Feature: hp Supercomputer Benchmark Performance 'Unparalleled'
Posted by Terry Shannon (Wednesday October 30 2002 @ 01:02PM EST) [ ]
HP’s on a roll when it comes to Linux-based IPF-inside supercomputer systems. Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have begun running benchmarks on a .25-teraFLOPS prototype of the newly acquired 9.1-teraFLOPS Linux-based HP supercomputer located in the Molecular Science Computing Facility in the William R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory. Using the EMSL developed computational chemistry code called NWChem, which does both electronic structure and molecular dynamics simulations, scientists recorded unparalleled performance in three areas key to computational research - sustained peak CPU performance, memory bandwidth and interconnectivity.

The prototype HP supercomputer utilizes Itanium-2 processors, HP’s high-performance ZX1 chipset and a Quadrics interconnect. When running a key kernel of NWChem (a matrix multiply), the CPU sustained 96 percent of peak theoretical performance. The prototype HP supercomputer’s memory bandwidth was sustained at 3.8GB/sec for a single CPU and the Quadrics Elan3 interconnect achieved 5 microsecond latency between nodes. The interconnect has demonstrated greater than 320MB/sec bandwidth, which is downright impressive.

“This is the fastest system we've ever run our NWChem codes on, and the results are even more amazing because this is just the prototype,” said Scott Studham, operations technical group leader for the Molecular Science Computing Facility. “This type of performance will take us to the next level in addressing the complex environmental challenges facing the nation. Once the HP supercomputer is completely operational at more than nine teraFLOPS, we expect these key performance metrics to jump even higher than on our prototype.”

And just wait until the Madison shrink of McKinley shows up in less than a year!

EMSL is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Biological and Environmental Research

(c) 2002 by Terry C. Shannon, Shannon Knows HPTC

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