CSIRO has second fastest Windows supercomputer

A CSIRO GPU supercomputer is the world's 212th fastest, and the second fastest that runs Windows, according to the SC11 Top500

A CSIRO GPU supercomputer has been ranked as the second fastest computer running Windows in the world.

The system, one of the first GPU-based clusters to dual-boot Windows HPC and Linux, was also ranked 212th on the SC11 Top500.

The SC series is a annual conference and exhibition of high performance computing, networking, storage and analysis. SC11 commenced on Saturday in Seattle, and runs until Friday.

The CSIRO's GPU supercomputer was installed in Canberra in late 2009. It combines 256 Intel CPUs with 64 NVIDIA Telsa parallel processing units providing a combined 256 GPUs.

The SC11 benchmarks, using Linpack tests, rated the computer as providing 75.3 teraflops of double precision computing power.

CSIRO research leader Tim Gureyev said the CSIRO has been running its Computed Tomogrophy reconstruction software using Windows HPC on the supercomputer for the past two years.

“We have reconstructed a large number of 3D images, from a variety of scientific domains, such as biology, medical research, geosciences, material sciences, plant and insect phenomics,” he said.

“Each sample contains up to 64 billion or more voxels, like a pixel for 3D images, and usually takes up to 24 hours to reconstruct on a desktop PC. We can now do that reconstruction in less than five minutes.”

The supercomputer was installed by Melbourne's Xenon Systems.

A supercomputer developed in Japan by Fujitsu and the Riken science institute took the top spot on the SC Top500 list, becoming the first machine to be rated as providing more than 10 petaflops of computing power. The nearest competitor was China's Tianhe-1A, which achieved 2.57 petaflops.

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More about: CSIRO, CSIRO, Fujitsu, Intel, Linux, Xenon, Xenon Systems
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Tags: GPU supercomputer, supercomputers, Linux, open source, Windows, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), software, operating systems
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