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Dawn (Intel) and Isambard-AI (NVIDIA): New record-breaking AI supercomputers for UK

Dawn (Intel) and Isambard-AI (NVIDIA): New record-breaking AI supercomputers for UK

After Isambard 3, Great Britain is bringing online another Nvidia supercomputer, Isambard-AI, and an Intel supercomputer, “Dawn”. Don relies on a combination of Xeon and Ponte Vecchio in the Dell system, while a second new system from Nvidia and HPE is based on Grace Hopper. Isambard 3 uses only Grace Superchip CPUs.

Dawn is expected to grow significantly faster

With the new systems, the United Kingdom wants to take a step into the future. The topic of artificial intelligence (AI) is certainly at the forefront, which is why “Dawn Phase 1” is currently described by the parties involved as the fastest AI supercomputer in the UK. This first phase shows that Dawn has a lot more potential. Intel, Dell and the University of Cambridge predict that output for Phase 2 will increase 10-fold by 2024.

Dell PowerEdge Xe 9640 (Image: Dell)

Dawn Phase 1 is based on the new Dell PowerEdge XE9640. Inside are two Xeons from the Sapphire Rapids generation and four Ponte Vecchio GPUs, liquid-cooled in a slim 2U housing.

The partners don’t want to reveal exactly which chips Intel and Dell are installing here until mid-November at SC23 in Denver.Over 1,000 GPUsSo far what it says. There are many options, the server supports all CPUs Four OAM Intel Graphics modules, 600 watts each (PDF document). With proper configuration, proper performance information should follow.

Two Nvidia supercomputers from HPE

2024 is also planned for the launch of Isambard-AI. The system is based on an already known platform around the HPE Cray EX supercomputer and in this case relies on 5,448 Grays Hopper superchips. The system will be in a completely different league than the Isambard 3 system announced in May, which unlike many new supercomputers relies solely on CPU cores, and 55,296 cores through 384 processors to be exact. Although the system should deliver a more efficient 2.7 PetaFLOPS FP64 performance, Isambard-AI plans to use it.Over 200 PetaFLOP/s using Top500’s Linpack benchmark“. Or as Nvidia likes to say: 21 ExaFLOPs of AI performance.

HPE Isambard AI with Nvidia Grace Hopper
Isambard-AI from HPE with Nvidia Grace Hopper (Image: HPE)

It is not currently possible to predict whether the Intel Dell system or the Nvidia HPE solution will eventually come out on top after the planned expansion stages. There is no doubt that the country is taking a big step. The new supercomputers are part of a government program. It was done last £225 million allocatedThere was one so far The pot totals £300 million Approved, it made the country “A world leader in AI“Should do. However, several countries have recently launched similar projects. So it remains to be seen whether Britain’s AI superpower ambitions will eventually materialize here.