[Beowulf] Has anyone actually seen/used a cell system?
kewley at gps.caltech.edu
Wed Sep 20 13:18:18 PDT 2006
On Wednesday 20 September 2006 10:51, Mark Hahn wrote:
> > Can anyone point me to a url, or tell me what their
> > experience is with this technology? Is it as fast as
> > it's purported to be?
> I haven't come anywhere near a Cell, but then again, I'm not sure
> I'd want to. 14.6 Gflops (64b, and assuming the full 8 SPE's)
> isn't bad, but then again, a 3 GHz Core2 dual-core is 24 Gflops,
> and almost certainly a lot more accessible, shipping now, runs linux,
> supported by compilers and goto-blas, etc.
Yup, that's an appropriate point of skepticism. We'll have to see what
works out in practice.
There is a study that says that the Cell has large speedups in real
double-precision code, compared to Opteron, Itanium2, and Cray X1E:
Also see the following for work on tuning code to use single precision where
possible, thus attaining an even bigger speedup:
Mercury Computer Systems is designing (and perhaps even shipping
pre-production units of) a Cell blade system. IBM is also going to offer
Cell blade systems. I am talking to someone who is getting yet an other
Cell-based company off the ground, who I believe is aiming for HPC.
So there's quite a bit of potential, and I think it's looking pretty likely
that we'll see real, affordable Cell-based high-GFLOPS/Watt HPC systems in
the coming year, and that these systems will support high performance on
double precision code. Right now though, I'm still in wait-and-see mode.
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