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

Jon Aquilina eagles051387 at
Tue Jul 1 00:26:15 PDT 2008

not sure if this applies to all kinds of senarios that clusters are used in
but isnt the more ram you have the better?

On 6/30/08, Vincent Diepeveen <diep at> wrote:
> Toon,
> Can you drop a line on how important RAM is for weather forecasting in
> latest type of calculations you're performing?
> Thanks,
> Vincent
> 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:
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Jonathan Aquilina
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