[Beowulf] Moores Law is dying

Joe Landman landman at scalableinformatics.com
Tue Apr 14 12:58:09 EDT 2009


Steve Herborn wrote:
> 
> As far as "Desktop" machines go there hasn't been an application 
> invented that needs more.  Because memory & disk storage prices fell 

Hmmmm.....

> programmers got sloppy & crammed in a lot more, but little to none of it 
> was actually an application that truly needed more because of purpose, 
> only poor design.

Methinks that this is a broad generalization, and if you don't mind a 
little pun ... broad generalizations tend to be incorrect.

We don't need more than 640k ram ... right? :o

We know of (and have worked with) many applications that have required 
tremendous memory footprint.  One that required hundreds of GB of ram in 
the late 90s might use a bit more today.

Nothing to do with poor design at all, but very large problems, and very 
memory intensive algorithms.  3D FFTs still require the actual data for 
these FFTs.  And if you are finely sampling the configuration/momentum 
spaces for these FFTs, then, well, you sort of don't have a choice about 
this.

Other codes, such as GAMESS, with coupled cluster calculations have 
*huge* numbers of matrix elements to compute and store.  I doubt calling 
them poorly designed is a valid criticism.

There are many other examples, but the point being that there are, in 
fact, perfectly valid needs for very large memory, and very large/very 
fast I/O systems.

-- 
Joseph Landman, Ph.D
Founder and CEO
Scalable Informatics LLC,
email: landman at scalableinformatics.com
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