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Supercomputing Japan Upgrades Technology

Japanese Supercomputer K Hits 10.51 Petaflops 125

Posted by timothy
from the street-value-of-this-thing dept.
coondoggie writes "The Japanese supercomputer ranked #1 on the Top 500 fastest supercomputers broke its own record this week by hitting 10 quadrillion calculations per second (10.51 petaflops), according to its operators, Fujitsu and Riken.
The supercomputer 'K' consists of 864 racks, comprising a total of 88,128 interconnected CPUs and has a theoretical calculation speed of 11.28 petaflops, the companies said."
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Japanese Supercomputer K Hits 10.51 Petaflops

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  • Fully boots Windows in under three minutes!

    • Really? because we keep getting Authentication Error 0xc004f050
      • by jd (1658)

        You've got to remember that booting the OS doesn't mean that the login or MIC mechanisms actually work, it just means they're running.

    • by ooshna (1654125)

      I can cold boot to desktop in under a min with Win7 maybe you need to upgrade your windows 98 or at least uninstall that horrible Bonzi Buddy. I fucking hate that purple monkey he still haunts my dreams.

      • by jd (1658)

        The only way I can think you can boot to desktop on Win7 cold is if you mean liquid nitrogen cold with severe overclocking.

        • Cold boot: Start the computer after power has been disconnected for a period of time.
          Warm boot: A simple reset.
          • by jd (1658)

            Duh. I know what a cold boot means. But there isn't a PC that can cold boot inside of 1 minute using either a regular BIOS or EFI to a Windows desktop in under a minute unless it's overclocked.

            • by Bengie (1121981)

              BUILD showed off a laptop that cold booted Win8 to desktop in 5-8 seconds. I thought that was pretty good.

            • i can boot to windows 7 from cold in 30seconds. 15 seconds of that is the bios setting up. SSD's are fast.
              • by jd (1658)

                It takes longer than 15 secs for Windows to start up everything. (Booting to a usable state != booting to the point where something is on the screen. The claim was to boot to a desktop - which means all all initial services up and no further initialization being performed.)

                • by Cimexus (1355033)

                  Not always. My PC (with SSD) takes 9 seconds from the end of the BIOS, to on the desktop, usable, with hard drive activity completely finished and stopped. I have turned off one or two extraneous services (crap like Adobe Updater/Apple Updater/Google Updater/Office Preload etc), but other than that haven't done anything special to optimise. SSDs are very fast, especially for that 'post boot churning' stuff which is a lot of random IO.

                • it is fully usable at that time, hard disk has stopped accessing, the desktop appears after 10secs, 15 to fully usable. I can click chrome and it opens in about a second including about 30 tabs, your really underestimating the speed increase of an ssd. It is truly mind blowing fast, nothing I've ever upgraded in a pc has made as big a performance improvement.
            • Even if booting off the fastest SSD available, booting into any version of Windows will take at least 20 seconds. Dropping in a CPU with infinity processing power will not reduce this. That's because during the POST process, there are wait states timed against the RTC conducting all sorts of hardware polling to enure everything connected is alive. It's not a bug, it's a feature. A standardized process. You can optimize BIOS settings however by turning off unused hardware, features, and SATA ports to decreas

              • by blackicye (760472)

                It should be noted that an Apple MacBook with an SSD boots almost instantly. But that should come to no surprise because Apple owns both the hardware and OS. They can optimize as they wish.

                The 13" i7 / 4GB / 256GB SSD Macbook Air takes as long to boot OSX Lion as it does to boot Windows 7.

                • Depends on the PC. VMs of Win7 and Server 2008 R2 are near instant. Depending on the PC though, Win7 will boot almost as fast as Lion for sure. But, on some PCs, the POST process takes far longer than the OS bootup process itself.

                  • by jd (1658)

                    Yeah, but a VM image isn't a cold boot. A plain VM image is essentially a warm boot (a lot of the system is already initialized) and most VMs are quite capable of handling VM images that are partially into a boot (since the first phase of the bootstrap really doesn't do anything that's important to a VM).

                    If you're going to consider VMs and other such hacks, then Coreboot + Linux + image of a ramdisk in Flash would give you a 3 second bootup time to a console, just not to a GUI desktop. With a few additional

                    • Just so we are on the same page here...

                      Cold boot = When hardware is first powered on engaging a lengthy (but thorough) POST followed by the bootstrapping of the OS.
                      Warm boot = Followed by a restart of the system through the OS or a hardware reset button. Hardware POST time is reduced due to certain hardware checks being omitted prior to the bootstrapping of the OS.
                      Hot boot = Starting or rebooting an OS after the POST process. For example in Windows 98, you could perform a hot boot by holding down the shift

                    • coreboot and linux allow asychronus hardware init, and paralelization. Any ideas on bootstrapping a random OS on pre-initilized bare metal?
            • Toshiba L755D-U stock everything, Win7HP: 57sec from cold. After that: virtual machines.

