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Full Details Uncovered on Chinese Tianhe-2 Supercomputer

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the under-the-hood dept.

China 56

An anonymous reader writes "With help from a draft report (PDF) from Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Jack Dongarra, who also spearheads the process of verifying the top of the pack supercomputer, we get a detailed look at China's Tianhe-2 system. As noted previously, the system will be housed at the National Supercomputer Center in Guangzhou and has been aimed at providing an open platform for research and education and to provide a high performance computing service for southern China. From Jack's details: '... was sent results showing a run of HPL benchmark using 14,336 nodes, that run was made using 50 GB of the memory of each node and achieved 30.65 petaflops out of a theoretical peak of 49.19 petaflops, or an efficiency of 62.3% of theoretical peak performance taking a little over 5 hours to complete.The fastest result shown was using 90% of the machine. They are expecting to make improvements and increase the number of nodes used in the test.'"

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56 comments

The problem with a Chinese supercomputer (5, Funny)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a year ago | (#43895853)

Half an hour after you get the results, you have to run the simulation all over again.

Re:The problem with a Chinese supercomputer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896057)

Ha ha ha! And not racist at all! Slashdot at its best!

+5 Sig Heil!

Re:The problem with a Chinese supercomputer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896507)

Shut up white devil!

Re:The problem with a Chinese supercomputer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43897217)

We conquer China! USA number ONE!

Re:The problem with a Chinese supercomputer (1)

homey of my owney (975234) | about a year ago | (#43896629)

How is a joke referring to the arguably freshness and lightness of Chinese food racist?

Re:The problem with a Chinese supercomputer (1)

beckett (27524) | about a year ago | (#43900641)

no he's referring to the excessive consumption of rice which is quickly digested and results in the feeling you're hungry after an hour? half hour now? lacist!

vegetables inferior to a good steak (1)

peter303 (12292) | about a year ago | (#43896981)

The misguided notion that if you dont eat a large hunk of meat at most meals you neither nouroushing or filling yourself. Modern science says vegetarianism is at least as good as a carnivore diet.

Re:vegetables inferior to a good steak (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43897129)

did you catch that news where a breast feeding vegan mother was sentenced to jail because her infant died due to malnutrition?

Re:vegetables inferior to a good steak (1, Informative)

DragonTHC (208439) | about a year ago | (#43897283)

and how about the news where two vegan parents were sent to jail when their baby died from malnutrition because they just fed the poor infant plant matter.

Babies need protein, lots of it. They need meat. Feeding a baby only soy protein or bean protein is child abuse. Humans are designed to eat and digest meat.
A breast feeding mother needs to increase her protein intake. Even mountain and lowland gorillas, whose diet is entirely vegetarian, consume more protein than we do.

So meat is not murder, without it, you wouldn't survive infancy.

Re:vegetables inferior to a good steak (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43897485)

30% of India is vegetarian. The kids are raised on "plant matter" and dairy products. While it is likely that many children in vegetarian families do not get a balanced diet, they do just fine surviving infancy.

Re:vegetables inferior to a good steak (1, Informative)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year ago | (#43897939)

There is an extreme difference between first world vegans who refuse to step outside of their diet ever and do not practice time honored tradition and read the "science reports' and buy shit food from American companies.

And real Veganism. Or diets simply light on meat but supplemented with other sources of protein and fat. 1 out of 100 "Vegans" I have ever met even know anything realistic and pragmatic about their diets. That means 99 % of them are idiots killing themselves just as bad as Big Mac Lovers.

P.S. A varied diet is the best diet you can ever have. The more varied and rich (pun intended) your diet is. The healthier you'll ever be. And every individual has a tendency to want foods that are better suited to their individual needs once you take the sugar and corn syrup off the table.

Re:vegetables inferior to a good steak (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year ago | (#43897975)

Further if you ever had to survive like a hunter gatherer. On the move. You eat whatever it is you see thats within arms reach while moving. Grabbing the low hanging fruit as you go so to speak. Or stopping for a moment if you see a particularly good food source. Meaning those were varied diets as well that depended on environment and instinct - tradition - following what you were taught.

Re:vegetables inferior to a good steak (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year ago | (#43898389)

Another layer deep. The Buddhist monks live an extremely minimalistic and conservative lifestyle. And the diets they have would not work for most of the other people in the society. If your sitting around meditating and praying all day you are likely much more able to subsist on vegetable broth and whatever the common folk bring to you. That might have something to do with your 30% of India is vegetarian. I have listened to monks speak about their diets and the differences between theirs and the peoples of their countries. They are usually on starvation diets.

A nursing mother would not be fed the same food.

Re:vegetables inferior to a good steak (1)

Molochi (555357) | about a year ago | (#43899047)

I didn't think that Buddhism was that big a religion in India. Never the less, Hinduism also strongly encourages vegetarian slanted diet. It's somewhat institutional but I'm rather surprised to see a figure as low as 30%.

