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Intel Equipped to Lead Industry to Era of Exascale Computing

Discussion in 'News' started by btarunr, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    At the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC), Kirk Skaugen, Intel Corporation vice president and general manager of the Data Center Group, outlined the company’s vision to achieve ExaFLOP/s performance by the end of this decade. An ExaFLOP/s is quintillion computer operations per second, hundreds times more than today’s fastest supercomputers.

    Reaching exascale levels of performance in the future will not only require the combined efforts of industry and governments, but also approaches being pioneered by the Intel Many Integrated Core (Intel MIC) Architecture, according to Skaugen. Managing the explosive growth in the amount of data shared across the Internet, finding solutions to climate change, managing the growing costs of accessing resources such as oil and gas, and a multitude of other challenges require increased amounts of computing resources that only increasingly high-performing supercomputers can address.

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    “While Intel Xeon processors are the clear architecture of choice for the current TOP500 list of supercomputers, Intel is further expanding its focus on high-performance computing by enabling the industry for the next frontier with our Many Integrated Core architecture for petascale and future exascale workloads,” said Skaugen. “Intel is uniquely equipped with unparalleled manufacturing technologies, new architecture innovations and a familiar software programming environment that will bring us closer to this exciting exascale goal.”

    Paving the Way to Exaflop Performance
    Intel’s relentless pursuit of Moore’s Law -- doubling the transistor density on microprocessors roughly every 2 years to increase functionality and performance while decreasing costs -- combined with an innovative, highly efficient software programming model and extreme system scalability were noted by Skaugen as key ingredients for crossing the threshold of petascale computing into a new era of exascale computing. With this increase in performance, though, comes a significant increase in power consumption.

    As an example, for today’s fastest supercomputer in China, the Tianhe-1A, to achieve exascale performance, it would require more than 1.6 GW of power – an amount large enough to supply electricity to 2 million homes – thus presenting an energy efficiency challenge.

    To address this challenge, Intel and European researchers have established three European labs with three main goals: to create a sustained partner presence in Europe; take advantage of the growing relevance of European high-performance computing (HPC) research; and exponentially grow capabilities in computational science, engineering and strategic computing. One of the technical goals of these labs is to create simulation applications that begin to address the energy efficiency challenges of moving to exascale performance.

    Skaugen said there is the potential for tremendous growth of the HPC market. While supercomputers from the 1980s delivered GigaFLOP/s (billions of floating point operations per second) performance, today’s most powerful machines have increased this value by several million times. This, in turn, has increased the demand for processors used in supercomputing. By 2013 Intel expects the top 100 supercomputers in the world to use one million processors. By 2015 this number is expected to double, and is forecasted to reach 8 million units by the end of the decade. The performance of the TOP500 #1 system is estimated to reach 100 PetaFLOP/s in 2015 and break the barrier of 1 ExaFLOP/s in 2018. By the end of the decade the fastest system on Earth is forecasted to be able to provide performance of more than 4 ExaFLOP/s.

    Intel MIC Architecture Software Development Momentum
    The Intel MIC architecture is a key addition to the company’s existing products, including Intel Xeon processors, and expected to help lead the industry into the era of exascale computing. The first Intel MIC product, codenamed "Knights Corner,” is planned for production on Intel’s 22-nanometer technology that featuring innovative 3-D Tri-Gate transistors. Intel is currently shipping Intel MIC software development platforms, codenamed “Knights Ferry,” to select development partners.

    At ISC, Intel and some of its partners including Forschungszentrum Juelich, Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ), CERN and Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information (KISTI) showed early results of their work with the “Knights Ferry” platform. The demonstrations showed how Intel MIC architecture delivers both performance and software programmability advantages.

    “The programming model advantage of Intel MIC architecture enabled us to quickly scale our applications running on Intel Xeon processors to the Knights Ferry Software Development Platform,” said Prof. Arndt Bode of the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre. “This workload was originally developed and optimized for Intel Xeon processors but due to the familiarity of the programming model we could optimize the code for the Intel MIC architecture within hours and also achieved over 650 GFLOPS of performance.”

    Intel also showed server and workstation platforms from SGI, Dell, HP, IBM, Colfax and Supermicro, all of which are working with Intel to plan products based on “Knights Corner.” “SGI recognizes the significance of inter-processor communications, power, density and usability when architecting for exascale,” said SGI CTO Dr. Eng Lim Goh. “The Intel MIC products will satisfy all four of these priorities, especially with their anticipated increase in compute density coupled with familiar X86 programming environment.”

    TOP500 Supercomputers
    The 37th edition of the Top500 list, which was announced at ISC, shows that Intel continues to be a force in high-performance computing, with 387 systems or more than 77 percent, powered by Intel processors. Out of all new entries to the list in 2011, Intel powered systems accounted for close to 88 percent. More than half of these new additions are based on latest 32nm Intel Xeon 5600 series processors which now alone power more than 35% of all systems in TOP500 list, three times the amount comparing to last year.

