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100 Teraflop Cray to Use Opterons 277

ackthpt writes "Code named Red Storm, Cray and Sandia National Laboratories (US Dept. of Energy) to build a 100 Teraflop super computer employing AMD's Opteron (Hammer) processors. Alluded to in the WSJ (non-free-as-in-beer subscription required), also in Infoworld, and Reuters."
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100 Teraflop Cray to Use Opterons

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  • by JPelorat ( 5320 ) on Monday October 21, 2002 @04:08PM (#4498575)
    There's something comic-bookish about that name... maybe it's just cos it sounds like a Transformer.
  • Wow! (Score:3, Funny)

    by daeley ( 126313 ) on Monday October 21, 2002 @04:08PM (#4498583) Homepage
    Dang! Just imagine a Beow--

    Ah, never mind.

    (Shuffle, shuffle.)
  • by zmalone ( 542264 ) <wzm AT pylae DOT com> on Monday October 21, 2002 @04:10PM (#4498594) Homepage
    This sort of thing must just be braking all the classic Crayons hearts. I mean, people were getting upset when Cray started building the T3 series Alpha based stuff, nowadays they are cooperating with Dell and making AMD based clusters. At least they have a new [cray.com] vector machine coming out soon.
    • Relax, they could always overclock them and use liquid nitrogen cooling. ;-)

      You can't imagine how this deal has to leave Intel smarting.

    • by anzha ( 138288 ) on Monday October 21, 2002 @04:30PM (#4498795) Homepage Journal

      Yes...and no. What we have been upset by is that people have been trying to shoehorn in all problem sets to MPPs and clusters. There are problems which do so, and do so well.

      HOWEVER! Not all do by any stretch. Certain problems map well onto certain architectures.

      The second reason is that quite frankly, clusters are boring. Rack, after rack of parts I can buy at Fry's or as a workstation just doesn't have much interest for us. I mean, where's the excitement in thousands of PCs...It's kewl for about 30 seconds and then you have to deal with teh headaches of keeping it up and running...

      I'd love to have dozens of interesting architectures running around, not just vector, cluster, and MPP. If five of them could be spun out of slashdot - yeah, right - or anywhere, then we'd be very happy campers.

    • This sort of thing must just be braking all the classic Crayons hearts.

      Especially those which got phased out in the age of political correctness like indian Red and Prussian Blue. [enquirer.com]

      Never thought I'd ever be linking to the Enquirer. I feel dirty.

  • Cool.. but (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 21, 2002 @04:10PM (#4498598)
    I wonder if it will be as fast as the computer William Shatner and Priceline.com use?
    • I seriously doubt it would be that fast. Even though, I am just hoping it is hi-tech enough to make the cool bepp and boop sounds like the Priceline Supercomputer does in the commercials. Does anyone know how many Teraflops teh Priceline Supercomputer is? Or is it faster than we can even measure?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 21, 2002 @04:10PM (#4498600)
    ...building a supercomputer as a cluster of commodity off-the-shelf personal computers, interconnected with a local area network technology like Ethernet, and running programs written for parallel processing out of those!
  • hmmm... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I wonder if those are PR ratings that they're throwing out!

    If the Opteron's anything like my T-bird, that supercomputer's going to melt a hole to the center of the earth a la Chernobyl.
  • by anzha ( 138288 ) on Monday October 21, 2002 @04:15PM (#4498654) Homepage Journal

    Cray and Sandia say it is a 40 tera*OP* system, not a 100 teraflop one. See what Cray says here [cray.com] and what Sandia says here [sandia.gov] The really interesting thing is not the processor, but rather the interconnect which seems to be very similar to the torus used in the T3E [cray.com].

    In other supercomputing news, check out what NERSC [nersc.gov] is proposing for their Earth Simulator Response Proposal [nersc.gov]. It's a 160 teraflop machine...

