Feeds

GPU-CPU hybrids promise the moon*

*Code headaches not included

Application security programs and practises

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. ®

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*
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
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
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.