Radio Free HPC Looks at China’s 95 Petaflop Tianhe-2A Supercomputer

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In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team looks at China’s massive upgrade of the Tianhe-2A supercomputer to 95 Petaflops peak performance.

As detailed in a new 21-page report by Jack Dongarra from the University of Tennessee, the upgrade should nearly double the performance of the system, which is currently ranked at #2 on TOP500 with 33.86 Petaflops on the Linpack benchmark. The upgraded system, dubbed Tianhe -2A, should be completed in the coming months.

Details about the system upgrade were presented at the conference opening session. While the current system derives much of its performance from Intel Knights Corner co-processors, the new system swaps these PCI devices out for custom-made 4-way MATRIX-2000 boards, with each chip providing 2.46 Teraflops of peak performance.

After that, we do our Catch of the Week:

  • Dan is rejecting the notion of a $800 IoT coffee machines that will only work with proprietary cartridges from the vendor.
  • Shahin looks at a new book that describes how the invention of air conditioning changed the face of the world.
  • Dan likes Ray Dalio’s new Radical Truth and Radical Transparency school of business coming to Silicon Valley.
    • There is a ritual called “public hangings,” wherein employees are taken to task in front of their co-workers. A Harvard Business School case study of one of these “hangings” includes a video of a meeting that involves a “Maoist-like struggle session where a young male ­employee was berated by a group of peers and superiors for not being good enough.” At the end of the video, the man fires himself.
  • Rich notes that Paul Messina is stepping down as Director of the DOE’s Exascale Computing Project after two years of building up the organization from scratch. Doug Kothe from ORNL will step up to the Director role for the monumental task ahead: building applications for machines that are 50x faster than on today’s biggest machines.

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  1. David W Wilson says

    Listener 13 here,
    Ray Dalio did a pretty interesting TED talk

    Details his basic ideas, and how coupling that to apps feeding computer algorithms drive better decisions.
    Worth a watch.