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Since the expression "100 teraflop" contains no time related unit, it probably refers to the total number of flop that will be delivered by the system running at 40 teraflop/s before its predicted meltdown after 2.5 s.
  • additional link (Score:2, Informative)

    by twocents ( 310492 )
  • by drhairston ( 611491 ) on Monday October 21, 2002 @04:16PM (#4498667) Homepage
    "Cray Chairman and CEO Jim Rottsolk said Red Storm reflects Cray's strategy to deliver high-efficiency, high bandwidth supercomputer systems. "Red Storm embodies the same design philosophy as our new Cray X1(TM) vector-based product in a highly cost-effective superscalar architecture and will be a key initiative for Cray."

    Quoted from the Cray Press Release [cray.com].

    Ah, I remember my days on the venerable Cray Y-MP, optimizing my programs for vector processing. I am unsure how Cray has managed to make a combined parallel-vector machine like the Y-MP [uiuc.edu] out of PC chips provided by AMD, but I do not envy the programmers who must now begin the task of vector-optimizing their code to take advantage of this beast.

    I had hoped that this idea died with Cray. Apparently not.
  • Heating issues? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Spazholio ( 314843 ) <slashdot@lexal. n e t> on Monday October 21, 2002 @04:16PM (#4498669) Homepage
    Now, I know that my little ol' Athlon runs hot as a mother, so I can't imagine the cooling necessary to keep this baby running at an optimal temperature. Last I heard (and I could be mistaken), Crays were cooled by bring submerged in liquid nitrogen, and more recently with some sort of liquid plasma cooling (don't ask me, I have NO idea how something like that would work). Does anyone have any information on how they're going to keep this thing from incinerating itself the moment it's turned on?
    • I'd imagine some sort of phase-change system (same as an air conditioning unit uses).

      For 90 mill, I doubt you'd see a bay bus with a bunch of Delta 80mm fans..
    • Re:Heating issues? (Score:5, Informative)

      by ketamine-bp ( 586203 ) <calvin@[ ]ta.mine.nu ['k.e' in gap]> on Monday October 21, 2002 @04:33PM (#4498817)
      for the AMD CPU's, they use Liquid N2 with phase-change system (as described in prev. posts).

      for the part of 'plasma cooling', it's similar (in non-scientific term) to laser cooling, which relates to absorbing momentum. (you may want to find some information on the plasma section of http://www.arxiv.org/ if you want to know 'bout that.)
    • Re:Heating issues? (Score:5, Informative)

      by fgodfrey ( 116175 ) <fgodfrey@bigw.org> on Monday October 21, 2002 @04:51PM (#4498907) Homepage
      Crays have never been cooled by liquid nitrogen or any other super-cold liquid. The explanation for this that was given to me is that the super-cooling causes too great a temperature change to keep the parts reliable as they have to be warmed up every time they are turned on.

      The Cray 1 and Cray X-MP were cooled by a freon-cooled cold plate. The Y-MP, C90, T3D, and T3E have a chilled liquid called Flourinert (some derivative of an artificial blood plasma, I believe, which is made by 3M) cirulating through a cold plate between boards. The Cray 2 and Cray T90 were cooled by being immersed in a vat of Flourinert. The Y-MP/EL, J90, and SV1 are all air cooled. The X1 (aka SV2) is cooled by spraying Flourinert onto the chips.

      I believe, though I'm not 100% certain, that this system will be air cooled, presumably by lots of big fans :)

    • Re:Heating issues? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Dukebytes ( 525932 ) <dukebytes@yaCOLAhoo.com minus caffeine> on Monday October 21, 2002 @04:54PM (#4498940) Homepage
      Good question - can't imagine the heat that it would generate.
      Found this on the web -

      http://www.cs.uu.nl/wais/html/na-dir/computer/syst em/cray/faq.html

      "Keeping it cool - The development of Cray cooling technology allowed each technology generation to increase the circuit board density.
      "Someone (perhaps Gary Smaby? I truly don't remember) once said that Cray Research was primarily a refrigerator company."

