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TOP500 Supercomputer Sites For 2006

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the big-big-fast-fast dept.

108

geaux writes to let us know about the release of the 28th TOP500 List of the world's fastest supercomputers. From the article: "The IBM BlueGene/L system, installed at DOE's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, retains the No. 1 spot with a Linpack performance of 280.6 teraflops (trillions of calculations per second, or Tflop/s). The new No. 2 systems is Sandia National Laboratories' Cray Red Storm supercomputer, only the second system ever to be recorded to exceed the 100 Tflops/s mark with 101.4 Tflops/s... Slipping to No. 3 is the IBM eServer Blue Gene Solution system, installed at IBM's Thomas Watson Research Center, with 91.20 Tflops/s Linpack performance." You need over 6.6 Tflop/s to make it into the top 100.

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beowulf (2, Funny)

thejrwr (1024073) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827942)

just beowulf 100 PS3s together, that should be able to pull it off

Re:beowulf (1, Interesting)

TinyManCan (580322) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827976)

Shoot a couple of the Nvida G80 based GPUs should do the trick just as well :)

Re:beowulf (3, Informative)

Laser Lou (230648) | more than 7 years ago | (#16828102)

just beowulf 100 PS3s together, that should be able to pull it off

That's not how to say it. You are supposed to say "Can you imagine a Beowulf cluster of these?"

Real world examples (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16827954)

Does anyone know of any real world examples that might give us a better understanding of how fast these things really are?

Re:Real world examples (1, Interesting)

thejrwr (1024073) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827978)

its about 1 billion p4 2.5ghz processors put together

Re:Real world examples (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 7 years ago | (#16832180)

Uhm, 1.5GHz P4 seems to be around 3 Gflops, so 2.5 is around 4.5 since the architecture suck ;)

4.500.000.000 Gflops = 4.400.000 Tflops or around 15700 times faster than the #1 machine, but anyway...

More like 63.000 2.5GHz P4s or so.

Re:Real world examples (1)

interstellar_donkey (200782) | more than 7 years ago | (#16833282)

Wait what? I just got a fancy new AMD duel core CPU a few months ago, and you're saying they have systems out there that can outperform it by a magnitude of tens of thousands?

Gosh. I knew my PC would be obsolete, but I didn't realize it would be this soon. I'll be out by the dumpster crying.

Re:Real world examples (1)

10Ghz (453478) | more than 7 years ago | (#16834926)

"I just got a fancy new AMD duel core CPU a few months ago..."

Two cores enter, one core leaves! Two cores enter, one core leaves!

Re:Real world examples (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16833284)

More like 63.000 2.5GHz P4s or so.
So, a 2.5GHz P4 would be 2500 times the clock rate of the Commodore 64 (1Mhz). The C64 is only 8 bit and the P4 is 32 which would mean it would take roughly 10,000 C64's to equal 1 2.5GHz P4. 63,000 * 10,000 = 630 Million Commodore 64s in the current World's #1 machine. Didn't the space shuttle use the equivelant of 3 commodore 64s for its flight computers back when it was originally built?

Re:Real world examples (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16833368)

630 Million Commodore 64s in the current World's #1 machine.
The Commodore 64 was 16 inches wide and 3 inches high. That would mean you could have a stack of Commodore 64s a foot high that would circle the earth 1.5 times if placed end to end.

Re:Real world examples (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16833546)

630 Million Commodore 64s in the current World's #1 machine.
The Commodore 64 was 16 inches wide and 3 inches high. That would mean you could have a stack of Commodore 64s a foot high that would circle the earth 1.5 times if placed end to end.
Can you imagine a beowulf cluster of these?

Re:Real world examples (3, Funny)

glwtta (532858) | more than 7 years ago | (#16828152)

Yeah, I can't really get a clear picture unless they put it into standard units, like Libraries of Congress, or VW Beatles... I think there's also one with stacks of stuff to the Moon - that's a good one too.

Re:Real world examples (1)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 7 years ago | (#16828322)

I think there's also one with stacks of stuff to the Moon - that's a good one too.

Yeah, but how many Alaskan pipelines of data can it put out? That's the one that Ted Stevens uses. It's not just truckloads of tape, you know...

