AMD has announced plans to team up with French chip designer SiPearl to build an exascale-class supercomputing system using SiPearl’s Arm-based Rhea processor with AMD’s Instinct GPU accelerator.
SiPearl is a relatively small startup that began operating in 2019 with a license for Arm’s Neoverse high-performance technology. It has built several alliances with partners including Intel, Nvidia, HPE and Graphcore.
SiPearl is also involved in the European Processor Initiative (EPI), a consortium chosen by the European Union to support the development of European microprocessors, particularly for new applications such as high-performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence. EPI’s goal is to develop Arm-based processors for exascale supercomputers by 2023.
SiPearl’s Rhea microprocessor was designed in collaboration with French IT giant Atos. It comes with 72 next-generation Arm Neoverse cores and supports both DDR5 and high-bandwidth HBM2E memory interfaces. It offers both very fast memory (HBM) and very large memory pool (DDR5). The processor is manufactured by TSMC and is expected to launch in 2023.
Instinct accelerators are based on AMD’s Radeon GPU technology. Among other systems, you can find the world’s fastest supercomputer, Oak Ridge National Labs’ exascale supercomputer Frontier.
AMD and SiPearl initially said they would begin working on interoperability between SiPearl’s Rhea microprocessor and AMD’s ROCm software stack. ROCm is AMD’s software stack for developing GPU-accelerated applications. This is a form of future-proofing the software ecosystem, so future apps will run on supercomputers developed by the two companies.
The collaboration begins with a focus on porting and optimizing AMD’s Heterogeneous Interface for Portability (HIP), AMD’s GPU programming environment that allows developers to write code that can run on both AMD and Nvidia GPUs.
“By providing European supercomputing end-users with broader choices, Europe will be able to address the great challenges of our time, such as artificial intelligence, climate modeling and medical research,” SiPearl CEO and founder Philippe Notton said in a statement. “he said.
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