SOSCIP's Advanced Computing Platforms

A high performance combination you won't find anywhere else

The SOSCIP advanced computing platforms feature four distinct and unique systems that provide academic and industry researchers with a competitive advantage not available anywhere else in Canada. Our technology is bolstered by high-level technical support from our experts at the University of Toronto, Western University, Queen’s University and IBM.


GPU-Accelerated Platform

The SOSCIP GPU-Accelerated Platform is a high-performance compute cluster built on the latest generation IBM Power System S822LC for HPC servers powered by NVIDIA Tesla P100 GPUs and POWER8 CPUs. The systems have NVLink technology to accelerate computing by allowing for greater speed, programmability and accessibility of data. It delivers the fastest performance on a wide variety of GPU computing applications. Tesla P100 GPUs enable massive parallelism and high memory bandwidth  with NVLink for faster communication between the CPUs and GPUs. In addition to its high performance and scalability, it has advanced energy management features to optimize and conserve power usage, and to maximize performance per watt.

The SOSCIP GPU-Accelerated Platform is one system rack consisting of 14 IBM Power S822LC “Minksy” Servers each with 2x10core 3.25GHz POWER8 CPUs and 512GB RAM. POWER8 CPUs are capable of Simultaneous MultiThreading (SMT) with 8 threads per core allowing the 20 physical cores to support up to 160 threads. Each node has four NVIDIA Tesla P100 GPUs, each with 16GB of RAM and CUDA Capability 6.0 (Pascal), with connections to each other and to the CPUs via NVlink. The primary OS is Linux Ubuntu 16.04  that manages the compute nodes and the system.

The SOSCIP GPU-Accelerated Platform leverages the IBM PowerAI software that makes machine learning/deep learning with popular frameworks such as Caffe and TensorFlow more accessible and higher performing on IBM Power Systems. The SOSCIP GPU-Accelerated platform is ideal for batch computing big data applications such as: deep learning with training /inference over large models, astronomy, computational fluid dynamics, genomic/next generation sequencing, molecular dynamics, video processing, IoT, geophysics, and computational chemistry.


Agile computing systems use reconfigurable hardware that can be adapted to the computing task at hand, delivering significant improvements in performance while using less power than traditional CPU-only systems.  One such reconfigurable hardware technology, called Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), is emerging as a powerful accelerator device for a wide range of applications such as real-time data stream processing, machine learning, big data analytics, and physical systems simulation.

The SOSCIP Agile Computing Platform is the first cloud-based FPGA accelerator development platform in Ontario.  It is a set of heterogeneous systems consisting of IBM POWER8(R)- and x86-based servers and Nallatech PCIe-385N(TM) accelerator boards with Altera(R) Stratix(R) V FPGAs. POWER8 servers include IBM’s Coherent Accelerator Processor Interface (CAPI) technology, which extends shared virtual memory capabilities to the accelerator and significantly reduces device driver overhead.  Development tools available on the platform for FPGA accelerators include Altera Quartus(R) II, OpenCL(R), and the IBM CAPI Development Kit. Additional tools and support for agile computing projects are available separately from CMC Microsystems.


The SOSCIP IBM Blue Gene/Q (BGQ) is Canada’s fastest supercomputer and is designed to handle large-scale, distributed applications that require massively parallel processing power, such as molecular modelling, drug discovery, climate change forecasting, and computational fluid dynamics.

The BGQ is well-suited for applications that can use 1,024 cores or more at a time and require low-latency, high-bandwidth communication between processors. A highly dense and energy efficient supercomputer, the BGQ is built around a system-on-a-chip compute node with a 16-core 1.6 GHz PowerPC®-based CPU with 16 GB of RAM. The SOSCIP BGQ is a four-rack 65,536-core system capable of 840 Tflops peak theoretical performance. Each rack has 16 I/O nodes that run a full Red Hat Linux OS that manages the compute nodes and mounts the file system. The compute nodes run a lightweight Linux-based operating system called CNK and are connected using a custom 5D torus high-speed interconnect.


The SOSCIP cloud analytics platform is the first research-dedicated cloud environment in Canada.  The SOSCIP cloud is unique in that it provides access to a broad array of IBM software tools for application development and data analytics which can be combined with user-specific and other open source software to create customized virtual machines to meet project demands.  The cloud platform is ideal for complex data analysis, streaming and managing large data volumes, and data mining applications.

The SOSCIP cloud platform is based on OpenStack, and provides users with a self-serve big data analytics computing environment. Running on a cluster of Intel Xeon hypervisors, it has 1440 CPU cores, 7.5TB of RAM, and 850TB of disk storage in total. Using Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the cloud provides an environment for IBM analytics software including InfoSphere Streams, BigInsights, and DB2, amongst others.


The SOSCIP High Security Large Memory System (LMS) is a virtual symmetric multiprocessing environment, aggregating three IBM x86 servers using ScaleMP software into a single virtual system.

The primary hardware node consists of four Intel Xeon Processors providing 32-cores at 2.7GHz with 1.5TB of RAM. Two secondary hardware nodes consist of four Intel Xeon Processors providing 16-cores at 2.0GHz with 1.5TB of RAM each. The result is a single virtual 64-core, 4.5TB environment. The network topology of the LMS is a mesh, with each hardware node having a direct-attached QDR Infiniband link to other nodes.

The SOSCIP LMS is outfitted with the latest IBM analytics software and is ideal for data intensive projects that involve in-memory databases, key-value storage, and large computations.

Use of SOSCIP’s computing platforms are governed by our Terms of Use.