A team of researchers from China used the Sunway supercomputer to train an AI model with 174 trillion parameters called ‘bagualu,’ which means “alchemist’s pot.” The AI parameters are comparable to the number of synapses (1000 trillion in the human brain). However, human synapses and AI parameters are not equivalent.
The Sunway supercomputer has a speed of a billion operations per second, or 5.3 floating-point operations per second (exaflops). It is using FP32 single precision operations. According to the researchers, it has 37 million CPU cores — four times as many as Frontier — and nine petabytes of memory. They also claim the 96,000 semi-independent computer systems, called nodes, resemble the power of a human brain. Communications between these nodes take place at a speed of more than 23 petabytes per second.
BaGuaLu: Targeting Brain Scale Pretrained Models with over 37 Million Cores
Large-scale pretrained AI models have shown state-of-theart accuracy in a series of important applications. As the size of pretrained AI models grows dramatically each year in an effort to achieve higher accuracy, training such models requires massive computing and memory capabilities, which accelerates the convergence of AI and HPC. However, there are still gaps in deploying AI applications on HPC systems, which need application and system co-design based on specific hardware features.
To this end, this paper proposes BaGuaLu, the first work targeting training brain scale models on an entire exascale supercomputer, the New Generation Sunway Supercomputer. By combining hardware-specific intra-node optimization and hybrid parallel strategies, BaGuaLu enables decent performance and scalability on unprecedentedly large models.
The evaluation shows that BaGuaLu can train 14.5-trillion parameter models with a performance of over 1 EFLOPS
using mixed-precision and has the capability to train 174-trillion-parameter models, which rivals the number of synapses in a human brain.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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