IBM Develops ‘world’s most powerful commercial supercomputer’ for Total

Pangea III, with 25 petaflops, 50 petabytes of storage and a hybrid CPU/GPU architecture, comes in at overall number 11 on the Top500 list.

IBM has built Pangea III, ‘the world’s most powerful commercial supercomputer’ for Total. The IBM Power9-based supercomputer will be used for seismic imaging, reservoir modeling and ‘asset valuation and selectivity’. Pangea III has a compute bandwidth of 25 petaflops with 50 petabytes of storage and comes in at N° 11 in the latest Top500 ranking of supercomputers overall, and at N° 1 amongst ‘commercial’ machines*. Pangea III is relatively economical power-wise, requiring a mere 1.5 MW, compared to 4.5 MW for its predecessor, or 10% the energy consumption per petaflop. The previous machine, Pangea II, was a 6.7 petaflop Silicon Graphics machine installed in 2016.

To satisfy Total’s requirements for GPU-accelerated computing, IBM worked with Nvidia to jointly develop the ‘industry’s only’ CPU-to-GPU Nvidia NVLink connection, linking the Power9 with Nvidia Tesla V100 Tensor Core GPUs. Pangea’s operating system is Red Hat Linux 7.6. The main compiler is IBM’s IBM ‘XL’ 16.1 C/C++ with the IBM ESSL 6.2 engineering and scientific subroutine library. More from IBM.

* As we report elsewhere in this issue, ExxonMobil claims a 50 petaflop peak capacity for its Houston-based HPC, which would put it at N°10 on the Top500 list if it had entered the challenge.

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