Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Energy Efficient 22.8 TFlop Supercomputer Introduced

19.11.2008
Five years ago, Virginia Tech burst onto the high-performance computing scene using Apple Power Mac G5 computers to build System X, one of the fastest supercomputers of its time. Today, Srinidhi Varadarajan and Kirk W. Cameron of Virginia Tech's Center for High-End Computing Systems (CHECS) and professors of computer science in Virginia Tech's College of Engineering, have architected a new supercomputer.

This time, while the new System G supercomputer is twice as fast as its predecessor, their primary goal was to demonstrate that supercomputers can be both fast and a more environmentally green technology.

System G clocks in at an incredible 22.8 TFlops (or trillion operations per second). And keeping with tradition, though bid under a competitive contract, the machine consists of 325 Mac Pro computers; each with two 4-core 2.8 gigahertz (GHz) Intel Xeon processors and eight gigabytes (GB) random access memory (RAM). “However, the novelty of this machine does not end there,” Varadarajan said.

They will discuss System G at the SuperComputing08 conference at the Austin Convention Center that is being held this week.

Most high-performance computing systems research is conducted at small scales of 32, 64, or at most 128 nodes. Larger machines are typically used in production mode where experimental software is anathema to the end user focused on solving fundamental problems in computational science and engineering. System G was sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and CHECS to address the gap in scale between research and production machines. The purpose of System G is to provide a research platform for the development of high-performance software tools and applications with extreme efficiency at scale.

“Given our research strengths at the Center for High-End Computing Systems, we were able to partner with Mellanox to create the first supercomputer running over quad data rate (QDR) InfiniBand (40Gbs) interconnect technology. The low latency and high bandwidth characteristics of QDR InfiniBand enable new research in transparent distributed shared memory systems that focus on usability of cluster supercomputers,” said Varadarajan, director of CHECS. In preliminary tests, System G was able to obtain transfer rates of over three gigabytes per second with small message latencies close to one microsecond.

Given these state-of-the-art communication rates (e.g., data sets consisting of nearly one billion numbers traveling between any two compute nodes in one second, with the first value arriving in one-millionth of a second), supercomputer systems and applications requiring unprecedented levels of data movement can be considered.

But, what makes System G so green? “We set out to design the fastest supercomputer with advanced power management capabilities such as power-aware CPUs, disks, and memory. Our partnership with Apple ensured the most advanced network of power and thermal sensors ever assembled in this type of machine,” commented Cameron, an expert on green computing. According to Cameron, System G has thousands of power and thermal sensors. As the world’s largest power-aware cluster, System G will allow CHECS researchers to design and develop algorithms and systems software that achieve high-performance with modest power requirements, and to test such systems at unprecedented scale.

”We are pleased to have Mellanox 40Gb/s end-to-end InfiniBand adapters and switches be the foundation for Virginia Tech’s research initiatives on power-aware and green computing, advanced scientific research systems, and future high productivity solutions,” said Sash Sunkara, vice president of marketing at Mellanox technologies. “Our advanced interconnect technology is designed to provide world-leading productivity for high-performance computing and enterprise data center clustering solutions, providing faster and more efficient research and engineering simulations.”

The mission of the CHECS is world-class computer systems research in the service of high-end computing. CHECS faculty (http://www.checs.eng.vt.edu/people.php) work on a broad array of problems and design a wide range of technologies, all with the goal of developing the next generation of powerful and usable high-end computing resources. Their focus is primarily on computer science systems research.

Center members recognize that high-end resources must be powerful in a broad sense (i.e., high-performance, high-capacity, high-throughput, high-reliability, etc.), and at the same time they must be more usable and more energy efficient than current high performance computing (HPC) systems. Toward that end, the center is pursuing a broad research agenda in areas such as processor and memory architectures, operating systems, run-time systems, communication subsystems, fault-tolerance, scheduling and load-balancing, power-aware systems and algorithms, numerical algorithms, and programming models.

The center’s goal is to build computing systems and environments that can efficiently and usably span the scales from department-sized machines to national-scale resources. CHECS was established in September 2005 and supported by Virginia Tech's College of Engineering. It currently has 12 tenured/tenure track computer science faculty and 65 masters and Ph.D. students.

Lynn Nystrom | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.vt.edu

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht NASA CubeSat to test miniaturized weather satellite technology
10.11.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht New approach uses light instead of robots to assemble electronic components
08.11.2017 | The Optical Society

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

From Hannover around the world and to the Mars: LZH delivers laser for ExoMars 2020

21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Borophene shines alone as 2-D plasmonic material

21.11.2017 | Materials Sciences

Penn study identifies new malaria parasites in wild bonobos

21.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>