      Cray-1: Single sided boards clamped to copper plates placed in aluminium racks that had cooling fluid in tubes.
      XMP: Double side sandwich boards clamped to twin copper plates placed in aluminium racks which had cooling fluid in tubes.
      Cray-2,3,4: Immersion cooling. The CPU and memory boards sat in a bath of electrically inert cooling fluid.
      YMP, C90, T3d LC, T3e MC: Double-sided circuit boards clamped to hollow aluminium boards in which the cooling fluid circulated.
      El,J90,T3eAC,SV-1: Blown air cooling.
      T90: Immersion cooling. The CPU and memory boards sat in a bath of electrically inert cooling fluid."

      I was up close and personal with an older Cray once - it was basically a tower of CPUs and very very short cables - and a whole bunch of cooling "units" srounding it. They were built into something like bench seats - the tech that was showing us around said they put those in so the guys could sit down and rest once in a while in peace :).


    • Re:Heating issues? (Score:4, Informative)

      by subgeek ( 263292 ) on Monday October 21, 2002 @04:57PM (#4498962) Homepage Journal
      one thing the opteron will have going for it is a heat spreader. intel uses this technique on the p4. it allows better heat transference and a larger surface area so the temperature is more spread out. one of the reasons athlons are hot is because a lot of work is done in a small area.

      another is silicon-on-insulator (soi) where a layer of glass insulates each layer of silicon from the next. this allows lower voltages to be used because there is less interferance.

      but even after all of that the opteron might run cooler than your athlon, but probably still run hotter than an intel chip at the same clock speed. check out the article on www.tomshardware.com (to lazy to look up the link) and take a look at the basic opteron heat sink requirements. must have copper contact area. bolts to mobo, not to socket (probably to cover for the added weight of the copper).

      but that's just the regular opteron set-up.

      wait, i forgot, amd fire comments are funny, right? maybe you didn't want discussion. too late now.
      • Heat spreaders aren't really that great when it comes to actually making the chip run cooler, all they do is exactly what their name suggests, they spread heat.

        The reason why this is a good thing is that modern processors do not generate their heat evenly, so you might have the bottom left 25% of the chip generating 50W, while the other 75% of the chip is mostly idle, only generating a few watts here or there. This is a bad thing for a variety of reasons, beyond the obvious fact that one area has to be cooled more than others. When it comes to actually dissipating the heat though, what you want is to get this heat into the furthest corners of the heatsink as quickly as possible. This is why copper inlays are a good thing for heatsinks (they spread the heat away from the hot core towards the edges of the heatsink faster than aluminium does), however even aluminium conducts heat a lot better than the P4's heat spreaders do.

        This sort of thing is, presumably, less of a problem for the Athlon as compared to the P4 simply due to die sizes. The P4 is a MUCH larger die (nearly twice the size) when compared to the Athlon. So, while the distance between the hottest and coldest points in an Athlon are always going to be quite small, they can be relatively large on a P4.

        As for fixing the heatsink to the motherboard instead of the socket, this is a damn good thing if you ask me. AMD originally thought that this would be how things would be done with the Athlon, and specified 4 holes around the socket to do just such a thing. You can even buy heatsinks that attach this way (my Athlon is cooled by just such a heatsink, an Alpha PAL 8045), however the vast majority of heatsink designers just flat out ignored these holes and just attached to the heatsink. Intel was a bit more forcefull, and absultely required ALL heatsinks to attached either to the motherboard or even to bolt to the case itself (the first P4s, those that came in a socket 423 package, required a special case that the heatsink bolted on to). Intel's currently design of using clips to clamp the heatsink down to the motherboard is a fairly good one IMO, though it does put an awful lot of strain on the board. AMD's plan for the Hammer/Opteron is similar, and it looks like they're going to try to avoid some of the motherboard bending/strain, however it remains to be seen just how well it will work in practice.

