Indiana University (IU) is home to the nation’s fastest university-owned supercomputer, a $9.6 million Cray “Shasta” unit dubbed Big Red 200. Named in honor of the school’s bicentennial, the beastly machine flaunts multiple petaflops of performance for chewing through scientific calculations and other complex data sets.
While the supercomputer is no slouch in its current form (Big Red 200 comprises 672 dual-socket nodes powered by AMD’s 64C/128T EPYC 7742 processors, which equates to 86,016 cores and 172,032 threads), it’s destined to get even better with the help of NVIDIA. The university plans to boost its computing muscle with green team’s next-generation “Ampere” GPUs, which are rumored to be of the 7 nm variety.
Big Red 200 was originally designed with V100 Tensor Core GPUs in mind, which would have resulted in a machine boasting 5.9 petaflops of performance. Ampere is expected to increase that figure to 8 petaflops.
This is all well and good for the researchers, scientists, and other geniuses at IU’s computing department, but for lesser mortals, the news serves as substantial proof that NVIDIA’s 7 nm products are right around the corner.