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Archer2: British Top 10 Supercomputer uses AMD's Epyc

The University of Edinburgh will have one of the world's most powerful supercomputers from May 2020: the Archer2 is funded by the UKRI (UK Research and Innovation) government agency and is expected to reach a theoretical computing speed of 28 petaflops. In the Top500List it would currently make the system in front of the German SuperMUC-NG in the top 10.

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The Archer2 contains 5,848 nodes, each of which is equipped with two 64-core Epyc 7002 (Rome). Four nodes also have Next-Gen Radeon Instinct accelerators connected, but this collaboration platform adds relatively little to the computing power of the system. The Archer2 is built by Cray, now an HPE daughter, and based on the so-called Shasta Nodes, as well as the Aurora, the Frontier and the El Capitan.

As further data the UKRI names still 1.57 Petabyte working as well as 1.1 Petabyte SSD and 14.5 Petabyte HDD memory. The hardware is installed in water-cooled cabinets and connected via slingshot interconnects, the software stack from Cray runs on a Linux distribution. The previous Archer supercomputer will shut down on February 18, 2020; Archer2 is scheduled to be operational from 6 May 2020. The UKRI speaks of a 8.7- to 18-fold higher performance in benchmarks such as CP2K, OpenSBLI, CASTEP, GROMACS and HadGEM3.

In the first Archer, 4,920 nodes each expect two twelve-core Xeon E5-2697 v2s (Ivy Bridge EP) and 64 GB of memory per node; there are no accelerators. Again, Cray was the manufacturer of the system, which went online in November 2013. Other supercomputers in the UK are the Cumulus in Cambridge and the two Cray calculators of the Met Office, the meteorological service of the United Kingdom.