Re:Real world examples (1)

gringer (252588) | more than 7 years ago | (#16829584)

If you were able to stand all the current and future potential PS3 players on each others head, stretching up towards the moon...

most of them would die by asphyxiation.

Re:Real world examples (1)

MoriaOrc (822758) | more than 7 years ago | (#16835566)

Shotgun!*

*Although I have no intention of buying a PS3 at the moment, it's always best to play it safe...

Re:Real world examples (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16833672)

How fast is it? It does an infinite loop in a micro-second.

That's all good... (4, Funny)

DerekTomes (1024783) | more than 7 years ago | (#16828006)

...but can it run Microsoft Word? :|

About a 50% chance. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16828146)

Since most of them run Linux then the x86 (or x86-64) ones probably could use Wine.

Re:About a 50% chance. (1)

gsonic (885510) | more than 7 years ago | (#16828604)

The real question is... do they have enough ressources to run Vista??

Re:That's all good... (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 7 years ago | (#16833814)

Sorry, didn't you notice? None of these run Windows [top500.org] . But I'm sure a CPU and OS emulator would run just fine.

Re:That's all good... (1)

Epeeist (2682) | more than 7 years ago | (#16835798)

> ...but can it run Microsoft Word? :|

They can run the current version, but tests showed them having insufficient power and memory to run the beta versions of Vista and the associated version of Office.

Don't feel bad for Blue Gene. (2, Funny)

BenFenner (981342) | more than 7 years ago | (#16828028)

The way the article reads makes me feel sad for the "IBM eServer Blue Gene Solution system, installed at IBM's Thomas Watson Research Center". It slipped to number three with a mere 91.20 Tflops/s. It's like the steam shovel in that children's book. Old and outdated, no one wants it anymore. Oh wait, it's still 1,800 times faster than my new Core Two Duo machine. Apparently I'm the one with the machine that works faster the more people watch it.

Re:Don't feel bad for Blue Gene. (3, Funny)

Code Master (164951) | more than 7 years ago | (#16828130)

I'll bet that Blue Gene can also retire as a building's furnace as well.

Re:Don't feel bad for Blue Gene. (1)

KokorHekkus (986906) | more than 7 years ago | (#16829330)

I'll bet that Blue Gene can also retire as a building's furnace as well.
Heh.

The joke aside, in areas with district heating http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/District_heating [wikipedia.org] they sometimes also provide distric cooling so you just don't went excess heat away. In northern climates that can nice advantage since for datacenters/supercomputers/etc they often produce way more heat than they can could re-use in their own buildings

Old supercomputers make great space heaters too (1)

lhaeh (463179) | more than 7 years ago | (#16834516)

From http://www.deadmedia.org/notes/37/371.html [deadmedia.org]

"While at Convex, a Texas-based supercomputer company, Steven Wallach, a computer designer, once used an Alliant supercomputer in his office as a conversation piece and as partial support for his desk. "But even Mr. Wallach (...) said he was surprised to learn that another Convex employee had bought a Convex C-1 for its scrap price and was using the computer to heat his garage."

Re:Don't feel bad for Blue Gene. (1)

Intron (870560) | more than 7 years ago | (#16828160)

Very similar. At the end of the book, it was just used to heat a building.

hmmm (3, Funny)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 7 years ago | (#16828106)

I'll have to look through that list and find one near me so I can outsource my Vista booting.

100 TFPLOS is not much. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16828132)

Just put couple thousand GPU to work and you'll have your 100 TFLOPS:
http://fah-web.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/main.py?qtype= osstats [stanford.edu]

Btw: The FAH released a 64-bit SMP FAH clients today:
http://folding.stanford.edu/FAQ-SMP.html [stanford.edu]
Sorry, only for MacOS X and Linux.

Re:100 TFPLOS is not much. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16828354)

The Linpack performance benchmark is not embarassingly parallelizable.

Re:100 TFPLOS is not much. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16828480)

Molecular dynamic calculations are not an embarrassingly parallel problem either.

Re:100 TFPLOS is not much. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16829654)

The Linpack performance benchmark cannot be decomposed into uncoupled computations.

Re:100 TFPLOS is not much. (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 7 years ago | (#16828872)

The really scary thing about that FaH page is that there are about 1053 computers per TerraFlop/s running windows...
and only 15 GPU's per TerraFlop..

Damn.. that is really, really impressive!

