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HPC Molecular Simulation Tries Out a New GPU: Experiences on Early AMD Test Systems for the Frontier Supercomputer...

by Ada A Sedova, Russell B Davidson, Mathieu Taillefumier, Wael R Elwasif
Publication Type
Conference Paper
Book Title
CUG Conference Proceedings: CUG 2022
Publication Date
Publisher Location
Bloomington, Indiana, United States of America
Conference Name
Conference Location
Monterey, California, United States of America
Conference Sponsor
Cray User Group (CUG)
Conference Date

Molecular simulation is an important tool for nu- merous efforts in physics, chemistry, and the biological sciences. Simulating molecular dynamics requires extremely rapid cal- culations to enable sufficient sampling of simulated temporal molecular processes. The Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Cray EX Frontier supercomputer installed at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) will provide an exascale resource for open science, and will feature graphics processing units (GPUs) from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). The future LUMI supercomputer in Finland will be based on an HPE Cray EX platform as well. Here we test the ports of several widely used molecular dynamics packages that have each made substantial use of acceleration with NVIDIA GPUs, on Spock, the early Cray pre-Frontier testbed system at the OLCF which employs AMD GPUs. These programs are used extensively in industry for pharmaceutical and materials research, as well as academia, and are also frequently deployed on high-performance computing (HPC) systems, including national leadership HPC resources. We find that in general, performance is competitive and installation is straightforward, even at these early stages in a new GPU ecosystem. Our experiences point to an expanding arena for GPU vendors in HPC for molecular simulation.