ALCF Systems

Supercomputing Resources

ALCF supercomputing resources support large-scale, computationally intensive projects aimed at solving some of the world’s most complex and challenging scientific problems.

System Name Purpose Architecture Peak Performance Processors per Node GPUs per Node Nodes Cores Memory Interconnect Racks
Polaris Purpose Science Campaigns Architecture HPE Apollo 6500 Gen10+ Peak Performance 25 PF; 44 PF (Tensor Core double precision) Processors per Node 1 3rd Gen AMD EPYC GPUs per Node 4 NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core Nodes 560 Cores 17,920 Memory 280 TB (DDR4); 87.5 TB (HBM) Interconnect HPE Slingshot 10 with Dragonfly configuration Racks 40
Theta: KNL Nodes Purpose Science Campaigns Architecture Intel-Cray XC40 Peak Performance 11.7 PF Processors per Node 1 64-core, 1.3-GHz Intel Xeon Phi 7230 GPUs per Node Nodes 4,392 Cores 281,088 Memory 843 TB (DDR4); 70 TB (HBM) Interconnect Aries network with Dragonfly configuration Racks 24
Theta: GPU Nodes Purpose Science Campaigns Architecture NVIDIA DGX A100 Peak Performance 3.9 PF Processors per Node 2 AMD EPYC 7742 GPUs per Node 8 NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core Nodes 24 Cores 3,072 Memory 26 TB (DDR4); 8.32 TB (GPU) Interconnect NVIDIA QM8700 InfiniBand Racks 7
Cooley Purpose Data Analysis and Visualization Architecture Intel Haswell Peak Performance 293 TF Processors per Node 2 6-core, 2.4-GHz Intel E5–2620 GPUs per Node 1 NVIDIA Tesla K80 Nodes 126 Cores 1,512 Memory 47 TB (DDR4); 3 TB (GDDR5) Interconnect FDR InfiniBand Racks 6

ALCF AI Testbed

The ALCF AI Testbed provides an infrastructure of next-generation AI-accelerator machines that allows researchers to evaluate the usability and performance of machine learning-based applications running on the systems. AI testbeds include:

System Name System Details        
Cerebras CS-2 Wafer-Scale Engine 800,000+ processing cores 2.6 trillion transistors, 7 nm SwarmX fabric TensorFlow, PyTorch
SambaNova DataScale Reconfigurable Dataflow Unit 40 billion+ transistors, 7 nm RDU-Connect SambaFlow software stack, PyTorch
Graphcore MK1 Intelligent Processing Unit (IPU) 1,216 IPU tiles, 14 nm 23 billion+ transistors IPU-Links interconnect Poplar software stack, PyTorch, TensorFlow
Groq Tensor Streaming Processor 26 billion+ transistors, 14 nm Chip-to-chip interconnect GroqWare software stack, Onnx
Habana Gaudi Tensor processing cores 7 nm Integrated 100 GbE-based interconnect Synapse AI Software, PyTorch, TensorFlow

Data Storage Systems

ALCF disk storage systems provide intermediate-term storage for users to access, analyze, and share computational and experimental data. Tape storage is used to archive data from completed projects.

System Name File System Storage System Usable Capacity Sustained Data Transfer Rate Disk Drives
Eagle File System Lustre Storage System HPE ClusterStor E1000 Usable Capacity 100 PB Sustained Data Transfer Rate 650 GB/s Disk Drives 8,480
Grand File System Lustre Storage System HPE ClusterStor E1000 Usable Capacity 100 PB Sustained Data Transfer Rate 650 GB/s Disk Drives 8,480
Theta-FSO File System Lustre Storage System HPE Sonexion L300 Usable Capacity 9 PB Sustained Data Transfer Rate 240 GB/s Disk Drives 2,300
Swift File System Lustre Storage System All NVMe Flash Storage Array Usable Capacity 123 TB Sustained Data Transfer Rate 48 GB/s Disk Drives 24
Tape Storage File System Storage System LT06 and LT08 Tape Technology Usable Capacity 300 PB Sustained Data Transfer Rate Disk Drives


InfiniBand enables communication between system I/O nodes and the ALCF’s various storage systems. The Production HPC SAN is built upon NVIDIA Mellanox High Data Rate (HDR) InfiniBand hardware. Two 800-port core switches provide the backbone links between 80 edge switches, yielding 1600 total available host ports, each at 200 Gbps, in a non-blocking fat-tree topology. The full bisection bandwidth of this fabric is 320 Tbps. The HPC SAN is maintained by the NVIDIA Mellanox Unified Fabric Manager (UFM), providing Adaptive Routing to avoid congestion, as well as the NVIDIA Mellanox Self-Healing Interconnect Enhancement for InteLligent Datacenters (SHIELD) resiliency system for link fault detection and recovery.

When external communications are required, Ethernet is the interconnect of choice. Remote user access, systems maintenance and management, and high-performance data transfers are all enabled by the Local Area Network (LAN) and Wide Area Network (WAN) Ethernet infrastructure. This connectivity is built upon a combination of Extreme Networks SLX and MLXe routers and NVIDIA Mellanox Ethernet switches.

ALCF systems connect to other research institutions over multiple 100 Gbps Ethernet circuits that link to many high performance research networks, including local and regional networks like the Metropolitan Research and Education Network (MREN), as well as national and international networks like the Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) and Internet2.

Joint Laboratory for System Evaluation

Through Argonne’s Joint Laboratory for System Evaluation (JLSE), the ALCF provides access to leading-edge testbeds for exploratory research aimed at evaluating future extreme-scale computing systems, technologies, and capabilities. JLSE testbeds include: