ISC'24: Democratising AI Accelerators for HPC Applications

13 May 2024

EPCC Applications Consultant Joseph Lee has organised a Birds of a Feather session at ISC24 to discuss challenges, experiences, and success stories using novel AI accelerators for HPC applications.

There has been a recent surge in the number of novel AI hardware architectures, including Cerebras WSE, GroqRack, SambaNova DataScale, Graphcore IPUs, and Habana Gaudi. Here at EPCC we host two Cerebras CS-2 systems to support AI and Machine Learning applications.

Beyond their primary use in AI, these accelerators have sparked intense interest and rapid development in their capacity for handling HPC workloads and driving algorithmic research. Their distinctive architectural designs, often with significant raw compute capability and high bandwidth, have proven capable of significantly enhancing real-world performance for specific workloads, often outperforming GPUs.

As these technologies are still emerging, the maturity levels of associated tooling and software stacks vary considerably, and there are gaps in documentation and support.

I have co-organised a Birds of a Feather session (BoF) at ISC24 to discuss several pertinent questions: 

  • What are the prevailing trends in AI accelerators for HPC applications? 
  • How do the different architectures better suit different workloads? Where can one find robust training resources? 
  • What are the common challenges users encounter with these accelerators? How can vendors enhance support for developers? 
  • Where can interested users access and experiment with these hardware resources?

This BoF intends to assemble developers experienced in, or interested in, using AI accelerators for HPC applications. The panel will include representatives from Argonne National Laboratory, ETH Zurich, Leibniz Computing Centre, and Cerebras Systems, who will drive the conversation and pool the extensive knowledge within the community. The aim is to foster discussion and share challenges, experiences, success stories, and insights gained from using these accelerators.

If you're attending ISC24, I hope to meet you there.

Further information

Event page on ISC website:

Event details:
Hall E - 2nd floor, Tuesday, May 14, 2024 2:15 PM to 3:15 PM ยท 1 hr. (Europe/Berlin)



Dr Joseph Lee
Joseph Lee