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16.07.2019

VSC-4 is Austria's most powerful supercomputer

Several universities have come together to construct Austria’s most powerful supercomputer, Vienna Scientific Cluster 4 (VSC-4), which ranks 82 in the TOP500 list.


Vienna Scientific Cluster 4 [Photo: Alexander Gigl/EDV-Design Informationstechnologie GmbH]

Vienna Scientific Cluster 4 (VSC-4) is the most powerful supercomputer ever installed in Austria. It is a Lenovo system installed by the Viennese company EDV-Design at TU Wien as a joint project of the VSC partner universities. VSC-4 was ordered in December 2018 and powered on in June 2019. If all tests run smoothly, user operation might start in autumn.

The new system consists of 790 water cooled nodes (Lenovo SD650), each with two Intel Skylake Platinum 8174 processors with 24 cores. The 700 standard nodes have a main memory of 96 GByte, there are 78 fat nodes with 384 GByte of main memory and 12 very fat nodes with 768 GByte. Each node is also equipped with an SSD device of 480 GByte, available as temporary storage during the runtime of a job.

The system is complemented with 10 login nodes and parallel file systems. Compute nodes, login nodes and file system nodes are interconnected with 100 Gbit/s OmniPath. The OmniPath network has a two-level fat-tree topology with an oversubscription of 2:1.

The compute nodes are directly water cooled allowing to use primary cooling water with a temperature in excess of 43 ℃, permitting year-round free cooling. Up to 90 % of the energy will be removed by this high-temperature loop with the remainder being removed by air cooling. This permits a very reasonable energy foot-print.

A node reaches about 250 points in the SPECrate2017 Floating Point benchmark, which is about 5 times the performance of a VSC-3 node (16 cores). Looking at the Linpack benchmark, a single VSC-4 node reaches about 3 TFlop/s, about 10 times the performance of a VSC-3 node at slightly less than 300 GFlop/s. A large part of this floating-point performance comes from the two AVX-512 units per core, each allowing for 8 fused-multiply-add instructions per cycle.

VSC-4 is ranked 82th in the June 2019 TOP500 list. The HPL (High Performance Linpack) benchmark has reached a performance (Rmax) of 2.7 PFlop/s, with the theoretical peak performance Rpeak being 3.7 PFlop/s.

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