AI 10X Boost: US Deploys First Large-Scale System in Venado Supercomputer with Nvidia

Venado is ideal for situations where faster analysis of vast datasets is crucial, even if the results require some refinement.
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In the dynamic landscape of technological advancements, the unveiling of Venado marks a significant milestone in the realm of supercomputing.

Collaboratively developed by Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), and NVIDIA, Venado represents a groundbreaking leap forward in computational power and artificial intelligence integration.

This blog post delves into the background of Venado, exploring its origins, capabilities, and the transformative impact it promises to bring to scientific research and discovery.

Venado adds to our cutting-edge supercomputing that advances national security and basic research, and it will accelerate how we integrate artificial intelligence into meeting those challenges.

 Thom Mason, director of Los Alamos National Laboratory.

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The journey towards the creation of Venado began with LANL’s commitment to advancing its national security and basic science missions through cutting-edge supercomputing technology.

Driven by the vision to push the boundaries of scientific exploration, Venado was conceptualized as a next-generation supercomputer designed to accelerate the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into various research domains.

With a focus on optimizing performance, efficiency, and scalability, such as Venado was meticulously crafted to address the evolving computational demands of complex scientific simulations and data-driven analyses.

Focus on AI: It’s designed specifically for high-performance computing (HPC) tasks and large-scale artificial intelligence applications.

Processing Power: Though the exact rating isn’t confirmed, estimates suggest it can achieve 10 exaflops of performance on AI workloads (using FP8 precision).

Hardware Innovation: It’s the first large-scale system in the US to utilize Nvidia’s Grace Hopper Superchips, which combine CPUs and GPUs in a single chip. This offers advantages in processing speed and efficiency.

Collaboration Effort: Venado is a collaborative project between LANL, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), and Nvidia.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is responsible for building and maintaining Venado’s physical infrastructure. Additionally, the collaboration between LANL, HPE, and Nvidia extends to software development. They’re working together to create a robust software environment that optimizes Venado’s capabilities and simplifies its use for researchers

Overall, Venado represents a significant advancement in supercomputing aimed at accelerating scientific discovery through AI and simulations [4].

On April 15, Thom Mason (center) discussed the important role of AI-enabled supercomputing in a panel discussion with NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang (second from left), Hewlett-Packard Enterprises CEO Antonio Neri (second from right) and Deputy Secretary of Energy David Turk (far right) in a panel discussion. Jason Pruett (far left), director of Los Alamos’ National Security AI Office, moderated.

Recognizing the need for unparalleled computational capabilities, LANL forged a strategic partnership with HPE and NVIDIA, leveraging their expertise in hardware and software innovation.

Key Features of Venado:

NVIDIA Grace Hopper Superchips: Venado incorporates NVIDIA Grace Hopper Superchips, combining Arm-based CPUs with NVIDIA Hopper architecture-based GPUs for unprecedented computational power.

These innovative chips are the backbone of Venado’s processing power. They combine CPUs for general computing tasks and GPUs specifically designed for AI and graphical workloads. This unified architecture allows for smoother communication and data transfer within the chip, leading to faster processing.

Exascale-Class Computing: With 2,560 direct, liquid-cooled Grace Hopper Superchips, Venado achieves exascale-class computing capabilities, enabling complex simulations in materials science and astrophysics.

AI Integration: Venado’s architecture is optimized for seamless integration of AI and machine learning algorithms, facilitating data-driven insights across various research domains.

HPE Slingshot 11 Interconnect: Equipped with HPE Slingshot 11 interconnect technology, Venado ensures high-speed networking and efficient data exchange between compute nodes for enhanced performance.

Energy Efficiency: Despite its immense computational power, Venado maintains energy efficiency, minimizing power consumption and operational costs while delivering superior performance.

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    Advantages of Venado:

    Unprecedented AI Performance: While not the most powerful supercomputer in raw compute power, Venado excels in AI tasks. The 10 exaflop rating refers to its capability in FP8 precision, which allows faster processing but with less precision compared to traditional methods. This makes Venado ideal for situations where faster analysis of vast datasets is crucial, even if the results require some refinement.

    High-Speed Networking: With HPE Slingshot 11 interconnect technology, Venado ensures seamless data exchange between compute nodes, facilitating collaborative research and workflow efficiency.

    Cost-Effectiveness: Despite its advanced capabilities, Venado maintains energy efficiency, minimizing operational costs and making it a cost-effective solution for large-scale scientific computing.

    Collaborative Co-Design: Venado’s development embodies a collaborative co-design philosophy, ensuring optimization for a diverse range of scientific applications and driving innovation across research domains.

      Our supercomputing capabilities represent a critical component of how national laboratories tackle important problems

      David Turk, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy

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      Comparison and Implications:

      In comparison to conventional supercomputers, Venado represents a quantum leap forward in computational capabilities and AI integration. Its exascale-class computing power, AI-driven insights, and energy-efficient design position it as a game-changer in scientific research and discovery.

      By enabling researchers to tackle increasingly complex computational challenges, Venado promises to unlock new frontiers in materials science, astrophysics, climate modeling, and beyond. Moreover, with its optimized architecture, Venado seamlessly integrates AI into its computing processes. Furthermore, its high-speed networking capabilities ensure swift data transfer and processing.

      Additionally, Venado’s energy-efficient design sets it apart from traditional supercomputers, reducing operational costs and environmental impact. Lastly, Venado offers a cost-effective solution without compromising on performance, making it an attractive option for research institutions and laboratories worldwide.

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      Comparison of Venado with Other Supercomputers:

      When comparing Venado with other supercomputers, several key aspects set it apart in terms of performance, efficiency, and capabilities.

      AspectVenadoOther Supercomputers
      Computational PowerExascale-class computing with 2,560 direct, liquid-cooled Grace Hopper SuperchipsVaried, ranging from petaflop to exaflop levels
      AI IntegrationOptimized architecture for seamless AI integration, leveraging NVIDIA Grace Hopper SuperchipsAI integration may vary; some supercomputers may require additional hardware or software modifications
      NetworkingEquipped with HPE Slingshot 11 interconnect for high-speed networkingNetworking capabilities may vary depending on the interconnect technology used
      Energy EfficiencyMaintains energy efficiency despite immense computational powerEnergy efficiency may vary; some supercomputers may consume higher power and require more cooling
      Cost-EffectivenessOffers cost-effective solution with superior performanceCost-effectiveness may vary depending on initial investment, operational costs, and performance metrics

      In summary, Venado stands out for its exascale-class computing capabilities, seamless AI integration, high-speed networking, energy efficiency, and cost-effectiveness compared to other supercomputers on the market.

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      Scientific Impact:

      Venado is expected to be a game-changer for various scientific fields. Researchers at LANL will be able to tackle complex problems in areas like:

      Materials Science: Simulating new materials with desired properties at an atomic level.

      Renewable Energy: Designing more efficient solar panels, batteries, and other clean energy technologies.

      Astrophysics: Understanding the formation and evolution of galaxies and the universe.


      Venado stands as a testament to the power of collaborative innovation and the relentless pursuit of scientific excellence. As LANL, HPE, and NVIDIA continue to push the boundaries of supercomputing technology, such as Venado represents a beacon of hope for scientists and researchers seeking to unravel the mysteries of the universe. With its unparalleled computational capabilities and AI-driven insights, moreover Venado heralds a new era of scientific discovery. Consequently, where the impossible becomes possible, and the unimaginable becomes attainable.

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