Feeds

Top500 founders talk big

K Computer Tops Competition by 3x

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Wanna keep your data for 1,000 YEARS? No? Hard luck, HDS wants you to anyway
Combine Blu-ray and M-DISC and you get this monster
US boffins demo 'twisted radio' mux
OAM takes wireless signals to 32 Gbps
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Apple flops out 2FA for iCloud in bid to stop future nude selfie leaks
Millions of 4chan users howl with laughter as Cupertino slams stable door
Students playing with impressive racks? Yes, it's cluster comp time
The most comprehensive coverage the world has ever seen. Ever
Run little spreadsheet, run! IBM's Watson is coming to gobble you up
Big Blue's big super's big appetite for big data in big clouds for big analytics
Seagate's triple-headed Cerberus could SAVE the DISK WORLD
... and possibly bring us even more HAMR time. Yay!
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.