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IBM Builds 10 PFlops Supercomputer

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February 8, 2011 11:28:54 PM

Holy cow, can you imagine the possibilities this thing now opens? I can't wait to see what they do with this incomprehensible amount of processing power. But here's the big question: Can it run Crysis? ;) 
Anonymous
February 8, 2011 11:45:37 PM

But can it run Windows ?
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February 8, 2011 11:55:18 PM

I just hope that they don't waste all of that raw computing power and taxpayers' dollars using this thing for "climate research"!
February 9, 2011 12:04:30 AM

is this cell based technology? another question would be"can it not get sued by $ony? :) 
February 9, 2011 12:05:27 AM

Quote:
According to IBM, Mire will be able to do about the same number of calculations every second as every man, woman and child in the U.S. could do in one year if they were to do one calculation each second.


but can it stop me from destroying it with a sledge hammer?

no? then we humans are safe =]
February 9, 2011 12:08:24 AM

also [sorry for double post]

365 days * 24 hours * 60mins * 60 seconds * 300,000,000 people =

9,460,800,000,000,000 calculations in one second
February 9, 2011 12:13:04 AM

Run a compatible Folding @ Home on that. That would be just incredible.
February 9, 2011 12:30:20 AM

I can just picture every man, woman and child in the U.S. doing arithmetics. One calculation each second for a whole year! :-) If you force them to, the terrorist have finally won, & there is peace on Earth...
February 9, 2011 12:34:58 AM

Just think about how much power that thing is going to use. If Chicago has a blackout around the same time they power that thing on we'll all know why.
February 9, 2011 12:50:39 AM

HansVonOhainRun a compatible Folding @ Home on that. That would be just incredible.


0.0

Wow. that would be double of what F@H doing right now (according to F@h stats, were running 5.2 native Petra flops or unless you want to count the x86 flops as 9.3 Petra Flops)

So if this thing were built tomorrow (which we know it wont) it could run the entire project with out our help. (in theroy)

Although by the time IBM finish building that thing, F@H will already be past the 10 pflop range.
February 9, 2011 12:56:18 AM

asdfsdfBut can it run Windows ?

Probably not!
February 9, 2011 1:05:53 AM

What I don't understand that CPU processing power in math is actually outdated thanks to the raw power of GPUs so would make sense to use those instead.
February 9, 2011 1:17:48 AM

True. The supercomputer the Chinese recently build featured large numbers of GPUs. A major advantage of GPUs is the GFLOP/watt ratio they boast. Take for instance the GTX 580, it consumes about 250W and runs at 1500 GFLOPs for a ratio of 6.3 GFLOPs per watt. A Core i7-2600 OTOH uses 95W and runs at 110 GFLOPs for a ratio of 1.5 GFLOPs per watt.

February 9, 2011 1:37:24 AM

to the crysis question, if everything was possible, this thing would have enough memory on the cpus alone, to install crysis there, and is probably able to execute everything in real time, like exploding 5000+ barrels.
February 9, 2011 1:39:53 AM

jprahmanJust think about how much power that thing is going to use. If Chicago has a blackout around the same time they power that thing on we'll all know why.

The Bluegene/Q achieves roughly 1.7 GFLOPS/W. Going by this metric a 10 PFLOPS system would consume roughly 5.9 MW, which isn't all that much by supercomputing standards especially considering Mire's peak theoretical performance.
thillntnis this cell based technology? another question would be"can it not get sued by $ony?

It's made up of 16-core quad-threaded PowerPC A2 based processors, each processor having 64 threads. So no, it isn't based on Cell, but even if it were, why would IBM get sued by Sony? The Cell architecture was developed and designed jointly by both companies, and IBM has already integrated it into many of its supercomputing designs.
February 9, 2011 1:40:16 AM

jprahmanTrue. The supercomputer the Chinese recently build featured large numbers of GPUs. A major advantage of GPUs is the GFLOP/watt ratio they boast. Take for instance the GTX 580, it consumes about 250W and runs at 1500 GFLOPs for a ratio of 6.3 GFLOPs per watt. A Core i7-2600 OTOH uses 95W and runs at 110 GFLOPs for a ratio of 1.5 GFLOPs per watt.


correct me if im wrong, but aren't gpus ony really good at processing pre determined things faster?

