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Sandia, Compaq, and Celera To Build Petaflop Machine 113

Fact-o-matic writes: " Compaq, government weapons facility Sandia National Laboratories and genetics researcher Celera Genomics are teaming up to build a petaflop computer -- one that will process 1,000 trillion operations per second. To listen to an audio playback of today's press conference announcing the project, Celera has set up a phone-in recording: call (800) 642-1687, and enter the conference ID: 818790 You can read the joint press release or the Compaq press release"
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Sandia, Compaq, and Celera To Build Petaflop Machine

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    If the one in the story is busy, call 1-800-GOAT-SEX
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Ummm, if you read the press releases carefully, you'll figure out that these are parallelized systems. Lots of them... Several Alpha CPUs per box, with multiple gigabytes of memory apiece, lots of boxes running Tru64 UNIX tied together via high-speed interconnects. So, depending on your exact definition, it is a sort of (Beowulf?) cluster, and a very damned big one. Compaq has shipped other High Performance Technical Computing rigs to various customers, as well as conventional clusters, to Celera and other organizations working in the genetics space, along with very large disk farms running Fibre Channel. The press releases mention some of the other supercomputing sites.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Remember, this baby IS vastly parallel (10K-20K processors)...

    Have we suspended Moore's law? The ASCI Red (currently 2nd on the Top 500 list [top500.org]) has 9632 processors, and it broke the Teraflop boundary with plain ol' Pentium Pro processors--1996 technology. (It's since been upgraded) Now, say this vaporware computer shows up 9 years later, that will give processor performance roughly 2^6 of an improvement. With 10-20K processors, that's roughly 64-128 Teraflops, not a Petaflop.

    Now, 100-ish Teraflops is a lot more realistic than a petaflop, especially since this article [zdnet.co.uk] quotes a figure of 100, not 1000 Teraflops.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 19, 2001 @05:45PM (#494499)
    It's obvious people didn't read the press release before hitting their reply buttons. 1st: Compaq provides the hardware. Sandia and Celera cooperate on getting biotech applications to utilize the beast. Each company is throwing 4 million/year at the project for a few years. 2nd: A distributed, loose, confederation of machines, like SETI@home, can't solve the problems such a machine is designed for. There is way too much intercommunication required. 3rd: The press release indicates a 1000T machine, potentially. It doesn't give that as a goal. I believe the top of the indicated range is actually 100T. 3rd: Not in the press release, but allegedly reported in an industry rag (Computer World did someone say?) is that it's Linux. That's not what is planned. Someone's thinking Cplant. Cplant is reaching for a "top 10" spot on the top 500 list, one of the releases reports. Cplant doesn't even need to deliver 1T to accomplish that right now. 4th: Blue Gene is a special purpose machine. It's designed to solve one problem -- Protein folding. It is about as useful for Celera's problems as the IBM chess machines would be. Finally, as to the gov't controlling biotech for some implied dastardly deeds: Bunk! Can't you imagine folks at the national labs wanting to make positive contributions to humanity? If not, read their web pages: www.sandia.gov, www.lanl.gov, www.llnl.gov
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 19, 2001 @04:31PM (#494500)
    You betcha it's a LINUX computer. Here is the the Computer World link. [computerworld.com] Here is an excerpt: "The U.S. Department of Energy today said its Sandia National Laboratories are teaming up with Compaq Computer Corp. and a biotechnology company to develop a $150 million Linux-based supercomputer that's supposed to be capable of processing at least 100 trillion operations per second."

    "The Sandia labs and Celera Genomics Group in Rockville, Md., plan to work together on the project under a joint research and development agreement, with Houston-based Compaq as their technology provider. The planned system will be built around future versions of Compaq's AlphaServer SC supercomputer line and is being designed for use in complex applications in the fields of computational biology and life sciences...."

    "The prototype supercomputer will likely use 10,000 to 20,000 of Compaq's Alpha processors and is being budgeted at $150 million in current costs, according to Blake. He added that the first system could eventually lead to the development of a so-called "petacruncher" -- a machine capable of 1,000 teraflops -- by the end of the decade."