              OSX: 3m40s
              SuSE 11.4: 1m14s
              XPSP3: 23s
              Win2K: 1m24s

              Timed with this reply box open.

              My netbook (stock EeePC 1008HA) boots XP Home in just over a minute.

            • by Cimexus (1355033)

              Huh? My PC takes less than 20 seconds from cold boot to usable desktop, and every component in it bar one is ~4 years old. 11 seconds for the BIOS and AHCI crap, and 9 seconds actual boot (broken down into 8 seconds Win logo, 1 second loading to desktop). No exaggeration - just timed it to make sure.

              The 'one component' that is not 4 years old is a Corsair Force SSD, which of course is the main reason it boots that quickly. But even with the old rotating hard drive it was well under a minute. If your PC take

            • by CSMoran (1577071)

              But there isn't a PC that can cold boot inside of 1 minute using either a regular BIOS or EFI to a Windows desktop in under a minute unless it's overclocked.

              You've just made my PC disappear.

        • by ooshna (1654125)

          Turning on fast boot in the bios and having a SSD is all you need.

    • by A12m0v (1315511)

      I wasn't aware Windows still ran on SPARC.

  • by bytesex (112972)

    You can play a wicked game of Space Invaders on it !

  • consists of 864 racks, comprising a total of 88,128 interconnected CPUs

    Where goes the border between a supercomputer and a cluster?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      consists of 864 racks, comprising a total of 88,128 interconnected CPUs

      Where goes the border between a supercomputer and a cluster?

      Communication time. Trying to run a massively parallelized plasma physics simulation on a mere cluster is essentially a waste of time. The scaling is terrible.

      • Decrease communication time in a cluster, and you get a supercomputer?
        • by jd (1658)

          Basically, yes. The distinction is whether a system is tightly-coupled or loosely-coupled.

    • Re:Skynet is bigger (Score:4, Informative)

      by jd (1658) <imipak@@@yahoo...com> on Saturday November 05, 2011 @04:49PM (#37960540) Homepage Journal

      Technically, a cluster can be a supercomputer if it is tightly-coupled, which basically means high bandwidth, low latency and as little overlap on the fabric as possible. (ie: 88,128 PCs linked via the Internet could be considered a grid but it would not be considered a supercomputer. The same number of PCs in a server room using a hundred or so switches, with each switch stuffed to the gills, would be considered a regular cluster. The same PCs in the same room using high-end switches linked as a Fat Tree, Butterfly or - ideally - a hypercube topology would be considered a supercomputer. The same PCs in the Cloud would be considered a torrential downpour.)

      The problem is ultimately, as Plasmaphysiker says, communication time. From a technical standpoint you can just as easily say "a supercomputer is any computer that can mimic or better a vector processor's overall performance for the same compute power". Ok, maybe not as easily as it's longer to say, but it comes to the same thing.

    • Aside from performance, supercomputers generally have a single system image, rather than an OS install on each node and some middleware to handle job distribution. They also usually implement distributed shared memory in hardware, so they appear to have a flat address space and will move data around between nodes depending on which ones are accessing it. They may also have coprocessors for things like MPI messaging. And, as the other posters said, they have very fast and very low latency interconnects.
  • ... a Beowulf cluster of those!
  • I wonder how that would compare to the combined computational power of every smartphone, laptop, and desktop computer around the world.

    • by Surt (22457)

      http://www.xyster.net/blog/?p=40 [xyster.net]
      Claims an iphone 3g can do 20Mflops double precision linpack.
      Assuming there are about 100M handsets with that level of performance:
      2000 Million (10^6), Million(10^6) flops = 2 * 10^15 = 2 petaflops, and that's just the smartphones. The laptops and desktops would both perform better, and have a much higher count.

  • A car analogy? Or how may libraries of congress / football fields?

    Seriously I doubt 10.51 petaflops means anything to anyone except a small coterie of supercomputer nerds.

    • by Ant P. (974313)

      A mid-range GPU pulls about 10 gigaflops. This is a million times that.

    • by Ruie (30480)

      A car analogy? Or how may libraries of congress / football fields?

      Seriously I doubt 10.51 petaflops means anything to anyone except a small coterie of supercomputer nerds.

      That's why I read Slashdot.

    • by Surt (22457)

      It's enough to accurately simulate the meaningful chemistry of about 1/100% of a human brain, in real time.

    • as for the car analogy... you can drive a Prius around the Earth 75 times on the amount of electricity it took to produce that result.
    • I haven't had time to ponder any analogies, I was too busy pondering a Beowolf cluster of these things...
  • Nigel Tufnel: The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and...
    Marty DiBergi: Oh, I see. And most amps go up to ten?
    Nigel Tufnel: Exactly.
    Marty DiBergi: Does that mean it's louder? Is it any louder?
    Nigel Tufnel: Well, it's one louder, isn't it? It's not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You're on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?
    Marty DiBergi: I don't k

  • K machine technology (Score:4, Informative)

    by Required Snark (1702878) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @05:01PM (#37960660)
    The K supercomputer is build on SPARC technology.

