Feeds

Europe gets first petaflops super

Gauss Genes, anyone?

Remote control for virtualized desktops

The Germans will have bragging rights to the floppiest supercomputer in Europe today as the Forschungszentrum Juelich (FZJ) is upgrading its Power-based massively parallel supercomputers to break through the petaflops barrier.

IBM is on a BlueGene/P kick lately, and today, it will announce that the German Ministry of Research and the Ministry of Research of Northrhine-Westfalia have kicked in the funds to build a monster BlueGene/P cluster that will be rated with peak performance in excess of 1 petaflops.

The machine, which has not been given a name publicly yet, is the successor to another BlueGene/P box, Jugene, which had 65,536 PowerPC 450 cores clocking in at 850 MHz. Jugene was rated at 222.8 peak teraflops and was housed in 16 racks. The new box will have 294,912 of the same PowerPC cores, which are packed four to a server node in an SMP configuration and will take up 72 racks.

The petaflops FZJ machine, according to IBM, was acquired to be the first supercomputer to be housed in the Gauss Center for Supercomputing, and it will be named at an opening ceremony when the box goes live in mid-2009. For now, I christen the FZJ box Gauss Genes, just to confuse German supermodel Claudia Schiffer. The box will have 144 terabytes of main memory and will consume 2.2 megawatts of juice, yielding 455 megaflops per watt of power efficiency. IBM says that it will have 5.1 GB/sec of network bandwidth, a network latency of 160 nanoseconds, and be linked up to 6 petabytes of storage.

The company also says that the Gauss Genes super will be cooled by a new room-temperature cooling system fitted to the racks that can cut the need for data center air conditioning by 91 per cent. (This may turn out to be the most interesting part of the machine, once its details are revealed).

Just last week, IBM announced that it had sold a BlueGene/P machine, nicknamed Dawn and half the size and performance of Gauss Genes, to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a place where IBM is always able to get hold of government money to build big supers.

The news last week is that LLNL had also signed up for a successor to BlueGene/P that will be based on a future Power technology (probably a 16-way SMP board, or two eight-way SMP boards more like) that will be comprised of 1.6 million processor cores, have 1.6 petabytes of main memory, deliver 20.13 petaflops of peak number-crunching power, and do so at a stunning 3,050 megaflops per watt - a nearly seven-fold increase in power efficiency and 20 times the power of Gauss Genes and 40 times its Dawn sibling. This future box, nicknamed Sequoia, is expected to be delivered in 2011.

All of these BlueGene boxes run Linux, of course. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Cloud unicorns are extinct so DiData cloud mess was YOUR fault
Applications need to be built to handle TITSUP incidents
BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?
Don't worry about that cable, it's part of the config
Stop the IoT revolution! We need to figure out packet sizes first
Researchers test 802.15.4 and find we know nuh-think! about large scale sensor network ops
SanDisk vows: We'll have a 16TB SSD WHOPPER by 2016
Flash WORM has a serious use for archived photos and videos
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.