NREL Kestrel supercomputer: NVIDIA A100NEXT GPU, is this Hopper H100?

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) selects HP to build its new supercomputer, with NVIDIA A100NEXT Tensor Core GPUs.

Published Dec 8, 2021 6:02 PM CST   |   Updated Wed, Jul 27 2022 3:51 AM CDT
2 minutes & 2 seconds read time

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has chosen Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) to build its third-gen, high-performance computing (HPC) system, called Kestrel.

NREL Kestrel supercomputer: NVIDIA A100NEXT GPU, is this Hopper H100? 01 |

NREL's new Kestrel supercomputer was named after a falcon that has "keen eyesight and intelligence, Kestrel's moniker is apropos for its mission-to rapidly advance the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) energy research and development (R&D) efforts to deliver transformative energy solutions to the entire United States".

The new supercomputer will be installed in the fall of 2022 at NREL's Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) data center and will have a mind-boggling 44 petaflops of computing power. But the most interesting thing here is that NREL's new Kestrel supercomputer is powered by future next-gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors (Sapphire Rapids) and NVIDIA A100NEXT Tensor Core GPUs "to accelerate AI", not play Crysis.

NVIDIA is expected to unveil next-gen "Ampere Next" GPUs in 2022, and this could be our first spotting in the form of the "NVIDIA A100NEXT Tensor Core GPUs". We don't know if this will be a new GPU architecture (Hopper = HPC, Ada Lovelace = GeForce) or a suped-up Ampere GPU.

The folks over at NextPlatform think NVIDIA could use ae "die shrink to 5nm" and then cram in "more compute units, perhaps doubling via chiplet design". We might see NVIDIA surprise us all and deploy an MCM-based GPU design with Hopper, a truly next-gen chiplet-style multi-GPU monster.

I'll keep my eyes peeled on more news for NVIDIA's new A100NEXT Tensor Core GPUs as it happens. For now, NREL's new Kestrel supercomputer is going to be an absolute boss. I wonder what the crypto-mining hashrate on that bad boy would be.

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Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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