shipping in early August, the HPE Apollo 80 further strengthens the integration of Cray and HPE technologies and product lines.
Modern technical computing challenges drive an insatiable appetite for HPC power. For the last two decades, that appetite has been fed by x86 processor-based scale-out processors.
Overall, x86 technology has worked well, helping propel discovery across every industry and field of research for years. These platforms have delivered maximum performance for parallelizable applications using generic industry-standard building blocks. They’ve also consistently delivered the best price/performance with a broad range of supported operating systems, applications, and cluster management tools.
But with progress comes change. Science and research questions are only growing in complexity and they’re putting new demands on HPC solutions.
While x86 processors have served well, none were specifically designed for HPC. In fact, the microarchitectures aren’t even specifically designed for servers. Additionally, while current x86 processors have impressive floating-point capabilities it has come at significant cost in terms of power efficiencies.
Into these circumstances came Arm server processors. Designed for great flexibility and low power consumption, Arm technology has been on the ascent as a credible alternative to x86 solutions. Just consider the numbers. As of February 2020, Arm partners have shipped more than 160 billion Arm-based chips and an average of more than 22 billion over the past three years.
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