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Welcome to the Fourth Conference of Research Software Engineering, held at the University of Birmingham. For directions to and during the event, see the campus maps page.

In the Aston Webb Building near to the registration/reception desk, a cloakroom is available in room G30 along with a quiet room in G31.
Tuesday, September 17 • 18:30 - 19:30
P16 - Research vs POWER9

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It is difficult to argue against the dominance of Intel CPU architecture for HPC over the last decade. It is equally difficult to argue against the growing interesting in AI, Machine learning (ML) and Deep Learning (DL) for which such architectures are not optimised. Enter on to the scene, NVIDIA with tesla GPUs and tensor cores designed for fast matrix-matrix multiplications, ideal for AI, ML and DL. However, one drawback, memory; even the largest GPUs only have 32Gb which can be a limiting factor on the research problems which can be tackled. Using the mainboard RAM isn’t a solution to this issue due to the low bandwidth of the PCIe ports through which GPUs are normally attached to the system; but what if that issue was solved? Connect the GPU to the mainboard RAM via a high bandwidth interconnect and allow the GPU to access feasibly Tbs of RAM; this is the ethos of the POWER9 infrastructure from IBM. The University of Birmingham has now entered into a strategic partnership with IBM and is home to the largest POWER9 cluster in the UK with 11 nodes and a whopping 44 Tesla GPUs. With a year of use, we here will here present preliminary results of several case studies which take advantage of the POWER9 architecture.


Keith Evans

Senior Research Software Engineer, University of Birmingham

Tuesday September 17, 2019 18:30 - 19:30
6. The Great Hall Aston Webb Building