AMD has been honored with the ALICE Industry Award 2021, an award given by CERN that is a recognition of the work that AMD has done this year, and its commitment to the design and production of the ALICE Event Processing Nodes (EPN), both online and offline. These are backed by AMD EPYC processors and AMD Instinct accelerators.
AMD’s EPYC processors marked, as our regular readers will know, an important turning point in the sector, thanks to its configuration of up to 64 cores and 128 threads, its high IPC and its efficiency. In terms of performance per watt, they offer a very clear value, and are highly competitive in single-wire performance, making them one of the most interesting options out there today.
For their part, AMD’s Instinct graphics accelerators also made a major leap thanks to the introduction of the CDNA architecture. With all this in mind, it is not surprising that CERN bet on AMD to drive ALICE’s EPN.
However, we must remember that this is not the first time that CERN uses AMD hardware to launch an important project, in fact, and without going any further, last year they announced a new case study where it was confirmed that CERN had deployed second-generation EPYC processors from AMD to help collect a massive data stream from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) detectors, where raw collision data reaches up to 40 TB per second.
To date, more than 1,500 scientists from 151 institutes in 37 countries are working together to study the current subject, and also the matter that was present in the first microseconds after the Big Bang. This is possible thanks to ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment). With this simple explanation we can understand much better why the “Great Ion Collider Experiment” is so important.
To analyze the 600 GB / s data stream generated by the ALICE detector, its developers and AMD installed and launched the EPN ecosystem, that is, the «Event Processing Nodes», which we can define as a farm of high-performance computers equipped with eight AMD Instinct graphics accelerators, and with two EPYC processors with 32 cores and 64 threads. Good results, and the dedication of AMD engineers, were two key factors in the award of the ALICE 2021 Industry Award.