Feeds

DARPA awards $76.6m supercomputer challenge

Small scale ExtremeScale

3 Big data security analytics techniques

If you were thinking about entering the US Defense Advanced Research Project Agency's ExtremeScale supercomputing challenge issued in March, you missed your chance. DARPA's awarded grants to four design teams, plus another that'll run benchmarks on the HPC prototypes.

The heavy hitters in the HPC community as well as in academia in the US were awarded grants to design prototype machines for the Ubiquitous High Performance Computing ExtremeScale challenge.

There are a lot of different goals, as we detailed in March, but the upshot is that DARPA wants a petaflops supercomputer, including networking, storage, and compute elements as well as cooling, to be crammed in a space a little larger than a standard server rack - 24 inches wide by 78 inches high and 40 inches deep - and consume only 57 kilowatts to power and cool the device.

The machine has to deliver a peak petaflops of performance and 50 gigaflops per watt sustained power efficiency while running the Linpack Fortran number-crunching test. The system has to be able to do single-precision and double-precision math, 16-bit, 32-bi, and 64-bit integer math, and chew on a streaming sensor array like you might have scanning the skies of incoming missiles.

DARPA has also asked for parallel programming to be made easier on these machines than it currently is on massively parallel CPU or CPU-GPU hybrids, for multiple ExtremeScale units to be linked together, and for the machines to run five specific workloads.

These include a massive streaming sensor data problem, a large dynamic graph-based informatics problem, a decision problem that includes search with hypothesis testing and planning, and two as-yet-unnamed applications culled from the IT bowels of the Department of Defense.

Nvidia and Intel are in

The IT community players that have been granted ExtremeScale UHPC contracts today by DARPA include one team led by Intel and another from Nvidia. Intel has not yet detailed who is on its team or what its award is, but Nvidia said it has tapped supercomputer maker Cray, the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and six universities to be on its team.

Nvidia said it was awarded $25m to pursue the ExtremeScale impossible dream. Nvidia is still working out the final details on what those six universities will be doing.

Sources at Nvidia told us that the total ExtremeScale program is budgeted with $100m, but a DARPA spokesperson was still chasing down the numbers to confirm this when we went to press. On Wednesday morning, two days after the announcement, DARPA did the math and said the total award for the UHPC ExtremeScale contracts was $76.6m.

Oak Ridge and Nvidia are already working on hybrid CPU-GPU compute clusters, and last October announced the DOE had kicked in funds to study the use of Nvidia Tesla GPUs in x64 clusters.

Oak Ridge is also, of course, where the 1.76 petaflops Jaguar Cray Opteron-Linux cluster is housed as well. So, in essence, DARPA is paying for work that the Nvidia team was already pursuing piecemeal, but shaping it for a particular physical environment and code set. Anything worth selling once is worth selling two, or maybe three times.

Intel had aspirations for its ill-fated Larrabee GPU, but something went terribly wrong with that project and Larrabee was killed off as a discrete graphics processor in May and then the core guts of the project was reinvented as the Knights GPU co-processor in June.

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Next page: First knights

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo: Turn your phone into a 72GB beast
USB-usiness in the front, micro-USB party in the back
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
BOFH: Oh DO tell us what you think. *CLICK*
$%%&amp Oh dear, we've been cut *CLICK* Well hello *CLICK* You're breaking up...
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?
I'll leave my arrays to do the hard work, if you don't mind
Amazon reveals its Google-killing 'R3' server instances
A mega-memory instance that never forgets
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.