        In any case, it remains to be seen just what the power consumption of the Hammer processors will be. The only thing that is for certain is that they will use a LOT less power than their Intel counterparts (which, in this particular case, are the Itaniums, which use roughly twice as much power as the hottest running Athlons). IBM's Power4 chips also pump out huge amounts of heat, so relative to these competitors chips, AMD's Opteron could be a fairly low-power solution.
    • I'm just waiting for Tom's Hardware to do a video with one of these supercomputers in the event of "total cooling failure." Of course, total cooling failure would mean something like the cooling system springs a leak, all the cooling liquid runs out on the floor, the copper cooling panels "fall off" (just like those damned heatsinks are always doing), the laws of thermodynamics are modified by God, and Q decides to change the gravitational constant of the universe bringing the earth unusually close to the sun. This all will likely cause the Opteron CPUs to smoke and burn out, giving Tom an opportunity to point out that if the Pentium 4 were used, it would just slow down to 10 frames per second when playing Quake 3.

      Doh! Gotta end this post, the damned heatsink just fell off my Athlon again. Those wacky fucking heatsinks always jumping off.
      • Yeah, my heatsink just commited suicide too!

        Apparently gripping onto all three tabs on each side of the socket just isn't enough!

        We need to devise a solution where the heatsink and CPU are permanantly joined! Yeah, that's the ticket!

        Just don't hit the heatsink, or you'll rip the die clean off the board.
  • from the infoworld report:
    The machine, code-named Red Storm, will require over 16,000 microprocessors to achieve that performance level, according to a researcher quoted in the Journal report.

    This can be rephrased easily into
    The machine, named code-red Storm, will require over 16,000 microprocessors' performance level to archive that, according to a researcher quoted in the Journal report.

    oh well.

  • Water cooled (Score:3, Interesting)

    by djstrehl ( 617404 ) on Monday October 21, 2002 @04:21PM (#4498724)
    This will be really cool because I would imagine this will be water cooled like Cray's other computers. I can see the online adds now.. "Personal water cooling setup. As seen on the Cray Red Storm"
    • See my post above. Crays in the past were cooled by 3 things, none of them water: Freon, Flourinert, and air. Circulating large amounts of water through a system that uses as much power as ours do is, well, a bit on the risky side :)
  • by jukal ( 523582 ) on Monday October 21, 2002 @04:21PM (#4498725) Journal
    Indeed, things do not look very good for AMD. Is there any AMD believers to explain how they will survive through next year? A $254 million loss in a quarter is not very convincing. Apparently, the have had to take a huge risk with putting the money in the design of this "new generation". Is it good enough?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      A $254 million loss in a quarter is not very convincing

      Find me a US company that didn't lose money last quarter. And anybody who uses Arthur Anderson doesn't count.
      • > Find me a US company that didn't lose money last quarter. And anybody who uses Arthur Anderson doesn't count.

        Here [intel.com]'s one. I don't know whether they use AA or not :)
        SANTA CLARA, Calif., Oct. 15, 2002 - Intel Corporation today announced third-quarter revenue of $6.5 billion, up 3 percent sequentially and flat year-over-year. Third-quarter net income was $686 million, up 54 percent sequentially and up 547 percent year-over-year. Earnings per share were $0.10, up 43 percent sequentially and up 400 percent from $0.02 in the third quarter of 2001.

        • Intel has a lot of lines of business. If you consider each line of business, each product class, individually, Intel is likely to lose money on 64-bit
          CPUs for a long time to come, while AMD is likely to
          make money on them very soon, just on the basis of
          currently disclosed bookings, not even considering
          the established performance issues and the expected
          importance of 64-bit x86 extensions in the Linux
          server space. Intel is making some money on the P4
          line, and a LOT of money on glue chips and embedded
          RISC CPUs, but Itanic is a terrible looser, as it
          always has been. Itanic 2 is likely to be the
          last generation, unless they are dead set on
          throwing good money after bad until their engineers
          can pull the bacon out of the fire with some
          as yet uninvented virtuoso trick.

