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Xilinx establishes adaptive compute research clusters

Xilinx has announced it is establishing Xilinx Adaptive Compute Clusters (XACC) at four of the world’s most prestigious universities. The XACCs provide critical infrastructure and funding to support novel research in adaptive compute acceleration for high performance computing (HPC). The scope of the research is broad and encompasses systems, architecture, tools, and applications.

The XACCs will be equipped with the latest Xilinx hardware and software technologies for adaptive compute acceleration. Each cluster is specially configured to enable some of the world’s foremost academic teams to conduct state-of-the-art HPC research.

The first of the XACCs is installed at ETH Zurich in Switzerland. XACCs will follow at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC). A fourth cluster is being setup at the National University of Singapore (NUS). The XACCs are composed of high-end servers, Xilinx Alveo accelerator cards and high-speed networking. Each Alveo card has two connections to a 100Gbps network switch to allow exploration of arbitrary network topologies for distributed computing.

The high-end servers are equipped with the latest Xilinx software including Vitis, a unified software platform for software engineers, AI researchers and data scientists who want to exploit adaptive compute acceleration. All four XACCs are expected to be operational within the next three months. They will be expanded with the newest 7nm Versal Adaptive Compute Acceleration Platform (ACAP) in a future deployment.

“With the decline of Moore’s law, we are entering an exciting era where the next wave of computing systems will look very different to what we have seen in the past, and adaptive compute accelerators will play a key role,” said Ivo Bolsens, CTO and senior vice president, at Xilinx. “The XACCs will provide dedicated hubs for innovation and research collaboration that will drive the development and integration of new adaptive compute technology into next generation systems.”

Xilinx invites leading academics to join the XACC program and collaborate on state-of-the-art HPC research on clusters equipped with the latest Xilinx adaptive compute acceleration technologies. Partner research teams will be able to remotely access the clusters’ computing resources to carry out their own research in adaptive computing. The XACCs will also act as a community hub for researchers to come together to collaborate with other experts in the field, including Xilinx in-house research groups.

The cluster at ETH Zurich will be led by Prof. Gustavo Alonso, head of the Institute for Computing Platforms and a member of the Systems Group in the Department of Computer Science, and will focus on network and database acceleration.

“The clusters that Xilinx has made available to researchers offers a unique opportunity to explore the latest technology at an unprecedented scale and ease of use,” said Prof. Alonso. “The clusters will enable new research as well as help establish a much-needed infrastructure for sharing designs, results, tools, and ideas in a reproducible manner.”

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