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£52 Million Govt Funding for New UK Supercomputer

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the more-flops-a-good-thing dept.

135

Lancey writes "The BBC reports that the UK government has contributed £52 million towards the building of the High-End Computing Terascale Resource to replace two existing supercomputers currently in use by British scientists. The story claims a maximum speed of 100 teraflops, although it is unlikely that the machine will ever be pushed to this limit. Some of the government funding will also be used to train scientists and programmers to develop software capable of exploiting the machine's potential."

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Born Yesterday? (4, Insightful)

ExE122 (954104) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052174)

However, it is unlikely to ever be pushed to its limits

Give it a little while. Ten years ago, people thought 16MB of RAM was excessive. Ten years before that, 512KB was considered a luxury.

--
"Man Bites Dog
Then Bites Self"

Re:Born Yesterday? (2, Funny)

ronz0o (889697) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052237)

And 10 years from now, we all say "I remember when 100 teraflops was fast..."

Re:Born Yesterday? (2, Insightful)

plankrwf (929870) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052426)

Nope, we will say: and we thougth that THAT was anywhere near good enough
to actually make any chance of beeting a 12 year old in the game of Go

Roel

Re:Born Yesterday? (2, Funny)

DrMrLordX (559371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052598)

12-year-old Korean, you mean? I'm not joking. Your typical 12-year-old American doesn't even know how to play Go. 12-year-old Koreans are sometimes pros, and may have been since the age of 5.

Then there's those Japanese kids possessed by ghosts of ancient, suicidal Go masters. Hoo boy.

Re:Born Yesterday? (1)

basingwerk (521105) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052251)

The brits are desperately trying to beat the yanks to be the first to compute the square root of a negative number, and they are throwing everything they got at it.

Re:Born Yesterday? (1)

plankrwf (929870) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052348)

Well, we europeans then start with an I, then let the computer do the rest...
(Warning: inside joke)

Roel

Re:Born Yesterday? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15052392)

You're an idiot

warning - outside joke

Re:Born Yesterday? (5, Interesting)

adz (630844) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052264)

However, it is unlikely to ever be pushed to its limits It would be more accurate to say that it is impossible to achieve the theoretical maximum speed, and very hard to come even close. Without doubt the machine will be used extensively and people will ensure they get as much performance as they can out of the system. Given how much it costs, they're hardly going to use it as a doortstop, are they?!

Re:Born Yesterday? (0, Redundant)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052450)

TFA stated that it is only so capable for "short bursts" but why the overclocked speed of the machine would even be mentioned is a mystery to me. Intel doesn't sell chips based on how fast they could be overclocked, do they?

Re:Born Yesterday? (3, Insightful)

DrMrLordX (559371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052612)

Sure they do. For what do you think the Extreme Edition(EE) chips were built? They're enthusiast parts meant to be overclocked. Same deal for AMD's FX line of CPUs.

Re:Born Yesterday? (1)

idiat (12297) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053859)

One of the problems with computers this size is that there are so many components the MTBF of the whole system can be measured in literally hours. Most of this will be disk failures and RAID will help here but you still find that any given job spanning the whole machine simply cannot run for more than a day or so before part of the computer dies on it. A normal usage pattern for this type of machine (as much as these machines are normal) is to have 15-20 or more smaller jobs running simultanously for longer periods of time.

Another thing to note is that efficiency of these machines is often quoted as percent of theoretical peak, anything over 80% would be *very* impressive.

Re:Born Yesterday? (1)

Alex P Keaton in da (882660) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052931)

Given how much it costs, they're hardly going to use it as a doortstop, are they?!
When did $52 million become expensive for a government project? Seriously. I am not a mathemetician, but I did pretty well in math classes, but it took me a minute or two to figure out what the US debt was when I saw it. I know that our friends in the UK are not as fiscally irresponsible, but it seems that when people are spending others money, they don't worry much about where it goes... Thats ia a politician-esque trait... Seriously, when your national debt is easier to read in scientific notation, you have a problem.

Re:Born Yesterday? (2, Insightful)

GKThursday (952030) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053129)

RTFA. 52 million POUNDS. That's around over $90 million.