Quite the reverse (2, Funny)

frisket (149522) | more than 7 years ago | (#16828158)

Is there a site for the slowest computers in the world? (My office workstation, for example :-)

--
"The best cure for sea-sickness is to go and sit under a tree" -- Spike Milligan

Re:Quite the reverse (1)

Ididerus (898803) | more than 7 years ago | (#16829082)

Here's a good place to start your list (or at least see where your office comes in at)

http://www.tietokonemuseo.net/tietokoneita.htm [tietokonemuseo.net]

Re:Quite the reverse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16832820)

That is a truly dreadful site, at least three quarters of the information on the various machines is flat out wrong.
It looks like it was put together by a child with an attention-span disorder.

Re:Quite the reverse (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 7 years ago | (#16837376)

Simple trick to make your office workstation slower:

Let some PHB get the idea that it would be wise if all office PCs use _only_ virtual desktops on a central server, and put that server on a different location. So far, so good. Could be a nice idea even. But then, in a blink of true geniality, use a cheap DSL connection (1Mbit will do) to connect all PCs in one office to the server in the other location. That's a way to get your Compaq pentium III to a halt while using Word. True story :(

Look out (3, Funny)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 7 years ago | (#16828182)

Sandia's supercomputer program, along with LANL's and all the weapon and nuke work done between the two is part of New Mexico's plan to take over the world ... mañana.

Re:Look out (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#16828992)

Ah, but LLNL [llnl.gov] != LANL [lanl.gov] .

Big difference between #1 and #2 (2, Interesting)

max99ted (192208) | more than 7 years ago | (#16828188)

...No. 1 spot with a Linpack performance of 280.6 teraflops... new No. 2 system... 101.4 Tflops/s



Anyone have any insight as to why the huge difference between the top two spots? It seems that the rest (3 -> down) are a lot closer in speeds...

Lack of people with that much cash. (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#16828350)

I think it has something to do with how much money people are willing to spend on supercomputers.

A lot of people are willing to throw down enough cash to get into the middle of that list, but there are only a few few people who are willing to spend the huge sums of money to build the biggest, baddest, fastest one of them all.

It's like looking at cars, and saying "huh, if we look at the most expensive class of cars, they all do 200+ MPH, but once you get down past the top price class, they all start to get about the same." It's because the market for a car that does 115 MPH is a lot bigger than for one that does 230, particularly when the latter might cost five times as much and only go twice as fast.

Re:Lack of people with that much cash. (1)

Venik (915777) | more than 7 years ago | (#16828974)

Well, if all cars in that expensive class can go 200+ mph, still it would be very unusual to see one go almost 600mph. Here we have world's #2 supercomputer barely breaking 100tflops, and the world's #1 supercomputer pushing 300tflops. Quite a gap here.

Re:Lack of people with that much cash. (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 7 years ago | (#16829480)

And yet, interestingly enough, there are in fact like 3 cars in the world that can go around 600mph.

Re:Big difference between #1 and #2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16828556)

Go the link in the article, then go to the top 500 list and see the number of processors in each cluster and you will realise why they are giving so many flops.

Re:Big difference between #1 and #2 (3, Interesting)

flaming-opus (8186) | more than 7 years ago | (#16829562)

Well #1 needs a lot of asterixes next to it. The Blue Gene architecture uses an increadible number of relatively underpowered compute nodes, each with relatively little memory, and strings them together into a cluster. It's a system architecture designed around VERY LOW COST. It works quite well for a few problems, but is difficult to use for many real world problems. Because it costs so little to build, those Department of Energy guys with the big pockets can build a VERY fast computer, at least on paper.

#2 is a more general purpose supercomputer, with a better balance of processor count, processor performance, and memory. The DOE spent a LOT of money on this machine, and thus it has a very high level of performance.

After that, you see a mix of high and low efficiency machines, but few people have the can fork over the hundreds of millions of dollars necessary for a machine that powerful. It's all about the $$$.

I'll point out, however, that the Earth Simulator is still ranked #14, 5 years after it came on-line. Of course it also cost hundreds of millions of dollars at the time.

Re:Big difference between #1 and #2 (1)

max99ted (192208) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830204)

Interesting...thanks for the response. Another poster pointed out that the number of processors was higher on #1 than #2 and you've explained why there are a LOT more.

