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nCore HPC Announces the BrownDwarf Y-Class Supercomputer

Eco-friendly ARM and DSP-based System Establishes New Class of Energy Efficiency


Beaverton, Oregon and Leipzig, Germany – JUNE 17, 2013 —nCore HPC, an emerging global provider of high performance, low latency HPC systems, services and solutions, today announced the BrownDwarf Y-class supercomputer, a heterogeneous ARM- and DSP-based system that, by delivering supercomputer-class performance at significantly reduced power levels, marks a major advance in addressing one of the HPC industry's most challenging technological issues.


Boasting a unique, advanced parallel computing architecture, and a high performance, low latency interconnect, the BrownDwarf Y-Class supercomputer represents the dawn of a new era marked by eco-friendly, heterogeneous systems that define a new category of high performance computers. Achieving an unparalleled level of power efficiency when looking at total system power consumption, a 144 node configuration delivers 70 Teraflops of performance at 10kw inside a 42U high rack.


Power efficiency has become a critical driving factor in the deployment of high-end computing systems.  Today, many developers have a strong interest in comparing specific algorithms to their effect on power consumption.  In response to this growing need, a unique feature of the


BrownDwarf system is that the power distribution system in each node is instrumented with 36 separate voltage, current and temperature measurement points. With a user controlled, nanosecond accurate triggering and clocking mechanism, high-resolution measurements are captured out-of-band and directly synchronized with algorithm results during analysis.


The BrownDwarf Y-Class node leverages multiple Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) Keystone-II and Keystone-I SoC  components.  Each node integrates four ARM® Cortex™-A15 MPCore™ processors, 24 TMS320C66x digital signal processor (DSPs) cores and 26GB of ECC memory.


According to Ian Lintault, Managing Director of nCore HPC, "The BrownDwarf Y-Class system is an incredibly important milestone in HPC system development.  Working in close collaboration with Texas Instruments, IDT and our hardware partner Prodrive, we have successfully established a new class of energy efficient supercomputers designed to fulfill the demands of a wide range of scientific, technical and commercial applications. We are very excited to be launching the most capable energy efficient supercomputer available. The innovative design of the BrownDwarf Y-Class system has resulted in a network fabric that far exceeds the latency and power efficiencies of traditional supercomputing systems based on x86 and Infiniband or Ethernet systems.  By utilizing existing programming models and toolsets, the BrownDwarf Y-Class supercomputer is a disruptive force in HPC as it leapfrogs a number of the supercomputing incumbents."


nCore selected RapidIO as the compute fabric for BrownDwarf Supercomputer based on the key benefits of throughput, latency, reliability and overall system power utilization that could not be achieved with Infiniband and Ethernet-based approaches. The onboard IDT Gen 2 RapidIO switch fabric offers 20 Gbps of bandwidth per node, 100 ns cut through latency, 300mW per 10 Gbps of data and up to 2.2Tbps of non-blocking switching capability per Y-Class system chassis.


Programmable in C/C++ using OpenMP, OpenCL, and OpenMPI, the BrownDwarf system preserves the user's existing investment in mission-critical codes while reducing technical risk.


An optimized version of Linux runs on the ARM side providing access to common scientific computing tools and libraries.


The BrownDwarf Y-Class System technical specs can be downloaded here.
The BrownDwarf Y-Class System Power Telemetry brochure can be downloaded here.
A photo image of the BrownDwarf Y-Class supercomputer can be downloaded here.


About the Name:
BrownDwarf is a classification given to a star that is too low in mass to sustain a hydrogen fusion reaction. It was chosen as the name for this supercomputer because of the system's low-power characteristics. In Astrophysics, Brown Dwarves are classified by alphabet according to their spectral characteristics, thus Y-Class is first in this product series.


About nCore HPC
nCore HPC is an emerging global provider of high performance, low latency  HPC systems along with professional services and training programs.   nCore HPC delivers state-of-the-art solutions to government agencies, high-technology organizations, defense, research, biomedical and financial companies.


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