Re:Born Yesterday? (1)

Siffy (929793) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053332)

They still make a valid point. Hector will be only slightly faster than ASC Purple which was built (granted on a military marked budget) just last year for a cost of $290M.

Re:Born Yesterday? (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053675)

Sounds like we're getting a bargain then - a third of the price, give or take, and a little faster.

Re:Born Yesterday? (2, Insightful)

Siffy (929793) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053738)

Well, that is how Moore's Law and military spending work.

Re:Born Yesterday? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15052268)

Try that new Windoze Vista on it...

That'll bog 'er down.

Re:Born Yesterday? (3, Funny)

Black Copter Control (464012) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053173)

Try that new Windoze Vista on it...

Microsoft wouldn't provide certification. Something about the graphics card not being up to spec....

Re:Born Yesterday? (1)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052389)

Give it a little while. Ten years ago, people thought 16MB of RAM was excessive. Ten years before that, 512KB was considered a luxury.

Most laptops, if boxed today and shipped to "super computing" sites 10 years ago would have had much better performance than those rooms of machines that they had. Not to mention the power/cooling etc.

Read the article? (1)

Kaihaku (663794) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052538)

"However, it is unlikely to ever be pushed to its limits, achievable only for short bursts of time that are too small for scientists to run their programs properly."

It's not going to be pushed to its top limits because it can't handle it for more than a few seconds, has nothing to do with its load.

Re:Born Yesterday? (1)

Stephen Samuel (106962) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052685)

It would do a good job on BOINC-type endeavors where the results are relatively independent of each other. On hybred jobs where communication between nodes isn't huge, and large computational chunks are possible, you could still get very close to the theoretical maximum. There will, however, continue to be some jobs where this kind of supercomputer sucks relative to it's theretical capability.

Finding and creating the kinds of algorithms where this system works at it's best continues to be half the problem, so training scientists to use it efficiently will go a long ways to extracting maximum flops out of this emplacement.

Re:Born Yesterday? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15052782)

Actually, I'm sitting next to a 10 year old computer, it has 256M of RAM, and is expandable to 1024. OK, it's a Silicon Graphics unix box, so not your average PC. 16M of RAM was a lot circa 1989 though, not 1996.

Re:Born Yesterday? (1)

Stephen Samuel (106962) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052785)

Ten years ago, people thought 16MB of RAM was excessive. Ten years before that, 512KB was considered a luxury.

Those numbers only apply to a gamer's laptop.

14 years ago I admined a deskside RS-6000 box with 380MB of ram (( although the first response I often got when telling people how much ram it had was "Oooh! That's a lot of disk space isn't it?" ))

Almost 25 years ago, the Computer Science building at the University of Alberta had at least two machines with at least 16MB of ram in them -- one was a mainframe (32-48MB at that time) and the other was a VAX supermini).

It really does take about 10 years to get from the lab to the desktop.

Thinking ahead. (5, Funny)

RatOfTheLab (535003) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052239)

Preparation for the release of Vista, no doubt.

Re:Thinking ahead. (1)

MrRuslan (767128) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052369)

If anything it will be "Vista Ready"... No guarantee it will run on it or how it will perform.

Re:Thinking ahead. (1)

jzeejunk (878194) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052401)

oh that's why it says it is unlikely that the machine will ever be pushed to this limit

ObPedantic (1)

frankie (91710) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052529)

Your joke is a handy jumping-off point to mention that in all likelihood this beast will NOT be able to run Vista, or any other version of Windows for that matter. The only systems that currently operate in the teraflop-ish range (aka the top 3 in the world and the #1 in Europe) contain IBM Power CPUs. Unless they specifically want to burn a bunch of cash investing in a new architecture, their best option is a nice big BlueGene.

Re:ObPedantic (1)

Edzor (744072) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052556)

does it run linux?

i'll just close the door on my way then..

Re:Thinking ahead. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15052736)

...or going to use it to create a palatable English recipe.

Re:Thinking ahead. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15053741)

But can it run Linux?

Required Microsoft Reference... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052247)

Run Windows Vista on the new supercomputer. There has to be some CPU-cycle-sucking bug in there to bring down the mightiest of supercomputers. Assuming that a memory leak doesn't kill it first.

