Americans like big things. Add “Super” to anything, and we want it. So why are we falling behind in the Supercomputer game? Who knows, but Oak Ridge National Laboratory is teaming up with Nvidia to make us awesome again. Using the new favorite processor style – GPU – Nvidia is teaming up with the US Department of Energy to couple 18,000 of their Tesla chips together to power a Cray XK6 named Titan.
With such a giant name, you’d think this would out-do Jaguar (which is being refitted with 960 Tesla GPUs) and you’d be right. Estimated processing power for this beast is 20 petaflops, or twice as fast as the K supercomputer in Japan. Nvidia seems really happy to be part of the whole thing. I would be too! CEO Jen-Hsun Huang had this to say:
[quote]Our third GPU brand is Tesla. It’s a revolutionary processor, whereby we generalize the parallel computing capability of 3D graphics to make it possible for you to accelerate parallel computing applications, molecular dynamic simulations, computational biology, computational finance as used here in Wall Street to do risk analysis much, much more quickly. We’ve shipped today about 150,000 processors. That represents about 20 times the computational capability of the fastest supercomputer we helped install in China.
If you were to take 150,000 processors, the computational capability we’ve shipped in just about a year or so represents the aggregate computational capability of all the Top 500 supercomputers in the world, just to put that in perspective, revolutionary speed up of computation.
My expectation and our vision is that in some 10 years’ time, these processors that are used in computing clusters for high-performance computing, which represents about a $10 billion market and/or another way to think about it, about 4 million nodes per year are sold into technical computing. All of those processors would be massively parallel someday. And so that represents — we’ve shipped 150,000 units of this market and someday, the annual market is a few million units. So, big growth opportunity for us there.[/quote]
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