      • GE, but then again with GE Capital they can basically print money =)
    • Are you serious? AMD may not be able to lose that much quarter after quarter, but you have to remember that this is a bad economy. Also, and this applies to all of you newbie investors as well, IT'S ONLY ONE QUARTER! One bad quarter after many good quarters is not the end of a company. Also consider that AMD's total assets are around 5.5billion. Not whole lot, but not a little either. Finally, Net Earnings, which is way more important then revenue, have been almost neck in neck throughout 2001, with Intel riding stronger throught the economic downturn. The bottom line? Intel spends a lot more per $ profit.

      AMD is riding it's success on it's proven superior technology. Sure, Intel has the cash to sell undersell their products, but AMD doesn't take as big of a hit because their production process is so much cheaper. Although the P4's have become a lot better, the Athlon is still a superior chip. I think that the 64bit sector will welcome either player, considering that niether one has a dominant position to start in. It's almost an even playing field for AMD, and I think this will attribute to more success, not a demise.
    • by Brian Stretch ( 5304 ) on Monday October 21, 2002 @08:48PM (#4500672)
      Simple. AMD crammed as much bad news as possible into Q3 and held up shipping their shiny new Athlon XP 2400+ and higher chips to distributors until the first day of Q4. Accordingly, Q4 revenues are going to be much higher than Q3, AMD's net loss will be considerably lower, and they'll hang in there just fine until the Opteron ships in early Q2 (late Q1?) next year.

      AMD also took the unusual step of accelerating their changeover to 130nm and the new Thoroughbred Revision B core that those neato new 2400+ and higher chips use and letting old inventory burn off during the resulting downtime during the last two quarters.

      I say "unusual" because Intel did just the opposite. They dumped lots of crippled 2GHz Celeron processors onto the market rather than shut down their old 180nm fabs and they brought lots of new 130nm capacity online. They have no prayer of finding buyers for all the chips they now have the capacity to build and the sales channels are choked with rapidly aging Intel inventory. Their ASPs are eroding and the Xeon line that sustains their profitability is going to get Hammered in about 6 months, assuming no Tier 1 OEMs grow a pair and start offering AMD Athlon MP servers and workstations before then.

      Soooooo, AMD's future looks pretty good, depending on how badly Intel panics at the mess they've gotten themselves into.
  • by asscroft ( 610290 ) on Monday October 21, 2002 @04:23PM (#4498746)
    computer on earth!!

    1. cluster lots of opterons
    2. place popcorn on top
    3. sell popcorn and cycles
    4. profit

    I'd like a beowulf cluster of those...

    does it play quake?

    yeah, but how much longer before it is DRM-enabled to run only MS....

  • Teraflop? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Spire ( 101081 ) on Monday October 21, 2002 @04:26PM (#4498770)
    Trillion floating-point operations per what?

    Clue: The s in teraflops is not a plural.
    • Re:Teraflop? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Dirtside ( 91468 ) on Monday October 21, 2002 @05:22PM (#4499204) Journal
      The original derivation of "teraflops" comes from "megaflops", meaning "millions of floating point operations per second" ('mega' being the metric prefix for 10^6, and FLOPS being an acronym for FLoating point Operations Per Second, or FLOating Point operations per Second, depending who you believe). MFLOPS was the original orthography, with GFLOPS (gigaflops) and TFLOPS (teraflops) showing up as computers became more powerful.

      But usage has transformed the acronyms into words -- "teraflops", for example, has come to mean "more than one teraflop", where a "teraflop" is "one trillion floating point operations". The "per second" is now implied, for the main reason that the second is the metric unit of time, and the most common gauge for bulk computer operations.

