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Nvidia Powers China to Get Fastest Supercomputer

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 64 comments

Yes, it can.

Hopefully the battle of which nation has the fastest supercomputer will become the new space race, though we doubt that there will be as much public interest this time around.

China is now home to the world's fastest supercomputer (30 percent faster than the best in the U.S.), and it's partially thanks to Nvidia.

Revealed at HPC 2010 China is the new supercomputer called Tianhe-1A, which has set a new performance record of 2.507 petaflops, as measured by the LINPACK benchmark, making it the fastest system in China and in the world today.

Tianhe-1A couples massively parallel GPUs with multi-core CPUs, using 7,168 Nvidia Tesla M2050 GPUs and 14,336 CPUs. Nvidia is proud of its GPU contribution as it would require more than 50,000 CPUs and twice as much floor space to deliver the same performance using CPUs alone.

More importantly, a 2.507 petaflop system built entirely with CPUs would consume more than 12 megawatts. Thanks to the use of GPUs in a heterogeneous computing environment, Tianhe-1A consumes only 4.04 megawatts, making it 3 times more power efficient -- the difference in power consumption is enough to provide electricity to over 5000 homes for a year.

Tianhe-1A was designed by the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) in China. The system is housed at National Supercomputer Center in Tianjin and is already fully operational.

"The performance and efficiency of Tianhe-1A was simply not possible without GPUs," said Guangming Liu, chief of National Supercomputer Center in Tianjin. "The scientific research that is now possible with a system of this scale is almost without limits; we could not be more pleased with the results."

The Tianhe-1A supercomputer will be operated as an open access system to use for large scale scientific computations.

"GPUs are redefining high performance computing," said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO of NVIDIA. "With the Tianhe-1A, GPUs now power two of the top three fastest computers in the world today. These GPU supercomputers are essential tools for scientists looking to turbocharge their rate of discovery."

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  • 24 Hide
    adamboy64 , November 3, 2010 1:49 AM
    So.. when are we going to see some benchmarks?
  • 23 Hide
    EXT64 , November 3, 2010 1:42 AM
    Although I am sure it is low for a supercomputer of this caliber, this line always cracks me up:

    "consumes only 4.04 megawatts"

    I don't think I could ever call 4.04 MW "only".
  • 20 Hide
    Darkerson , November 3, 2010 3:34 AM
    FLanighanlol I wonder what kind of porn you could watch on that thing


    None. Its in China. No porn for you!
Other Comments
  • 23 Hide
    EXT64 , November 3, 2010 1:42 AM
    Although I am sure it is low for a supercomputer of this caliber, this line always cracks me up:

    "consumes only 4.04 megawatts"

    I don't think I could ever call 4.04 MW "only".
  • -4 Hide
    Anonymous , November 3, 2010 1:48 AM
    Great. Now let's build something 60% faster here in the USA.
  • 24 Hide
    adamboy64 , November 3, 2010 1:49 AM
    So.. when are we going to see some benchmarks?
  • 19 Hide
    IzzyCraft , November 3, 2010 1:52 AM
    "for scientists looking to turbocharge their rate of discovery."
    :D 
  • 1 Hide
    hunter315 , November 3, 2010 1:59 AM
    The computer only consumes 4.04 MW of power, but how much does the cooling system need to get that much heat out of the room, and people were worried about cars contributing to global warming.
  • 19 Hide
    nebun , November 3, 2010 2:06 AM
    wow...7000 nvidia tesla gpus have as much power as 50,000 cpus, very impressive
  • 18 Hide
    Mr_Bojangles , November 3, 2010 2:20 AM
    "Yes, it can."

    I loled
  • 6 Hide
    Stryter , November 3, 2010 2:29 AM
    Mr_bojangles"Yes, it can."I loled


    Me too haha!
  • -3 Hide
    Anonymous , November 3, 2010 2:32 AM
    What do they use it for?
  • 6 Hide
    PLATTERMAN , November 3, 2010 2:37 AM
    It will be used not for finding or sharing information, but for squashing what it deems counter productive to the govt's agenda.
  • 9 Hide
    rohitbaran , November 3, 2010 2:38 AM
    jitindhillonWhat do they use it for?

    Definitely not to run Metro 2033 at 50000x50000.
  • 12 Hide
    Haserath , November 3, 2010 2:45 AM
    jitindhillonWhat do they use it for?

    Well, since it "only" uses 4.04MW, I would say heating the entire city of Tianjin.
    Quote:
    The scientific research that is now possible with a system of this scale is almost without limits; we could not be more pleased with the results.

    I think they just wanted to say they have the fastest computer, the scientific research was just a side effect ;) 
  • 1 Hide
    Tesla1483 , November 3, 2010 3:02 AM
    I recall reading an article on here not too long ago about an upcoming supercomputer in Japan that will break 10 petaflops. So yeah, this one in China is gonna beat the next fastest by only 30%? This one will beat theirs by 300%. I think it's just gonna be called "K" or something lame like that.
  • 0 Hide
    FLanighan , November 3, 2010 3:13 AM
    lol I wonder what kind of porn you could watch on that thing
  • 20 Hide
    Darkerson , November 3, 2010 3:34 AM
    FLanighanlol I wonder what kind of porn you could watch on that thing


    None. Its in China. No porn for you!
  • -9 Hide
    compton , November 3, 2010 4:14 AM
    I am so sick of Communists. I think its time to purge the reds!
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