Re:Big difference between #1 and #2 (1)

flaming-opus (8186) | more than 7 years ago | (#16837762)

It is worth noting that blue gene and red storm are very similar architectures. Both are 3D torus topologies. Both use powerpc 440 coprocessors to handle communications on the interconnect. Both use a microkernel for compute nodes, and linux on i/o nodes, with lustre as the parallel filesystem. The only tangible difference is the compute node. In blue gene, it's a second 700mhz ppc 440 with 512MB of memory. In Red storm, it's a dual-core 2.4ghz opteron with 4GB of ram. The former uses a lot less electricity, can be packed more densely, and is very inexpensive. The later is faster, and can run a larger problem set on each node.

Re:Big difference between #1 and #2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16830482)

Nope. BG isn't a cluster, at least not in the traditional sense, and has proven its versatility on many different types of work loads. All you have to do is look at the Top500 list to see in how many different types of installations it is running. It's not just the LLNL machine.

The reason there's so much difference between number one and number two is that nobody can approach BG's scalability and nobody has forked over the dough for a BG system that fits between number one and two. All it takes is buying the right number of racks.

Re:Big difference between #1 and #2 (1)

fatphil (181876) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830876)

Google for Zipf's law.

That's how lots of things just seem to distribute themselves.

FatPhil

3 out of 4 of supercomputers agree (2, Interesting)

waif69 (322360) | more than 7 years ago | (#16828236)

Linux is the operating system to use.
FTA

Operating system Family: Linux
Count: 376
Share %: 75.20%
                   

Re:3 out of 4 of supercomputers agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16831740)

Actually, this is little misleading. Blue Gene L runs Linux in it's communications nodes, but not in the compute nodes, which run a much simpler proprietary executive. And yet it is still counted as "running Linux." Granted, one would have to be insane to pay the License fees for a 32768-node Windows XP cluster!

Password Cracker (3, Interesting)

Bender0x7D1 (536254) | more than 7 years ago | (#16828278)

We have #141 on the list at Iowa State and we booked time on it so it could be used as a password cracker at one of our Cyber Defense Competitions.

I don't know if it actually got used, or if it was deemed "unfair" for the red team (attackers) to use it. It would have been pretty sweet if they were allowed to.

These competitions are pretty cool, and have some pretty good challenges like the red team pulling the fire alarm at 3:00AM, forcing the blue team (defenders) to evacuate the building. More info can be found at the ISU Information Assurance Student Group website [iastate.edu] , or the competition website. [iastate.edu]

Re:Password Cracker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16828526)

And then this one time, at band camp...

Re:Password Cracker (1)

h890231398021 (948231) | more than 7 years ago | (#16829572)

There's little point in using a TOP500 machine for pw cracking. PW cracking is embarassingly parallel and has almost no communication -- you'd likely get better performance by just farming out a portion of the search space to each of N normal PCs (say, on your campus network) and have each report the results back to a central coordinator. TOP500 machines are best when used for applications that need coordination among all the processing nodes, and/or that do lots of data sharing among the processing nodes.

Re:Password Cracker (1)

Bender0x7D1 (536254) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831858)

I agree. However, we can't install password cracking software on even a single machine in our labs since it is a security risk. Installing it on the supercomputer is OK since no one else has access to it during that time period.

Besides, if you had a TOP500 supercomputer sitting around, wouldn't you use it? Just for fun? Just for the nerd factor? Because you could?

Re:Password Cracker (1)

GreggBz (777373) | more than 7 years ago | (#16829876)

The ENIAC was the first real computer, you know.

Of course, I'm kidding. Everyone should know this. [ameslab.gov] :-)

Out of Date (1)

sogoodsofarsowhat (662830) | more than 7 years ago | (#16828418)

The current world champion supercomputer is in Japan. and is 3~4 times faster than the IBM Blue Gene/L system. See current issue of Popular Science for details.

Re:Out of Date (3, Informative)

hlimethe3rd (879459) | more than 7 years ago | (#16828638)

I assume that you're talking about the MDGRAPE machine that can do a petaflop. Actually, that machine is specialized for one type of calculation, thus it cannot run then LINPACK benchmark, and doesn't qualify for this list. It is not a general supercomputer. It's the same thing as claiming that a top-shelf GPU is faster than a top-shelf CPU: it's true for only a certain type of calculation.