    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 Com
     
  2. Aleksander

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    I am thinking of what science could use this exascale computing :wtf:
     
  3. afw

    afw New Member

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    Is that a radeon card with an intel sticker :laugh:
     
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  4. the54thvoid

    the54thvoid

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    I read a depressing news article about the state of the oceans (and the horrific effect it'll have on the entire planet). http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13796479

    My point is science would gain greatly from such computational powers but unless we as a race can learn to mitigate our effect on our planet (CO2 release pertinent to acidic oceans, over fishing, toxic pollution etc) then our science achievements will be a legacy read by nobody.
     
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  5. theJesus

    theJesus

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    I got excited to see somebody else getting into discrete graphics, but nope :ohwell:
     
  6. NC37

    NC37

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    Ahhhhh burn it...send it back to hell!!!!! :eek:
     
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  7. RejZoR

    RejZoR

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    Good thing for them is the fact that this decade just barely started...
     
  8. DaedalusHelios

    DaedalusHelios

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    Most fields of science actually. :laugh:
     
  9. Maban

    Maban

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    Look at all them P5 cores.
     
  10. Zubasa

    Zubasa

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    All your rocket scientists? :laugh:
    FYI people like Astrophysicist never have enough computational power.
     
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  11. ensabrenoir

    ensabrenoir

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    Can't wait 2 be playing 4-d solatire on one of those things
     
  12. HalfAHertz

    HalfAHertz

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    Is this Larabee's offspring? I see 32 cores in there with what seems like shared L2 cache in between some of them
     
  13. wolf

    wolf Performance Enthusiast

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    that die shot looks like a 32 core if I'm not mistaken?

    also wondering if that pci-e engineering sample is real or just a mock up, thats frikken awesome.
     
  14. Over_Lord

    Over_Lord News Editor

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    so it's many P4 cpus in a gpu package which cant play games gpus normally can?

    if anybody can convince people to buy this, it's INTEL.
     
  15. qwerty_lesh

    qwerty_lesh

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    I believe it is, when Intel scrapped it as a consumer dedicated graphics competitor and said they would still be using architecture they researched from larabee, this is whats resulted.

    Would have preferred that research to have become a consumer product, imagine the bitcoins a larabee platform could have mined! :roll: :cry:
     
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  16. mamisano New Member

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    I wonder if this will be able to compete with AMD's "Graphics Core Next" GPU which is supposed to be heavily developed with compute in mind.
     
  17. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    I do beleive so. Intel said it was not "killing" Larabee; I guess this is what they turned it into.
     
  18. Jizzler

    Jizzler

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    Back in September:

    Newer units will have more cores (>50), possibly at a higher clockspeed, doubling the performance of the units used in the Wolf demo.
     
  19. Protagonist

    Protagonist

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    Intel is supposed to be setting the pace not trying to catch up????????!!!!!!!, I thought it was Larrabee Discrete Graphics Card/HPC Card,,, it would have been nice, I was like Suck on that AMD & Nvidia but ooo noooo

    Will we be able to afford this MIC thing???
    Will It Game (When I Say Game, I mean Will It be able to crash Nvidia & AMD)???
    If not what the Hell,......


    We want a discrete card from Intel
    Where is larrabee,????

    They should try and absorb Nvidia!!!!!!??????
     
  20. 1c3d0g

    1c3d0g

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    Sigh... :mad: FYI, some people actually WORK for a living and have the need for monstrous computing power (way beyond what you can imagine). There's actually serious work that could be completed by using this equipment. Not everything in this damn world is fun and games. :shadedshu
     
  21. St.Alia-Of-The-Knife New Member

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    how would this compare to nvidia tesla?
     
  22. FordGT90Concept

    FordGT90Concept "I go fast!1!11!1!"

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    3D virtual porn. :roll:


    Larrabee was supposed to be a graphics card first and a high-performance computing project second. Larrabee the graphics card was killed because Intel basically wanted to make an OGL and DX library for x86 and the card simply couldn't be competitive with AMD/NVIDIA (Larrabee's flexibility meant it wouldn't be as efficient as a graphics card). This is the HPC version. I doubt we'll ever see one of these HPC cards with a DVI port on it so, in that regard, Larrabee the graphics card is done for.


    CUDA vs x86. x86 = much better and virtually anyone can program for it without having to learn much new. x86 is also far more powerful in that it can handle logic processing much better than CUDA.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2011
    Crunching for Team TPU
  23. a_ump

    a_ump

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    So that would mean...that this could be a threat to AMD and Nvidia? It does only make sense for intel to spit something out like a GPU. They need to get both CPU and GPU down if they want to keep up with what AMD is doing and planning for the next 5years or so.
     
  24. FordGT90Concept

    FordGT90Concept "I go fast!1!11!1!"

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    NVIDIA, yes, AMD, not so much. NVIDIA has invested a lot in CUDA but AMD has really only invested enough in Streams to make it work. This could literally kill the viability of CUDA and Streams not only because it offers more performance but it is substantially easier to code for.

    Intel isn't concerned much about GPUs because they have the CPU market cornered and, as long as they have the CPU market, they'll also have the IGP market too. Most people aren't going to buy an AMD processor because it has a better IGP.

    AMD and NVIDIA won't see any competition in the foreseeable future from Intel in the discreet GPU market.
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  25. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    You're just stating the obvious though, which is mostly all in the OP. The OP is all about HPC, and not much else.
     

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