i know there is one thing that makes a cpu a far better solution than a gpu, i just cant remember the thing.
February 9, 2011 2:05:47 AM

Predetermined? Are you referring to code branching? Basically GPUs don't handle code which has lots of conditional code well, IF statements and SWITCH CASE statements severely degrade performance. CPUs on the other hand have branch prediction units and control flow heavy code isn't a huge issue.
February 9, 2011 2:07:15 AM

jprahmanTrue. The supercomputer the Chinese recently build featured large numbers of GPUs. A major advantage of GPUs is the GFLOP/watt ratio they boast. Take for instance the GTX 580, it consumes about 250W and runs at 1500 GFLOPs for a ratio of 6.3 GFLOPs per watt. A Core i7-2600 OTOH uses 95W and runs at 110 GFLOPs for a ratio of 1.5 GFLOPs per watt.

DarkkWhat I don't understand that CPU processing power in math is actually outdated thanks to the raw power of GPUs so would make sense to use those instead.


jprahman, you do know that the 95W TDP is how much watts of heat a cpu and/or a gpu will release and not how much it consumes ;) 

Both the GTX 580 and the core i7's can consume more watts than there TDP's are. (not all the energy thats consumed by the hardware is lost as heat)

As for why there not doing a build of gpu's, you are right that gpu's are faster in flops but it's difficult to program for a gpu to run stuff and not all programs that need floating point calculations are that well suited for a gpu.

It also depends on energy usage and electical limitation as well. Yeah if a gpu can get stuff done faster, it could stop so it wouldn't use as much electricity..... Although how often do you here a super computer getting a break for completing a hard job? Rarely. So imagine all the cost of running that....

Now, there is one thing to re-look at of who making this supercomputer. It's IBM. So there going to be using something similar to the PS3 cell cpu they make or there servers powerXcell sever cpu that back in 2008 was already able to achive over 100 GFLOPS on eight SPEs.

Now whats different about the cpu's IBM has vs AMD/Intel? there cpu's are more like gpu's than cpu's but not fully gpu's. There like the hardware thats right in the middle of the 2. That at least according to the F@H programers that make and run the PS3 clients.

So what ever cpu be put in this, i going to have to guess that it will have higher than average cpu flops but lower than power usage than a GPU. This is if IBM makes a cpu with what the cell's have.
February 9, 2011 2:25:48 AM

Sure CPUs and GPUs don't release all electricity as heat, but they do release a large part as heat.
February 9, 2011 2:42:57 AM

This is what the Matrix OS is run on.
February 9, 2011 5:05:32 AM

Stick the SETI@HOME on it, it'll be good for the analysis of radio signals!

Stick World of Warcraft on it on super high resolution, with the highest texture quality, and it will fly at more than 1000FPS.

Stick Windows 7 on it, and it can boot from off to usable desktop in less than 5 seconds from the press of the start button.

Stick it in China, and add to the problem of pollution.

Stick a super high speed internet connection of some 50gbps inbound and outbound and it can be a host for Youtube, allowing users to upload, and then when it processes user video it can take less than a few seconds!
February 9, 2011 5:07:05 AM

I mean, power button, not start button
February 9, 2011 5:15:46 AM

Fantastic, I'll take 5 please. I've got a basement they can reside in.
February 9, 2011 6:56:35 AM

PyrofleaFantastic, I'll take 5 please. I've got a basement they can reside in.

is it your parent's basement? lol
February 9, 2011 7:55:15 AM

We have reached a ridiculous amount of power! Quadrillion...
February 9, 2011 8:02:31 AM

PIZZA ManBut here's the big question: Can it run Crysis?

Maybe in compatibility mode. Maybe you'll have to underclock the thing by a million times just to get Crysis to work. LOL
February 9, 2011 8:15:55 AM

Justin Bieber could use one of those :p 
February 9, 2011 8:37:07 AM

warmon6jprahman, you do know that the 95W TDP is how much watts of heat a cpu and/or a gpu will release and not how much it consumes Both the GTX 580 and the core i7's can consume more watts than there TDP's are. (not all the energy thats consumed by the hardware is lost as heat)


Not all, just 99.9%.
February 9, 2011 11:03:29 AM

PIZZA ManHoly cow, can you imagine the possibilities this thing now opens? I can't wait to see what they do with this incomprehensible amount of processing power. But here's the big question: Can it run Crysis?