Wanna know something Scary... (1)

hcob$ (766699) | more than 7 years ago | (#16828446)

Everyone here likes to make jokes about the Southern USA being dumb, but it's amazing how much computing power is there. Hell, Mississippi missed the top 100 by not-so-much. 115 Mississippi State University

Re:Wanna know something Scary... (2, Funny)

bathmatt (638217) | more than 7 years ago | (#16828592)

Mississippi missed the top 100 by not-so-much. 115 Mississippi State University You may wanna check that list again, Mississippi has 4 in the top 100, (#26,35,48,58) It is only behind in NM in TFlops/capita.

To answer your question on why, Trent Lott.

BTW, ERDC (WES at Vicksberg) and NAVO (Stennis Space Ctr on the coast) are in MS

Re:Wanna know something Scary... (1)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | more than 7 years ago | (#16829538)

are you in Mississippi?? Mississippi has been constantly in the top 10 or 15 year in and year in for total supercomputing power. i live in MS so thats why i ask. :)

Re:Wanna know something Scary... (1)

IvyMike (178408) | more than 7 years ago | (#16834760)

Everyone here likes to make jokes about the Southern USA being dumb, but it's amazing how much computing power is there. Hell, Mississippi missed the top 100 by not-so-much. 115 Mississippi State University

Hell, that's a fast computer. Does it got a hemi?

Re:Wanna know something Scary... (1)

misanthrope101 (253915) | more than 7 years ago | (#16836320)

Not surprising at all. Somone has sunk a lot of money into trying to figure out why wrestling and NASCAR are popular. But I don't think Moore's law is going to help, really. It has something to do with the M.Q. (Mullet Quotient) of the state, and may not be a computable question.

I was going try for a Np joke, but I'm not smart enough, having gone to a public school in the south. Could someone help me out?

Would you like Fries with that? (1)

Simon la Grue (1021753) | more than 7 years ago | (#16828478)

I'd love to know what applications are predominantly run on them... i.e. atmospheric modeling, gene sequencing, drug research, etc.

Re:Would you like Fries with that? (1)

bathmatt (638217) | more than 7 years ago | (#16828714)

If you notice the largest machines are all at DoE labs, that means weapons (nuc and high energy particle) work. I know that for the DoD the largest user is geophysical (atmo/ocean modeling) This is because you need to run a lot of models every day.

What ever happened... (1)

Trelane (16124) | more than 7 years ago | (#16828708)

to the one, lonely Microsoft site? Seems like it dropped off the list. Anyone know the story?

Re:What ever happened... (1)

p!ssa (660270) | more than 7 years ago | (#16828854)

they upgraded it to vista, it hasnt finished booting yet...

flops per processor (1)

diesel66 (254283) | more than 7 years ago | (#16828846)

For all the Apple fanboys (and gals) The fastest Apple system is COLSA at #28, with 3072 CPUs making 16180 Gflops, for 5.26 Gflops per CPU overall. Meanwhile, #1 BlueGene has 131072 CPUs making 280600 Gflops for 2.14 Gflop per CPU. Clearly, BlueGene is a piece of junk :)

  I wonder how much faster the Intel versions will be in comparison to the G5s...

Re:flops per processor (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 7 years ago | (#16829254)

I wonder how much faster the Intel versions will be in comparison to the G5s...

Look at #20; it's almost identical to an Intel Xserve.

Re:flops per processor (1)

MojoStan (776183) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830518)

I wonder how much faster the Intel versions will be in comparison to the G5s...
Look at #20; it's almost identical to an Intel Xserve.
Did you notice #5? It's almost identical to a blade version of a G5 Xserve (but running SuSe Linux). Those PowerPC 970 processors still ain't bad for servers, even though Apple abandoned them.

If anybody's curious, here's Barcelona Supercomputing Center's brief description of their system: MareNostrum System Architecture [www.bsc.es]

MareNostrum uses 2560 IBM BladeCenter JS21 blades [ibm.com] .

Re:flops per processor (1)

Lussarn (105276) | more than 7 years ago | (#16829284)

Lets just hope they didn't invested in any Altivec code.

