Commodity supercomputing, was: Re: NDAs Re: [Beowulf] Nvidia, cuda, tesla and... where's my double floating point?

Vincent Diepeveen diep at
Mon Jun 30 13:21:20 PDT 2008


Can you drop a line on how important RAM is for weather forecasting  
in latest type of calculations you're performing?


On Jun 30, 2008, at 8:20 PM, Toon Moene wrote:

> Jim Lux wrote:
>> Yep.  And for good reason.  Even a big DoD job is still tiny in  
>> Nvidia's scale of operations. We face this all the time with NASA  
>> work.  Semiconductor manufacturers have no real reason to produce  
>> special purpose or customized versions of their products for space  
>> use, because they can sell all they can make to the consumer  
>> market. More than once, I've had a phone call along the lines of  
>> this:
>> "Jim: I'm interested in your new ABC321 part."
>> "Rep: Great. I'll just send the NDA over and we can talk about it."
>> "Jim: Great, you have my email and my fax # is..."
>> "Rep: By the way, what sort of volume are you going to be using?"
>> "Jim: Oh, 10-12.."
>> "Rep: thousand per week, excellent..."
>> "Jim: No, a dozen pieces, total, lifetime buy, or at best maybe  
>> every year."
>> "Rep: Oh...<dial tone>"
>> {Well, to be fair, it's not that bad, they don't hang up on you..
> Since about a year, it's been clear to me that weather forecasting  
> (i.e., running a more or less sophisticated atmospheric model to  
> provide weather predictions) is going to be "mainstream" in the  
> sense that every business that needs such forecasts for its  
> operations can simply run them in-house.
> Case in point:  I bought a $1100 HP box (the obvious target group  
> being teenage downloaders) which performs the HIRLAM limited area  
> model *on the grid that we used until October 2006* in December  
> last year.
> It's about twice as slow as our then-operational 50-CPU Sun Fire 15K.
> I wonder what effect this will have on CPU developments ...
> -- 
> Toon Moene - e-mail: toon at - phone: +31 346 214290
> Saturnushof 14, 3738 XG  Maartensdijk, The Netherlands
> At home:
> Progress of GNU Fortran: 
> msg00009.html

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