      De facto, usage has turned "TERAFLOPS" the acronym into "teraflop" the word (same for "megaflop" and "gigaflop").
  • 16,000 AMD CPUs - it's going to be *hot*. I wonder if Tom Clancy knows about this rip-off of his book's title?

    Mind you, he can make a new techno-thriller about what happens when the coolant fails.. Red Storm Rising (2)?

    • 16,000 AMD CPUs - it's going to be *hot*. I wonder if Tom Clancy knows about this rip-off of his book's title?
      Mind you, he can make a new techno-thriller about what happens when the coolant fails.. Red Storm Rising (2)?

      So? He ripped that story off of an early 80's wargame (Except for the minor point that the Russians would win Europe unless we sacrificed Germany or reverted to nukes...)
  • by 42 ( 31931 )
    I have seen the expression "Free-as-in-Beer" a few times on Slashdot, yet I have no idea what this means. I have scoured my head to think of what it could mean, but can't figure it out.

    What does "Free-as-in-Beer" mean?

    Free beer, to me, would seem to be the greatest thing in the history of the world!
    • by scrod98 ( 609124 ) on Monday October 21, 2002 @04:44PM (#4498884)
      and come over to my house, and I will demonstrate.
    • Re:Free-as-in-Beer (Score:5, Informative)

      by Overt Coward ( 19347 ) on Monday October 21, 2002 @04:51PM (#4498906) Homepage
      "Free" is an overloaded term. In the typical context it can either refer to cost ("free" = "no cost") or to rights ("free" = "no legal restrictions").

      To differentiate, many postings here at ./ and elsewhere use "free speech" vs. "free beer" as examples of whether something is free from restriction or doesn't cost anything, respectively. So "free-as-in-beer" refers specifically to cost.
    • Re:Free-as-in-Beer (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Free-as-in-Beer means that you don't have to pay for it, just like when someone gives you a beer.

      This is to differentiate it from Free-as-in-Speech.

      The first usage of Free is to mean "Gratis" where as the second means "liberty." English just uses the same word for both concepts.

      GNU stuff takes the "Liberty" meaning as being more important than the beer meaning. That is why you can copy a Redhat ISO without any problems. You are at Liberty to do so. Of course you can also pay Redhat if you want to.
    • You have stumbled on one part of the core culture of /. Info about 'free-as-in-beer' is available in the faq. See also; 'free-as-in-speech', 'imagine a bewoulf cluster of these', 'FP! w00t!!', etc.
  • WSJ story here (Score:5, Informative)

    by CathedralRulz ( 566696 ) on Monday October 21, 2002 @04:50PM (#4498899)
    I'm a subscriber. Here's the article. I hope it convinces you,too, to subscribe.

    AMD's New Opteron Chips
    Are Tapped for Red Storm
    Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

    Endorsing the technology of one of Intel Corp.'s key rivals, Sandia National Laboratories and Cray Inc. plan to build a massive supercomputer using a soon-to-be-introduced line of microprocessor chips from Advanced Micro Devices Inc.

    The development project, estimated in June to cost $90 million, is a high-profile vote of confidence for AMD's new Opteron chip, in a small but prestigious market long dominated by other chip suppliers. It represents a missed opportunity for Intel, which has been targeting its new Itanium line at high-performance computing applications.

    Red Storm, Sandia's name for the new supercomputer, also marks a step forward for the U.S. effort at leadership in supercomputers, which suffered a blow this year with the completion of a huge machine called the Earth Simulator by Japanese government agencies and NEC Corp. Where recent U.S. machines have largely been constructed out of components used in commercial computers, Cray is expected to develop special technology for connecting the AMD chips that should make Red Storm suited for more-complex scientific problems.

    "This is a move away from commodity components," said Horst Simon, division director of the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, a supercomputer facility affiliated with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. "It's very exciting."

    Sandia, which does research for the U.S. Department of Energy in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., has a performance goal of 100 trillion operations per second for Red Storm. It hasn't disclosed most technical details, including the chip selection. But Mr. Simon estimated that the machine will require 16,000 or more microprocessors to hit its speed target, which would appear to surpass the Earth Simulator's current performance.

