If you want to do big, serious science, you’ll need a serious machine. You know, like a giant water-cooled computer that’s 200,000 times more powerful than a top-of-the-line laptop and that sucks up enough energy to power 12,000 homes.
You’ll need Summit, a supercomputer nearing completion at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. When it opens for business next year, it'll be the United States’ most powerful supercomputer and perhaps the most powerful in the world. Because as science gets bigger, so too must its machines, requiring ever more awesome engineering, both for the computer itself and the building that has to house it without melting. Modeling the astounding number of variables that affect climate change, for instance, is no task for desktop computers in labs. Some goes for genomics work and drug discovery and materials science. If it’s wildly complex, it’ll soon course through Summit’s circuits.Summit will be five to 10 times more powerful than its predecessor, Oak Ridge’s Titan supercomputer, which will continue running its science for about a year after Summit comes online. (Not that there's anything wrong with Titan. It's just that at 5 years old, the machine is getting on in years by supercomputer standards.) But it’ll be pieced together in much the same way: cabinet after cabinet of so-called nodes. While each node for Titan, all 18,688 of them, consists of one CPU and one GPU, with Summit it'll be two CPUs working with six GPUs.Think of the GPU as a turbocharger for the CPU in this relationship. While not all supercomputers use this setup, known as a heterogeneous architecture, those that do get a boost―each of the 4,600 nodes in Summit can manage 40 teraflops. So at peak performance, Summit will hit 200 petaflops, a petaflop being one million billion operations a second. "So we envision research teams using all of those GPUs on every single node when they run, that's sort of our mission as a facility," says Stephen McNally, operations manager....MORE
What's truly astonishing is that:
a) Wired does not mention the graphics processing units are from NVIDIA
b) the Chinese may have taken an insurmountable lead in the need-for-speed derby and the ORNL computer, designed to be the world's fastest may not make it.
The folks at Wired are smart and have been on the tech beat for a long time, they should know better than to do puff pieces.
If interested in this stuff, whether for modeling complex-chaotic systems such as markets or weather or for national security applications or just because supercomputers are amazing in their own right see also:
Milestone: China Builds The (NEW) World's Fastest Supercomuter Using Only Chinese Components (and other news) INTC; NVDA; IBM
China has had the world's fastest computer for the last three years or so, the Tianhe-2, which used Intel microprocessors so this latest computer is a remarkable achievement. The U.S. plans to recapture the top spot for the first time in five years years when Oak Ridge builds their latest machine using IBM CPUs, NVIDIA GPUs and NVIDIA's NV Link tying it all together. The ORNL 'puter should hit either the Nov. 2017 or June 2018 Top 500 lists....
November 15, 2016
November 16, 2016
Now they're just showing off.
The computer isn't going to be a product line or anything that generates immediate revenues but it puts the company in a very exclusive club and may lead to some in-house breakthroughs in chip design going forward.
The stock is up $4.97 (+5.77%) at $91.16.
To be clear, this isn't someone using NVDA's graphics processors to speed up their supercomputer as the Swiss did with the one they let CERN use and which is currently the eighth fastest in the world or the computer that's being built right now at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and is planned to be the fastest in the world (but may not make it, China's Sunway TaihuLight is very, very fast).
And this isn't the DIY supercomputer we highlighted back in May 2015:
...Among the fastest processors in the business are the one's originally developed for video games and known as Graphics Processing Units or GPU's. Since Nvidia released their Tesla hardware in 2008 hobbyists (and others) have used GPU's to build personal supercomputers.
Here's Nvidias Build your Own page.
Or have your tech guy build one for you....
Nor is it the $130.000 supercomputer NVIDIA came up with for companies to get started in Deep Learning/AI.
No, this is NVIDIA's very own supercomputer.
Here's the brand new list (they come out every six months):
Top500 List - November 2016
July 22, 2017
In fact wary reader may have come to the conclusion that NVIDIA and supercomputers have become an idée fixe for yours truly. From 2 1/2 years ago:We're usually more timely posting the list but reality keeps intruding on the blog stuff.
A couple things to point out, we've made a few mentions of the Swiss supercomputer Piz Daint, here's one of them from last November:
NVIDIA Builds Its Very Own Supercomputer, Enters The Top500 List At #28 (NVDA)...To be clear, this isn't someone using NVDA's graphics processors to speed up their supercomputer as the Swiss did with the one they let CERN use and which is currently the eighth fastest in the world or the computer that's being built right now at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and is planned to be the fastest in the world (but may not make it, China's Sunway TaihuLight is very, very fast)....You can see the results of the upgrade in the current list, Piz Daint went from 8th fastest to 3rd fastest in the world.
Possibly also of interest, NVIDIA's 'puter has been bumped down to #32, behind Facebook's AI/machine-learning supercomputer which is based on NVIDIA's DGX-1 and uses NVDA chips as their graphics accelerator....
Nvidia Wants to Be the Brains Of Your Autonomous Car (NVDA)
We've mentioned, usually in the context of the Top 500* fastest supercomputers, that:
Long time readers know we have a serious interest in screaming fast computers and try to get to the Top500 list a couple times a year. Here is a computer that was at the top of that list, the fastest computer in the world just four years ago. And it's being shut down.That was from a 2013 post.
Technology changes pretty fast.
Among the fastest processors in the business are the one's originally developed for video games and known as Graphics Processing Units or GPU's. Since Nvidia released their Tesla hardware in 2008 hobbyists (and others) have used GPU's to build personal supercomputers.
Here's Nvidias Build your Own page.
Or have your tech guy build one for you.
In addition Nvidia has very fast connectors they call NVLink.
Using a hybrid combination of IBM Central Processing Units (CPU's) and Nvidia's GPU's, all hooked together with the NVLink, Oak Ridge National Laboratory is building what will be the world's fastest supercomputer when it debuts in 2018.
As your kid plays Grand Theft Auto....
*Here's the Top 500 site, the next list is due next month. China’s National University of Defense Technology has had the top spot since the June 2013 list when it toppled Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Titan.Be all that as it may be, here's ORNL's webpage for the new supercomputer, Summit.