Feeds

Top500 founders talk big

K Computer Tops Competition by 3x

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

As many of you know by now, there’s a new computer at the tippy top of the just-published Top500 list. I found out a bit earlier than most, via a webcast I was recording at 3:00 a.m. my local time on Sunday.

It was a bit of a struggle to record it; their net connection kept breaking, and the sound quality on my side was like a Dixie cup and string, but I heard enough to know it was big news.

Here’s the quick overview: The Japanese have taken over the top spot on the Top500 list with a SPARC-fueled ‘K Computer.’ It’s 8.16 Pflops – 3x faster than the former number one system (Tianhe-1A).

In fact, the K Computer is larger than the next five systems on the list combined. It sports 8-core SPARC processors – 68,544 of them, to be exact – for a total of 548,353 cores. Timothy Prickett Morgan has written an exhaustive (and excellent) account of the system here.

It’s also highly interesting that this is an old-school supercomputer. It has a sophisticated, proprietary 6D torus interconnect and doesn’t use GPUs or other accelerators to juice performance.

The lack of hardware accelerators is unusual these days and noteworthy. This is a very efficient system as well, delivering 93 per cent of its theoretical peak performance – a number that puts it at the head of the class. The K pulls a fair amount of power: 9.89 megawatts. (Damn!)

That’s a bit more than double the 4.04 megawatts that Tianhe draws, but K yields 3x more performance… so it’s kind of a bargain, right? This system was a surprise in a lot of ways. No one expected it this soon, or expected it to triple the performance record.

On the webcast, I have a conversation with Rich Brueckner (from InsideHPC.com) along with Top500 co-founders Dr. Hans Meuer and Dr. Jack Dongarra.

We talk about the evolution of the list, the trends driving it, and, of course, the K Computer. Click here for the webcast.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Flash could be CHEAPER than SAS DISK? Come off it, NetApp
Stats analysis reckons we'll hit that point in just three years
Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7
New chip scales to 1024 cores, 8192 threads 64 TB RAM, at speeds over 3.6GHz
Object storage bods Exablox: RAID is dead, baby. RAID is dead
Bring your own disks to its object appliances
Nimble's latest mutants GORGE themselves on unlucky forerunners
Crossing Sandy Bridges without stopping for breath
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
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.