The Mont-Blanc prototype: An Alternative Approach for HPC Systems

TitleThe Mont-Blanc prototype: An Alternative Approach for HPC Systems
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsRajovic, N, Rico, A, Mantovani, F, Ruiz, D, Vilarrubi, JOriol, Gomez, C, Backes, L, Nieto, D, Servat, H, Martorell, X, Labarta, J, Ayguadé, E, Adeniyi-Jones, C, Derradji, S, Gloaguen, H, Lanucara, P, Sanna, N, Mehaut, J-F, Pouget, K, Videau, B, Boyer, E, Allalen, M, Auweter, A, TAFANI, D, Brayford, D, Brömmel, D, Halver, R, Meinke, JH, Beivide, R, Benito, M, Vallejo, E, Valero, M, Ramirez, A
KeywordsArchitectures, Networks

HPC systems are usually designed using the state-of-the-art devices. On the other side, the much larger embedded and mobile market allows for rapid development of IP blocks, and provide more flexibility in designing an application-specific SoC, in turn, providing the possibility in balancing performance, energy-efficiency. and cost. We advocate for alternative HPC systems to be built from such commodity IP blocks, currently used in embedded and mobile SoCs. As a first demonstration of such an 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, using standard integration solutions. In this paper we present the system's architecture and evaluate both performance and energy-efficiency. Further, we compare the system’s abilities against a production-level supercomputer. Finally, we discuss parallel scalability and estimate the maximum parallel scalability point of this approach.

Citation Key13239