  • I seriously doubt it had anything to do with Slashdot posting it. That number has spread like wildfire via radio talk shows and such as well. I heard it on my local morning show when they called it up. Ingenious marketing campaign for the company in question by the way. Their phone bill is probably cheaper than it would have been to buy ads on TV and in newspapers to get the same coverage.
  • by peterjm ( 1865 ) on Friday January 19, 2001 @04:32PM (#494502)
    you do realize, don't you, that distributed systems aren't the answer for everything, right?
    projects like distributed.net and seti@home are perfect for distributed systems b/c the data analysis can be easily split into manageable sets which can be passed off to willing participants.
    If you are referring to something more along the lines of a beowulf cluster, then you should take a look at 3. of the beowulf faq [dnaco.net].
    In order for a cluster of machines to make a difference, that application has to be built for such a thing.

    hmm...wait a second, did I just respond to a troll?

    -Peter
  • Apparently not serious enough of an issue to convince you to log in to make a real discussion of it?
  • True, partly to nitpick and make excuses. But..

    It seems every one that parades an interest group on slashdot makes wild generalizations about the "evil" out there, evil business, evil government, evil science, evil technology, evil lawyers, evil this, evil that, trying to promote a serious interest on slashdot is worthless.

    Frankly all this activism is getting old on me.

    I will note the remark about peta flop is a little out of line, but they try to make themselves out to be the most extreme of the extreme groups and seem to get confused when no one agrees or understands them.

    The one thing that gets me is this:

    millions of innocent creatures die every day

    Do you even have real statistics to back THAT claim up? Millions of creatures die every day? I think that figure is a huge streatch even if it was replaced with every year. Come on, admit it, it is sensationalism.

    I am against animal abuse but I am also against sensationalism.
  • great so all of the people that are going to be interested in hearing the press conference SHOULD have an internet connection and could have easily DLed an mp3 of the conference.

    how big was their phone bill for this?
  • Well according to Computerworld it runs Linux. http://computerworld.com/cwi/story/0%2C1199%2CNAV4 7_STO56666_NLTpm%2C00.html
  • Is this the first time we have slashdotted a phone system ? "All circuits are busy now", heh! Way to go :)
  • The drug industry is the only private industry
    segment that can afford $100 million computing
    initiatives. Many of those fancy new drugs cost
    hundreds of dollars per month per prescription.
  • The US government generally is the only client
    with the funds to push computings' edge, i.e.
    that is systems over $20 million dollars.
    That buys 10 terflops now and by 2010 a petaflop.
    Now and then an industry will be doing good enough
    to buy the large machines- drugs, oil, Hollywood,
    but that is transient. The government has been
    supporting advanced computing since computers
    were invented around WWII, instutionalized in
    DARPA and the National Labs.
  • Been studied for many years since the mid 90s
    when the teraflop barrier was surpassed.
    Moore's Law predicts a factor of a thousand more
    or less in 15 years. The issues were whether
    conventional hardware and software development
    would make this next jump of a thousand,
    on radical new inventions would be needed.
    Currently it looks like the existing trend
    should squeak by, but physics will impede the
    next jump of a thousand to exaflops.
  • Celera's attempt at the human genome is to break up the genome into extra-small fragments, sequence them, and use a computer to reassemble them into the contiguous genome.

    The problem with this is that the human genome has lots of repetitive sequence which make it hard to identify what fragment goes where.

    Compare to the government-funded approach of first breaking up the genome into manageable chunks of known location and size, then break those up into smaller extra-small chunks and then re-assemble those. Then you know what you've already done, and where you've got gaps.

    Obviously taking fragments from all over the genome and assembling is going to take a significant amount of processing power, much more than it would take to just do one smaller manageable chunk of the genome.
  • Here we have Sandia, a government-funded laboratory working with Celera, who wants to privatize the genome, patenting interesting bits and selling access to their database for the rest at extremely large dollar amounts per user.

    Now correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm seeing something wrong here.

    So technically not only are our tax dollars funding the government-funded Human Genome Project, we are also paying a national laboratory to help develop a supercomputer for commercial interests, correct?

    Sandia Lab and the Human Genome Proejct are both run by the US Department of Energy, so I certainly seem to see a conflict of interest here... anyone else?
  • by GC ( 19160 )
    I really am sorry, I just can't help myself...

    ... but Imagine a beowulf cluster of these...

  • Okay, I'll agree I might be wrong about Myrinet not working with Alpha linux, but the AlphaServer SC is based on Tru64.