Skynet, Here we come.
February 9, 2011 12:05:05 PM

Great news on High Performance Computing.
Despite any licencing violations, is it possible to install a Windows VM on Virtual Box on Linux for z/OS? :-)
February 9, 2011 12:08:08 PM

Better: Windows VM on Virtual Box on Linux for zSeries on z/VM.
February 9, 2011 1:46:19 PM

DarkkWhat I don't understand that CPU processing power in math is actually outdated thanks to the raw power of GPUs so would make sense to use those instead.

Yes. You don't understand.
February 9, 2011 2:20:44 PM

Does it have a 5 ton AC unit for its cooler?
February 9, 2011 2:29:28 PM

bobiseverywhereSkynet, Here we come.

Skynet is Online... BSOD! Terminator, don't just stand there, find a Human to fix fix it! ;-)
February 9, 2011 2:53:56 PM

"Ludicrous Speed....GO!"
February 9, 2011 3:58:26 PM

we'll be able to know now how much exactly is the US national debt
February 9, 2011 6:06:22 PM

JOSHSKORNMaybe in compatibility mode. Maybe you'll have to underclock the thing by a million times just to get Crysis to work. LOL

you got it all wrong, just add more vegetation and buildings and all will be well, lol
February 9, 2011 6:58:21 PM

but does it play Crysis?!?!?!
February 9, 2011 6:59:29 PM

liveoncSkynet is Online... BSOD! Terminator, don't just stand there, find a Human to fix fix it! ;-)


Some times I rather fight zombies or machines than go to work on Monday...just sayin'
Anonymous
February 9, 2011 7:38:44 PM

warmon6 :

jprahman, you do know that the 95W TDP is how much watts of heat a cpu and/or a gpu will release and not how much it consumes Both the GTX 580 and the core i7's can consume more watts than there TDP's are. (not all the energy thats consumed by the hardware is lost as heat)

Not all, just 99.9%.

So what do you expect the rest of the energy to emit like, Gravity waves? Mass? Maybe a hidden Zero-point energy field or a new virtual particle??
February 9, 2011 7:57:54 PM

robochumpSome times I rather fight zombies or machines than go to work on Monday...just sayin'


You should come to Denmark & work! According to TV, it's the happiest Nation on Earth, there's 0% corruption, & immigrants even dream of comming here!

BTW did you know that Danes have a sick sense of humor, they have the highest consumption of antidepressants per capita in the world, & the weather here makes people drink & take drugs because it rains a lot in winter too?..just sayin'
February 9, 2011 9:34:34 PM

lilltrollwarmon6 :jprahman, you do know that the 95W TDP is how much watts of heat a cpu and/or a gpu will release and not how much it consumes Both the GTX 580 and the core i7's can consume more watts than there TDP's are. (not all the energy thats consumed by the hardware is lost as heat)Not all, just 99.9%.So what do you expect the rest of the energy to emit like, Gravity waves? Mass? Maybe a hidden Zero-point energy field or a new virtual particle??



??? i dont seam to understand the question being ask.... Are you meaning something along the lines of "if it's not all lost as heat, where the rest go?"

Basic analogy i can give is, cpu and gpu's with electricity is like a car engine with gasoline.

You need gasoline to get a car moving, although not all that energy is used to make a car move. Some of that energy is lost as heat. (why we have to have radiator fluid and oil to reduce/remove heat though out the engine.)

Same thing applies to cpu's, gpu's, and anything else the requires some form of energy to function for that matter. There always multiple of energy usage when running. There the function of the object (cpu processing the data) and then there some form of energy lose (cpu giving heat)

If you literally had a cpu give out a TDP 95W (amount of heat giving out) and it consumed only 95W's, that would mean it 100% inefficent. Meaning it shouldn't be working at all as you cant go beyond 100% in either direction.

Now if the cpu consumes 100W's and it hit's the maximum TDP of 95w, it would be 5% efficent on processing your data.

