Supercomputer with 20 million CPUs

In an effort to enable more credible global climate change predictions, researchers from UC Berkeley believe that the way to go is a new kind of cloud supercomputer that includes 20 million processors delivering a peak performance of 200 PFlops to simulate 1-km scale climate models.

We are just about ready to transition from the Gigaflop into the Petaflop era and the new proposal from UC Berkeley and Tensilica could, at least on paper, put supercomputer development into warp speed. In a dramatic departure from current supercomputer architectures and upcoming hybrid systems, this proposed system would rely on embedded processors with minimal power consumption.

The researchers believe that 20 million Tensilica RISC processors would deliver at least 10 PFlops of sustained performance, while topping out at about 200 PFlops. The power consumption of such a system is estimated at about 4 Mega Watts and the construction and typical operation cost at about $75 million. A 200 PFlops system that is built on today’s common architecture could cost up to $1 billion and consume 200 Mega Watts – which is the equivalent of what a city with 100,000 people consumes.

In comparison, the currently fastest supercomputer tops out at 596 TFlops.

So, what would a 200 PFlop system be able to accomplish? Read the full story at TG Daily.

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