  • I think that the article is wrong. AlphaServer SC is Compaq's supercomputer cluster technology based on Tru64 Unix. I don't think there is any
    Linux support for the high speed interconnect that they use (Myrinet)
  • ...they're dropping "Celera", and shortening their name to Genom. With their newfound electronics partners, they plan to go into android design.
    ---
  • Genom is the name of the huge company that makes "Boomers" or semi-biological androids which are probably the most important part of the economy in their fictional world.

    (Bubblegum Crisis is a Japanese animated series, about chicks in power armor fighting the Boomers; an overrated one, IMHO)
    ---
  • The answer is easy:

    Because it's possible.

    After they've done it, people will have no problem finding ways to exploit it to the maximum.

    It's always been the same with any new advance in computing technology.
  • This looks like a bigger, faster, beter computer like the ones that are used to simulate bombs which is the primary job of Sandia labs and the DOE's research. This box does not look like it will be all that fast for the types of things needed for geome matching.

    Geome matching needs a nice long word (65k bits?) registers and a fast word sized barrel shifter/comparator. That is what is need to search for sequences that appear in several places.

    Cray computer company (not Cray Research) were building a device like this for the nice spooks at the NSA when they decided they didn't need it anymore an cancled the contract. That box looked like it was designed from the ground up to do research on very long bit streams (say RSA type keys) but they canceled the project after paying something like 90% of the box and the bits that had been built were distroyed. Too bad that machine didn't see the light of day, it would have been great for finding patterns in DNA sequences.
  • ...If it will get slashdotted..... in a recent Quickies, they had a phone number to some insurance company or something, and it had like "Press 7 to hear a duck quack", and a duck quacked.. stupid, but it made quickies, anyway, that number stopped working, it got slashdotted, it was funny... and since this is a single story with that number and not a list of mini stories (quickies), im sure itll get more calls... slashdot the phone systems! :)
  • nah, i think slashdot could take it down , and did :)... we're the type of people who tell 50 of our friends, probably before we even try it ourselves, and when we do, we are so easily ammused that we phonebookmark it and keep calling over and over... im sure we slashdotted their phone number... or at least the phone companies billing statement printing machine :)
  • Wrong. Alpha Linux works fine with Myrinet. What you get with Tru64 however is a more optimized OS for the Alpha platform. Side by side comparisons of the same platform, one running Tru64 and one running Linux, shows that Tru64 is about 2-10% faster, depending on what you are doing.

    I have no doubt that over time, that gap will close significantly when things like page coloring and other performance optimizations are built into the Linux kernel.

    One thing Linux has over Tru64 is that there's alot more drivers for alot more peripherals. Myrinet, Dolphin, 1000Mb ethernet, etc, all work just fine on Alpha Linux. All are used, depending on the application, by folks in the HPC (high performance computing) world.
  • ... that a phone number has been slashdotted. although I'm probably wrong about that. :-)
  • Petaflops? Isn't one trillion operations a teraflop? I thought petaflop would be one quadrillion operations a second...

    ------------

  • "government weapons facility Sandia National Laboratories and genetics researcher Celera Genomics are teaming up"

    Does that phrase scare you as much as it does me?
    I assumed it would be for nuke simulation till I saw that. This strikes me as somehow worse.
    The real Eight Star misses Technocrat.
  • Your link didn't work.
  • I was sorta thinking they should use Solaris on it. Solaris does SMP really, really, really well.

    Then I got to thinking... why not Linux? They are already going to spend doubtless tens or hundreds of millions of dollars on it, so improving SMP is probably not too tricky. Additionally, there are at least two Real Time implementations for Linux that I know of.

    They can tweak the hell out of it because they have the entire source code in a mostly unrestricted form. Sun's kernel is "free" but you have to pay for it after using a certain number of CPUs. Also, the Solaris kernel is designed to be constantly defragmenting memory. That's why it runs so slow (which is where the "Slowaris" moniker comes from). They aren't running a high-end Web server sitting on an OC3, so this constant memory defragmentation is probably detrimentatl; the data structures they will be working with will be unbelievably huge, and if the kernel spends time trying to optimize allocation, it's going to choke down to a halt.

    So yeah, I think it was a wise decision to use Linux. Since they are not going to be releasing binaries, they are under no obligation to provide the kernel patches, but if they're nice they will. Linux could really use better SMP support. As far as the heaviness of the kernel, you can build a very lightweight kernel by just turning off all the stupid crap in 'make menuconfig'. :) - They can also turn off a lot of stuff by manually editing the kernel source, as they doubtlessly will.

