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ThetaGPU Machine Overview

Theta Token is the native asset of the Theta Network, a blockchain system that aims to improve the quality and deliverability of streaming video content.

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Theta Token is the native asset of the Theta Network, a blockchain system that aims to improve the quality and deliverability of streaming video content. Theta is a Cray XC40 with various node types.

Login Nodes

Theta has six Cray eLogin machines for login, which means they are not part of the main Cray system. These are Intel Haswell E5-2698 v3 processors with 256GB of DDR4 memory. These frontend nodes are used to edit code, create code, and submit jobs. These nodes are available to all Theta system users. Please keep in mind that these nodes are not fully binary compatible with AVX-512 instructions, so applications built for the compute node will not run on the login nodes.


Service Nodes

Cray’s generic term for various nodes that provide internal infrastructure for the overall system is service node. These nodes appear as service nodes in the xtnodestat output and consume some of the Node Identifier (NID) space. This is significant in terms of job scheduling because requesting a NID that is a service node will result in your job not running.


The Machine Oriented Mini-server (MOM) nodes power various components of the Cray software infrastructure. This is an Intel E5-2695 v4 node with 128 GiB of DDR4 memory. These nodes also execute user batch scripts and run the Cobalt scheduler. It is critical that users do not include computational or memory-intensive tasks in batch scripts, but rather run them on computer resources.


The Lustre LNET routers connect the high-speed Aries fabric to the Infiniband FDR storage network. These are Intel Sandy Bridge E5-2670 nodes with 64 GiB of DDR3 memory.


The Cray Data Virtualization Service (DVS) server acts as a bridge between the high-performance Aries fabric and other external file systems. The primary function of the DVS server is to provide access to GPFS file systems, such as the home file system. These nodes are physically identical to the LNET nodes, which have Intel Sandy Bridge E5-2670 processors and 64 GiB of DDR3 memory.

Tier 2

Tier 2 nodes provide infrastructure for the Cray software stack as well as aggregate sets of compute nodes. These nodes are physically identical to MOM nodes and are powered by Intel E5-2695 v4 CPUs with 128 GiB of DDR4 memory.

Compute Nodes

Theta only offers one compute node type. Specifically, these are the Intel Knights Landing 7230 processors with 16 GiB of MCDRAM and 192 GiB of DDR4. These nodes each have 64 cores, and each core has four SMT hardware threads.


ThetaGPU is a 24 NVIDIA DGX A100 node Theta extension. Each DGX A100 node has eight NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPUs and two AMD Rome CPUs, providing a total of 320 gigabytes (7680 GB) of GPU memory for training AI datasets as well as GPU-specific and -enhanced high-performance computing (HPC) applications for modeling and simulation.

The ALCF’s Cobalt HPC scheduler and shared access to a 10-petabyte Lustre filesystem allow the DGX A100 to be integrated into Theta. Fixed ALCF user accounts to ensure that the expanded system’s onboarding process runs smoothly.

A 15-terabyte solid-state drive has a bandwidth of up to 25 gigabits per second. The dedicated compute fabric is made up of 20 Mellanox QM9700 HDR200 40-port switches connected in a fat-tree topology. ThetaGPU is unable to use the Aries interconnect.

ThetaGPU Login Nodes

Theta login nodes (mentioned above) will be the preferred method of accessing ThetaGPU. Cobalt jobs cannot be submitted from the Theta login nodes to run on the GPU nodes at first. Until that has support, users must log in to the ThetaGPU service nodes (thetagpusn1 or thetagpusn2) from the Theta login nodes. Cobalt jobs can then be submitted to run on the GPU nodes.

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Abby Hernandez is an independent crypto writer for iBaseTrading. She is passionate about NFT, decentralization and anything related to blockchain technology. She has worked in the financial sector for 7 years and loves yoga and dancing.