100,000 times faster than an ordinary computer (3, Insightful)

Expert Determination (950523) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052248)

Of course it's 100,000 times faster than an ordinary computer. It's a rack of 100,000 ordinary computers.

Anyone remember the days when the word 'supercomputer' actually meant something?

Re:100,000 times faster than an ordinary computer (1)

know1 (854868) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052382)

imagine a beowulf clu....
no really, i did have a point. it's still a big brain,it's just this is more of a hive mind

Re:100,000 times faster than an ordinary computer (1)

hritcu (871613) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052588)

Don't think I was born then. What did it mean?

Re:100,000 times faster than an ordinary computer (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053020)

I was probably born, but far too young to appreciate it ;)

AFAICT, I think it effectively meant "whacking great multiprocessor computer with very fast connection between processors".

Re:100,000 times faster than an ordinary computer (1)

dsci (658278) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052973)

It's a rack of 100,000 ordinary computers.

A rack of 100,000 ordinary boxes does not equal 100,000 faster. The problem is always keeping the CPU's busy. There's also the problem of the granularity of the calculation being performed, which is certainly related.

Re:100,000 times faster than an ordinary computer (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053614)

Anyone remember the days when the word 'supercomputer' actually meant something?

Don't DC and Marvel have a trademark on that, or something?

Another meaning ... ? (1)

sirrobert (937726) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053618)

I'm not sure that I can figure out exactly what else it could actually mean (besides trivial differences).

I'm very willing that I'm just ignorant of something here, but is there some kind of special way that devices have to be connected that make them more like a computer? If I connect two computers together, so that they accomplish one (computational) task, are they not one unit computing the answer... one computer? If not, how is it more ... unitary(?) for me to connect (basically by "wire") a bunch more logic gates to the main cluster within a processor? If I de-localize the RAM -- say, for example, setting some aside for exclusive use by the video card -- have I changed in kind what I'm working with?

I am a long-time computer nerd, but my training is in philosophy, not EE, so maybe I'm just missing something ...

Re:100,000 times faster than an ordinary computer (3, Informative)

san (6716) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053699)

Of course it's 100,000 times faster than an ordinary computer. It's a rack of 100,000 ordinary computers.

Anyone remember the days when the word 'supercomputer' actually meant something?

Yes! and good riddens.

Do you remember having to re-code for every single machine? Because they were such specialized machines, they tended to be extremely fickle: one wrong operation and performance would go down the drain.

In practice, most computational work in the end consists of running many jobs independently. There are rare occasions where a single super fast CPU might be better but it's even rarer for the performance gains to outweigh the incredible cost increases for buying specialized supercomputer hardware.

Whether it's wise to spend so much money on a single enormous cluster is another issue. You could buy many many individual clusters for individual groups and have them operational in a matter of weeks, rather than having wait till 2008. Besides, the thing is going to be obsolete by 2010.

I know who could (2, Funny)

SB_SamuraiSam (962776) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052255)

However, it is unlikely to ever be pushed to its limits.

Tony Montana could, if he had a montague.

Re:I know who could (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052305)

Tony Montana could, if he had a montague.

But is safety guaranteed?

And do we get paid afterwards?

(sorry I'm having a wonderful time with an inside joke)

a montague? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052429)

What if all he had was a capulet?

Will it run Vista? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15052258)

However, it is unlikely to ever be pushed to its limits

...unlike private users of Microsoft's Vista who will have neither the cores or RAM to run the OS smoothly.

Tony Blair a BOINC freak? (5, Funny)

Arkham79 (219828) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052273)

wait til you see the average credit this thing gets on SETI@Home [berkeley.edu] - there'll be a TBlair@10DowningSt account at the top of the list [berkeley.edu] before you know it.

Re:Tony Blair a BOINC freak? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15052313)

If he was aware of SETI@home he would be there. Never has a narcisist been truer to their affliction than Mr bliar!

Re:Tony Blair a BOINC freak? (0, Troll)

turgid (580780) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052574)

If he was aware of SETI@home he would be there. Never has a narcisist been truer to their affliction than Mr bliar!

Yes, but how does it prevent terrorism or help him lock people up?