Re:flops per processor (1)

clarkc3 (574410) | more than 7 years ago | (#16836792)

If you want to look at per cpu performance, look down around #69-70 and notice Hitachi has one that cranks out 112Gflop per CPU - seems the Apple and Intel ones both have a ways to go to catch up to that

Performance per processor and frequency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16828964)

It would seem that, despite all the negative publicity that it's got, the systems that deliver more performance on a per processor basis are those based on Itanium 2, even without correcting for its comparatively low frequency.

The one they don't tell you about... (2, Funny)

adrenalinekick (884201) | more than 7 years ago | (#16829012)

is the one sitting in the NSA cracking all your passwords right now.

Re:The one they don't tell you about... (1)

geaux (876839) | more than 7 years ago | (#16829056)

I thought "translator" was fried.

Re:The one they don't tell you about... (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 7 years ago | (#16833810)

Is it just me, or did you know the answer was three while all these smart idiots couldn't figure what the fuck the answer was.

Re:The one they don't tell you about... (1)

flaming-opus (8186) | more than 7 years ago | (#16829720)

A lot of what the NSA does is not floating-point math. In all likelihood, most of their needs are data-mining, automatic translation, and other database-intensive applications. I'm sure they have a lot of very expensive computers, but they may not be the kind that end up on the top500 list.

Just today Cray pre-announced the XMT machine a href="http://www.cray.com/products/xmt/" which is the next generation of their machine for graph-tree algorithms. The product line has been basically funded by the NSA. It won't, however, make the top500 list anytime soon.

Re:The one they don't tell you about... (2, Insightful)

Ynsats (922697) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830280)

Don't be so sure of yourself. There are quite a few reasons for the government and military to need all kinds of computing power. Clustered super computers can come in handy for lots of things including simulations, software testing for many systems such as guidance systems and radar systems and even things as simple as artillary trajectories. You remember those problems right? The whole reason the computer widely accepted as the FIRST computer was ever built.

Just because it doesn't seem to fit what we see as the NSA's MO doesn't mean that the NSA doesn't have use for floating-point math. The whole idea of the NSA is to make sure secrets are kept safe. To help keep those secrets safe, they don't even talk about what secrets they are keeping safe or how they are keeping them safe. There are plenty of scenarios that I can think of off the top of my head for using a floating point processor in building something like an algorithm for a statistical model to show trends apparent in data mined from internet search engines.

The realm of government secrets is an odd area to play speculation in. Just because you don't know about is the best reason to think that something like it actually exists. Will you know about something such as that? Unlikely. At least not any time soon. I wouldn't doubt that there is already technology out there so far ahead of it's time that it may never be declassified due to the dangers it could pose if it was obtained by people looking to do harm.

terraflop doesnt get you the list anymore (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 7 years ago | (#16829234)

A billion dollars is too small for the Forbes 400 list and a teraflop is too smal for the SC500 list.

Can you imagine.. (1)

palindromic (451110) | more than 7 years ago | (#16829260)

a beowulf cluster shooting you in the face?

You need over 6.6 Tflop/s to make it into the top (3, Funny)

robyannetta (820243) | more than 7 years ago | (#16829302)

You need over 6.6 Tflop/s to make it into the top 100.

...or three PS3s, but I don't forsee any one of us getting our hands on at least one of these for a few months...

Re:You need over 6.6 Tflop/s to make it into the t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16830178)

Actually three dozen if you don't count gpu (for which real-life problems tend to be hard to convert). And more than hundred if you insist double precision.

Tflops versus CPU's worth it? (1)

Saltine Cracker (116414) | more than 7 years ago | (#16829408)

I find this list amazing simply in sheer numbers on it. But I'm called to question the nature of whether he who has the most money wins the contest or not. I mean #1 on the list has five times the number of processors that #2 does for less than 3 times the Tfops. I'm not a super computer clustering genius, the largest system I've worked on is the Aeroshark Linux System and NASA GRC ~128 nodes, but doesn't it just boil down to who can spend the most money to put the largest system together?

How bout some Kudos for the Hitachi systems with less than 100 processors making the top 100?

Re:Tflops versus CPU's worth it? (1)

flaming-opus (8186) | more than 7 years ago | (#16829914)

Well, what Hitachi calls a processor, in the SR11000 series of computers, is actually made up of 8 IBM power processors. They use some special syncronization hardware to make it act like a big vector processor. Thus, if you want the cpu count to actually measure the number of chips, multiply their processor counts by 8. It's sort of the reverse of multi-core.

