Monday, May 31st 2010

Intel Unveils New Product Plans for High-Performance Computing

During the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC), Intel Corporation announced plans to deliver new products based on the Intel Many Integrated Core (MIC) architecture that will create platforms running at trillions of calculations per second, while also retaining the benefits of standard Intel processors.

Targeting high-performance computing segments such as exploration, scientific research and financial or climate simulation, the first product, codenamed "Knights Corner," will be made on Intel's 22-nanometer manufacturing (nm) process – using transistor structures as small as 22 billionths of a meter – and will use Moore's Law to scale to more than 50 Intel processing cores on a single chip. While the vast majority of workloads will still run best on award-winning Intel Xeon processors, Intel MIC architecture will help accelerate select highly parallel applications.

Industry design and development kits codenamed "Knights Ferry" are currently shipping to select developers, and beginning in the second half of 2010, Intel will expand the program to deliver an extensive range of developer tools for Intel MIC architecture. Common Intel software tools and optimization techniques between Intel MIC architecture and Intel Xeon processors will support diverse programming models that will place unprecedented performance in the hands of scientists, researchers and engineers, allowing them to increase their pace of discovery and preserve their existing software investments. The Intel MIC architecture is derived from several Intel projects, including "Larrabee" and such Intel Labs research projects as the Single-chip Cloud Computer.

"The CERN openlab team was able to migrate a complex C++ parallel benchmark to the Intel MIC software development platform in just a few days," said Sverre Jarp, CTO of CERN openlab. "The familiar hardware programming model allowed us to get the software running much faster than expected."

"Intel's Xeon processors, and now our new Intel Many Integrated Core architecture products, will further push the boundaries of science and discovery as Intel accelerates solutions to some of humanity's most challenging problems," said Kirk Skaugen, vice president and general manager of Intel's Data Center Group. "The Intel® MIC architecture will extend Intel's leading HPC products and solutions that are already in nearly 82 percent of the world's top supercomputers. Today's investments are indicative of Intel's growing commitment to the global HPC community."

TOP500
The 35th edition of the TOP500 list, which was announced at ISC, shows that Intel continues to be the platform of choice in high-performance computing, with 408 systems, or nearly 82 percent, powered by Intel processors. More than 90 percent of quad-core-based systems use Intel processors, with the Intel Xeon 5500 series processor nearly doubling its presence with 186 systems. Intel chips also power three systems in the top 10, and four out of five new entrants in the top 30. Seven systems contain the recently announced Intel Xeon 5600 series processor, codenamed "Westmere-EP," and two systems are powered by the new Intel Xeon 7500 series processor, codenamed "Nehalem-EX."

The Intel Xeon processor 5600 series is playing the vital role in the highest-ranked system from China in the history of the Top500. The No. 2 system, located at the National Supercomputing Center (NSCS) in Shenzhen, reached 1.2 petaflops on the Linpack benchmark with a Dawning TC3600. NSCS is a hub for research and innovation in China.

The semi-annual TOP500 list of supercomputers is the work of Hans Meuer of the University of Mannheim, Erich Strohmaier and Horst Simon of the U.S. Department of Energy's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, and Jack Dongarra of the University of Tennessee.

New Exascale Lab
To meet the growing challenge of running large-scale simulations in the multi petaflops and exaflops range of computing, Intel, Forschungszentrum Julich (FZJ) and ParTec will announce a multi-year commitment to create the ExaCluster Laboratory (ECL) at Julich. The lab will develop key technologies, tools and methods to power multi petaflops and exaflops machines, focusing on the scalability and resilience of those systems. ECL will become the latest member of Intel Labs Europe, a network of research and innovation centers spanning Europe.
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23 Comments on Intel Unveils New Product Plans for High-Performance Computing

#1
Fourstaff
I see, CUDA has competition.
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#2
v12dock
Nothing special people move along
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#3
filip007
Well ok but it looks like graphics card.