Donations Needed (2, Interesting)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052282)

This article should be renamed,
"£52 Million Govt Funding for New UK Supercomputer, Donations Needed to Help Find and Train People to Operate It"

Who's building it? (1)

Alotau (714890) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052292)

Didn't see any reference to the builders of this machine in the article. Did I miss it, or is that just an unimportant detail? Or are the owners the builders as well? Just curious...

Re:Who's building it? (1)

fusto99 (939313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052591)

My guess is AMD will be building it. Next year Intel will come out with something comparable.

Re:Who's building it? (1)

buddahboy (708271) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052680)

I'm not sure they've chosen a builder yet. They were still taking putting together a shortlist of vendors a few months ago and knowing how quickly the wheels of academia turn.
I know one of the panel involved in the planning of HECTOR so I might have to ask next time I see him.....

Re:Who's building it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15053639)

I'm not sure they've chosen a builder yet. They were still taking putting together a shortlist of vendors a few months ago.

Even if they have a good idea, they couldn't formally put the contract out to tender without having the budget approved.

Manufactured/engineered by whom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15052360)

Anybody know who designed and built this thing?

Let's just get this out of the way, shall we? (4, Funny)

Black Copter Control (464012) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052378)

Imagine a Beowulf cluster of <kick> OW!

640K Should Be Enough for Anybody! (3, Funny)

fernandoh26 (963204) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052413)

although it is unlikely that the machine will ever be pushed to this limit

Like I said class: If you can't fit your program in 640k of memory, you don't know how to program... "640k should be enough for anybody"

Re:640K Should Be Enough for Anybody! (1)

the chao goes mu (700713) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052769)

604K? are you mad? who could ever need all that space! if it can't fit in memory on a VIC20, then it is far too large! (And no fair using those expansion cartridges either)

From my knowledge of UK government IT history . . (4, Insightful)

Don_dumb (927108) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052444)

This will be made by EDS, in a poorly thought out 'Public Private Partnership' and will cost three times as much, arrive in 2010 and be obsolete when it does.
If you think I am being too cynical, just look at their track record. The CSA computer system, the air traffic control system, etc

What amazes me is that they still get more work. Surely even New Labour have a limit to how far a bribe can take them.

Re:From my knowledge of UK government IT history . (2, Insightful)

MrTufty (838030) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052748)

Add on the system for changing over farmers to the Single Payment Scheme... I was forced to work on that, and it sucked total balls. Fell over every 15 minutes tops, usually losing all the work you'd done to that point. EDS again. High quality development.

Re:From my knowledge of UK government IT history . (2, Interesting)

ralphclark (11346) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052845)

the govt. are highly motivated to make this work. This is, after all, the machine they need to process all of the data that their ID card scheme will generate (and run face recognition software on live video feeds from thousands of surveillance cams, and decrypt and analyze internet traffic and PSTN voice data, and run sophisticated prediction algorithms on the lot). With approx. 50 milion adults who can now *all* be monitored 24/7 in terms of where they go who they talk to and what they talk about, that's surely going to need an order of magnitude more computing capacity than they have at GCHQ Cheltenham now.

I'm pretty sure EDS will be gagging to get a slice of that.

Re:From my knowledge of UK government IT history . (1)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053439)

I'll tell you right now, GCHQ Cheltenham ain't where the big computing power is.

Re:From my knowledge of UK government IT history . (1)

ralphclark (11346) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053984)

Well right of course, that's just where the listening gear is. It doesn't really matter where the computing cores are, that's what fiberoptic cable is for.

Re:From my knowledge of UK government IT history . (1)

Shimbo (100005) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053381)

This will be made by EDS, in a poorly thought out 'Public Private Partnership' and will cost three times as much, arrive in 2010 and be obsolete when it does.

Fortunately the fact that it is public money doesn't mean the government run it. The UK research community have a proven track record on running big iron; it's really no different to US.gov giving money to LLNL to run Blue Gene/L.

Reminds me of the Punch comment on 1984 (1)

Flying pig (925874) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053486)

Which was that it could never happen in the UK: Big Brother wouldn't be able to watch you because the CCTV cameras would be broken, and the Civil Service would be unable to organise a whole cage of rats.

