Tuesday, February 3rd 2009

IBM to Supply US Government with 20 Petaflops Supercomputer

IBM will be supplying the US Government with two new supercomputers for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to handle analysis of the U.S. nuclear stockpile. The first is a 500 teraflops supercomputer called the BlueGene/P which the lab will receive by April, the second being the 20 Petaflops supercomputer which is due by 2012. It is estimated to perform up to 10 times greater than the current most powerful systems. More information follows:

BlueGene/P uses a modified PowerPC 450 processor running at 850 MHz with four cores per chip and as many as 4,096 processors in a rack. The Sequoia system will use 45nm processors with as many as 16 cores per chip running at a significantly faster data rate.

Both BlueGene/P and Sequoia consist of clusters built up from 96 racks of systems. Sequoia will have 1.6 petabytes of memory feeding its 1.6 million cores, but many details of its design have not yet been disclosed.

"The Sequoia system will be 15 times faster than BlueGene/P with roughly the same footprint and a modest increase in power consumption," said Herb Schultz, manager in IBM's deep computing group.

"IBM's BlueGene proposal exceeded our requirements while consuming less than half the power of its closest competitor and less than a third of the most power hungry," said Mark Seager, a principal investigator for supercomputers at Lawrence Livermore. "That is a savings of more than 35 megawatts for the lifetime of the machine and translates to a savings of $24.5 million and 108 kilotons less carbon dioxide expended," he said in an email exchange.

"These powerful machines will provide NNSA with the capabilities needed to resolve time-urgent and complex scientific problems, ensuring the viability of the nation's nuclear deterrent into the future," said NNSA administrator Thomas D'Agostino in a press statement. "This endeavor will also help maintain U.S. leadership in high performance computing and promote scientific discovery," he added.
Source: EETimes
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42 Comments on IBM to Supply US Government with 20 Petaflops Supercomputer

#2
Nanyang
by: CrAsHnBuRnXp
Will it run Crysis with at least 100FPS?
Lol..:roll:
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#3
hat
Maximum Overclocker
crysis jokes are really getting old... they've been around since 2007
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#4

Damn how big is our nuclear stockpile that it requires something like that?
#5
R_1
by: CrAsHnBuRnXp
Will it run Crysis with at least 100FPS?
Probably :). Now on a PC with Core 2 Quad and HD4870x2 with settings to high on 1920*1200 resolution you can get 35FPS. So, more then two Terafolps of graphic power is needed just to make the game playable. Now with MS WARP10 software rendering and a BlueGene/P , 100 FPS on 1920*1200 are in reach (everything on max. settings).
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#6
ArkanHell
Crysys jokes will stop been funny the day when crysys stop been so heavy.
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#7
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: CrAsHnBuRnXp
Will it run Crysis with at least 100FPS?
It should support 1.6 million CPUs to do that. Since it doesn't get along well with four, it won't with 1.6M. 100fps can be reached by today's desktop hardware (just lower the settings).
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#9
to6ko91
Wounder what 3DMarks would it get :D
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#11
TheMailMan78
Big Member
by: CrAsHnBuRnXp
Will it run Crysis with at least 100FPS?
Damn you beat me to it! :laugh:
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#12
ShadowFold
Does anyone else notice they are using it for nuclear warheads in 2012? I'm no doomsdayer but seriously, what a coincidence :laugh:
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#13
TheMailMan78
Big Member
The day someone runs Crysis maxed out at 100fps it will be doomsday! :rimshot:
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#14
Jizzler
by: ShadowFold
Does anyone else notice they are using it for nuclear warheads in 2012? I'm no doomsdayer but seriously, what a coincidence :laugh:
I didn't notice the year, but wondered about having so much power to analyze our nukes. But yeah, the year, lol.

Not to divert topic too much, but Newegg has one of the Tyan quad Socket F boards for $329 now. Talking 4P/16C, 64GB systems starting at $4000! Start building your own nuke lab today! :D
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#15
rampage
what about the weekends will they run folding at home on this, im sure they could cure cancer with that :P

"The Sequoia system will use 45nm processors with as many as 16 cores per chip running at a significantly faster data rate" so basicly its simlar to the new i7 (not the ones out now but the 8 core + hyper threading ones that are being delayed (if i rembber correctly)
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#16
to6ko91
by: rampage
what about the weekends will they run folding at home on this, im sure they could cure cancer with that :P

"The Sequoia system will use 45nm processors with as many as 16 cores per chip running at a significantly faster data rate" so basicly its simlar to the new i7 (not the ones out now but the 8 core + hyper threading ones that are being delayed (if i rembber correctly)
does anybody else think 45 nm would be old in 2012 ??
Why not 32nm sound better or preferably they ditch the nm with pm (pico meters):rolleyes::slap:
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#17
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Um, the stockpile isn't getting any bigger (in fact, it should be getting smaller) so why do they need even faster supercomputers than they already have now to serve a purpose that hasn't changed for 10+ years? I think it is a waste of taxpayer money.


by: rampage
what about the weekends will they run folding at home on this, im sure they could cure cancer with that :P
All the brains in the world couldn't get F@H to run on more than four CPUs.


by: rampage
"The Sequoia system will use 45nm processors with as many as 16 cores per chip running at a significantly faster data rate" so basicly its simlar to the new i7 (not the ones out now but the 8 core + hyper threading ones that are being delayed (if i rembber correctly)
It is most likely an IBM POWER processor, not Intel.
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#18
R_1
They will simulate nuclear explosion on this supercomputer to predict operational condition of US nuclear warheads.
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#19
TheMailMan78
Big Member
Why do I keep thinking about the "boomers" from Gears of War?
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#20
mdm-adph
by: thraxed
Damn how big is our nuclear stockpile that it requires something like that?
The US still has the second largest stockpile of nukes in the world, last time I checked. It's something like four or five thousand warheads.

by: FordGT90Concept
All the brains in the world couldn't get F@H to run on more than four CPUs.
Not to mention the fact that it runs so much better on a GPU!
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#21
Binge
Overclocking Surrealism
by: TheMailMan78
The day someone runs Crysis maxed out at 100fps it will be doomsday! :rimshot:
I would say "SWISH!" but I've run Crysis @ 100 fps already... It just takes tri-sli GTX280s lol
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#22
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
by: mdm-adph
Not to mention the fact that it runs so much better on a GPU!
So unfortunately true. :(
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#23
mdm-adph
by: FordGT90Concept
So unfortunately true. :(
Hey, no need to be glum -- how do we know the chips in this thing aren't some sort of modified Cell core? That thing runs operations almost as fast as a GPU.
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#24
El Fiendo
Wait a second, that whole 2012 bit and 'the world's most powerful computer'. Maybe the whole Terminator / Skynet thing wasn't really that off. I mean its going to be given direct access to all this nuclear supply information. Holy crap man.
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#25
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
by: mdm-adph
Hey, no need to be glum -- how do we know the chips in this thing aren't some sort of modified Cell core? That thing runs operations almost as fast as a GPU.
This is complex...

Super computer power is measured in FLoating point OPerations Per Second (FLOPS) because that is the area processors are weakest in. It's ALU performance that is most desirable in super computers because the programmers for the super computer can tell it exactly how to behave (rounding, repeating decimals, etc. can be strictly controlled). ALU can also perform calculations much quicker than FPU because ALU is far more simple.

So, CELL processors nor GPUs aren't necessarily good for super computers. In cases where precision isn't that important, they are useful. Any good scientist will take precision over performance though because the 1000th decimal place may skewer the end results.
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