Intel, Dell Technologies, and University of Cambridge join forces to unveil Dawn Supercomputer.


November 2, 2023

Intel, Dell Technologies, and University of Cambridge join forces to unveil  Dawn Supercomputer.

Summary: Dell Technologies, Intel, and the University of Cambridge have collaborated to deploy the Dawn Phase 1 supercomputer, the fastest AI supercomputer in the U.K., to explore the potential of AI systems and architectures and reach exascale computing capabilities.

  • Dawn Phase 1 is the fastest AI supercomputer in the U.K.
  • It is capable of supporting large workloads across various domains such as healthcare, engineering, green fusion energy, climate modeling, cosmology, and high-energy physics.
  • It is built on Dell PowerEdge XE9640 servers, known for their versatile configuration options and liquid cooling technology.


Dell Technologies, Intel, and the University of Cambridge have come together to unleash the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and high-performance computing (HPC) with the deployment of the Dawn Phase 1 supercomputer. This collaboration marks a significant step forward for the U.K.’s technology sector and sets the stage for future leadership in the field. Dawn, which is part of the U.K. AI Research Resource (AIRR), aims to tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges by exploring the potential of AI systems and architectures.

With Dawn, the U.K. is edging closer to achieving exascale computing capabilities, reaching a threshold of one quintillion floating-point operations per second. To put this into perspective, it would take every person on Earth over four years of non-stop calculations to match a single second’s worth of processing power in an exascale system.

“Dawn considerably strengthens the scientific and AI compute capability available in the U.K., and it’s on the ground, operational today at the Cambridge Open Zettascale Lab,” said Adam Roe, EMEA HPC technical director at Intel. The supercomputer utilizes Dell PowerEdge XE9640 servers, which provide a robust platform for hosting the Intel Data Center GPU Max Series accelerator. This combination offers flexibility through oneAPI, allowing for a diverse ecosystem of choice.

Dawn is the result of a co-design partnership between Dell Technologies, Intel, the University of Cambridge, and additional investment from UK Research and Innovation. It is currently the fastest AI supercomputer in the U.K., capable of supporting large workloads across various domains such as healthcare, engineering, green fusion energy, climate modeling, cosmology, and high-energy physics.

The deployment of Dawn Phase 1 marks a significant milestone for the U.K.’s scientific research communities. Dr. Paul Calleja, director of Research Computing Services at the University of Cambridge, highlighted its importance by stating, “Dawn Phase 1 represents a huge step forward in AI and simulation capability for the U.K., deployed and ready to use now.” The goal is to continue this successful partnership and deliver a Phase 2 supercomputer in 2024, which would provide ten times the performance of Phase 1.

Dawn Phase 1 will join forces with the previously announced Isambard AI supercomputer to form the AIRR, a national facility aimed at maximizing the potential of AI and supporting critical research into its safe and effective use. With the support of UK Research and Innovation, Dawn will significantly enhance the country’s AI and simulation compute capacity, accelerating research discovery and driving growth in the knowledge economy.

The new supercomputer is built on Dell PowerEdge XE9640 servers, known for their versatile configuration options and liquid cooling technology. This ensures efficient and cost-effective performance, surpassing traditional air-cooled systems.

Tariq Hussain, head of U.K. Public Sector at Dell Technologies, emphasized the importance of collaborations and investments in unlocking the U.K.’s AI potential. “It is paramount that the government invests in the right technologies and infrastructure to ensure the U.K. leads in AI and exascale-class simulation capability,” said Hussain.

Each PowerEdge XE9640 server in the Dawn system combines two 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors and four Intel Data Center GPU Max accelerators, delivering powerful performance and efficiency for real-world scientific problems. The software environment is optimized for AI and simulation through Scientific OpenStack from UK SME StackHPC, complemented by the oneAPI open software ecosystem and optimized frameworks that accelerate AI and HPC workloads.

More technical details and performance numbers for Dawn Phase 1 will be launched at the Supercomputing 23 (SC23) conference in mid-November in Denver, Colorado. This will provide a deeper insight into the capabilities and potential of this supercomputer.

Intel, Dell Technologies, and University of Cambridge join forces to unveil  Dawn Supercomputer.

Intel, Dell Technologies, and University of Cambridge join forces to unveil  Dawn Supercomputer.

(Source)

Background Information


About Dell: Dell is a globally technology leader providing comprehensive solutions in the field of hardware, software, and services. for its customizable computers and enterprise solutions, Dell offers a diverse range of laptops, desktops, servers, and networking equipment. With a commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction, Dell caters to a wide range of consumer and business needs, making it a important player in the tech industry.

Dell Website: https://www.dell.com/
Dell LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/dell/

About Intel: Intel Corporation, a global technology leader, is for its semiconductor innovations that power computing and communication devices worldwide. As a pioneer in microprocessor technology, Intel has left an indelible mark on the evolution of computing with its processors that drive everything from PCs to data centers and beyond. With a history of advancements, Intel's relentless pursuit of innovation continues to shape the digital landscape, offering solutions that empower businesses and individuals to achieve new levels of productivity and connectivity.

Intel Website: https://www.intel.com/
Intel LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/intel-corporation/

Technology Explained


GPU: GPU stands for Graphics Processing Unit and is a specialized type of processor designed to handle graphics-intensive tasks. It is used in the computer industry to render images, videos, and 3D graphics. GPUs are used in gaming consoles, PCs, and mobile devices to provide a smooth and immersive gaming experience. They are also used in the medical field to create 3D models of organs and tissues, and in the automotive industry to create virtual prototypes of cars. GPUs are also used in the field of artificial intelligence to process large amounts of data and create complex models. GPUs are becoming increasingly important in the computer industry as they are able to process large amounts of data quickly and efficiently.


liquid cooling: Liquid cooling is a technology used to cool down computer components, such as processors, graphics cards, and other components that generate a lot of heat. It works by circulating a liquid coolant, such as water or a special coolant, through a series of pipes and radiators. The liquid absorbs the heat from the components and then dissipates it into the air. This technology is becoming increasingly popular in the computer industry due to its ability to provide more efficient cooling than traditional air cooling methods. Liquid cooling can also be used to overclock components, allowing them to run at higher speeds than their rated speeds. This technology is becoming increasingly popular in the gaming industry, as it allows gamers to get the most out of their hardware.


Xeon: The Intel Xeon processor is a powerful and reliable processor used in many computer systems. It is a multi-core processor that is designed to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. It is used in servers, workstations, and high-end desktop computers. It is also used in many embedded systems, such as routers and switches. The Xeon processor is known for its high performance and scalability, making it a popular choice for many computer applications. It is also used in many cloud computing applications, as it is capable of handling large amounts of data and providing high levels of performance. The Xeon processor is also used in many scientific and engineering applications, as it is capable of handling complex calculations and simulations.



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