Don't blame the politicians: I believe Mr, Blair still has to get his wife to type his emails. He wouldn't know a supercomputer from a Gameboy. Blame the Civil Service, who make damned sure that no scientists or engineers ever reach the top level and show up the incompetence of the Oxford Greats graduates you find there. Which is why people like Kelly were managed into the ground by their inferiors and sacrificed to protect the careers of (deleted)s like Hoon.

Re:Reminds me of the Punch comment on 1984 (1)

Don_dumb (927108) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053770)

Blame the Civil Service
The civil service is being run by consultants, blame them, they cost more and its the civil servants who get sacked while they hire more consultants to advise.

Question.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15052454)

Does this run linux?

Offtopic/rss/link/bug (1)

barefootgenius (926803) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052476)

You forgot the link on the rss feed.

The Government can (1)

Galston (895804) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052505)

The government can use it to calculate the interest due on all their loans as they clearly have trouble keeping track of them at the moment.

So is 100 teraflops a record or what? (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052610)

I have long since lost track, what are we otherwise up to in teraflops?

Also, I am curious how some of the folks here on slashdot would answer the question: If 100 teraflops can be achieved and sustained, what are the three best single uses to apply that much processing power against?

Personaly, I have no idea. As for Vista, I believe that joke has already been made once or twice in the discussion.

Re:So is 100 teraflops a record or what? (3, Informative)

bullitB (447519) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052722)

It's not a world record (IBM's Blue Gene/L is pushing 280 TFLOPS), but it's still very fast. It will almost certainly be in the Top 10 by the time it comes online.

Re:So is 100 teraflops a record or what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15052729)

Also, I am curious how some of the folks here on slashdot would answer the question: If 100 teraflops can be achieved and sustained, what are the three best single uses to apply that much processing power against?
VR pr0n comes to mind...

Re:So is 100 teraflops a record or what? (1)

HolyCrapSCOsux (700114) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052852)

Mebbe they could model a cancer cell through it's entire lifecycle. that would be useful.

Re:So is 100 teraflops a record or what? (2, Funny)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053496)

re:"what are the three best single uses to apply that much processing power against?"

Hosting the world's prOn needs.

Thank you and good nite.

Re:So is 100 teraflops a record or what? (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053690)

Ya. I'll bet you would also use it to simulate an improbably large bowl of very hots grits down to the level of every last grit relative to every last grit relative to thermodynamics; that is to say the tempature throughout the various regions of the improbably large bowl of very hot grits and the dynamics that presents.

The diffuculty is considering things like: is the distribution of heat energy across a bowl of hot grits predictable regarding the size of the bowl, the volume of grits, and maybe even a specific geometry of the bowl? Can we make a reliable model scaled up from the scientific study of a real and regular sized bowl of hot grits? Plastic or ceramic?

Too much to bother adressing here. I am sure you are aware of all of the difficulties rendering an accurate model of something the size of a galaxy based on something that you will eventually poop.

Exploit it with Java? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15052671)

Some of the government funding will also be used to train scientists and programmers to develop software capable of exploiting the machine's potential. They will run Java on a supercomputer..? Or will they teach how to exploit 100 Teraflops with memory leaks?

Connection? (4, Interesting)

sane? (179855) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052698)

I wonder if that and this story [bbc.co.uk] on replacing the Trident nuclear deterent have any connection?

No nuclear testing means all proving of a new warhead design have to be done computationally. Now a new machine is being bought...

Re:Connection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15053093)

We haven't designed our own warheads in a while, we generally buy from the US. Saves duplicating effort I suppose, although the Americans supposedly have all the abort codes for our nukes at the moment...

Dunno why we have nukes anyway. Asking for trouble, IMHO.

Hmmm, I think I've seen this somewhere before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15052704)

The answer is 42, they should have just used google [google.com]

Actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15052714)

The government need it as it's the only computer powerful enough to run the National Identity Register database.

That's great but . . . (4, Funny)

02bunced (846144) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052718)

It would still take a good 10 seconds to start up OpenOffice.org

Re:That's great but . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15052741)

It would still take a good 10 seconds to start up OpenOffice.org

Is that with or with out the "Quickstarter"?

