The Arm Scalable Vector Extension, or SVE, is an extension for the AArch64 instruction set of the Armv8 architecture. It is a key technology furthering the ability of Arm processors to efficiently address the computation requirements of HPC, Data Analytics, Machine Learning, and other applications. With the arrival of the first SVE-enabled hardware platform from Fujitsu, we are gaining experience with SVE. And we are finding it is also applicable in areas such as media processing, encryption/decryption and network processing such as the HPC-focused Message Passing Interface (MPI). We also see a role at the infrastructure edge supporting DSP & 5G L1 packet processing and enabling use cases like autonomous vehicles. This is a technology that truly spans from supercomputers to edge devices.
SIMD and vector extensions are not new – GPUs use SIMD for machine learning training and inference operations – but Arm’s SVE implements these capabilities in a unique way. One of the main features of SVE is its flexibility. Unlike traditional SIMD extensions, vector width is not hard coded in SVE. Applications compiled for SVE on one platform will run on any valid SVE implementation, no matter the width. Valid implementations are 128b to 2048b in increments of 128b. With the announcement of the Arm Neoverse V1 platform (codenamed Zeus), we are disclosing the implementation of SVE 2x256 as a part of the Neoverse V1 IP core.
Thus far, a number of partners are developing Neoverse V1-based solutions optimized for High Performance Computing applications such as simulation, data analytics, and deep learning. You can expect to see the results of this work hitting the market soon.
One of these partners is SiPearl who has previously disclosed a design using Zeus. "SiPearl has chosen Arm's Zeus core to power its first generation High Performance Server process. The addition of SVE on the Neoverse roadmap brings a lot of potential to HPC, cloud, and machine learning workloads, and we look forward to contributing to the Arm ecosystem as it grows for technical computing and beyond," noted Craig Prunty, VP of Marketing and Business Development for SiPearl.
The Arm ecosystem is indeed growing rapidly in HPC, on the edge and in the cloud. An example of this is our partner NVIDIA® who recently announced support for Arm platforms. Their software stack takes advantage of Arm’s strengths in variety of implementation and brings Arms servers in-line with alternatives using NVIDIA GPUs. With Neoverse V1, we are excited to see how NVIDIA software and GPUs will fully take advantage of this platform.
With the recent unveiling of the world's fastest supercomputer – Fugaku from Riken, based on Fujitsu’s A64FX processor - the first hardware implementation of SVE has hit the market. Fujitsu has done their own implementation of the Arm architecture, and has implemented HBM (High Bandwidth Memory), providing 1 TB/s of memory bandwidth to help fill the SVE pipelines. As we gain experience with this amazing platform, we are learning of the incredible power available at the high end of supercomputing. With the #1 spot on the Top500.org, supercomputer Fugaku has broken performance records on 4 of 5 key HPC metrics. The system is delivering results earlier than expected and is impacting important issues such as COVID-19 research (ref: https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Technology/Do-cloth-masks-work-Supercomputer-Fugaku-says-yes).
“Fugaku developed by Riken and Fujitsu has achieved four supercomputer crowns, largely thanks to strong floating-point calculation engine with SVE and high throughput cache and memory structure in Fujitsu’s A64FX processor. We welcome the expansion of SVE technology and ecosystem in the future," said Takumi Maruyama, Principal Expert, Fujitsu.
Arm’s Neoverse V1 platform has been highly anticipated by customers who are focused on performance. With the flexibility of the Scalable Vector Extension, ISVs are eager to access platforms and optimize their offerings as they see the coming expansion of Arm systems in the market. As we work with our partners at Fujitsu to bring the A64FX to sites worldwide, the excitement is building. We have cloud and HPC partners eager to engage on SVE opportunities. If you have something interesting in the works please reach out and we will help you get a taste of the future.
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