HPCwire pointed us to this article at AsiaOne.com on how students and staff will use the Nanyang Technological University’s new IBM iDataPlex, scheduled to be available for production use this October
The new IBM supercomputer will help staff and students, from those researching climate change to others trying to come up with socio-economic models to explain the global financial crisis, crunch numbers faster.
…NTU mechanical and aerospace engineering faculty associate professor Ng Teng Yong said the new machine would ‘give us results faster, allow us to run complex simulations not possible previously, and do more of them… I’m looking forward to it’.
As an example, he said, the simulation for one of his projects would have required a year’s worth of number-crunching on his school’s existing systems. But the new supercomputer, which will start operating in October, would cut this to under two months.
The use for economic modeling caught my eye as interesting and timely.
Although we welcome every drop of HPC news in the popular press we can get, this article does indicate a few of the problems that can arise when the non-technical report on our field. The article reports that NTU’s machine “can perform over a trillion mathematical calculations every second,” that it “will cost more than $1 million,” and that it “has been billed as the fastest supercomputer in Asia.”
This machine was up and running well enough to complete the HPL for the June list, where it ranked No. 267 and is listed as having 2,400 Xeon X55xx QC 2.93 GHz processors and an Infiniband interconnect. The machine has an Rpeak of 22.80 TFLOPS — certainly more than a trillion operations per second — and is outranked by many supers in Asia, including Dawning at #15 — so it isn’t even close to the fastest in Asia, unless China isn’t in Asia anymore.