NVIDIA GPUs power world's fastest supercomputer

October 29, 2010 by John Messina, Phys.org weblog

(PhysOrg.com) -- NVIDIA has built the worldэs fastest supercomputer using 7,000 of its graphics processor chips. With a horsepower equivalent to 175,000 laptop computers, its sustained performance is equivalent to 2.5 Petaflops.

The supercomputer was built by the National University of Defense Technology and is located at the National Supercomputing Center in Tianjin, China. According to , the computer is 30 percent faster than the world’s second largest computer which is at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

Tianhe-1A supercomputer parallels large quantities of GPUs with multi-core CPUs to significantly boost performance, power and size. The Tianhe-1A uses 7,168 NVIDIA Tesla M2050 GPUs and 14,336 CPUs. This would be equivalent to more than 50,000 CPUs and would require twice as much floor space to deliver the same performance using CPUs alone.

A 2.5 petaflop system using CPU’s only would require more than 12 megawatts of power to run it. By using NVIDIA’s GPUs in a heterogeneous computing environment, Tianhe-1A consumes only 4.04 megawatts, making it 3 times more power efficient.

At the HPC 2010 in China, Guangming Liu, chief of National Center in Tianjin stated: “The performance and efficiency of Tianhe-1A was simply not possible without GPUs. The scientific research that is now possible with a system of this scale is almost without limits; we could not be more pleased with the results."

Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO of NVIDIA commented, “GPUs are redefining high performance computing. With the Tianhe-1A, GPUs now power two of the top three fastest computers in the world today. These supercomputers are essential tools for scientists looking to turbo-charge their rate of discovery."

NVIDIA first invented the computer graphics chip in 1999 and showed the computer industry the power of computer graphics. NVIDIA’s programmable GPUs have made advancements in parallel processing which makes supercomputing inexpensive and widely accessible; NVIDIA holds more than 1,600 patents worldwide.

Explore further: NVIDIA Unveils Next Generation CUDA GPU Architecture -- Codenamed 'Fermi'

More information: press release, Nvidia Tesla

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Display comments: newest first

1 / 5 (5) Oct 29, 2010
Tianhe-1A consumes only 4.04 megawatts, making it 3 times more power efficient
One minute of this efficient energy consumption burns up my annual salary, my mortgage, and all my asset values combined.
5 / 5 (6) Oct 29, 2010
So you make 14,- a year and live in a box? :p (using 0,21 per kWh)
4 / 5 (1) Oct 29, 2010
haha.. that's great to see someone actually do the math and call a person on it. Is the 14,- supposed to be $14,000? Or is that in Canadian or Euros? seeing the comma before cents leads me to believe it's something European...
not rated yet Oct 29, 2010
Wow. And just two months ago the US gave them $25million. http://www.physor...568.html
I wonder if they used that to build the "fastest in the world" while at the same time building DARPA the actual fastest one. I had to go back and re-read that story to realize that when something is "fastest" it's just what's public. In the US we have a 2-year technology ban that not too many ppl are familiar with. Everything coming out now in the US is at least 2 years old. Makes you think.... I wonder if the government is having fun in 2012..
not rated yet Oct 29, 2010
These GPU supercomputers are essential tools for scientists looking to turbo-charge their rate of discovery...

Question #1: How to get PO'd Chinese to lift embargo on rare earth metals to America considering they also have the world's fastest supercomputer?
5 / 5 (5) Oct 29, 2010
Is the 14,- supposed to be $14,000?

It's a very simple calculation:

0.21$/kWh * 1h/60min * 4040kW = 14.14$/min

I'm guessing Roj's mortgage and all his asset values combined are so deep underwater, that when added to his annual salary you end up with less than 14 bucks net... But hey, at least it's a positive number! =)
5 / 5 (8) Oct 30, 2010
In the US we have a 2-year technology ban that not too many ppl are familiar with. Everything coming out now in the US is at least 2 years old. Makes you think.... I wonder if the government is having fun in 2012..


No, there is no such thing as a 2 year technology ban in the US. You should think critically about the conspiracy theories you read before you believe them and go around spouting them off.
1 / 5 (1) Oct 30, 2010
The articles for Nvidia are towards military devices in the future, maybe the leak is already out but no surprise in my opinion at the energy for China-- From very simple college physics scalar, vector quantities no less.

not rated yet Nov 01, 2010
I heard it from an ex-CIA analyst.. I don't read conspiracy theories.. But honestly, do you think you'd know about it?
Can you explain why we're the superpower but Japan "far exceeds" us in technology?
And don't play the "smart" or "extra populous" cards either, because we're not smarter and China is more populous.

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