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Supercomputer Ranking Offers Clues About Chips, China
WSJ ^ | November 12, 2012, 9:00 AM | Don Clark

Posted on 11/13/2012 11:43:38 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach

If doubts lingered about a major shift in supercomputer technology, the latest ranking Monday of the 500 largest scientific systems should dispel them–as well as any fears that China might claim a lead in the field anytime soon.

The latest Top500 list–compiled twice a year based on results of standard speed tests–anoints a machine called Titan at Oak Ridge National Laboratory as the speediest on the planet. This wasn’t too much of a surprise based on the lab’s recent comments about the system.

But the Titan’s ascendance nevertheless is a milestone for efforts to popularize system designs that use two varieties of chips to get computing work done faster. While most supercomputers still lean heavily on the PC-style x86 microprocessors sold by Intel and Advanced Micro Devices AMD -0.25%, more specialized chips are also being added to achieve greater leaps in performance within a reasonable power budget.

Titan, an upgrade of a Cray system called Jaguar, adds new AMD chips but gets most of its speed from a new Nvidia NVDA -0.04% chip family that is based on the technology used to provide sophisticated graphics in videogames. Nvidia on Monday is providing the first details of the new Tesla chips, the K20 and K20X, which the company says are three times faster than prior-generation products.

The system, which edged out an IBM IBM +0.21% system called Sequoia at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for the top ranking, scored a ranking on a benchmark test called Linpack of 17.59 petaflops, or quadrillions of scientific calculations per second.

(Excerpt) Read more at blogs.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Computers/Internet
KEYWORDS: hitech; supercomputers

1 posted on 11/13/2012 11:43:42 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: ShadowAce

fyi


2 posted on 11/13/2012 11:44:52 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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To: All
Semi- Accurate had an interesting article regarding Intels new offering:

What will Intel Xeon Phi do to the GPGPU market?

3 posted on 11/13/2012 11:51:24 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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To: rdb3; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; Salo; JosephW; Only1choice____Freedom; amigatec; stylin_geek; ...

4 posted on 11/13/2012 11:57:18 AM PST by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
"...17.59 petaflops, or quadrillions of scientific calculations per second...."

OMG. My vintage 1974 TI 1500 Calculator just melted. I can't even begin to get my head around such numbers.

6 posted on 11/13/2012 1:13:08 PM PST by carriage_hill (America - a great idea while it lasted.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

{Disclaimer: I’m in the High Performance Computing, or HPC, field......and I work for the ‘featured’ company in your linked article.]

I’ve been in the computer industry for nearly 30 years, the last decade+ exclusively in HPC. Xeon Phi (we still call it “MIC”, pronounced “mike”, ‘round here....) is going to be HUGE, and the article you linked does a pretty darned good job in highlighting exactly why. I’ve never seen a product with so much pent-up demand, ever, in my career.

Put it another way: If I had, right now, 100 demo/eval units, I could unload them in 24 hours. NO problem....there is that much demand.


7 posted on 11/13/2012 1:25:09 PM PST by RightOnline (I am Andrew Breitbart!)
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