Famous last words.. (1)

slashmojo (818930) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052766)

it is unlikely that the machine will ever be pushed to this limit

Pfft.. lets see them try to run web2.0 on that..

The picture in the article looks exactly like ... (1)

mmell (832646) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052776)

a Blue Gene computer, manufactured by IBM.

Is it a Blue Gene (just a stock picture so that the average reader will get the idea that this is something BIG), or is this actually Hector?

Re:The picture in the article looks exactly like . (1)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052804)

Picture is of a BlueGene

Possible use ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15052810)

Obligitory Star Trek -

A Holodeck? URL:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodeck/

PS3s (1)

ImhotepAllah (877089) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052812)

They should just wait and string a load of PS3s together. That's what Saddam used to program his nukes back in the day. Plus they could render some Toy Story stuff in realtime on the side.

Re:PS3s (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15054026)

what Saddam used to program his nukes

Erm... perhaps I've missed some important news -- what nukes were these?

submitted a story a few days ago.. (2, Interesting)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052835)

But of a bigger and badder supercomputer that will require it's own 170 MW generating station..

Cray to build 24,000 quad-core Opteron Petacomp!!
Friday March 31, @07:03AM Rejected

check it out here.. [gcn.com] .. now imagine a beowolf of those !!

Wrong-o Laddie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15053256)

TFA states:
Cray Inc. of Seattle will supply the system, named Baker. It will run approximately 24,000 2.6 Ghz quad-core Opteron processors made by Advanced Micro Devices Inc.

Do the math. Even at a freak'n KW per processor this would only need 24 MW.

Now RTFA and tell me what this means:
The laboratory will rely on the Tennessee Valley Authority for the power needed to run this behemoth. The power company is building a 170 megawatt substation to support this and other ORNL projects.

Quit Whining (1)

SkippyTMut (965820) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052993)

"The computational limits of the existing facilities are now being reached," he said. Tell them to just format and re-install windows like the rest of us. I'd like to buy a new computer every time mine gets to the "limits of existing facilties" but that would get expensive

How the US uses its computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15053041)

I think that it says something that the US tends to use its big
supercomputers for weapons and/or classifyed work while other nations (e.g. Japan & UK) use theirs for more public non-military work...

Excellent (1)

Hard_Code (49548) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053177)

Finally those brits will be able to generate the funniest joke in the world [wikipedia.org] .

have they figured out how to make it leak oil ? (1)

jeremycobert (795832) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053244)

or better yet does the electrical system short out during any rain storm. Oh, snap!! hopefully they have a different engineering team then the typical UK automakers.

Re:have they figured out how to make it leak oil ? (1)

Chicane-UK (455253) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053591)

Yes. Because one makes cars. And ones makes computers.

Besides, British cars are some of the best in the world and i'd stand by that.. TVR, Jaguar, Aston Martin, Land Rover, Marcos, Morgan, MG, Ariel.. we can make some pretty good cars when we put our minds to it!

What about using it for discrete calculations? (1)

charteux (777673) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053651)

The applications always mentioned in the articles are simulations (like weather and nuclear modeling) and the speed of these computers are measured in floating point operations per second. What about combinatorial problems and other problems that are discrete? Do these computers have applications for basically integer manipulations? and counting?

Dumb phrases circa 2026 (1)

ip_freely_2000 (577249) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053662)



100 Teraflops ought to be enough for anybody.

Windows Vista (1)

Viriatus (886319) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053692)

Will 100 teraflops be enough to run Windows Vista ???

OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15053713)

But does it run Barbielinux?

DejaVu (1)

AxXium (964226) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053744)

I remember 20-30 years back when basic computers filled entire buildings and costed millions of dollars.

These days, desktop computers are faster and more powerfull than those ancient behemoths.

I wonder if desktop PCs thirty years from now will make todays IBM's Blue Gene inferior.

With the rapid rate of development, I belive it may be possible.

Tommorrow's laptop or PS23 may one day be greater than yesterdays "Super-Computer"

You never know. :-)

Who needs a supercomputer? (1)

Ice Wewe (936718) | more than 8 years ago | (#15054041)

Why is the UK government spending so much money on a supercomputer? Why don't they just buy 100 xBox 360's. Microsoft claims the overall system performence is 1 teraflop!
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