Monday, June 25th 2018

With Summit, US Regains Leadership from China in TOP500 Supercomputers Listing

We previously covered in more depth the fact that the US was gearing up to overtake China's Sunway TaihuLight, then the world's fastest supercomputer, with its Summit machine, built in collaboration between IBM (with its water-cooled Power Systems AC922 nodes with 24-core processors and 96 processing threads) and NVIDIA (GV100 GPUs).

Now, this US dream has finally come to pass, and in a big way - the Summit delivers more than double the performance of China's posterchild, coming in at 200 PetaFLOPs of computing power. Summit boasts of 27,648 Volta Tensor Core GPUs and 9,216 CPUs within its 5,600 square feet. The Summit supercomputer consumes 15 MW of power (the site where it's deployed is able to deliver up to 20 MW), which is on-par with China's Sunway - but remember, it more than doubles the peak PetaFlops from 93 to 200. A good step in the battle for supercomputer supremacy, but China still has an increasing foothold in the number of systems it has employed and registered with the TOP500.
Sources: TOP 500, NVIDIA Blogs
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27 Comments on With Summit, US Regains Leadership from China in TOP500 Supercomputers Listing

#1
bug
What's a PetaFLOP? Isn't computing speed measured in MH/s these days? :D
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#3
jabbadap
FluffmeisterHehe poor Volta!
Quite poor, three machines with Volta GPUs on top five.

But yeah had to say that it's not quite 200PFlops, Peak on the list is 187.7PFlops and Rmax 122.3PFlops.
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#4
Ferrum Master
Hate to say, but why this thing even is news worthy and matters?
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#5
windwhirl
Ferrum MasterHate to say, but why this thing even is news worthy and matters?
More importantly, what does the US do with such a powerful system?
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#6
the54thvoid
Ferrum MasterHate to say, but why this thing even is news worthy and matters?
Seriously, what's a story about the Summit Super Computer, the most powerful system in the world, doing on a tech web-site? Hmm, let me see....

I seriously, cannot figure some people out.
windwhirlMore importantly, what does the US do with such a powerful system?
It's used (I think) like most other - time can be booked out at cost and it runs huge research projects, machine learning and AI especially.
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#8
jabbadap
the54thvoidSeriously, what's a story about the Summit Super Computer, the most powerful system in the world, doing on a tech web-site? Hmm, let me see....

I seriously, cannot figure some people out.

It's used (I think) like most other - time can be booked out at cost and it runs huge research projects, machine learning and AI especially.
Yeah mixed precision is quite common now-a-days even on supercomputers, but most use cases for these are calculations which needs double precision. As those ~200 PFlops are in fp64 Flops. In short, they are used in science which needs very precise calculations. Like accurate simulation of nuclear reactor.
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#9
bug
windwhirlMore importantly, what does the US do with such a powerful system?
Oppress the rest of the world, what else? :kookoo:
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#10
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
RaevenlordThe Summit supercomputer consumes 15 MW of power...
Huh, a single quantum processor uses more than 25 MW (mostly from cooling). Are they taking into account the cooling power consumption or just the hardware? Quantum includes both.
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#11
Petey Plane
windwhirlMore importantly, what does the US do with such a powerful system?
More importantly, will it run Crysis?
The US government mainly uses the Titan (and now the Summit) for simulating nuclear decay in stockpiled nuclear weapons and the decay of used fuel from reactors.

Probably also Signal Intelligence and Cryptogrophy work, but that kind of stuff is clandestine and typically not openly acknowledged.
Ferrum MasterHate to say, but why this thing even is news worthy and matters?
Hmmm, I can't imagine why a computer hardware news and review site would have a story about the newest and most powerful supercomputer in the world. :rolleyes:
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#12
Fluffmeister
This thing writes it's own software, the key issue is when it becomes self-aware....
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#13
Petey Plane
FordGT90Concepta single quantum processor uses more than 25 MW (mostly from cooling).
[citation needed]

sorry, but no single chip could possibly use 25 Megawatts (or, more power than both the Titan and Summit supercomputers combined). If you put 25 megawatts through a single microchip (let's say 1 square inch in size), no amount of cooling in the world could prevent that from being instantly vaporized.
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#14
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
My bad, they're 25 kW, not MW. The processors themselves use next to nothing. The vast majority of the power consumption is cooling (the closer to 0K the more powerful the processor).
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#15
Petey Plane
FordGT90ConceptMy bad, they're 25 kW, not MW. The processors themselves use next to nothing. The vast majority of the power consumption is cooling (the closer to 0K the more powerful the processor).
Ah. Makes sense. Liquid helium cooling?
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#16
trparky
With 27,648 GPU cores and 9,216 general purpose processors you can bet that it can chew through even the strongest encryption like it's child's play.
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#17
Prima.Vera
What is the OS of this machine, and what kind of software is it running, anyone knows?
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#18
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
IBM loves Linux so some custom distro of it likely.
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#19
bug
trparkyWith 27,648 GPU cores and 9,216 general purpose processors you can bet that it can chew through even the strongest encryption like it's child's play.
Ha, ha! Somebody doesn't know how encryption works.
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#20
Caring1
windwhirlMore importantly, what does the US do with such a powerful system?
Calculate tax increases to pay for their salaries, perks and bonuses.
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#21
trparky
bugHa, ha! Somebody doesn't know how encryption works.
If you have enough processors you can try every possible key in a 256-bit RSA key scope. Yes, it will take some time but with that many processors trying that many per second you'll eventually crack it easily.
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#22
bug
trparkyIf you have enough processors you can try every possible key in a 256-bit RSA key scope. Yes, it will take some time but with that many processors trying that many per second you'll eventually crack it easily.
Don't change your tune, you said "chew through even the strongest encryption".
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#23
Prima.Vera
trparkyIf you have enough processors you can try every possible key in a 256-bit RSA key scope. Yes, it will take some time but with that many processors trying that many per second you'll eventually crack it easily.
256-bit was in the early 2000s friend. Now the most secure are 4096-bit, and even 8192-bit. Good luck cracking those without an ultra powerful Quantum Supercomputer.
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#24
trparky
Prima.Vera4096-bit
Isn't that a bit overkill for most users?

Encryption, like most security, is really only meant to keep the average bad guy out. Just like dead bolt locks, they keep the average person out of your business. If a real bad guy were to be interested in you and your data, well... this XKCD comic will explain things.

Actual actual reality: nobody cares about his secrets. (Also, I would be hard-pressed to find that wrench for $5.)
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#25
jabbadap
Prima.VeraWhat is the OS of this machine, and what kind of software is it running, anyone knows?
It is said on their home site:
Operating System Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) version 7.4
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