HLRN-IV with CLX-AP: Berlin's Lise supercomputer uses Intel's 48 core


In the meantime, all computing nodes are running: The Lise supercomputer of the North German Association for High and High Performance Computing (HLRN) is located in Berlin and is a kind of rarity. Named after the physicist Lise Meitner, the system forms one of two parts of the HLRN IV, the second is called Emmy – after the mathematician Emmy Noether – and is located in Göttingen. Lise uses Intel's Cascade Lake AP, more precisely Xeon Platinum 9242, making it the absolute exception in the Top 500.

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In November 2019, the supercomputer was measured and ended up at number 40 on this list, but not all 1,146 computing nodes were active at the time. The full configuration thus has 110,016 CPU cores, but the Linpack benchmark only ran to 103,680 a few weeks ago. The Cascade Lake AP are special processors from Intel: The manufacturer connects two 28-core chips on one carrier in order to receive a package with 56 cores. The CPUs are intended to compete with AMD's 64-core Epyc 7002 aka Rome, but have a high power consumption of up to 400 watts.

The Lise system comprises 1,112 nodes with 384 GB of RAM (standard node), 32 nodes with 768 GB (large node) and 2 nodes with 1.5 TB (huge node). Theoretically, a single Xeon Platinum 9242 can control up to 2 TB, but the HLRN does not use this option – because so much memory is expensive and the Cascade Lake AP itself is anything but cheap.

At Emmy, the second part of the HLRN-IV, the operators do not use CLX-AP, but 448 nodes, each with two Xeon Gold 6148 with 20 cores per processor. In addition, there is a GPU node, which comprises four Tesla V100s, i.e. accelerators from Nvidia.

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