[Beowulf] Inside Tsubame - the Nvidia GPU supercomputer

Vincent Diepeveen diep at xs4all.nl
Fri Dec 12 02:50:51 PST 2008

On Dec 12, 2008, at 8:56 AM, Eugen Leitl wrote:

> http://www.goodgearguide.com.au/article/270416/inside_tsubame_- 
> _nvidia_gpu_supercomputer?fp=&fpid=&pf=1
> Inside Tsubame - the Nvidia GPU supercomputer
> Tokyo Tech University's Tsubame supercomputer attained 29th ranking  
> in the
> new Top 500, thanks in part to hundreds of Nvidia Tesla graphics  
> cards.
> Martyn Williams (IDG News Service) 10/12/2008 12:20:00
> When you enter the computer room on the second floor of Tokyo  
> Institute of
> Technology's computer building, you're not immediately struck by  
> the size of
> Japan's second-fastest supercomputer. You can't see the Tsubame  
> computer for
> the industrial air conditioning units that are standing in your  
> way, but this
> in itself is telling. With more than 30,000 processing cores  
> buzzing away,
> the machine consumes a megawatt of power and needs to be kept cool.

1000000 watt / 77480 gflop = 12.9 watt per gflop.

If you run double precision codes on this box it is a big energy  
waster IMHO.
(of course it's very well equipped for all kind of crypto codes using  
that google library).


> Tsubame was ranked 29th-fastest supercomputer in the world in the  
> latest Top
> 500 ranking with a speed of 77.48T Flops (floating point operations  
> per
> second) on the industry-standard Linpack benchmark.
> While its position is relatively good, that's not what makes it so  
> special.
> The interesting thing about Tsubame is that it doesn't rely on the raw
> processing power of CPUs (central processing units) alone to get  
> its work
> done. Tsubame includes hundreds of graphics processors of the same  
> type used
> in consumer PCs, working alongside CPUs in a mixed environment that  
> some say
> is a model for future supercomputers serving disciplines like material
> chemistry.
> Graphics processors (GPUs) are very good at quickly performing the  
> same
> computation on large amounts of data, so they can make short work  
> of some
> problems in areas such as molecular dynamics, physics simulations  
> and image
> processing.
> "I think in the vast majority of the interesting problems in the  
> future, the
> problems that affect humanity where the impact comes from  
> nature ... requires
> the ability to manipulate and compute on a very large data set," said
> Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO of Nvidia, who spoke at the university this  
> week. Tsubame
> uses 680 of Nvidia's Tesla graphics cards.
> Just how much of a difference do the GPUs make? Takayuki Aoki, a  
> professor of
> material chemistry at the university, said that simulations that  
> used to take
> three months now take 10 hours on Tsubame.
> Tsubame itself - once you move past the air-conditioners - is split  
> across
> several rooms in two floors of the building and is largely made up of
> rack-mounted Sun x4600 systems. There are 655 of these in all, each  
> of which
> has 16 AMD Opteron CPU cores inside it, and Clearspeed CSX600  
> accelerator
> boards.
> The graphics chips are contained in 170 Nvidia Tesla S1070 rack- 
> mount units
> that have been slotted in between the Sun systems. Each of the 1U  
> Nvidia
> systems has four GPUs inside, each of which has 240 processing  
> cores for a
> total of 960 cores per system.
> The Tesla systems were added to Tsubame over the course of about a  
> week while
> the computer was operating.
> "People thought we were crazy," said Satoshi Matsuoka, director of  
> the Global
> Scientific Information and Computing Center at the university.  
> "This is a ¥1
> billion (US$11 million) supercomputer consuming a megawatt of  
> power, but we
> proved technically that it was possible."
> The result is what university staff call version 1.2 of the Tsubame
> supercomputer.
> "I think we should have been able to achieve 85 [T Flops], but we  
> ran out of
> time so it was 77 [T Flops]," said Matsuoka of the benchmarks  
> performed on
> the system. At 85T Flops it would have risen a couple of places in  
> the Top
> 500 and been ranked fastest in Japan.
> There's always next time: A new Top 500 list is due out in June  
> 2009, and
> Tokyo Institute of Technology is also looking further ahead.
> "This is not the end of Tsubame, it's just the beginning of GPU  
> acceleration
> becoming mainstream," said Matsuoka. "We believe that in the world  
> there will
> be supercomputers registering several petaflops in the years to  
> come, and we
> would like to follow suit."
> Tsubame 2.0, as he dubbed the next upgrade, should be here within  
> the next
> two years and will boast a sustained performance of at least a  
> petaflop (a
> petaflop is 1,000 teraflops), he said. The basic design for the  
> machine is
> still not finalized but it will continue the heterogeneous  
> computing base of
> mixing CPUs and GPUs, he said.
> _______________________________________________
> Beowulf mailing list, Beowulf at beowulf.org
> To change your subscription (digest mode or unsubscribe) visit  
> http://www.beowulf.org/mailman/listinfo/beowulf

More information about the Beowulf mailing list