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Title: GREEN SUPERCOMPUTING IN A DESKTOP BOX

Abstract

The computer workstation, introduced by Sun Microsystems in 1982, was the tool of choice for scientists and engineers as an interactive computing environment for the development of scientific codes. However, by the mid-1990s, the performance of workstations began to lag behind high-end commodity PCs. This, coupled with the disappearance of BSD-based operating systems in workstations and the emergence of Linux as an open-source operating system for PCs, arguably led to the demise of the workstation as we knew it. Around the same time, computational scientists started to leverage PCs running Linux to create a commodity-based (Beowulf) cluster that provided dedicated computer cycles, i.e., supercomputing for the rest of us, as a cost-effective alternative to large supercomputers, i.e., supercomputing for the few. However, as the cluster movement has matured, with respect to cluster hardware and open-source software, these clusters have become much more like their large-scale supercomputing brethren - a shared (and power-hungry) datacenter resource that must reside in a machine-cooled room in order to operate properly. Consequently, the above observations, when coupled with the ever-increasing performance gap between the PC and cluster supercomputer, provide the motivation for a 'green' desktop supercomputer - a turnkey solution that provides an interactive andmore » parallel computing environment with the approximate form factor of a Sun SPARCstation 1 'pizza box' workstation. In this paper, they present the hardware and software architecture of such a solution as well as its prowess as a developmental platform for parallel codes. In short, imagine a 12-node personal desktop supercomputer that achieves 14 Gflops on Linpack but sips only 185 watts of power at load, resulting in a performance-power ratio that is over 300% better than their reference SMP platform.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [2]
  1. Los Alamos National Laboratory
  2. NON LANL
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
1000758
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-07-0360
TRN: US201101%%542
DOE Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: THE THIRD WORKSHOP ON HIGH-PERFORMANCE, POWER-AWARE COMPUT ; 200703 ; LONG BEACH
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
99; COMPUTER ARCHITECTURE; COMPUTERS; ENGINEERS; FORM FACTORS; PERFORMANCE; SUPERCOMPUTERS

Citation Formats

HSU, CHUNG-HSING, FENG, WU-CHUN, and CHING, AVERY. GREEN SUPERCOMPUTING IN A DESKTOP BOX. United States: N. p., 2007. Web.
HSU, CHUNG-HSING, FENG, WU-CHUN, & CHING, AVERY. GREEN SUPERCOMPUTING IN A DESKTOP BOX. United States.
HSU, CHUNG-HSING, FENG, WU-CHUN, and CHING, AVERY. Wed . "GREEN SUPERCOMPUTING IN A DESKTOP BOX". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1000758.
@article{osti_1000758,
title = {GREEN SUPERCOMPUTING IN A DESKTOP BOX},
author = {HSU, CHUNG-HSING and FENG, WU-CHUN and CHING, AVERY},
abstractNote = {The computer workstation, introduced by Sun Microsystems in 1982, was the tool of choice for scientists and engineers as an interactive computing environment for the development of scientific codes. However, by the mid-1990s, the performance of workstations began to lag behind high-end commodity PCs. This, coupled with the disappearance of BSD-based operating systems in workstations and the emergence of Linux as an open-source operating system for PCs, arguably led to the demise of the workstation as we knew it. Around the same time, computational scientists started to leverage PCs running Linux to create a commodity-based (Beowulf) cluster that provided dedicated computer cycles, i.e., supercomputing for the rest of us, as a cost-effective alternative to large supercomputers, i.e., supercomputing for the few. However, as the cluster movement has matured, with respect to cluster hardware and open-source software, these clusters have become much more like their large-scale supercomputing brethren - a shared (and power-hungry) datacenter resource that must reside in a machine-cooled room in order to operate properly. Consequently, the above observations, when coupled with the ever-increasing performance gap between the PC and cluster supercomputer, provide the motivation for a 'green' desktop supercomputer - a turnkey solution that provides an interactive and parallel computing environment with the approximate form factor of a Sun SPARCstation 1 'pizza box' workstation. In this paper, they present the hardware and software architecture of such a solution as well as its prowess as a developmental platform for parallel codes. In short, imagine a 12-node personal desktop supercomputer that achieves 14 Gflops on Linpack but sips only 185 watts of power at load, resulting in a performance-power ratio that is over 300% better than their reference SMP platform.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Jan 17 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Wed Jan 17 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}

Conference:
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Save / Share:
  • Many computing problems of today require supercomputer performance, but do not justify the costs needed to run such applications on supercomputers. In order to fill this need, networks of high-end workstations are often linked-together to act as a single virtual parallel supercomputer. This project attempts to develop software that will allow less expensive `desktop` computers to emulate a parallel supercomputer. To demonstrate the viability of the software, it is being integrated with POV, a retracing package that is both computationally expensive and easily modified for parallel systems. The software was developed using the Metrowerks Codewarrier Version 6.0 compiler on amore » Power Macintosh 7500 computer. The software is designed to run on a cluster of power macs running system 7.1 or greater on an ethernet network. Currently, because of limitations of both the operating system and the Metrowerks compiler, the software is forced to make use of slower, high level communication interfaces. Both the operating system and the compiler software are under revision however, and these revisions will increase the performance of the system as a whole.« less
  • Pete Beckman, head of Argonne's Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF) talks about Argonne National Laboratory's green supercomputing—everything from designing algorithms to use fewer kilowatts per operation to using cold Chicago winter air to cool the machine more efficiently.
  • Pete Beckman, head of Argonne's Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF) talks about Argonne National Laboratory's green supercomputing—everything from designing algorithms to use fewer kilowatts per operation to using cold Chicago winter air to cool the machine more efficiently. Argonne was recognized for green computing in the 2009 HPCwire Readers Choice Awards. More at http://www.anl.gov/Media_Center/News/2009/news091117.html Read more about the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility at http://www.alcf.anl.gov/
  • Utilization of desktop computers in the academic environment is based on the same objectives as in the industrial environment - increased quality and efficiency. Desktop computers can be extremely useful teaching tools in two general areas: classroom demonstrations and homework assignments. Although differences in emphasis exist, tutorial programs share many characteristics with interactive software developed for the industrial environment. In the Reactor Design and Fuel Management course at the University of Maryland, several interactive tutorial programs provided by Energy analysis Software Service have been utilized. These programs have been designed to be sufficiently structured to permit an orderly, disciplined solutionmore » to the problem being solved, and yet be flexible enough to accommodate most problem solution options.« less
  • This presentation described the computing environment at Argonne National Laboratory and the actions underway to integrate personal desktop computers into a coherent hierarchy of computing systems connected through a heterogeneous file transfer network. We regard the arrival of personal desktop computers as both inevitable and benign, and we are pursuing policies to ensure that they are compatible with and complementary to the rest of the Laboratory's computer resources.