Intel to Power 10 Petaflop "Stampede" Supercomputer in Texas

Paul Lilly

The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at the University of Texas at Austin is building a world-class supercomputer called "Stampede." It's scheduled to power on in 2013 and will solicit 20 percent of its performance from Intel's Xeon E5 series processors, and the other 80 percent from Intel's "Knights Corner" co-processors based on Intel's Many Integrated Core (MIC) architecture.

Stampede is expected to be one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world. It will deliver 10 petaflops of performance, giving Intel certain bragging rights at a time when supercomputer design is starting to shift more rapidly towards GPUs.

Intel's Knights Corner will provide most of the heavy lifting and is aimed at highly parallel workloads. It will be the first commercially available product featuring the Intel MIC architecture, Intel said in a blog post . These chips feature more than 50 cores and will be built on a 22nm 3D Tri-Gate transistor technology once they go into production.

Several thousand Dell "Zeus" servers will make up Stampede, each one equipped with dual 8-core processors from Intel's upcoming E5 line (Sandy Bridge-EP) and each with 32GB of system memory. This alone with account for 2 petaflops of performance. Stampede will also be comprised of 128 next-generation Nvidia GPUs for remote visualization, 16 Dell servers with 1TB of shared memory and 2 GPUs each for large data analysis, and a high performance Lustre file system for data-intensive computing, TACC said .

Stampede will be used in over a thousand projects in computation and data-driven science and engineering tasks throughout the U.S.

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