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Nvidia shows off at Supercomputing 20

Nearly 70% of the 500 fastests supercomputers in the world as announced at the Supercomputing 20 conference this week are powered by Nvidia, including eight of the top 10.

Among them was one named Selene that Nvidia built itself and that debuted at Number 5 on the semi-annual TOP500 list of the fastest machines. With top-end systems requiring 10,000 or more CPUs and GPUs, they are enormously expensive, so government or research institutions own the majority of them.

That makes Selene all the more rare. It was built by and is based at Nvidia’s Santa Clara, California, headquarters. (It’s widely believed there are many supercomputers in private industry that are not reported for competitive reasons.)

Nvidia’s Big Showing

Also significant is that another Nvidia supercomputer, the DGX SuperPOD, took the top spot on the GREEN500 list, which measures the energy efficiency of the TOP500 systems. Four of the top five systems had Nvidia’s A100 Ampere GPU. Fujitsu’s Fugaku prototype, with just Arm processors and no DRAM, fell from first place to sixth.

This is big because GPUs have never been known for energy efficiency but now Nvidia has a new story to tell: performance and energy efficiency in one product.

Nvidia also introduced its Mellanox NDR 400Gbps InfiniBand family of interconnect products, which will be available in Q2 of 2021. The new lineup includes adapters, data processing units (DPUs), what Nvidia calls smart NICs, switches and cables.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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