CINECA to Build Fast AI Supercomputer with NVIDIA and Atos

New “Leonardo” system to deliver 10 exaflops of AI performance to power Italy’s HPC and AI research.

New “Leonardo” system to deliver 10 exaflops of AI performance to power Italy’s HPC and AI research.

NVIDIA announced that the Italian inter-university consortium CINECA—a supercomputing center—will use the company’s accelerated computing platform to build a fast AI supercomputer.

The new “Leonardo” system, built with Atos, is expected to deliver 10 exaflops of FP16 AI performance to enable advanced AI and HPC converged application use cases. It features nearly 14,000 NVIDIA Ampere architecture-based GPUs and NVIDIA Mellanox HDR 200Gb/s InfiniBand networking.

Leonardo is procured by EuroHPC, a collaboration between national governments and the European Union to develop a supercomputing ecosystem and exascale supercomputing in Europe, and funded by the European Commission through the Italian Ministry of University and Research.

“The EuroHPC technology roadmap for exascale in Europe is opening doors for rapid growth and innovation in HPC and AI,” says Marc Hamilton, vice president of solutions architecture and engineering at NVIDIA. “We’re working with CINECA and Atos to accelerate scientific discovery across a broad range of application domains, providing a platform to usher in the era of exascale computing.”

NVIDIA’s computing platform accelerates workloads while providing high throughput and low power consumption, making it ideal for scientific computing, the company reports.

The Leonardo supercomputer will help solve scientific challenges across many disciplines, from material sciences to high-energy physics. The new system as it will run all the same CUDA software as CINECA’s existing NVIDIA-powered system, currently the fastest higher education research supercomputer in Europe.

“CINECA plays a critical part in evolving both the research and industrial community in accelerated HPC application development,” says Sanzio Bassini, director of the HPC department at CINECA. “The Leonardo supercomputer is the result of our long-term commitment to pushing the boundaries of what a modern exascale supercomputer can be.”

“The call for accessibility in HPC, and the expansion of AI in research and industries, have dramatically increased the requirements for more flexibility, and simplicity, in how the world’s leading supercomputers are built,” says Giuseppe di Franco, CEO of Italy at Atos. ”As Europe’s leading supercomputer maker, Atos has made a commitment to embracing these modern-day standards and is raising the bar in further democratizing the world of supercomputing.”

Leonardo will be built from Atos’ BullSequana XH2000 supercomputer nodes, each with four NVIDIA Tensor Core GPUs and a single Intel CPU. It will also use NVIDIA Mellanox HDR 200Gb/s InfiniBand connectivity, with smart in-network computing acceleration engines that enable extremely low latency and high data throughput to provide the highest AI and HPC application performance and scalability.

Learn more about CINECA’s Leonardo system and three additional AI supercomputers powered by NVIDIA’s accelerated computing platform recently announced by EuroHPC.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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