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Early evaluation of IBM BlueGene/P

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12 Author(s)
S. Alam ; Oak Ridge National Laboratory, TN, USA 37831 ; R. Barrett ; M. Bast ; M. R. Fahey
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BlueGene/P (BG/P) is the second generation BlueGene architecture from IBM, succeeding BlueGene/L (BG/L). BG/P is a system-on-a-chip (SoC) design that uses four PowerPC 450 cores operating at 850 MHz with a double precision, dual pipe floating point unit per core. These chips are connected with multiple interconnection networks including a 3-D torus, a global collective network, and a global barrier network. The design is intended to provide a highly scalable, physically dense system with relatively low power requirements per flop. In this paper, we report on our examination of BG/P, presented in the context of a set of important scientific applications, and as compared to other major large scale supercomputers in use today. Our investigation confirms that BG/P has good scalability with an expected lower performance per processor when compared to the Cray XT4's Opteron. We also find that BG/P uses very low power per floating point operation for certain kernels, yet it has less of a power advantage when considering science driven metrics for mission applications.

Published in:

2008 SC - International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis

Date of Conference:

15-21 Nov. 2008