Re:vegetables inferior to a good steak (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year ago | (#43899195)

The monks I listened to which were native to the region. I'm not going to say India specifically (you are absolutely correct). Talked about how commoners or peasants would eat fish and other non-approved foods. Not sure what the other specifics were. Mostly seafood was the big gripe they had. But they said things like. It is ok for common man not speaking divine spiritual enlightenment to eat meat. That polluting their bodies would not hinder their lives because the food was more about cleansing the soul properly and being pure than providing fuel.

I really wish I could dig up the specifics because it had very good references to the specific culture. But it was an audio mp3 I downloaded from an international website talking about regional lifestyles and the choice to become a monk and the requirements.

Re:vegetables inferior to a good steak (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43897489)

without it, you wouldn't survive infancy.

BS. You just have to not be an idiot. Might as well argue a computer can't work without Windows because you found a story by some idiot that couldn't handle the change.

Re:vegetables inferior to a good steak (1)

jovius (974690) | about a year ago | (#43897785)

It's true that humans are designed to eat and digest meat. It's also true that humans are not only carnivores, and if you carefully analyse the nutrients of edible stuff from animal to plants it's often the plant sources that are better choices.

It's interesting to compare the nutritional content of a typical McDonald's meal and peanuts for example. Peanuts win in every way, with something like double the protein - and they cost less. Fish is also a great source of excellent nutrients. Of course the fast food joints want to optimize their profits like meat industry, which creates the supermarket stuff from a mix of some meat and soy + added taste.

Being vegan or vegetarian is also a statement against the over-exploitation and bad practices. It should be worrying that the industry doesn't want you to know where the meat comes from. They don't necessarily let you go for a tour in the production facilities, even though the chain of trust should be established from the producers to the consumer. The other quite recent thing in the human history is the 24/7 availability of meat.

My diet is about 95% vegan/vegetarian, with some fish from time to time, and the diet is really whole with everything I need. I also don't say know if I get to drink fresh milk or meat, because in essence I want the diet to be natural, and I want to be completely aware where it comes from and what it contains. It's tragic that some fanatics take their distorted views to the extreme.

Re:vegetables inferior to a good steak (1)

jandersen (462034) | about a year ago | (#43899235)

Babies need protein, lots of it. They need meat. Feeding a baby only soy protein or bean protein is child abuse. Humans are designed to eat and digest meat. A breast feeding mother needs to increase her protein intake. Even mountain and lowland gorillas, whose diet is entirely vegetarian, consume more protein than we do.

Not exactly - babies need a balanced diet containing quite a lot more fat than an adult diet, and it is in fact possible to overfeed them with protein.

I can't imagine where you get your ideas from. Humans are certainly not designed to eat meat - we are omnivores, and although we can eat meat, we also need plant material. People in the West, whether they are mothers or not, are already eating far too much meat, especially red meat, which is known to be a major factor in diseases like bowel cancer.

I think you are rambling all over the place - first you condemn the idea that we should eat vegetables, because "babies need more protein" and vegans eat soy beans that according to you are full of , er, protein. And then gorillas, who are entirely vegetarian (not factually true, either) consume more protein then humans? I have met people like you before - mostly on closed psychiatric wards.

Re:vegetables inferior to a good steak (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43898531)

How about the fact that many pediatricians will call Child Protective Services on parents who are raising their children as Vegan because it's child abuse?

Re:vegetables inferior to a good steak (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43897333)

I would agree with you, for humans a vegetarian diet is roughly equivalent to a carnivore diet. Of course some form of omnivorous diet is much more beneficial.

Re:vegetables inferior to a good steak (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43898163)

Modern science says vegetarianism is at least as good as a carnivore diet.

Bull!

(sorry couldn't resist)

Chinese food refers to vegitarianism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43898781)

The misguided notion that if you eat Chinese food you're eating vegetarian fare.

The interesting details. (4, Informative)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#43895967)

The machine uses a mixture of Xeons and Xeon Phi's communicating over PCIe, and the nodes seem to communicate over a home-grown chipset hanging off the PCIe bus. The efficiency number (65%) while not stellar is typical of such machines (i.e. about the same as Titan.

It would seem therefore that the interconnect is competitive, or at least not restrictive. Given how close it is to Titan, I would not be surprised if the lack of efficiency comes from the relative pain of using fast co-processors which lack decent single threaded speed or memory.

Anyway, it sll seems respectable enough, though I was hoping it would be a bit more interesting and use the Longsoon variant they've been trying to build a supercomputer out of.

Re:The interesting details. (3, Funny)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#43895973)

) ... because I hate forgetting to close brackets and slashdot spoiled the joke by not allowing a single close bracket on the grounds of lameness.

They're chicken. (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43896161)

It's sad that they didn't use their MIPS stuff for this. Their latest chips look really nice.

