[Beowulf] Intel unveils 1 teraflop chip with 50-plus cores

Vincent Diepeveen diep at xs4all.nl
Wed Nov 16 04:43:31 PST 2011

On Nov 16, 2011, at 12:27 PM, Eugen Leitl wrote:

> On Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 12:04:50PM +0100, Vincent Diepeveen wrote:
>> Well,
>> If it's gonna use 2 pci-express slots, for sure it's eating massive
>> power, just like the gpu's.
> It's not too bad for an 1997 Top500 equivalent (well, at least
> as far as matrix multiplication is concerned).
>> Furthermore the word 'double precision' is nowhere there, so we can
>> safely assume single precision.
> It's double precision.

And probably like AMD and Nvidia creative counting a multiply-add as  
2 flops.

>> Speaking of which - isn't nvidia and amd already delivering cards
>> that deliver a lot?
> Kepler is supposed to get 1.3 TFlops in DGEMM when it's out.
> Intel touts that Knights Corner produces 1 TFlop consistently
> indedepent of matrix (block) size.
> The vector unit is 512 bits, Knights Landing will boost
> that to 124 bits, supposedly.

You mean vectors of 8 double precisions i assume.

That renders the chip less generic than GPU's are.

> Source: http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Supercomputer-2011- 
> CPU-mit-Many-Integrated-Cores-knackt-1-TFlops-1379625.html
>> AMD's HD6990 is 500 euro and delivers a 5+ Tflop and supposedly so in
>> openCL.
>> Knowing intel is not delivering hardware dirt cheap - despite
>> hammering the bulldozer, bulldozer
>> so far is cheaper than any competative intel chip - though might
>> change a few months from now when the 22nm
>> parts are there.
> Parts like these will be useful for gamer markets, so
> presumably nVidia or AMD will be only too happy to leap
> into any gap that Intel offers.

It's the gamers market that keeps those GPU's cheap.

GPU's that are custom made for HPC always will lose it in the end.
First generation might be strong and after that it will be simply not  
worth it
price versus performance.

Those production factories for now are too expensive to run, to
produce something that gets sold to just a few HPC organisations.

A few small improvements in GPU's always will win it at the HPC  
market from custom made

So if intel is gonna sell this Larrabee derivative, in general it's a  
good plan if you invest big
cash in a product, to also sell it, you run the likely risk that  
after the first release, it will be behind
next generation GPU's, and a lot.

Intel has superior cpu's, based upon producing the cpu's at the  
latest technology they have available.

We see how AMD is behind now, because they produce end 2011 at 32 nm  
whereas intel already did sell
their 32 nm sixcores since march 2010.

The GPU's are something like 40 nm now.

For the gamersmarket the next gpu will be at the latest and fastest  
process they can affort.

A special HPC part from intel that's for a specific market will not  
be able to use the latest process technology
in the long run; so it will be total crushed by GPU's. Just total  
annihilated it will be.

I'd not sign any deal with intel regarding such cpu's without paper  
signature of them that it will release within 6 months
in the same proces technology like their latest CPU.

Furthermore the gpu's will beat this by factor 10 in price or so.

Add to that, this AMD 6990, though it has 2 gpu's, it's 500 euro and  
1.37 Tflop double precision right now.

How's something gonna compete with that what years later achieves this?

It's about price per gflop.

In future the big calculations will simply need to get redone 2  
times, just like with prime numbers they get double checked.
I see too much gibberish in the scientific calculations done at  
supercomputers. 99% of those projects in HPC is
not even amateur level from algorithmic calculation viewpoint seen.

The software of 99% of those projects doesn't even have remotely the  
same outcome when you rerun the same code,
that's how crappy most of it is.

We didn't even touch the word 'efficiency' yet. If i compare some  
commercial codes that do something similar to
the software calculating the height of seawater levels... ...which  
from climate viewpoint by the way is pretty important as hundreds of
billions get invested/changes hands based upon such calculations,  
then the word efficiency gets another dimension.

It's wishful thinking that in future the fastest hardware is going to  
be 100% deterministic. The true nature of parallellism already
makes everything non-deterministic.

You can forever ignore GPU's, just like some ignored CPU's from  
intel&amd for a year or 10, but it's not very healthy.

Especially if current generation is going to have already a factor 10 
+ advantage in price/performance to this chip.