    Sandia said in June that it had selected Cray, a longtime supercomputer maker based in Seattle, to negotiate a development contract. Cray and Sandia officials didn't return calls seeking comment Friday. AMD and Intel officials declined to comment.

    AMD could use some good news. The company's Athlon chip line, mainly used in personal computers, has been falling behind the performance of comparable Intel chips. The company reported last week a third-quarter loss of $254 million on sales of $508.2 million, off 34% from the year-earlier period.

    Opteron is a high-end member of the new line, code-named Hammer, that is due out next year and viewed by analysts as AMD's best hope for recovery. Like the Itanium, Hammer chips are designed to process 64 bits of information at a time, instead of 32 bits, a capability that helps run huge databases and solve scientific problems.

    Intel's Itanium line, developed over eight years with help from Hewlett-Packard Co., is based on an entirely new architecture and achieves its best performance on new 64-bit programs. AMD, by contrast, made 64-bit additions to the original Intel technology used in the past by both companies.

    The difference, AMD says, allows Hammer-based computers to run both 32-bit and 64-bit software at high speed. AMD released preliminary test results last week for Opteron -- so far not validated by outside researchers -- that show the chip exceeding Intel's latest Itanium 2 model on one of two widely-used speed measures, AMD said.

    Itanium 2, introduced last summer, has already been selected for at least a half-dozen high-performance installations. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, another Department of Energy facility, is building a $24.5 million system based on 1,400 Itanium 2 chips. Based on past Sandia announcements, the Red Storm project's stated performance goal is more than 10 times that of the Pacific Northwest project.

    Write to Don Clark at don.clark@wsj.com

    • It convinced me to let you post stories here for me.
  • by imsirovic5 ( 542929 ) on Monday October 21, 2002 @05:12PM (#4499113)
    I hope they are not putting that supercomputer anywhere near Antarctica.. 16,000 Athlons can get pretty hot resulting in some serious polar melting forcing me to evacuate from New Orleans (we are already underwater).
  • Proper link (Score:4, Informative)

    by TeknoHog ( 164938 ) on Monday October 21, 2002 @05:38PM (#4499326) Homepage Journal
    here [cray.com] on Cray's website.
  • Its going to take four years for the machine to reach full speed, and you like to use several years. Only the most established names can qualify- IBM & Intel. SGI, HP(alpha), and AMD are contenders, but I dont know if they have the financial stability.
  • by 4of12 ( 97621 ) on Monday October 21, 2002 @06:04PM (#4499514) Homepage Journal

    It will be real interesting to be at local chamber of commerce meeting where Sandia Labs management gets to meet with managment from another big employer in Albuquerque.

    That's right boys and girls.

    On the west side of the Rio Grande is Rio Rancho, home of Intel Fab 9. (the same one that got struck by lightning [theinquirer.net] a while back).

  • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Monday October 21, 2002 @06:19PM (#4499626) Journal
    Itanium is a dog. They are a bitch to program in and optimize. THis means the compilers for it suck and will take years before optimized code will begin to take hold. I still prefer risc like the alpha chips because they are easy to program and optimize with. Not to mention very fast. But I understand why cray switched due to the death of the processor. Samsung still sells supercomputers with alpha's even though it will be dead shortly.

    Remember that the customers who purchase these bad boys hire their own software engineers and purchase specialized compilers for maximum optimization. All the compilers will be available for Amd hammer chips because they run on so many systems. Also more engineers know it inside and out and can write great optimized programs for it.

  • "build a 100 Teraflop super computer employing AMD's Opteron (Hammer) processors"

    In other news...scientists predict a 10 degree average temperature increase on the West coast this winter.
  • What's a TeraFLOP? A trillion (a million million) Floating OPerations ... per second? ... ever??

Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.