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A Performance Analysis Of The First Generation Of HPC‐Optimized Arm Processors

Performance results from Isambard, the first production supercomputer to be based on Arm CPUs that have been optimized specifically for HPC.

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In this paper, the authors present performance results from Isambard, the first production supercomputer to be based on Arm CPUs that have been optimized specifically for HPC. Isambard is the first Cray XC50 “Scout” system, combining Cavium ThunderX2 Arm‐based CPUs with Cray’s Aries interconnect. The full Isambard system contained over 10,000 Arm cores. In this work, we present node‐level performance results from eight early‐access nodes that were upgraded to B0 beta silicon in March 2018. We present node‐level benchmark results comparing ThunderX2 with mainstream CPUs, including Intel Skylake and Broadwell, as well as Xeon Phi. We focus on a range of applications and mini‐apps important to the UK national HPC service, ARCHER, as well as to the Isambard project partners and the wider HPC community. We also compare performance across three major software toolchains available for Arm: Cray’s CCE, Arm’s version of Clang/Flang/LLVM, and GNU.

A paper from University of Bristol: Authors are Simon McIntosh‐Smith James Price Tom Deakin Andrei Poenaru from the High Performance Computing Research Group, Department of Computer Science, University of Bristol, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TH, UK.

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