Nvidia builds its own 1-exaflop Selene Supercomputer with new A100 GPUs

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Nvidia’s Selene supercomputer uses new A100 GPUs and Mellanox InfiniBand interconnects to deliver 1 exaflop performance

From making graphics cards for computers and laptops to building its own supercomputer-Nvidia has come a long way. The GPU maker announced its very own Selene supercomputer which can deliver the key 1-exaflop performance. Nvidia says that its Selene supercomputer uses new A100 GPUs and Mellanox InfiniBand interconnects to deliver 1 exaflop, putting it to the 7th spot among the top 10 supercomputer performance rankings worldwide.

Nvidia had announced its all-new A100 GPU in May 2020 and it took it only 1 month to combine its A100 GPUs with InfiniBand technology from Mellanox to create the in-house Selene supercomputer. Nvidia had acquired Mellanox last year in a $7 billion deal. The aim of that acquisition was to combine Mellanox’s InfiniBand technology with Nvidia’s own graphics architecture.

The graphics card maker unveiled its Selene AI supercomputer today at the ISC High Performance 2020 online high-performance computing event. Nvidia also introduced the PCIe form factor of the Ampere-based A100 GPU at the event.

Nvidia’s Selene supercomputer with 27.5 double-precision Linpack petaflops made it to the seventh spot on the latest Top500 list released today as part of the ISC 2020 Digital conference. Selene is the second most-performant industry system on the list, coming in one spot below Eni’s HPC5 machine, which was sixth with 35.5 HPL petaflops (and also uses Nvidia GPUs).

Selene supercomputer is located in Santa Clara, California, and powered by Nvidia’s A100 GPUs and AMD’s Epyc Rome CPUs within the DGX A100 form factor, interconnected with Mellanox HDR InfiniBand. Altogether, Selene comprises 280 DGX A100s, housing a total 2240 A100 GPUs, and 494 Mellanox Quantum 200G InfiniBand switches, providing 56 TB/s network fabric. The system includes 7 petabytes of all-flash network storage.

Selene also accomplished a second-place finish on the Green500 list, delivering 20.52 gigaflops-per-watt, becoming one of only two machines to break the 20 gigaflops-per-watt barriers.

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