    The system is still under construction and is scheduled to enter full service in November 2012 with 864 cabinets. As of the November 2011 TOP500 list, it uses 68,544 2.0GHz 8-core SPARC64 VIIIfx processors packed in 672 cabinets, for a total of 548,352 cores, manufactured by Fujitsu with 45 nm CMOS process technology. Each cabinet contains 96 compute nodes in addition to 6 IO nodes. Each compute node contains a single processor and 16 GB of memory. Its water cooling system minimizes failure rate and power consumption.

    The K uses a proprietary six-dimensional torus network interconnect called Tofu, and a Tofu-optimized Message Passing Interface based on the open-source Open MPI library. Users can create application programs adapted to either a one-, two-, or three-dimensional torus network.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K_computer [wikipedia.org]

    IBM has the Sequoia system coming on line in 2012 and it is also targeted at the 20 Petaflop range. It will be significantly more power efficient at 3000 Mflops/watt, three times lower then the K system

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_Sequoia [wikipedia.org]

    • With so much power one would think that it could have already discovered fusion, cure to aids, heart disease and cancer. At 10,000 trillion flops per second, that would mean about 864 million trillion flops per day or about 26 billion trillion flops per month or about 312 billion trillion flops in a year.so invent something already!
      • Be patient. Transcomputational problems take time.

      • by Ruie (30480)

        With so much power one would think that it could have already discovered fusion [...]

        No, the number of cores needs to increase by another two orders of magnitude before we achieve ignition.

      • by Surt (22457)

        They've invented nuclear weapons maintenance, isn't that enough for you?

  • Real-world uses! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by GrandCow (229565) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @06:53PM (#37961582)

    How many bitcoins per hour is that?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      According to bitcoinwatch.com [bitcoinwatch.com], the computing power is around 10% of the bitcoin network.
      145 (+/- a few) blocks are solved every 24 hours. Each block is 50 bitcoins, plus any transfer fees, but I'll ignore those.
      50*145/24 = 302 bitcoins (and change) per hour. 10 % of that would be ~30 bitcoins per hour.
      At current rates, that's around 88 dollars per hour.
      Most, if not all, of that money would probably go to pay the electric bill.

    • by jovius (974690)

      Thanks to you a fuse just blew in Bernanke's head.

  • Actual specs [top500.org] : 68500 Sparc64s, each with 8 cores. So every core can put away between 5 and 10 double-precision calculations every single cycle?
    • The SPARC64 VIIIfx can carry out 8 floating-point instructions per core per cycle.

      88,128 cpus x 8 cores x 2.0e9 cycles/s x 8 flops/cycle = 11.28 petaflops maximum theoretical speed.

  • I've always wondered how supercomputer time is rationed. How much does computer time on these things cost? How is the cost calculated? Is time divided up something like how it's done on a large telescope, where the controlling organization get proposals from scientists, then divvies up the computer's available time according to what's been accepted? Do they multi-task (run more than one scientists' program at one time)? Does the computer run at top power (10pf) at all times, or does the resource usage go up

    • by bryan1945 (301828)

      For the very little I know, when you rent time, you request a certain amount of capacity. So more than one thing can run at a time. I would imagine it would be hard to write something for a massively paralleled system. That's all I got.

    • by joib (70841)

      How much does computer time on these things cost? How is the cost calculated? Is time divided up something like how it's done on a large telescope, where the controlling organization get proposals from scientists, then divvies up the computer's available time according to what's been accepted?

      On the supercomputer centers I'm familiar with, scientists write proposals which are evaluated by some kind of scientific steering committee which meets regularly (say, once per month), and gives out a certain amo

  • I get petaflops sometimes when I eat at Super Taco Burrito down on Jackson at Halsted. Man, the mega-super is really tasty but you suffer later.

    With Super Taco Burrito and all the gyros places on the corner, that's ground zero for intestinal distress. But something keeps pulling me back there.

    Now what were we talking about?

    Oh yeah, is it Spring Back and Fall Forward or the other way around? Damn, now I got a taste for one a those mega-super burritos and an order of guac. I think they're open til midnigh

  • Cray Inc. is working on updating its Jaguar supercomputer and that will enable 20-petaflop peak performance. ;) Therefore, we could soon see Jaguar as the fastest supercomputer in the world
  • by mqduck (232646)

    The Japanese supercomputer ranked #1 on the Top 500 fastest supercomputers

    Rumor has it that it's also #1 in the top 2,342 fastest supercomputers.

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.

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