Many of you may not know but Tianhe (translation Milky Way) is the supercomputer which holds the title of the worlds most "unofficial" powerful supercomputer. This is the first PFLOPS computer outside the USA and it resides in the Chinese National University of Defense Technology.
The machine comprises 24,576 Intel Core 2 based cores (6144 Harpertown, 3072 Xeon E5450’s and 3072 Xeon E5540’s). To round it off the system comprises 5120 AMD RV770 cores which translates to 2560 ATI 4870 X2 2 GB Cards. All of this combined reaches to around 1,206 PFLOPS processing power. Hopefully they don’t run all these X2’s at 100% fan speed or it would be akin to walking under the blades of an apache Helicopter.
To qualify however as ‘fastest supercomputer’ the system has to adhere to SPEC rules which means that the GPU’s aren’t allowed to run Linpack as SOPEoptimised code is blacklisted. This means only the CPU scores are taken into consideration. All those Intel cores however should rate around 563.1 TFLOPS in Linpack which would qualify this system in the Top 10 worldwide.
The size of this gargantuan monster is over 103 racks in an area of 1000m2 (10,763 sq ft) and the whole installation is just 155 tons in weight. We still reckon it might still struggle to run Crysis Warhead at max settings on a 30 inch screen though.
Top 500.org will announce the new list of the world’s most powerful supercomputers this month at Portland, Oregan between November 14-20th.
Allan Campbell: Heaven Media Ltd