Novel hardware / software architecture testbed

This project will create a testbed featuring novel accelerator technology from NextSilicon in collaboration with University of Birmingham HPC systems partner Lenovo, as part of a co-design partnership. The project will evaluate the performance of the main codes used by UKRI researchers, with a particular emphasis on evaluating some of the major algorithm classes used in supercomputing and data science, as well as other HPC apps.

Should the technology fulfil its promised potential in the evaluation, it will be made available to the UK HPC community as part of the Baskerville EPSRC Tier 2 service which has recently been awarded to the University of Birmingham. This facility, which will be installed in Q1 2021, will include 184 Nvidia A100 GPU accelerator cards. Other novel accelerator technologies are also planned for introduction over the lifetime of the facility, thus enabling us to assess the new technology in a heterogeneous accelerated live HPC environment.

Access to the testbed systems

The Excalibur H&ES testbeds are prioritised for access by ExCALIBUR projects, but also available for use by the wider UK research community – contact the ExCALIBUR H&ES programme office to discuss your requirements. Please note that the testbeds are offered on a best efforts basis rather than a service footing, as befits their experimental status.

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