Re:They're chicken. (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year ago | (#43896415)

It's sad that they didn't use their MIPS stuff for this. Their latest chips look really nice.

You mean... this? [wikipedia.org] On 65 nm tech and 1 GHz clock? I guess they'll use it when getting to at least 32 nm.

Re:They're chicken. (2)

cheesybagel (670288) | about a year ago | (#43897857)

There are trade restrictions on the export of advanced lithography machine tools to China. It will always be two process generations behind until the Chinese develop their own lithography tech.

Is is made in China? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896047)

Is it made in China like most computers here in the US?

Re:Is is made in China? (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | about a year ago | (#43896241)

No, it's made in the US. Soon, you will be a second-world nation, and China will be a services-orientated economy...

Re:Is is made in China? (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year ago | (#43897049)

Except for the fact that all of the tech inside of it is US-originated, sure.

Re:Is is made in China? (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | about a year ago | (#43897707)

Originated, get that, like all of the tech YOU have is English originated, like, they don't need you anymore, just like you didn't need us!

You just validated my point, plus, you ain't the Lord of anything, either. ;-)

Re:Is is made in China? (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year ago | (#43898213)

Im not trying to make this an us vs them thing. Its just absurd to claim that the US is declining into irrelevancy when a lot of the top tech in the world comes from the US...Intel, AMD, nVidia, Google, Microsoft, Apple-- these are all US companies.

Again, this isnt intended to be a knock on anyone, but the reality is that China's home-grown processors are about 4 generations behind what Intel is doing and about 3 behind AMD. "They" seem to "need" US tech as evidenced by the fact that the Tianhe-2 is built entirely out of US parts and technology.

South Korea is closer to displacing the US as a tech giant than China is, honestly.

Custom interconnect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896351)

On Tianhe-1A, they claimed to have a "custom 160Gbit/s interconnect", only for it to come out later that it was just using dual-port QDR Infiniband cards with Cisco math (i.e. 2 ports of 40 Gbit/s bidirectional equals 160Gbit/s, even though neither the host nor the card could drive both ports at full speed). Given that, I don't know that I believe the part about the "custom interconnect"... (Posting anonymous lest I get in trouble.)

All this work, for one problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896505)

This is the third supercomputer built by China to solve the same problem- solving the Ancient Chinese Secret [youtube.com] .

How does this compare with current supercomputers? (1)

azav (469988) | about a year ago | (#43896573)

Inquiring minds want to know.

Re:How does this compare with current supercompute (2)

Cassini2 (956052) | about a year ago | (#43899315)

30.65 petaflops is about double the 17.6 petaflops of the current top performer on the TOP 500 list [top500.org] .

Of course, the devil will be in the details. It is easy to deliver high peak scores in supercomputing, and more difficult to hit high average scores. Also, the current list is from November, and it is possible that the American supercomputers are newer / faster / better too.

MADE IN CHINA (0)

benjfowler (239527) | about a year ago | (#43896865)

I'd laugh if the enclosures were made out of cheap, chrome-painted plastic like everything else made in China.

already kicked the hell out of Titan 20pentaflop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43897051)

Yeah Cray got some badass fellow

No good will come of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43897481)

The Chinese military will probably use the thing to crack encryptions as part of their campaign of hacking systems in the U.S. in order to destabilize us even further than we already are. That, and for research to weaponize even more deadly strains of bird flu to spread around the globe and kill even more people, destabilize the world more than it already is.

Violation of HIPPA? (-1, Flamebait)

Vannion (445857) | about a year ago | (#43897841)

Since DNA can reflect genetic diseases, and the Officers aren't Medical professionals, and we are not giving consent wouldn't this violate the HIPPA laws?

Re:Violation of HIPPA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43899105)

Wrong article.

Supercomputers are basically useless (1)

gweihir (88907) | about a year ago | (#43899633)

Except for a few very specialized applications like weather prediction and nuclear bomb simulations. This is a political "mine is bigger" statement by people that do not get it.

Re:Supercomputers are basically useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43900331)

Except for a few very specialized applications like weather prediction and nuclear bomb simulations. This is a political "mine is bigger" statement by people that do not get it.

Except, where supercomputers are useful, they are very useful.

Those 'few very specialized applications' include cancer and genome research, pharmaceuticals, astronomy, nano-scale engineering and quantifying potentially disruptive pollutants.

Those all sound like pretty damned good reasons to have a supercomputer.

Re:Supercomputers are basically useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43900765)

You sir are on the wrong website

Time for a Stuxnet for Tianhe? (1)

krsmav (1410223) | about a year ago | (#43903721)

Given the pretty much proved intrusions by Chinese hackers into US and other systems, there may already be a Stuxnet team working to sabotage Tianhe.

Bitcoin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43916367)

Looks like china is finally building a bitcoin mining rig

gwailo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44013195)

while there are americans homeless. the u.s regime uses lame articles like this to force funding from the govt.

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