Feeds

Europe gets first petaflops super

Gauss Genes, anyone?

Application security programs and practises

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. ®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.