Feeds

GPU-CPU hybrids promise the moon*

*Code headaches not included

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

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. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
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
FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage
Find cold data with flash, transmit it from tape
Seagate chances ARM with NAS boxes for the SOHO crowd
There's an Atom-powered offering, too
Gartner: To the right, to the right – biz sync firms who've won in a box to the right...
Magic quadrant: Top marks for, er, completeness of vision, EMC
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.