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Tianhe-3 E-class prototype completed R&D and deployment

2018-07-30 16:35

Technological innovation

◎Three independently designed chips: Maichuang multi-core processor (Matrix-2000+), high-speed interconnect controller andinterconnect interface controller

◎Four designed types of computing, storage and service nodes, as well as more than ten kinds of printed circuit boards

◎Design and implement new hardware subsystems such as computational processing, high-speed interconnect, parallel storage, service processing, monitoring and diagnosis, infrastructure, and software subsystems such as system operation, parallel development, application support and integrated management.

Technological breakthroughs

It realizes a flexible architecture that can adapt to the needs of scientific computing and data processing and multiple applications. It breaks through the high-performance computing node technology that calculates the balance of memory access and communication, and can support high-speed interconnection and photoelectric hybrid high-speed signal transmission of 100,000 nodes. Technology, efficient targeted cooling technology, user-transparent high-performance computing environment software support and other technologies.

Recently, the news came from the National Supercomputing Centerin Tianjin, which is located in the Tianjin Economic-technologicalDevelopment Area (abbreviated as TEDA) of Tianjin Binhai New Area. The newly developed exascale supercomputer, i.e., the Tianhe-3 E-class prototype, was successfully developed and deployed. Acceptance of items has also been done. The prototype system uses three domestically produced independent high-performance computing and communication chips. On this basis, the Tianhe-3 supercomputer is expected to be successfully developed in 2020.

Continuous efforts to climb new heights

"Supercomputers have become a core driver of information technology innovation in the country, a strong support for the country's comprehensive national strength, and a rapid development of high-end information technology," said Liu Guangming, director of the National Supercomputing Center in Tianjin. The exascalesupercomputers are also E-class supercomputers. At present, the development plan of the new generation of exascale supercomputers is the commanding height of innovation and competition for international high-end information technology. Both the United States and Japan have proposed plans for the development of E-class supercomputers, which are scheduled to be completed by 2020 or later.

China's supercomputing in the world's laurels is started from theTianhe-1 deployed in the National Supercomputing Center in Tianjin. Along the way, there have been inheritance and development such asTianhe-2 and Shenwei·Taihu Light. In the face of the new trend ofsupercomputing, in 2016, the Ministry of Science and Technology, in conjunction with the 13th Five-year Development Plan, supported the national key R&D plan, started the E-level computer development plan in China in two phases. The first phase was mainly for the researchof E-level Computer Key Technology, and the development of three E-class prototypes was arranged. The second phase was the detaileddevelopment of E-class computers.

The National Defense University of Science and Technology and the National Supercomputing Center in Tianjin teamed up to undertake the development project of the Tianhe-3 E-class prototype system. After more than two years of continuous key technological research and breakthrough, the prototype system was successfully developed and deployed in the National Supercomputing Center in Tianjin. On July 22, it successfully passed the sub-project acceptance organized by the High-tech Center of the Ministry of Science and Technology, andwill gradually enter the open application phase.

Innovation is the key to achieve self-control.

Compared with the previous generation supercomputer, Tianhe-3 is an epoch-making advanced technological work. It has achieved a wealth of technological innovations, which have been fully demonstrated on the prototype.

"For decades of accumulation and continuous technological innovation, the overall self-controllability of the core technology of the Tianhe supercomputer has been realized," said Liu Guangming. In the implementation of the project of Tianhe-3 E-class prototype system, the team independently designed three chips: Maichuang many-core processor (Matrix-2000+), high-speed interconnect controller, interconnect interface controller; designed four types of computing, storage and service nodes, as well as more than ten kinds of printed circuit boards.

Relying on comprehensive technological innovation, the Tianhe-3 E-class prototype system realizes a flexible architecture that can adapt to the needs of scientific computing and data processing multi-applications, and breaks through the high-performance computing node technology that calculates the balance of memory access and communication, which can support 100,000 node-scale high-speed interconnect and optical-electric hybrid high-speed signal transmission technology, efficient targeted cooling technology, user-transparent high-performance computing environment software support and other technologies.

The breakthrough of key technologies on the prototype machine supported the design of the Tianhe-3 multi-billion-dollar machine system to develop comprehensive calculation, memory access and communication performance balance. In the future, Tianhe-3 will further upgrade the core computing and interconnecting core chips that have been designed and produced, and further improve the hierarchical storage system that can support the EB-level massive data storage, and optimize the application for high-performance computing, as well as a flexible architecture for efficient big data processing. In two to three years, it is expected that around 2020, a new generation of Tianhe-3 E-class supercomputer with international leading level will be built. By then, its computing power will be 200 times higher than that of Tianhe-1, achieving a qualitative leap.

Application drives development of many areas.

In Liu Guangming's view, the new-generation supercomputing withexcellent performance is good-looking and multi-functional. It will help solve the problem of high-performance computing power in China and provide an irreplaceable and important technical means for solving the challenging problems in China's national economy and scientific research. At the same time, it can directly improve the scientific and technological innovation ability of scientific research institutes and enhance the core competitiveness of enterprises.

“National Supercomputing Center in Tianjin is the first super-computing center in the world to rely on high-tech services to achieve balance” said Meng Xiangfei, director of the application research and development department of the National Supercomputing Center in Tianjin. He said that the Tianhe-1 used by the center has been widely acquired in the world. The most widely used supercomputers run more than 1,400 computing tasks per day. The users cover nearly 1,600 key scientific research, enterprises, and government agencies in the fields of oil and gas exploration, high-end equipment manufacturing, drug research and development, and smog warning and forecasting.

Tianhe-1 has accumulated more than 1,300 major projects such as major national science and technology projects and national key R&D plans, involving more than 2 billion yuan in funding, and obtained important awards such as national, provincial and ministerial level and more than 2,000 publications. Through advanced product design, advanced process optimization, advanced material research and development, etc., the company has an annual average economic benefit of more than 3 billion yuan.

Meng Xiangfei said that in the future, the National Supercomputing Center in Tianjin will rely on Tianhe-3 to build a high-performance computing service platform that integrates supercomputing with cloud computing, big data and artificial intelligence, and will be in long-term high-resolution climate weather forecasting, large-scale aerospace numerical wind tunnel, seismic geological research, oil and gas energy exploration, brain science and genetic engineering, and a series of ultra-large-scale calculations and simulations. It also plays a supporting and platform role in areas of big data analysis and processing and data securityinvolving people’s livelihood and government affairs, medication and healthcare, and genetic health.

The center will further lead the innovation and development of Tianjin's intelligent industry, with the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Big Data Collaborative Processing Center as the carrier, dock Xiongan NewArea, fully serve the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei collaborative innovation, and become an important engine for the regional innovation and development of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.

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