You are correct that the absolute number of processors does not always indicate how fast the real problem gets solved. For tasks that don't parallelize very well, #1 is going to perform less well than on other systems with a smaller number of faster processors. Of course you have to also account for memory performance, interconnect latency, interconnect bandwidth, mean-time-to-system failure, programming environment, system software, filesystem performance. Linpack is just one measure of system usability.

Re:Tflops versus CPU's worth it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16831382)

BGL is a breakthrough in supercomputing because it demonstrates that low-cost, under-clocked CPUs that don't produce much heat can be used to make a very fast and relatively inexpensive supercomputer. Supercomputing is not just about the number of CPU's, or even FLOPS/CPU. I am a grad student who works with LLNL supercomputing researchers. I've actually taken a tour of BGL and #4 on the list, Purple :-). Although it has fewer processors, Purple actually cost like twice as much as BGL, takes up 3x as much space, and uses 2-3x more power - and we're talking about megawatts of power (capable of causing brown-outs) and thousands of sq feet of floor space. Half the cost of these computers is spent on the interconnects between CPU's, nodes, and racks, and BGL wins there too because the CPU's can be packed closely together in torus rings because they don't have the same cooling requirements.

Re:Tflops versus CPU's worth it? (1)

kramulous (977841) | more than 7 years ago | (#16832876)

Man, you are one lucky bastard. I work with Australia's SGI machine (#73) and some others (not even worth mentioning). I'd love to be aware of shit like that. I'll continue with the apprenticeship and then go overseas.

TFOLPS/S is redundant (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 7 years ago | (#16829902)

Just like "ATM machine" and "CMA awards". Maybe Intel is behind this mistake - you can only get TFLOP Squared performance with a core 2 duo double dual thingy. Or perhaps they really are measuring how fast you can ramp your workload from 0 to X TFLOPS because of all the computing-on-demand hype?

Re:TFOLPS/S is redundant (1)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830022)

No, it's right. The processing power of these systems is actually increasing at that rate. Every second, BlueGene/L is able to do 280.6 trillion floating point operations more than it could do the previous second.

Distributed Computing Wins Again... (2, Interesting)

jemecki (661581) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830894)

I know this isn't a fair comparison but the SETI@Home grid runs at 250 TeraFLOPS. Many of the other massive distributed computing projects run far into the Top 500 as well. reference [boincstats.com]

Re:Distributed Computing Wins Again... (1)

jemecki (661581) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831022)

D'oh! The SETI@Home grid is actually only the SECOND fastest supercomputer. I should've read the f* summary.

war is over (1)

Andrei D (965217) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830908)

If you look at the operating systems statistics [top500.org] , you can clearly see that the war is over and Linux has won :-)

Re:war is over (1)

kramulous (977841) | more than 7 years ago | (#16832916)

Completely different architectures. Linux for one type, Unix for the other. I prefer the unix any day of the week. Many problems I work on cannot be done on the clusters. You are referring to different battles.

I've got some spare time tonight (1)

kbob88 (951258) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831410)

You need over 6.6 Tflop/s to make it into the top 100.

Only 6.6 TFLOPS? I'll get right on that.

Learn the units... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16831778)

It's not Tflop/s, it's Tflops.
Terra Floatingpoint Operations Per Second.

The p and the / is the same, so if you say
Tflop/s you are really saying
Terra Floatingpoint Operations Per Per Second.
I guess Tflo/s would work, it's wierd though... /Z

Re:Learn the units... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16832600)

It's been backronymed as "Tera Floating-point OPerations / Second".

The SI writing style dictates that you use / for "per". "p" is already used for "pico". And when are people going to stop misspelling "tera" (= 10^12)?

How many flops? (1)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 7 years ago | (#16832256)

You need over 6.6 Tflop/s to make it into the top 100.


So where does that put Billy Crystal?

- RG>

Only 6.6? (1)

gnud (934243) | more than 7 years ago | (#16832296)

You need over 6.6 Tflop/s to make it into the top 100.
Then they forgot my botfarm! arggghhhh

Livermore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16834840)

I always hated living here, but I guess it kicks ass that #1,#2,#4, and #6 are located in my hometown.

Re:Livermore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16834884)

Oops. I guess #2 and #6 are at the other Sandia. Damnit.
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