>> For crunching get gpu's - as for intel - i hope they release cheap
>> sixcore cpu's and don't overprice 8 core Xeon...
>> On Nov 16, 2011, at 10:52 AM, Eugen Leitl wrote:
>>> http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/technologybrierdudleysblog/
>>> 2016775145_wow_intel_unveils_1_teraflop_c.html
>>> Wow: Intel unveils 1 teraflop chip with 50-plus cores
>>> Posted by Brier Dudley
>>> I thought the prospect of quad-core tablet computers was exciting.
>>> Then I saw Intel's latest -- a 1 teraflop chip, with more than 50
>>> cores, that
>>> Intel unveiled today, running it on a test machine at the SC11
>>> supercomputing
>>> conference in Seattle.
>>> That means my kids may take a teraflop laptop to college -- if
>>> their grades
>>> don't suffer too much having access to 50-core video game consoles.
>>> It wasn't that long ago that Intel was boasting about the first
>>> supercomputer
>>> with sustained 1 teraflop performance. That was in 1997, on a
>>> system with
>>> 9,298 Pentium II chips that filled 72 computing cabinets.
>>> Now Intel has squeezed that much performance onto a matchbook-sized
>>> chip,
>>> dubbed "Knights Ferry," based on its new "Many Integrated Core"
>>> architecture,
>>> or MIC.
>>> It was designed largely in the Portland area and has just started
>>> manufacturing.
>>> "In 15 years that's what we've been able to do. That is stupendous.
>>> You're
>>> witnessing the 1 teraflop barrier busting," Rajeeb Hazra, general
>>> manager of
>>> Intel's technical computing group, said at an unveiling ceremony.
>>> (He holds
>>> up the chip here)
>>> A single teraflop is capable of a trillion floating point
>>> operations per
>>> second.
>>> On hand for the event -- in the cellar of the Ruth's Chris Steak
>>> House in
>>> Seattle -- were the directors of the National Center for  
>>> Computational
>>> Sciences at Oak Ridge Laboratory and the Application Acceleration
>>> Center of
>>> Excellence.
>>> Also speaking was the chief science officer of the GENCI
>>> supercomputing
>>> organization in France, which has used its Intel-based system for
>>> molecular
>>> simulations of Alzheimer's, looking at issues such as plaque
>>> formation that's
>>> a hallmark of the disease.
>>> "The hardware is hardly exciting. ... The exciting part is doing the
>>> science," said Jeff Nichols, acting director of the computational
>>> center at
>>> Oak Ridge.
>>> The hardware was pretty cool, though.
>>> George Chrysos, the chief architect of Knights Ferry, came up  
>>> from the
>>> Portland area with a test system running the new chip, which was
>>> connected to
>>> a speed meter on a laptop to show that it was running around 1
>>> teraflop.
>>> Intel had the test system set up behind closed doors -- on a coffee
>>> table in
>>> a hotel suite at the Grand Hyatt, and wouldn't allow reporters to  
>>> take
>>> pictures of the setup.
>>> Nor would the company specify how many cores the chip has -- just
>>> more than
>>> 50 -- or its power requirement.
>>> If you're building a new system and want to future-proof it, the
>>> Knights
>>> Ferry chip uses a double PCI Express slot. Chrysos said the systems
>>> are also
>>> likely to run alongside a few Xeon processors.
>>> This means that Intel could be producing teraflop chips for personal
>>> computers within a few years, although there's lots of work to be
>>> done on the
>>> software side before you'd want one.
>>> Another question is whether you'd want a processor that powerful on
>>> a laptop,
>>> for instance, where you may prefer to have a system optimized for
>>> longer
>>> battery life, Hazra said.
>>> More important, Knights Ferry chips may help engineers build the  
>>> next
>>> generation of supercomputing systems, which Intel and its partners
>>> hope to
>>> delivery by 2018.
>>> Power efficiency was a highlight of another big announcement this
>>> week at
>>> SC11. On Monday night, IBM announced its "next generation
>>> supercomputing
>>> project," the Blue Gene/Q system that's heading to Lawrence  
>>> Livermore
>>> National Laboratory next year.
>>> Dubbed Sequoia, the system should run at 20 petaflops peak
>>> performance. IBM
>>> expects it to be the world's most power-efficient computer,
>>> processing 2
>>> gigaflops per watt.
>>> The first 96 racks of the system could be delivered in December. The
>>> Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration
>>> uses the
>>> systems to work on nuclear weapons, energy reseach and climate
>>> change, among
>>> other things.
>>> Sequoia complements another Blue Gene/Q system, a 10-petaflop setup
>>> called
>>> "Mira," which was previously announced by Argonne National  
>>> Laboratory.
>>> A few images from the conference, which runs through Friday at the
>>> Washington
>>> State Convention & Trade Center, starting with perusal of Intel
>>> boards:
>>> Take home a Cray today!
>>> IBM was sporting Blue Genes, and it wasn't even casual Friday:
>>> A 94 teraflop rack:
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> -- 
> Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
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