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

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Wed Nov 16 03:27:47 PST 2011


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.
 
> 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.

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.
 
> 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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