[ExI] ibm takes on the commies

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Wed Feb 16 07:52:55 UTC 2011

On Tue, Feb 15, 2011 at 11:14:11PM -0800, spike wrote:
> Computer hipsters explain this to me.  When they are claiming 10 petaflops,
> they mean using a few tens of thousands of parallel processors, ja?  We

A common gamer's graphics card can easily have a thousand or a couple
thousand cores (mostly VLIW) and memory bandwidth from hell. Total node
count could run into tens to hundreds thousands, so we're talking
multiple megacores. 

> couldn't check one Mersenne prime per second with it or anything, ja?  It
> would be the equivalent of 10 petaflops assuming we have a process that is
> compatible with massive parallelism?  The article doesn't say how many

Fortunately, every physical process (including cognition) is compatible
with massive parallelism. Just parcel the problem over a 3d lattice/torus,
exchange information where adjacent volumes interface through the high-speed

Anyone who has written numerics for MPI recognizes the basic design

> parallel processors are involved:

The yardstick typically used is LINPACK http://www.top500.org/project/linpack
Not terribly meaningful, but it meets the way people tend to solve problems,
so it's not completely useless. Obviously, the only way to measure the performance
is to run your own problem.
> http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/02/15/ibm-battles-china-worlds-fastest-s
> upercomputer/?test=latestnews

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
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