Accelerating Research: Texas A&M Launching Grace Supercomputer for up to 20x Boost

Texas A&M University is turbocharging the research of its scientists and engineers with a new supercomputer powered by NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPUs.

The Grace supercomputer — named to honor programming pioneer Grace Hopper — handles almost 20 times the processing of its predecessor, Ada.

Texas A&M’s Grace supercomputing cluster comes as user demand at its High Performance Research Computing unit has doubled since 2016. It now has more than 2,600 researchers seeking to run workloads.

The Grace system promises to enhance A&M’s research capabilities and competitiveness. It will allow A&M researchers to keep pace with current trends across multiple fields enabled by advances in high performance computing.

Researchers at Texas A&M University will have access to the new system in December. Dell Technologies is the primary vendor for the Grace system.

Boosting Research

The new Grace architecture will enable researchers to make leaps with HPC in AI and data science. It also provides a foundation for a workforce in exascale computing, which processes a billion billion calculations per second.

The Grace system is set to support the university’s researchers in drug design, materials science, geosciences, fluid dynamics, biomedical applications, biophysics, genetics, quantum computing, population informatics and autonomous vehicles.

“The High Performance Research Computing lab has a mission to infuse computational and data analysis technologies into the research and creative activities of every academic discipline at Texas A&M,” said Honggao Liu, executive director of the facility.

Research at Texas A&M University in 2019 provided $952 million in revenue for the university known for its scholarship and scientific discovery support.

Petaflops Performance

Like its namesake Grace Hopper — whose work in the 1950s led to the COBOL programming language — the new Grace supercomputing cluster will be focused on fueling innovation and making groundbreaking discoveries.

The system boosts processing up to 6.2 petaflops. A one petaflops computer can handle one quadrillion floating point operations per second (flops).

In addition to the A100 GPUs, the Grace cluster is powered by single-precision NVIDIA T4 Tensor Core GPUs and NVIDIA RTX 6000 GPUs in combination with more than 900 Dell EMC PowerEdge servers.

The system is interconnected with NVIDIA Mellanox high-speed, low-latency HDR InfiniBand fabric, enabling smart in-network computing engines for accelerated computing. It also includes 5.12PB of usable high-performance DDN storage running the Lustre parallel file system.

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