In my role as an independent advisor to industry users of high performance computing, I recently helped to coordinate a private gathering of leading industry users of HPC – no HPC centers, or vendors, just the users of HPC in industry meeting as peers. One key topic we discussed was things that might significantly change how industry deploys and uses high performance computing, what I refer to as “HPC disruptors.”
The upcoming battle between AMD’s “Rome” server CPU and Intel’s “Ice Lake” Xeon scalable processor promises to be an interesting matchup. But this time around, AMD could have an advantage it has never had before.
The competition between the US, China, and Japan to field the first exascale supercomputer looks a lot closer than it did a couple of years ago. But the real significance of the narrowing schedules reflects a shift in technology preferences and a trend toward domestic control of HPC hardware.
The European Processor Initiative (EPI), an ambitious program to develop a pair of chips for domestic supercomputers, is poised to change the way Europe does HPC. And although the work is still very much in its early stages, it looks like the Europeans have selected their preferred processor architectures: Arm and RISC-V.