The University of Queensland (UoQ), Australia, is upgrading its Bunya supercomputer.

Based in Brisbane, Bunya is set to get 6,000 AMD Genoa CPUs and an unspecified number of Nvidia H100 L40 GPUs in the expansion, which is due to be completed by September 2023.

University of Queensland
– University of Queensland

The system runs at 200Gbps per node using the Nvidia HDR InfiniBand switches, while storage is provided by IBM ESS3500 Storage Scale parallel file systems. The H100 GPUs will use HBM3 (high bandwidth memory) while the Genoa CPUs will use DDR5 (double data rate 5) memory.

The new expansion, dubbed Bunya 2.0, is anticipated to make the supercomputer more suitable for accelerated computing, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and interactive visual computing, and will increase the systems performance by approximately 15 percent.

Jake Carroll, CTO of the University of Queensland Research Computing Centre (RCC), told ITNews that the UoQ wants to support a variety of workloads to “help as many researchers accelerate their research outcomes as possible.”

“On the accelerated computing front, we’re going to provide researchers with the very best the industry has to offer. Compared to previous generation GPUs, such as the A100, the H100 will provide a 30-times improvement in AI inference and around a seven-times performance boost in training performance. We believe researchers will be very happy with the new offering,” said Carroll.

Bunya is used for research in a wide range of subjects including the humanities, economics, molecular dynamics, genomics, weather and climate modeling, artificial intelligence, and astrophysics.

While this upgrade features Nvidia GPUs, the UoQ is committed to the use of a multi-vendor GPU system and will be deploying more AMD Instinct MI210 GPUs in the future.

According to Carroll, Bunya is hoped to be an “evergreen” supercomputer, and will be subject to iterative changes over the year, and not just one large purchase.

The RCC will review the system in five years and decide where to place its next investments. One of the key metrics that will be considered is its computational outcome per watt of power.

Bunya was launched in 2022 and replaced the UoQ RCC’s previous supercomputers Awoonga, FlashLite, and Tinaroo. At the time of deployment, the UoQ said that Bunya would be around four times faster than its Tinaroo or FlashLite systems.