(btw, that 99.9% is not my saying ;)  )
February 9, 2011 11:35:28 PM

I would like to know what are the specs of these things and how are they going to use it?
February 10, 2011 1:46:37 AM

with all this talk about GPUs being fast than CPUs you are basicaly forgetting big point here. this is IBM they dont just buy CPUs out of a box and glue them together like some other asian organisations. they are building a custom computer for a specific task, im sure that the processors they use will be extreemly fast at what they are designed to use. IBM building super computers are working on a completely differnt level to Itel, AMD or Nvidia
Anonymous
March 16, 2011 6:05:01 PM

when it will be completely built? If it is built in 2015, it cannot be the fastest. Other vendors will build super computer faster than that before 2015.
April 8, 2011 1:38:48 AM

I
mayankleoboy1^ +1. "climate research" is so inexact a science that simulating it is no good really.


I assume you know this because you are a Climateologist. Maybe you should talk to GeoPhysical Scientists I support. Their simulations are unfortunately accurate and it doesn't look good for us. They get better all the time too.. that's why I've got a basement full of clusters.

I suspect you confuse climate modeling with detailed weather modeling. Weather != Climate
April 8, 2011 1:54:47 AM

christopDoes it have a 5 ton AC unit for its cooler?


You mean an AC unit that weights 5 tons? maybe.

Chiller output is also measured in tons though.. that's what DataCenter (and HVAC people) use when they talk about cooling capacity.

I'm familiar with Argonne, having been out there several times to support machines. Last I heard they've got one or two MW for the new data center. I'm not sure if this is going in there but I do know they're planning to add more power capacity. I'm pretty sure I heard 5MW in a couple years.

Lets assume this machine is going to be 1MW (could be much more). It's hard to tell because BGs are very efficient per GF. One of our Nehalem clusters pulls about 11KW per rack.. 256 cores per rack. This will have 750,000 cores.. but they might be multi-core cells.. or PowerPC embedded chips or some mix of cpus.. I have no idea. If it was all nehalems, you'd be talking nearly 40MW.

5 Tons of cooling will handle 60,000 btu. 60,000btu = 17 KiloWatts. So.. 1MW requires 295 tons of cooling.

Just for reference, if you've got a 2200 square foot house, you'd probably want about a 5Ton air conditioner (depends on the house and the weather).
April 8, 2011 2:02:50 AM

damian86I would like to know what are the specs of these things and how are they going to use it?


You can check argonne's site to see what they do. http://www.anl.gov. (I need to get me an anal dot gov email address)
It's a department of energy site so they do a lot of what you might generically call Nuclear Physics. They have a particle accellerator out there, which I believe is still operational though it's not terribly impressive next to Fermi's. They've gotten a lot of next-gen defense grants since 9/11. They do research in computation. The installation is managed by the University of Chicago so Argonne researchers partner with UofC scientists.

UofC is trying to get a a different supercomputer which would be housed out at Argonne (though they 'run' Argonne, the DoE will actually charge them to host the system if the funding goes through). I don't know if that's gone through yet.
April 8, 2011 2:20:09 AM

skyjoggerwith all this talk about GPUs being fast than CPUs you are basicaly forgetting big point here. this is IBM they dont just buy CPUs out of a box and glue them together like some other asian organisations. they are building a custom computer for a specific task, im sure that the processors they use will be extreemly fast at what they are designed to use. IBM building super computers are working on a completely differnt level to Itel, AMD or Nvidia



Meh.. I'm not sure I totally agree. The first BlueGenes were built with PPC embedded processors.. the kind you'd find in your car. They had the same instruction sets as a Macintosh but there was a LOT of them. This is why they were relatively cool. As far as I can tell, BlueGenes still use the PowerPC ISA (a superset of Power). There's a number of changes but, generically, you can think of PowerPC as Power plus Vector Processing. I think IBM is now calling the chips "BlueGene processors" generically.

Anywho.. You're sort of right and sort of wrong. It's totally about the interconnect. When you buy a BlueGene or a Cray you're paying for the service and the interconnect. However, I wouldn't say the CPUs need be very powerful individually. Sort of like a GPU.. it's all about the core count. And.. there are plenty of extremely fast supercomputers that use Xeons and Opterons.. they just also have exotic interconnect fabrics between the nodes. Look at Krakken for example. http://www.nics.tennessee.edu/computing-resources/krake...

I actually support someone doing molecular modeling and their code ran faster on their 768core commodity Xeon cluster than on the BlueGene that he got time on.
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