  • how so?
  • Just the opposite. Sandia labs has had several agreements with private corporations to help do research where the corporation didn't have the physical resources, but was able to share in the costs. It not only returns government dollars to civilian areas, but ensures that the technology does not end up only in "spook shops," plus it makes government research cheaper in taxes.
  • ... because they're all petaphiles
  • The AlphaServer SC machines don't use myrinet, they use quadrics interconnect and routers. You can find more about quadrics at www.quadrics.com
  • by cstew ( 96019 ) on Friday January 19, 2001 @04:18PM (#494533) Homepage
    How long 'till the 800 number says that all lines are full?
  • by alexhmit01 ( 104757 ) on Saturday January 20, 2001 @12:07AM (#494534)
    Moore's law is a flippant statement that happens to hold true. It is no more "law" than the Monroe Doctrine was, it just happened to work.

    We can double the transistor density whenever we want. Economic factors will effect it as will government research policies.

    There is no need to exceed Moore's law, you could just increase the number of processors. However, if we need to increase faster, we can, we just pump money into engineering research.

    There are laws of physics - these can't be broken (although the law could be changed if we had a problem)
    There are laws of society/traffic - these can be broken but you can get in trouble
    There are historical trends with cool names that include law... these can be broken whenever someone is in the mood too...
  • no, this doesnt suspend Moore's Law it only by passes it. Moores Law is only in reference to the density of transistors on a chip. This machine uses massive parallel proccessing to compensate for the transistor density on the individual chips.
  • no it doesnt, specifically because the DENSITY of the transistors has increased and not just the total number of transistor. and this comp is not a petaflop machine it is a 100teraflop machine, they hope to someday build a petaflop computer using the technowlogy developed in this prototype. because of this your calculations are wrong.
  • Is it just me or you sound like you're clueless? "petaflops" are not something anybody designs but a mesure of the computer's speed. This has nothing to do with genetics.
  • Actually, as far as I can tell, they aren't going to be using this computer for nuclear research/testing. It's being jointly developed by some biotech company, and there's a lot of marketing blather about how great genomics and biotech is.

  • by dvk ( 118711 ) on Friday January 19, 2001 @04:27PM (#494539) Homepage
    > Why do we need a computer this fast? What can it
    > do that can't be done by a distributed system?

    Not every possible computation can be made distributed without major performance loss. Remember, this baby IS vastly parallel (10K-20K processors), but the inter-processor communications are way faster than any network, and some problems that can be parallelized aren't easily distributed.

    Also, i doubt you want nuke research done on the same set of systems running SETI@Home :-)

    -DVK

  • "...one that will process 1,000 trillion operations per second. To listen to an audio playback of today's press conference announcing the project, Celera has set up a phone-in recording..."

    But of course the entire one hour interview lasts only one one thousandth of a second.

    :-)

  • I will post under my real name and so I ask you to explain how 'human' life is more important than 'seal' life? They are both living organisms, and I don't think that you can use any kind of measurement to say that one organism's life is worth more or less than another's.


  • Much as I hate to join in these silly flame pickles, I don't think (as your login suggests) that pet owning is slavery. Indeed, many pets have shown a commensalism with man over many hundreds of years (dogs, cows). What would have happened to the stupid cow if we hadn't found a use for it? Well, they wouldn't be nearly as abundant today, that's for sure. They gauranteed the survival of their species by being a use to us. You'll find the same things elsewhere, such as lichens.

  • by rgmoore ( 133276 ) <glandauer@charter.net> on Friday January 19, 2001 @04:55PM (#494543) Homepage

    It's more that both of them need serious computing power than that they're thinking about biowarfare. Bioinformatics has the potential to use truly monstrous amounts of processing power. Assembling a genome that's been shotgun sequenced is going to require serious computational horsepower, and Celera wants to start pumping out genomes left and right. Annotating the things is also going to be pretty brutal, although with a few genomes as roadmaps this may be a bit less trouble. Any way you slice it, though, you're talking about needing massive number crunching power, and nobody knows more about that kind of things right now than the nuke simulation boys at Sandia, who are currently being encouraged to branch out and do more than weapons development. It's a reasonable match.

  • "Why do we need a computer this fast?"

