Feeds

Oak Ridge changes Jaguar's spots from CPUs to GPUs

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

Application security programs and practises

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. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
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.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.