Welcome to the Arm in HPC update for SC21. As we plan our second virtual SC, we sincerely hope for a return to in-person events. And, with that, once again the opportunity to catch up with friends and colleagues from around the world.
Looking back over 2021, the pandemic played a big role in our day-to-day lives. Not being able to be in the office or meet with people has been difficult on many. Thankfully for us, Arm takes care of its employees. While banned from the office for the first 3 quarters, Arm went to great effort to help us keep balance, engaged and feeling part of the team.
On the business front, we are happy that the Fujitsu system at Riken named Fugaku continued to be the #1 system the Top500.org list earlier this year. It shows that a strong silicon design team can propel excellent technology to highest of highs in current times. The team at Fujitsu has created an impressive CPU and system and can be proud of the accomplishment.
As we eagerly look forward, the big news from Arm came mid-year with the disclosure of our latest Neoverse IP (url: https://www.arm.com/products/silicon-ip-cpu/neoverse/neoverse-v1). The Neoverse V1 CPU, (code named Zeus) is the first IP from Arm featuring the Scalable Vector Extension and is a strong contender for HPC and AI workloads. Usability and SVE-optimized performance is ensured by the presence of mature software development tools within Arm Allinea Studio. Along with support for DDR5 and HBM 2e/3, we have high expectations that partner silicon will perform with the best the market has to offer. And like expectant parents, we eagerly await the arrival of the next crop of silicon from our partners.
Some HPC-focused partners are already public in their licensing of Neoverse V1. This includes SiPearl in the European Union, MEITY/C-DAC in India, and ETRI in South Korea. While SiPearl has been public for a while, all three are unveiling their designs and, if you search online, you can learn a great deal about their activities and plans. There is a trend here that aligns very well with the industry and speaks loudly to the advantage of Arm in the ecosystem. It is exciting to watch this progress.
In the broader market, our activities in cloud and datacenter are impacting HPC positively. The recent announcement of our latest v9 architecture and the “security” features are top of the list in new IP that should be attractive to HPC sites. The big step forward over the past few years (led on by cloud) is the massive efforts that have gone into software. The Arm ISA and mature toolset has hoisted Arm to equal status with x86 on this front. From supported operating systems to open-source software and, today, a rapidly growing ISV portfolio, the “Runs on Arm” effort has been hugely successful.
For Arm, our success in the cloud and datacenter is impacting the HPC work in a positive way. On the hardware side, silicon widely available silicon from Ampere and from Amazon (AWS Graviton2 processor) are competing today against the best x86 has to offer. On the software side, the Arm ISA has rapidly gained first class status as a fully supported platform from the operating system through middleware to the applications. As the market matures, the number of ISVs ready to support Arm is rapidly rising.
The reality is that “works on Arm” has advanced to the point where people are surprised to find things that don’t just work. Developers and users report that the vast majority of open-source software does just work on Arm. When it doesn’t, the culprit is often the existence of assembly or, more likely, platform-specific intrinsic operations. Tools like sse2neon or simde are proving quick ways to port x86 intrinsics https://community.arm.com/arm-community-blogs/b/ai-and-ml-blog/posts/porting-sse-to-neon-are-libraries-the-way-forward.
As you navigate SC21 in person or online, please look for the Arm events going on at the show. Once again, we are teaming with A-HUG with a rich agenda for presentations, BOF and a hack-a-thon with several platforms with different Arm silicon. Details can be accessed at https://www.A-HUG.org and the Arm BOF (part of the regular SC21 program) is available at https://sc21.supercomputing.org/presentation/?id=bof123&sess=sess369.
With this as a background, I can confidently state that 2022 is setup to be an excellent year for Arm in HPC. The maturation of software, availability of silicon and soon systems is set to propel the effort into the mainstream for HPC. If you are a hockey fan, Arm is where the puck is headed and we encourage you to engage with our partners to get ready.
We wish you the best on-site or virtually for SC21.