Feeds

Oak Ridge changes Jaguar's spots from CPUs to GPUs

Nuke lab's super upgraded to a 20-petaflops Titan

The essential guide to IT transformation

GPU will use one-eighth the juice of a CPU to deliver each flop

Scott, you will recall, is the former CTO at Cray and has been intimately involved with several generations of Cray interconnects and system designs. By the end of 2012, when Titan is finished, the Kepler GPUs will account for around 85 per cent of the aggregate flops in the machine, says Scott. The expectation is that a single Kepler GPU coprocessor will deliver 1 teraflops of double-precision. But the important thing, says Scott, is that a GPU delivers each flop for about one-eighth the juice of a CPU.

"I am not dissing CPUs," says Scott. "But they are designed to run single threads as fast as possible, which will be important for serial work. But we need something that is fundamentally low power for calculations, and that is the GPU."

Oak Ridge is publicly hedging on the flops that Titan can deliver, saying the machine will be between 10 and 20 petaflops of peak theoretical performance. But clearly, with 18,688 Kepler GPUs, you get 18.7 petaflops right there. And there's probably going to be at least 3 petaflops on the Opteron side. That gets you to over 20 petaflops peak. The reason that Cray, Nvidia, and Oak Ridge are hedging on the petaflops is that on Linpack tests done on several large ceepie-geepie systems thus far, more than half of the peak gigaflops in the system have gone up the chimney.

Oak Ridge has secured $97m in funding to upgrade Jaguar to Titan. The upgrade from the XT5 nodes to the XK6 nodes and the swapping out of the old Opteron processors for the new Opteron 6200s will be completed this year and generate $60m of revenues for Cray.

The addition of the Kepler GPUs plus other services to be performed by Cray represent the remainder of the contract, which will be completed in the second half of 2012. (Maybe those Kepler GPUs aren't coming this year, eh?) The contract has upgrade options beyond these two phases, which probably include swapping out Opteron processors or GPUs, which could generate even more money for Cray and/or Nvidia.

ORNL supercomputing roadmap

ORNL's "Titan" OLCF-3 system is two steps away from exaflops (click to enlarge)

Oak Ridge has plans to get to get well above 20 petaflops. The OLCF-4 system, which is due in 2015, will scale from 100 to 250 petaflops and will be based on the "Cascade" system design that the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is paying Cray to develop. The Cascade system will use the future "Aries" interconnect and will link nodes and coprocessors together through PCI-Express links and will support both AMD Opteron and Intel Xeon processors as compute nodes. It will probably also support a variety of coprocessors, including GPUs and FPGAs, too. Out in 2018, with the OLCF-5 design, it looks as if Cray is moving to a new network structure and hopes to hit an exaflops.

And yes, it will be able to play Crysis. But will it be able to play budget crisis? That is the real question. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
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.