Mont-Blanc supercomputer powered by Samsung's Exynos

Posted by Trent Nouveau

The European-based Mont-Blanc project has selected Samsung's flagship Exynos platform as the building block to power its first integrated low power- High Performance Computing (HPC) prototype.

According to Alex Ramirez, coordinator of the Mont-Blanc project, the goal of the initiative is to design a new type of computer architecture capable of setting future global HPC standards.

As we've previously discussed on TG Daily, the Samsung Exynos 5 Dual is built on 32nm low-power HKMG (High-K Metal Gate) and features a dual-core 1.7GHz mobile CPU based on ARM Cortex-A15 architecture paired with an integrated Mali-T604 GPU.

And yes, the Samsung Exynos 5 Dual is the very same chipset that powers Samsung's Chromebook and Google’s Nexus 10.

"This will be the first use of an embedded mobile SoC in HPC, which enables the Mont-Blanc project to explore the challenges and benefits of deeply integrated energy-efficient processors and GPU accelerators, compared to traditional homogeneous multicore systems, and heterogeneous CPU + external GPU architectures," Ramirez explained.

"The Exynos 5 Dual packs the most powerful ARM processors with a programmable GPU in a low-power mobile device that would normally be in someone’s pocket and running on a battery. Its performance density, energy efficiency, and low market price make it an extraordinary building block for prototyping a new generation of HPC systems."

During the first year of activities, the Mont-Blanc initiative focused on successfully deploying an HPC system software stack and full-scale scientific applications on ARM platforms - proving that ARM-based architectures are feasible alternatives for HPC.

"Now the efforts [are shifting] towards integration of the Exynos platform on a HPC solution, [along with] software exploitation of the embedded GPU," Ramirez added.