[Beowulf] China Wrests Supercomputer Title From U.S.

Bill Rankin Bill.Rankin at sas.com
Thu Oct 28 11:26:14 EDT 2010


I was just going to post the same thing, but with the HPCWire link instead.

http://www.hpcwire.com/blogs/New-China-GPGPU-Super-Outruns-Jaguar-105987389.html

A few comments:

A 42% increase (2.5TF v. 1.75TF for jaguar) is not a "wide margin".  If I did my math right, that represents about 7 months worth of gain on the growth curve for the Top500 list (peak performance growth is ~2x every 13 months).

Linpack is very forgiving of low-bandwidth networks (or PCI-x busses in this case).

This strikes me as a machine that will most likely never see a single application that runs on the full system.  There is nothing wrong with that per-se, but it must be taken into consideration when comparing it to machines that have run real production applications across the entire processor set (ie. Jaguar).

What this machine does do is validate to some extent the continued use and development of GPUs in an HPC/cluster setting.  I will admit that I have been very skeptic in the past as to whether GPU-based computing had any long-term traction.  In my defense I have seen many past examples of specialized computing approaches that did not survive past the first generation and eventually lost out to the general purpose microprocessor.  I will now admit that GPU technology may have a bigger long-term impact that I had originally imagined.

-b

> http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/28/technology/28compute.html
> 
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> Prentice Bisbal
> Linux Software Support Specialist/System Administrator
> School of Natural Sciences
> Institute for Advanced Study
> Princeton, NJ
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