University of Regensburg installs first ARM-based Fujitsu supercomputer in Germany

Prof. Dr. Christoph Lehner (left) and Prof. Dr. Tilo Wettig (right) in front of the new supercomputer

The group of Prof. Wettig at Regensburg University recently (June 2020) deployed a prototype supercomputer based on the A64FX processor by Fujitsu, which is the first processor to implement Arm SVE instructions and is also used in Japan’s national flagship supercomputer Fugaku. Achieving a peak performance of more than 0.5 ExaFlop/s, Fugaku is currently the most powerful supercomputer in the world, outperforming the number two by 2.8x in terms of LINPACK Performance. The system in Regensburg is the first A64FX installation in Germany. It is part of a fruitful collaboration with Fujitsu and the RIKEN Center for Computational Science in Kobe (Japan) to harness this novel architecture early on. The collaboration included gem5 simulations of the processor before hardware was available, which guided the porting of application software for lattice quantum chromodynamics to the new architecture. As a result, simulations could begin right after deployment.

The machine is called QPACE4 (QCD parallel computing engine) and is the latest member of the QPACE series of machines funded by the DFG in the framework of SFB/TRR-55. It consists of 64 FX700 compute nodes with 32 GB of HBM2 each, connected by an EDR InfiniBand network. The machine offers a nice balance of floating-point performance, memory bandwidth and network bandwidth for a wide range of applications. In addition to lattice QCD simulations, it will also be used for applications in cancer research and immunology. Furthermore, expertise for A64FX programming will be established in the KONWIHR basis project at Regensburg.