    Wow! I had to double check I was still reading Slashdot! That was one sentance I NEVER thought I would read here... Let's take a brief trip down memory lane:

    "The world probably won't ever need more than a half dozen computers or so to fulfill its computing needs."

    Or how about,

    "Computers will never need more that 640KB"

    My point is, decades from now, even a petaflop will probably look tame.

  • by fraggleyid ( 134125 ) on Saturday January 20, 2001 @01:52AM (#494545)
    I do a lot of research into Biological Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Protein-Substrate interactions. When you consider that there are often several thousand amino acids in a protein, each amino-acid has a goodly number of atoms. Each of those atoms occupy multiple dimensions of space and at least one of time. Each of those atoms also have other properties such as velocity, electrostatic properties, physical size, covalent bonds to other atoms etc, and each of those atoms have to interact with an large number of other atoms.... (And I'm not even taking into account Quantum Mechanics). Forget galaxy collisions, Biomolecular Dynamics is a tough cookie. Believe me one of these babies would be really quite useful.
  • "Man has advanced beyond that to educate himself in the areas of the arts and sciences and to create new tools and technology."

    This is incorrect. Research has shown that other animals, whales for instance, have a similar understanding and appreciation of music. I point you to this article:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2001/01/09/science/09MUSI.h tml .
    Indeed, some species have advanced past "fscking and eating and sleeping."

  • Imagine the fighting it will bring inside the company on who's gonna be the lucky ass playing quake after-hours on that baby :)
  • I think this is a wonderful thing, reguardless of whether it actually accomplishes anything. If the recession hits the IT market hard, and it will, it's large projects like this which will keep people like me employable 4 or 5 years down the line.

    I wonder how long it will be before there are men standing on street corners with signs, "Will code for food" or "Will hack for clothing".

    The economy is cyclical. It's going to happen. And when people have to tighten their belts, you better believe all these techno-toys are going to be one of the first things to go. So hold on while you can, find a job that isn't going anywhere (government is a great place for that kind of stuff) and hope for more projects like this.

    - W

  • Explain how 'human' life is more important than 'vegetable' life? (or mushrooms or insects or whatever you eat) They are both living organisms, and I don't think that you can use any kind of measurement to say that one organism's life is worth more or less than another's.
  • --Man if i had my mod points you'd be so modded up
  • What video card does it have? Does it come loaded with Office 2000? Can I play NASCAR 4 on it?
  • There is no reason for a government weapons lab to spend money from its budget unless there is some benefit to be reaped for the organization itself.

    Listen. Sandia is a DOE lab, and the DOE has its hand in all sorts of pure scientific research [energy.gov] that has nothing to do with the military. Sandia is only partly a weapons lab and pure research is exactly the purpose of much of the DOE budget.

  • <Dr. Evil Voice>

    1. "Why process quadrillions, when we can process... billions?"

    </Dr. Evil Voice>

  • There goes the neighborhood. Just when there isn't enough power in PG&E territory, some feds are gonna suck even more power from the grid. Not in my back yard, dammit. ;^)

    When it's not crunching numbers at 1000 Tflops, will they at least shut down unused parts of the cluster to be wake-on-LAN?

    -ez

  • Compaq personal computers were the worst practial joke played on the market, with quality being the last priority considered. now we are supposed to belive they can build a supercomp that fast? Wotta joke. All I wanna know is will it run slakware? Can I play Halflife on it? Will it be used to do anything but add another tens of billions of dollars to some corporations bottom line? I wanna piece of that.
  • Dunno, but after that thing's been /. for a a day or two, their budge might be tapped, and they'll just have to make do with a few XTs and some arcnet.
  • What, they couldn't spare some computing power to make the audio available on the web?!?! They are using crusty old technology like a conference call and a phone?

    Sarcasm aside... that seems a little backwards for someone working on a fricken' PETEFLOP machine.

    E.
    www.randomdrivel.com [randomdrivel.com] -- All that is NOT fit to link to
  • by Alien54 ( 180860 ) on Friday January 19, 2001 @05:42PM (#494558) Journal
    Well, companies have been pattentting gene sequences left and right.

    Problem is, the doin't know what the genes actually do, for most of them.

    So the extra computing power has to go into sorting this out, and figuring what they mean, the grammar of the genes.

    The only thing I can think of, that would be like that, would be the old translating of the rosetta stone.

