Supercomputing reaches new heights

NVIDIA has introduced NVIDIA Quantum-2, the next generation of its InfiniBand networking platform, which offers the extreme performance, broad accessibility and strong security needed by cloud computing providers and supercomputing centers.

The most advanced end-to-end networking platform ever built, NVIDIA Quantum-2 is a 400Gbps InfiniBand networking platform that consists of the NVIDIA Quantum-2 switch, the ConnectX-7® network adapter, the BlueField-3® data processing unit (DPU) and all the software that supports the new architecture.

The introduction of NVIDIA Quantum-2 comes as supercomputing centers are increasingly opening to multitudes of users, many from outside their organizations. At the same time, the world’s cloud service providers are beginning to offer more supercomputing services to their millions of customers.

NVIDIA Quantum-2 includes key features required for demanding workloads running in either arena. Supercharged by cloud-native technologies, it provides high performance with 400 gigabits per second of throughput and advanced multi-tenancy to accommodate many users.

“The requirements of today’s supercomputing centers and public clouds are converging,” said Gilad Shainer, senior vice president of Networking at NVIDIA. “They must provide the greatest performance possible for next-generation HPC, AI and data analytics challenges, while also securely isolating workloads and responding to varying demands of user traffic. This vision of the modern data center is now real with NVIDIA Quantum-2 InfiniBand.”

NVIDIA Quantum-2 Performance and Cloud-Native Capabilities

With 400Gbps, NVIDIA Quantum-2 InfiniBand doubles the network speed and triples the number of network ports. It accelerates performance by 3x and reduces the need for data center fabric switches by 6x, while cutting data center power consumption and reducing data center space by 7 percent each.

The multi-tenant performance isolation of NVIDIA Quantum-2 keeps the activity of one tenant from disturbing others, utilizing an advanced telemetry-based congestion control system with cloud-native capabilities that ensure reliable throughput, regardless of spikes in users or workload demands.

NVIDIA Quantum-2 SHARPv3™ In-Network Computing technology provides 32x more acceleration engines for AI applications compared with the previous generation. Advanced InfiniBand fabric management for data centers, including predictive maintenance, is enabled with the NVIDIA UFM® Cyber-AI platform.

A nanosecond-precision timing system integrated into NVIDIA Quantum-2 can synchronize distributed applications, like database processing, helping to reduce the overhead of wait and idle times. This new capability allows cloud data centers to become part of the telecommunications network and host software-defined 5G radio services.

Quantum-2 InfiniBand Switch

At the heart of the Quantum-2 platform is the new Quantum-2 InfiniBand switch. With 57 billion transistors on 7-nanometer silicon, it is slightly bigger than the NVIDIA A100 GPU with 54 billion transistors.

It features 64 ports at 400Gbps or 128 ports at 200Gbps and will be offered in a variety of switch systems up to 2,048 ports at 400Gbps or 4,096 ports at 200Gbps — more than 5x the switching capability over the previous generation, Quantum-1.

The combined networking speed, switching capability and scalability is ideal for building the next-generation of giant HPC systems.

The NVIDIA Quantum-2 switch is now available from a wide range of leading infrastructure and system vendors around the world, including Atos, DataDirect Networks (DDN), Dell Technologies, Excelero, GIGABYTE, HPE, IBM, Inspur, Lenovo, NEC, Penguin Computing, QCT, Supermicro, VAST Data and WekaIO.

Quantum-2, ConnectX-7 and BlueField-3

The NVIDIA Quantum-2 platform provides two networking end-point options, the NVIDIA ConnectX-7 NIC and NVIDIA BlueField-3 DPU InfiniBand.

ConnectX-7, with 8 billion transistors in a 7-nanometer design, doubles the data rate of the world’s current leading HPC networking chip, the NVIDIA ConnectX-6. It also doubles the performance of RDMA, GPUDirect® Storage, GPUDirect RDMA and In-Networking Computing. The ConnectX-7 will sample in January.

BlueField-3 InfiniBand, with 22 billion transistors in a 7-nanometer design, offers sixteen 64-bit Arm CPUs to offload and isolate the data center infrastructure stack. BlueField-3 samples in May.


Atos and IQM have published the findings from the first global IDC study on the current status and future of quantum computing in high performance computing (HPC). Commissioned by IQM and Atos, the study reveals that 76% of HPC data centers worldwide plan to use quantum computing by 2023, and that 71% plan to move to on-premises quantum computing by 2026. IQM is part of Atos Scaler, an accelerator program creating partnerships with the start-up ecosystem.
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