System Architecture

Cascade Lake (CLX) Compute Nodes

Frontera hosts 8,008 Cascade Lake (CLX) compute nodes contained in 91 racks.

Table 4. CLX Specifications

Model Intel Xeon Platinum 8280 ("Cascade Lake")
Total cores per CLX node: 56 cores on two sockets (28 cores/socket)
Hardware threads per core: 1 Hyperthreading is not currently enabled on Frontera
Clock rate: 2.7GHz nominal
RAM: 192GB (2933 MT/s) DDR4
Cache: 32KB L1 data cache per core;
1MB L2 per core;
38.5 MB L3 per socket.
Each socket can cache up to 66.5 MB (sum of L2 and L3 capacity).
Local storage: 144GB /tmp partition on a 240GB SSD.

Login Nodes

Frontera's four login nodes are Intel Xeon Platinum 8280 ("Cascade Lake") nodes with 56 cores and 192 GB of RAM. The login nodes are configured similarly to the compute nodes. However, since these nodes are shared, limits are enforced on memory usage and number of processes. Please use the login node for file management, compilation, and data movement. Any computing should be done within a batch job or an interactive session on compute nodes.

GPU Nodes

Frontera hosts 90 GPU nodes contained in 4 Green Revolution Cooling ICEraQ racks.

Feature Specifications
Accelerators: 4 NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 / node
CUDA Parallel Processing Cores: 3072 / card
NVIDIA Tensor Cores: 384 / card
GPU Memory: 16GB GDDR6 / card
CPUs: 2 Intel Xeon E5-2620 v4 (“Broadwell”)
RAM: 128GB (2133 MT/s) DDR4
Local storage: 144GB /tmp partition on a 240GB SSD.


The interconnect is based on Mellanox HDR technology with full HDR (200 Gb/s) connectivity between the switches and HDR100 (100 Gb/s) connectivity to the compute nodes. A fat tree topology employing six core switches connects the compute nodes and the $HOME and $SCRATCH filesystems. There are two 40-port leaf switches in each rack. Half of the nodes in a rack (44) connect to 22 downlinks of a leaf switch as pairs of HDR100 (100 Gb/s) links into HDR200 (200 Gb/s) ports of the leaf switch. The other 18 ports are uplinks to the six cores switches. The disparity in the number of uplinks and downlinks creates an oversubscription of 22/18.

Frontera Cables
Frontera Cables