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Old 10-29-2010, 03:34 AM   #1
Rob Williams
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Default China's Tianhe-1A Becomes the World's Fastest Supercomputer

As far as technology goes, there's little that's quite as interesting as a supercomputer. They're powerful beyond comprehension, and there are many of them scattered around the earth. It's not too often though, that a new supercomputer gets announced that sets the bar much higher than before, but this past week, China managed to get it done, with its Tianhe-1A.


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Old 10-29-2010, 04:02 PM   #2
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will it play Crysis/Metro 2033 @ 100fps ?!?
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Old 10-29-2010, 05:58 PM   #3
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BTW... Petaflop = 1000 trillion = 1 Quadrillion calculations... 1 Trillion is a quarter of the processing power of an AMD 6870. Unless it's double precision, in which case, they're equal.

And no, it won't play Crysis, it IS Crysis .

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Old 10-29-2010, 07:01 PM   #4
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I read Prof Jack's comments somewhere today. He commented how the China computer did not depend on Infiniband interconnects ... suggesting that his in ORNL does. Infiniband is a decade old interconnect standard. The operative words are "decade" and "standard" == not nearly the optimal for what could be custom designed with today's tools.

The China system uses a custom interconnection system AND that is not so expensive even if completely built in the US! (And I will bet anything that the interconnect system is designed and built in the US.) Anyway that suggests & translates to the various individual systems of the China system can communicate each other much faster than the ORNL system.

Jack also comments about how the h/w, s/w, data tables etc. must all be managed properly. Not sure what he was actually thinking about, but I it is clear that as the individual systems are able to communicate with each other at higher speeds, that the method of distributing computing can also become more sophisticated. Just think about the efficiency difference of single core CPU systems transferring data across an Ethernet network versus a multi-core CPU performing the identical computation ... for a lame analogy.

Also, the China system is massively larger than the ORNL system. When finesse is not enough, then use brute force .. more can still be better!

Last but not the least, the China budget was bigger.
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Old 10-29-2010, 11:02 PM   #5
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Haha my dad works (I think) in the plant where the previous fastest supercomputer resides. It might be in a different plant, but he works at Y-12 (there are a couple ORNL plants in Oak Ridge)
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Old 10-31-2010, 03:56 AM   #6
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I won't believe it til I see it's 3dMark scores posted to verify it!!!
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