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Windows Supercomputer Breaks Petaflop Barrier

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 43 comments

A supercomputer using Windows HPC Server entered petaflop land.

Last week the organization behind the World's Top 500 Supercomputers list announced that China grabbed the supercomputing leadership spot with the Tianhe-1A system located at the National supercomputer Center in Tianjin. The monster system has achieved a performance level of 2.57 petaflops per second--literally quadrillions of calculations per second.

However Network World points out that a Windows HPC Server-based supercomputer has actually broken the petaflop speed barrier, the Tsubame 2.0 computer based at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.

"We saw outstanding performance from Windows HPC Server during our Linpack benchmarking run on Tsubame 2.0," said Satoshi Matsuoka, professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. "It broke the Petaflop barrier and was on par with Linux at this scale. In a power-optimized configuration, it recorded over a Gigaflop/Watt, showing it is nearly three times more energy efficient than an average laptop. We were very excited to see this level of performance given Windows applications will be an important part of our work with industry partners."

The problem Microsoft faced with its Top 500 ranking is that the achievement wasn't recognized because the same machine was able to achieve higher speeds using Linux. General manager of Microsoft's technical computing group Bill Hilf said that the benchmarking tests were performed on both Linux and Windows with a resulting 5-percent difference, however Linux came out on top. That said, the Tokyo Institute was only allowed to submit one test to the Top 500 group, and obviously chose the faster of the two.

Still, Microsoft seemed pleased with the results despite not making the Top 500. "We're not trying to be a supercomputing company," Hilf said. "We're trying to say 'how do we mainstream all of this stuff so that HPC becomes broadly available at all levels.'"

"For us, it's not about some exotic supercomputers that are available to a small amount of users," he added. "We're really interested in the bottom 500,000 computing users."

The Top 500 list showed that only five computers where using Windows while 459 used Linux.

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  • 24 Hide
    lejay , November 18, 2010 12:38 AM
    ... I guess this means it'll run crysis?
  • 18 Hide
    Albyint , November 18, 2010 12:41 AM
    If I had a computer that awesome I would run apocalypse simulations for fun.
Other Comments
  • 24 Hide
    lejay , November 18, 2010 12:38 AM
    ... I guess this means it'll run crysis?
  • 18 Hide
    Albyint , November 18, 2010 12:41 AM
    If I had a computer that awesome I would run apocalypse simulations for fun.
  • 0 Hide
    tronika , November 18, 2010 12:41 AM
    screw crysis. can it fix my Black Ops lag?
  • -5 Hide
    reprotected , November 18, 2010 12:58 AM
    So I'm assuming that after this, there will be a Microsoft video dissing Linux HPC server OSes?
  • 8 Hide
    Anonymous , November 18, 2010 12:59 AM
    the TIT supercomputer, COME ON PEOPLE!!!! xD
  • -4 Hide
    thesupermedium , November 18, 2010 1:16 AM
    tronikascrew crysis. can it fix my Black Ops lag?


    Too true...
  • 3 Hide
    nforce4max , November 18, 2010 1:30 AM
    AlbyintIf I had a computer that awesome I would run apocalypse simulations for fun.


    I would be using it for physics simulations such as particle interaction and extra dimensional interaction simulations.
  • 7 Hide
    alextheblue , November 18, 2010 1:38 AM
    tronikascrew crysis. can it fix my Black Ops lag?

    Not until you ditch that Hayes modem.
  • 0 Hide
    Parsian , November 18, 2010 1:48 AM
    nforce4maxI would be using it for physics simulations such as particle interaction and extra dimensional interaction simulations.


    Amen... I want to simulate a simple universe with fundamental force and let it simulate formation of structures and observe thermodynamics at work... on Matlab that is :p 
  • 0 Hide
    rpgplayer , November 18, 2010 1:51 AM
    "We're really interested in the bottom 500,000 computing users."

    this explains why relatives always try to get me to fix their POS 66mhz pentium machines instead of throwing the damn things away
  • 0 Hide
    sykozis , November 18, 2010 2:07 AM
    my closest relatives are running an 8 year old sckt478 1.7ghz Celeron with 768mb DDR400...
  • 0 Hide
    Lutfij , November 18, 2010 2:24 AM
    @ rgplayer - i hear ya man, my relatives can't go a month before calling me for a fix!
  • -3 Hide
    ddragoonss , November 18, 2010 2:42 AM
    At last, a supercomputer who can run crysis.
  • 0 Hide
    bison88 , November 18, 2010 2:58 AM
    Ouch, only 5 out of 500? So they aren't kidding when they said Microsoft owns 90% of the consumer while Linux owns 1% and the trade off is exactly opposite with regards to supercomputers. I figured MS would have saw an opportunity to capitalize on the supercomputing business long ago. The clients are few but the profits are large and almost steady with endless expansion.
  • 2 Hide
    deltatux , November 18, 2010 3:08 AM
    So I guessed, that HPC bluescreened after the Linpack test?
  • 7 Hide
    scook9 , November 18, 2010 3:17 AM
    bison88Ouch, only 5 out of 500? So they aren't kidding when they said Microsoft owns 90% of the consumer while Linux owns 1% and the trade off is exactly opposite with regards to supercomputers. I figured MS would have saw an opportunity to capitalize on the supercomputing business long ago. The clients are few but the profits are large and almost steady with endless expansion.

    Linux is literally 100x more customizable for these specialized applications that are run on it.....MS cant match that. The place where windows fits in is for use of more widepsread applications
  • 1 Hide
    firebee1991 , November 18, 2010 4:05 AM
    bison88Ouch, only 5 out of 500? So they aren't kidding when they said Microsoft owns 90% of the consumer while Linux owns 1% and the trade off is exactly opposite with regards to supercomputers. I figured MS would have saw an opportunity to capitalize on the supercomputing business long ago. The clients are few but the profits are large and almost steady with endless expansion.


    The profits really aren't that large. Even if they supplied a 'supercomputer edition' of Windows for every one of the top 500, and were able to charge exorbitant prices for it, in the face of free competition from Linux and people who actually know how to use it, there's no way they'd come close to the money they made from selling Windows for PCs. Microsoft knows where the money's at.
  • 0 Hide
    dEAne , November 18, 2010 4:21 AM
    "The Top 500 list showed that only five computers where using Windows while 459 used Linux."

    wow I didn't know this.
  • -3 Hide
    kronos_cornelius , November 18, 2010 4:23 AM
    What kernel are they using ?

    I want to have that HPC kernel on my rig !

    Looks like complacency is getting the better of MS.
  • 0 Hide
    pandemonium_ctp , November 18, 2010 4:52 AM
    Quote:
    In a power-optimized configuration, it recorded over a Gigaflop/Watt, showing it is nearly three times more energy efficient than an average laptop.


    That's truly the awesome part. I'd rather have 3 supercomputers that can perform twice as well as 1 top-performer for the same operational costs (and more than likely initial costs as well).
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