Intel is not interested in games that's the problem.
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#4
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
Ok, Intel powers 82% of the top 500 systems, but only 30% of the top 10 systems. Kind of tells you what the guys at the extreme top really think of Intel...:D
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#5
DrPepper
The Doctor is in the house
by: newtekie1
Ok, Intel powers 82% of the top 500 systems, but only 30% of the top 10 systems. Kind of tells you what the guys at the extreme top really think of Intel...:D
Those top 70% are mostly IBM babies ?
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#6
InnocentCriminal
Resident Grammar Amender
I wonder how many Meme's will be created with that first image?
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#7
KainXS
these things are probably killers in terms of HPC computing but with the cost definitely being over 1 grand I don't think we'll ever get one for casual use, but still, 22nm, where are these things going to be made, I didn't think there was a good process for that yet.

Nvidia will probably have the GTX4XX and Telsa problems corrected by next year also though,

I wish IBM did make GPU's though lol
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#8
OnBoard
So they scrapped Larrabee and made this from it?
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#10
OnBoard
Yeah, well it's not coming out soon and this think looks like it is. It's in GPU form factor and has multiple processors in one core = larrabee without the directx drivers.

I'm just not sure what the difference here or is there anything. They just didn't get enough performance out of larrabee as a graphics card so they made it to a cruncher?
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#11
a_ump
by: the54thvoid
Larrabee is not scrapped. It is not going to be released as a consumer GPU, at least not until a couple years down the line. Larrabee is still a research piece and is leading to new ideas.

http://www.semiaccurate.com/2010/05/27/larrabee-alive-and-well/

Yes it's CD but it's not anti-NV.
was a research piece. it's currently been shelved, or basically its not being researched right now.
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#12
a_ump
Bump bc this needs more attention lol. so what exactly is this card supposed to be/do? is it like a super CPU on a card or what???
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#13
OnBoard
by: a_ump
so what exactly is this card supposed to be/do? is it like a super CPU on a card or what???
It's a new MIC :laugh:

At lest they could name it and would certainly help if the news said that it was "parallel-multiprocessor-core-add-on-card-thingy" :roll:

Maybe there should have been some history on the whole MIC thing, I haven't seen any old products on that, if this is a new one :ohwell: I like the shiny pictures, but this news doesn't make sense, so someone please elaborate on the a_ump question :)
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#14
tkpenalty
I think thats a larabee since GPUs are pretty much like this MIC 'concept'.
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#15
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Hello Larrabee, without the GPU API. :( I still hope they don't give up on making that API.



by: DrPepper
Those top 70% are mostly IBM babies ?
Yup, except I don't know what Cray uses for processors. Most of those in the top 10 are older IBM super computers but they've been expanded virtually every year keeping them on top.
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#16
majestic12
I was almost expecting to see wood screws in Intel's card -oh wait... wrong company.
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#17
a_ump
so it's larrabee, only without GPU capapbilities and massive CPU whorepowa?
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#18
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
It's got the CPU power for sure (most likely runs on a simplified x86 instruction set) but creating the necessary drivers to make many CPUs function as a GPU just isn't practical at this time. I think it is because Intel knows they are up against a lot of competition and their architecture just can't be priced competitively with standard GPUs.

Think about it: Larrabee the HPC product could sell for $1000+ to businesses. Larrabee the GPU can't get much sells over $300. If Intel started selling Larrabee GPUs at $300, the $1000+ market is gone because they'll just buy the GPUs instead of the HPC branded products.

There's also the design issues invloving using CPU architectures for GPU work. CPUs are far more capable which causes reduced FLOP performance so you need a more CPUs to equate to a competitor's single GPU.

Nevermind the difficulties of authoring a DirectX x86 driver and OpenGL x86 driver.

Larrabee as a GPU was always far fetched. If it happens though, it would be one awesome card to have.
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#19
a_ump
eventually it'll get there. i mean eventually there's going to be nothing but a UPU, universal processing unit(yes, i came up with that name all by myself :)), hence why larrabee is only shelved and not scrapped. It still has potential, just perhaps ahead of its time.
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#20
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: OnBoard
So they scrapped Larrabee and made this from it?
Yes, you can say that. They can salvage Larrabee as an HPC processor, or watch Radeon HD 5770 pwn it as a graphics card.
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#21
a_ump
eh, i wouldn't say scrapped, honestly i could see them picking it up again later down the time line.
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#22
OnBoard
Thanks to all, now I got it :)
Posted on Reply
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