Feeds

GPU-CPU hybrids promise the moon*

*Code headaches not included

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

HPC Blog I've been busy all day talking, listening, and maybe even learning a thing or two at the 2010 GPU Tech Conference. The speaker from the NOAA session (topic of another blog) put the move toward GPUs into perspective toward the end of his talk today with two key points.

His first point was that big HPC advances tend to come at around 10-year intervals. Citing the moves from vector processing to MPP to COTS (Common Off The Shelf systems) to GPU-hybrid systems as evidence, he pointed out that each jump required significant changes in mindset, tools, management, and code. However, the benefits from each jump were profound, with cost savings and performance increases on the order of 20x to 50x.

To illustrate this, he compared the current state-of-the-art 2.3 PFlop DOE Jaguar system to what a 1 PFlop GPU-based system would look like. The difference is amazing, to wit:

GPU Alternative Performance 2.3 PFlop/s 1.0 PFlop/s
Cores 250,000 CPU cores 1,000 Fermi GPUs
Size 284 cabinets 10 cabinets
Power draw 7-10 MW 0.5 MW
Cost $50-$100 million $5-$10 million
Reliability measured in hours measured in weeks

By every measure, GPU + CPU hybrids are a better deal in terms of price/performance, facilities, availability, and even the initial price tag for the hardware. What this table doesn't take into account is the time, labor, and heartache involved in making code "GPU-riffic." (Yeah, that's my own term for it; hoping it catches on, but doubt it will.) This task is getting easier over time as the ecosystem around CUDA becomes more robust and varied. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz
Whole new species of XaaS spawning in the antipodes
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
AWS pulls desktop-as-a-service from the PC
Support for PCoIP protocol means zero clients can run cloudy desktops
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.