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GPU supercomputer: Nvidia Tesla cards to debut in Bull system

By - Source: Tom's Hardware | B 5 comments

Paris (France) – French website PC Inpact delivered juicy details about a new supercomputer that is currently designed in France. So far, we only knew that the system will use 1068 CPUs. Now we know that it will be based on 8-core Nehalem processors as well 96 GPUs, bringing the total number crunching horsepower to 300 TFLops, enough for the second position in the current Top-500 supercomputer list.

The original Bull NovaScale supercomputer setup was based on 1068 nodes, which will result in a total of 8544 processing cores for a peak floating point performance of 192 TFlops. Apparently the design was recently upgraded with 48 nodes of Nvidia Tesla S900 GPGPU cards with 96 (GT200) GPUs. The expected performance is now about 300 TFlops. In comparison, BlueGene/L, currently the world’s most powerful supercomputer, peaks at 596 TFlops an uses 212,992 processing cores. Second is JUGENE with 65,336 cores and a peak performance of 223 TFlops.

Overall, the estimate puts the GPU performance at around 103 TFlops or almost 1.1 TFlops per GPU. Whiel the performance capability of the GPUs looks impressive, especially if 96 GPUs can achieve 54% of the floating point performance of 1068 8-core Nehalem processors, the comparison isn’t completely fair. Supercomputers realy on massive memory bandwidth and we hear from scientists that GPUs just aren’t a match for these traditional systems. However, we also hear that scientists are welcoming the arrival of GPUs and their huge potential in deskside supercomputers and more traditional systems. It is generally expected that supercomputers may move into a hybrid GPU-CPU era within the next years.

The NovaScale system will be built in 2009 and we wonder whether what final performance thsi system, will be able to achieve. Petaflops computing may be just around the corner.

Whan an interesting world we live in.

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  • 0 Hide
    Earthworm_Jim , April 22, 2008 10:22 PM
    WTB editor.

    Interesting article though.
  • 0 Hide
    homerdog , April 23, 2008 12:15 AM
    Quote:
    Apparently the design was recently upgraded with 48 nodes of Nvidia Tesla S900 GPGPU cards with 96 (GT200) GPUs ... Overall, the estimate puts the GPU performance at around 103 TFlops or almost 1.1 TFlops per GPU.

    :o 
    Quote:
    Whiel the performance capability of the GPUs looks impressive, especially if 96 GPUs can achieve 54% of the floating point performance of 1068 8-core Nehalem processors, the comparison isn’t completely fair. Supercomputers realy on massive memory bandwidth and we hear from scientists that GPUs just aren’t a match for these traditional systems.

    Since when have high end GPUs been short on memory bandwidth?
  • 0 Hide
    getto301 , April 23, 2008 2:07 AM
    yes yes thats nice, but can it run crysis all maxed out is the real question! lmao jk :p 
  • 0 Hide
    horendus , April 23, 2008 6:29 AM
    Sounds amazing....96 way SLI? hehehe Finally we can have decent resolutions....5000x3500 be sweet...does anyone feel 1680 x 1050 is realy blocky at 22inches??? hehe

    Yer I know I know this isnt a mainstream gaming machines but still....super computers of today will one day be as poweful as future mainstream PC's (i hope!)

    Last parapraph has 2 spelling mistakes..."thsi" and "Whan"....This and What

    no biggie my spellings worse ;) 
  • 0 Hide
    homerdog , April 23, 2008 1:51 PM
    Quote:
    no biggie my spellings worse ;) 

    spelling's :D