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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- A new kind of global arms race is unfolding -- and this one is measured in petaflops.

Titan, the U.S. Department of Energy's top open science computer, is going live on Monday with an upgrade that will likely make it the fastest supercomputer on the planet. At 20 petaflops -- that's 20 quadrillion calculations each second -- Titan outperforms by four petaflops the DOE's Sequoia supercomputer, which has held the crown since June. The official "Top 500" ranking of the world's fastest supercomputers will be announced next month.

The United States is back on top of the computing world after ceding ground to Japan, China and Germany over the past three years.

That's not just a badge of honor: It's also critical to national security and the country's economic viability. Titan will help U.S. scientists pioneer research into climate change, biofuels, nuclear energy, new materials and other crucial fields, which will help them create the next wave of car batteries, switchgrass ethanol and improved weather forecasting tools -- all developed in America.

Formerly known as Jaguar, the Cray (CRAY) supercomputer at the DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory got a major upgrade and an appropriately intimidating new name.

Titan replaced its predecessor's 224,256 central processing units (CPUs) with 299,008 faster CPUs made by AMD (AMD, Fortune 500), along with 18,688 graphics processing units (GPUs) made by Nvidia (NVDA). The GPUs serve as accelerators to the CPUs. That's why Titan has just a third more central processors and the same number of computing nodes and cabinets as Jaguar, but delivers 10 times the performance.

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imagine having that on our Folding@Home team.

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That's nice, but... Can it run Crysis? :p

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AMD FTW!

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Notice it doesn't run Microsoft code ... :p

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Source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2013228/titan-supercomputer-hits-20-petaflops-of-processing-power.html

"I would love to see this baby run Battlefield 3...LOL"

The U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory on Monday completed the deployment of a 20-petaflop supercomputer called Titan, which the lab hopes will give the U.S. an edge over China and Japan in the race to build the world's fastest computers.

The supercomputer, deployed at ORNL facilities in Tennessee, is capable of processing 20,000 trillion calculations per second. The supercomputer is more than ten times faster than its predecessor called Jaguar, which was deployed in 2009 and was considered the world's fastest supercomputer in June 2010 until it was dethroned a few months later by a Chinese supercomputer called Tianhe-1A at the National Supercomputer Center in Tianjin. sequoia_500-thumb180-11373969.jpgSequoia supercomputer

Titan's deployment comes just a few weeks ahead of the release of the Top500, which lists the 500 fastest supercomputers in the world. The fastest supercomputer in the Top500 list released in June this year was Sequoia, an IBM BlueGene/Q system deployed by the U.S. DOE at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California.

Global competition

"American competitiveness is very important from a global security and national security perspective," said Jeffrey Nichols, associate laboratory director for the computing and computational sciences directorate at ORNL, in an interview. "It's absolutely important that we are competitive in this high-tech field so the science solutions we are solving are competitive and put us on the leading edge of where we need to be in solving these problems."

Countries such as Japan and China are swiftly scaling their computing capabilities with supercomputers in the top five, Nichols said. But the U.S. makes more effective use of available computing power to solve some of the top science problems in the country, Nichols said.

"If you look at Oak Ridge and what we bring to the table is that we have application developers that can use these machines at scale. China cannot. They have an economic development model that says we'll put this hardware on the floor and people can come in and pay for using the machine in order to do their scientific research," Nichols said.

ORNL welcomes proposals from scientists and 40 projects are selected every year to use computing facilities in the lab. The proposals are selected on merit by scientific experts, but also by ensuring the applications are scalable so resources are not wasted. Scientists using Titan don't have to pay for usage.

More computing power boosts knowledge discovery, and helps in more realistic simulation and experiments, Nichols said, adding that Titan will help the U.S. in research areas like biosciences, climate, energy and space.

For example, ORNL conducts research on neutron sciences, which includes the building of combustion engines that deliver lower emissions and higher efficiency. Those experiments are related to the country's economy, environment and national security, and faster supercomputers like Titan are advancing research quicker in that area, Nichols said.

