Reference platform combines Nvidia GPUs with Arm processing

November 28, 2019 //By Rich Pell
HPC reference platform brings Nvidia GPUs to Arm
Graphics processing unit (GPU) maker Nvidia has introduced a reference design platform designed to drive a new era of high-performance computing (HPC) for a growing range of applications in science and industry by enabling companies to quickly build GPU-accelerated Arm-based servers.

Consisting of hardware and software building blocks, the platform is designed to address growing demand in the HPC community to harness a broader range of CPU architectures, says the company. It allows supercomputing centers, hyperscale-cloud operators, and enterprises to combine the advantage of the company’s accelerated computing platform with the latest Arm-based server platforms.

"There is a renaissance in high-performance computing,” says Nvidia founder and CEO Jensen Huang. "Breakthroughs in machine learning and AI are redefining scientific methods and enabling exciting opportunities for new architectures. Bringing Nvidia GPUs to Arm opens the floodgates for innovators to create systems for growing new applications from hyperscale-cloud to exascale supercomputing and beyond.”

To build the reference platform, the company says it is teaming with Arm and its ecosystem partners - including Ampere, Fujitsu and Marvell - to ensure that its GPUs can work seamlessly with Arm-based processors. The reference platform, says the company, also benefits from strong collaboration with Cray, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, and HPE - two early providers of Arm-based servers. In addition, a wide range of HPC software companies have used the company's CUDA-X GPU-accelerated libraries for AI and HPC to build GPU-enabled management and monitoring tools that run on Arm-based servers.

Rene Haas, president of the IP Products Group at Arm, says, "Arm is working with ecosystem partners to deliver unprecedented performance and efficiency for exascale-class Arm-based SoCs. Collaborating with Nvidia to bring CUDA acceleration to the Arm architecture is a key milestone for the HPC community, which is already deploying Arm technology to address some of the world’s most complex research challenges and driving further advances in the embedded, automotive and edge segments."

The announcement of the reference platform follows Nvidia’s announcement earlier this year that it will bring its CUDA-X software platform to Arm. Fulfilling this promise, says the company, it is making available as a preview its Arm-compatible software development kit, consisting of Nvidia CUDA-X

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