There are just two Arm-powered supercomputers on the latest TOP500 rankings: the “Astra” system at Sandia National Laboratories and Fujitsu’s new A64FX prototype. The latter captured the number one spot on the Green500 list, becoming the first non-accelerated system to do so since 2012. There are also a handful of smaller Arm-based clusters, such as the University of Bristol’s Isambard supercomputer, which has yielded some impressive performance results on an array of HPC microbenchmarks.
The small number of Arm-based HPC machines in the field has to be balanced against those achievements. But numbers do matter and a lot of industry-watchers, including us, had speculated that the architecture would be enjoying wider adoption at this point. At our HPC Day event prior to SC19, we spoke with Brent Gorda, senior director of the HPC Business at Arm, about what may be behind the slow rollout and what the company is doing to speed adoption.