[see also IBM Watson's Ancestors: A Look at Supercomputers of the Past]

Titus specs

Titan is a Cray XK7 supercomputer, which pairs 18,688 Advanced Micro Devices 16-core Opteron 6274 CPUs with 18,688 Nvidia Tesla K20 GPUs (graphics processing units). Graphics processors provide faster execution of some scientific and math applications, while CPUs are better for serial processing. By harnessing the joint computing power of CPUs and GPUs, supercomputers are able to provide results in the most power-efficient way, said Steve Scott, chief technology officer of the Tesla product line at Nvidia.

Titan is built into 200 server cabinets, which is the same size as Jaguar. ORNL upgraded by moving to 16-core CPUs and the latest graphics processors, which are faster and more power efficient. Titan has 700TB of memory.

Titan consumes about 9 megawatts of power and the energy costs for running the supercomputer could add up to $10 million a year, Nichols said. The DOE is willing to absorb the cost because it knows that a sophisticated research program is needed, Nichols said.

The next milestone for supercomputers is to reach exaflop performance, which is about 1000 petaflops, by 2018. ORNL upgrades the supercomputer at a three to four year clip, and Nichols expects a major upgrade to Titan in 2016. He also hopes an exaflop system will be in place at ORNL by 2020, though he added nothing was certain.

"We have to think about making the case for the 2020 exascale machine or 2016 machine. We have to start talking to vendors about those machines," Nichols said.

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Merged Topics

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I bet that baby wouldn't have any problems rendering 3D images.

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^ or 5D :shifty:

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I think extreme networks gear powers these as well!

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Now up to 27 petaops

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130612101657.htm

Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Titan supercomputer has completed rigorous acceptance testing to ensure the functionality, performance and stability of the machine, one of the world's most powerful supercomputing systems for open science.

The Department of Energy machine, the first to combine different types of processing units to maximize performance at such a large scale, ranked as the fastest supercomputer in the world in the November 2012 list published at http://www.top500.org/. Titan, a Cray XK7 supercomputer (Nasdaq: CRAY), is capable of more than 27,000 trillion calculations each second -- or 27 petaflops.

The combination of 18,688 NVIDIA Tesla graphic processing units (GPUs) with 299,008 AMD Opteron CPU cores enables Titan to maximize its energy efficiency; the machine delivers 10 times the performance of its predecessor while using only marginally more electricity. The Cray XK7 system consists of 200 cabinets covering an area the size of a basketball court and boasts 710 terabytes of memory, or 38 gigabytes per node, and Cray's Gemini interconnect.

"The real measure of a system like Titan is how it handles working scientific applications and critical scientific problems," said Buddy Bland, project director at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility. "The purpose of Titan's incredible power is to advance science, and the system has already shown its abilities on a range of important applications and has validated ORNL's decision to rely on GPU accelerators."

For instance, the high-performance molecular dynamics application LAMMPS has seen more than a sevenfold speedup on Titan over its performance on the comparable CPU-only system. Two other codes -- Denovo, which models neutron transport in nuclear reactors, and WL-LSMS, which simulates the statistical mechanics of magnetic materials -- saw nearly a fourfold increase.

"We are very pleased with Titan," said Bland. "The system was delivered on schedule and within budget, and it has clearly shown its value as a research tool. We look forward to Titan delivering important scientific results for years to come."

Researchers can apply for access to Titan's unique capabilities through one of three programs: the Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program, the DOE Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research Leadership Computing Challenge (ALCC), or the OLCF Director's Discretion (DD) program.

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As I understand it, China's new Tianhe-2 is running at 30.65 petaflops, which is just slightly under 60% of its theoretical capacity, is the #1 supercomputer right now despite being underclocked.

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/06/chinese-supercomputer-destroys-speed-record-and-will-get-much-faster/

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