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Evaluating the Arm Ecosystem for High Performance Computing

Adrian Jackson, Andrew Turner, Michele Weiland, Nick Johnson, Olly Perks, Mark Parsons
EPCC, The University of Edinburgh
arXiv:1904.04250 [cs.DC], (8 Apr 2019)

@article{jackson2019evaluating,

   title={Evaluating the Arm Ecosystem for High Performance Computing},

   author={Jackson, Adrian and Turner, Andrew and Weiland, Michele and Johnson, Nick and Perks, Olly and Parsons, Mark},

   journal={arXiv preprint arXiv:1904.04250},

   year={2019}

}

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In recent years, Arm-based processors have arrived on the HPC scene, offering an alternative the existing status quo, which was largely dominated by x86 processors. In this paper, we evaluate the Arm ecosystem, both the hardware offering and the software stack that is available to users, by benchmarking a production HPC platform that uses Marvell’s ThunderX2 processors. We investigate the performance of complex scientific applications across multiple nodes, and we also assess the maturity of the software stack and the ease of use from a users’ perspective. This papers finds that the performance across our benchmarking applications is generally as good as, or better, than that of well-established platforms, and we can conclude from our experience that there are no major hurdles that might hinder wider adoption of this ecosystem within the HPC community.
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