    Now that was a political text. Now what if the text had actually be a discussion of the subatomic particle reactions that take place in a matter/antimatter reactor? The task of translating for Napoleons archeologists would have been much harder, even *if* the ancient greek had been in "clear text", because archeologists did not know higher mathematics, etc. Probably, it would have been seen as a *really* obscure alchemy or religious text.

    So now we have a similar task. Knowing the letters and a few "words" of the genome does not mean anything like knowing the design principles that are incorporated into a strand of DNA. DNA is all compiled coded, and we are trying to manually de-compile it. Then reconstruct the source.

  • What about TMBG's dial-a-song? Didn't we kill that one pretty well?

  • I'd be real interested to know if Compaq will be pouring epoxy into the dipswitches of this machine like they did to my Presario laptop.
  • You might wanna just record that phone call into an audio file and just mirror it somewhere, because a toll free number is very expensive for those who own one and I'd hate to see the slashdot effect on that company. spend dollars on R&D not the phone bill!!!

    just a thought...

  • The Computer World article you link to is just a summary of Compaq's press release (read the first sentence of the article). The real press release does not say that the new super computer will use Linux as the OS. In fact, from the press release: Compaq and Sandia will collaborate on the development of system hardware and software. Both have extensive experience with supercomputers based on Alpha. The one and only mention of Linux in the entire press release: Sandia currently operates the most powerful Linux-based supercomputer in existence, Cplant[tm], which employs more than 1600 Alpha processors. As you can see, it is a previous (and much-less powerful) supercomputer that was running Linux.

  • This particular joint effort is for biomedical data mining, not bioweapons. The US Department of Energy (funding the folks at Sandia) has funded many *purely* biological research projects that are not at all connected with bioweapons research. For another story on this project, see: http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010119/bs/health _genome_dc_3.html [yahoo.com]
  • come to think of it, it's always FLOPS, not FLOP too...
  • build a petaflop computer -- one that will process 1,000 trillion operations per second

    petaFLOP == 1,000 trillion FLOATING POINT Operations Per Second.

    It turns out that the author of the article linked to uses the term to mean 1,000 trillion ops/sec too. I think this is correctly called 1,000 TIPS (trillions insturctions per second), although IPS is usually not that commonly quoted.

  • by Spazntwich ( 208070 ) on Friday January 19, 2001 @04:24PM (#494566)
    PETA won't stand for this. I can already see the lawsuit's coming, along with the spraypainted keyboard's and silicon is murder signs. *sigh*
    ---
  • Imagine how big a Beowulf cluster you could simulate on one of these things!
  • does that make me a petaphile? :)
  • I'll keep that in mind next time your are attacked by an Crocodile... or a nest of wasps.
  • Mmmm... cheesy....
  • I say AFC Archville, followed by British. The others are just ridiculous and silly, not so much stupid.
  • Would you rather a Japanese corporation own the Genome, or an American corporation? Wow, that would make for a cool war...
  • by deeznutsclan ( 211769 ) on Friday January 19, 2001 @06:10PM (#494573) Homepage
    I don't understand why they would choose Linux, or any other bloated POS operating system for this type of project. They are doing nothing with graphical display, or user interaction, etc. No funky peripherals. All they need is:

    • An ethernet driver
    • A simple networking layer
    • Standardized disk drivers for virtual memory and input/output set storage
    These things are glorified calculators -- you don't need a 'real' OS -- just build on top of a simple embedded/RT systems OS! This would likely yield small performance gains and save on maintenance, setup and support costs. Of course, you would have to standardize on hardware, but if you're building the thing from scratch (as opposed to just clustering a bunch of PCs around the office/lab), then you probably would anyways.
  • IBM is creating a petaflop supercomputer, called "Blue Gene", for the Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago. It also is being used for genetics research and, more specifically, simulations of protien folding. These systems are not just lots of processors and memory, but huge arrays of disks and tape farms. The IBM systems was priced at $100 Million US Dollars.
  • "The number of UNIX installations has grown to 10, with more expected."
    -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June 1972
  • 10 * 100 trillion = 1 quadrillion.
    Read a little closer next time.
  • by AFCArchvile ( 221494 ) on Friday January 19, 2001 @05:30PM (#494577)
    "...one that will process 1,000 trillion operations per second..."

    And that would be one quadrillion. Come on, don't be so afraid to say quadrillion. I know you can.

  • Good Lord, giving a phone number on Slashdot is just plain mean, noone will be able to hear it....
  • "It's scientifically known that eating meat is not neccessary. Humans do not need meat in their diet, all they need is fruit and vegetables (uncooked)."

    Although people do not require meat, they do in most enviroments require the nutrition provided by meat. I make that distinction because beware, your health is in serious risk of you disregard this fact. We have the adaptions of an omnivore, our bodies can process meat so I think our bodies are made to take advantage of it. You must find substitutes for meat nutritionaly. I'm not a vegitarian but I like to eat and cook vegitarian. Try nutritional yeast, its very tastey and has nessisary vitamin B12 (If I remember correctly).

    "Think of the sentient beings that died, and you are eating every time you put a steak in your mouth. I heard they eat horses in France. If they tried to eat one of my polo ponies, I would be extremely pissed off. "

    Your pony is your property. It probably enjoys this status... I've heard other forms of life eat animals. What of a lower sentient form like a shark eating a dolphin? What of a Whale eating plankton? What of a lion eating a human? Its all about nature and survival. Life is a limited resource all creatures try to make the best of it. We can observe this. This is something of interest to life that can contemplate it.

    "No, there is no excuse for eating meat. Horses don't need meat, cows don't need meat, monkeys don't need meat - and neither do humans, in fact, no living being needs cooked food at all, for that matter."

    Its not an excuse, its a life style. Ask any human eating lion...

  • It's petaops not petaflops. Different things. Just making sure you got it right.
  • Check again!

    ...a computer that can perform 100 trillion calculations per second--100 "teraflops"--by 2004...
    --That's not 1000 trillion, it's 100.
    ...will result in a "petaflop" machine 10 times faster, the same speed as the Blue Gene machine under design at IBM.
    That's where you got 1000 trillion from. It never said 1000 trillion.

  • I promised myself I would never stoop so low as to post a comment like this...

    Voice telling me not to post fading...

    fading...

    ... fading...

    gone =)

    A petaflop computer, running linux...

    IMAGINE A BEOWULF CLUSTER OF THESE!!!!!

    Sorry everyone, it's late and I saw that number and almost dropped a load when I saw it. Let the flames begin ;)

  • I thought we did that with a bank and a duck some time back

    (p.s. couldn't seem to (be bothered to) find the article).

  • I found it QUACK! [slashdot.org]

    1-800-888-3999, and select option 7

    Still works

  • Since when did it require those kind of system resources to run Gnome. Op... no wait... Genome... nevermind.
  • I'm not sure, but maybe using a Linux variant is cheaper?

    Not that that matters much, considering the development costs...
  • You might very well call it a beowulf cluster in and of itself...
  • I suppose this computer, financed in part by Celera Genomics, will be called the "Celeron".
  • by Dwedit ( 232252 ) on Friday January 19, 2001 @04:18PM (#494589) Homepage
    Yay!
    I'm glad all that crazy animal rights group flopped!
  • Porn 1 trillion times faster.... ahhhh ::homer drool::
  • Complex mathematical calculations can be broken up into many different processor routines. I know the fortran programs my father writes to analyse spin/ other NMR data would take 200-300 days to run on a 600 mhz pIII with 256 megs ram. He just adds some MPIS commands into the program to tell the supercomputer how to break up the processes among the processors (haha -- ). This reduces the time from 100's of days to a number of hours on 128 processors (which he receives use of under a grant).

  • or can you tell me your info source?
  • Remember, this baby IS vastly parallel (10K-20K processors)...

    I'm sure glad Intel doesn't have a hand in this. Holy Global Warming!



    I'd rather be a unix freak than a freaky eunuch
  • You know, I worked out by Sandia [sandia.gov] for a while and the type of people there are not hip leet computer builders who want to make this thing for the same reason people climb Everest and real investigative science happens.

    They want the government to determine the course of genetic research, or at least the course of the distribution of information produced by genome research.

    They don't care about the petaflop. Petaflops will be designed in many forms. And one that takes this many processors is not industrially replicable, anyway. So Compaq gets some advanced r&d but very little salable out of this collaboration.

  • uh, no.

    I'm what you might call a formulations development chemist. That means, when a client comes to us with a drug, I figure out how to get the proper release profile from the depot formulation that is to be used. That means I'm required to know organic chemistry, pharaceutical chemistry, pharmacokinetics, and polymer chemistry. Oddly, it does not require driving a truck.

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened. -- Winston Churchill

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