ClearSpeed coprocessors boost cluster into top 5
The Tokyo Institute of Technology's Tsubame Opteron-based supercomputing cluster has become the world's fifth-fastest supercomputer (PDF) in terms of floating-point computer power, ClearSpeed has announced. The Tsubame cluster was in seventh place back in June with a score of 38.18 trillion floating-point operations per second (TeraFLOPS.) However, the addition of 360 ClearSpeed Advance boards to the cluster's 655 Opteron-powered Sun X4600 servers boosted its computing power to 47.38 TeraFLOPS, which ClearSpeed says bumps the cluster to fifth place. According to ClearSpeed, adding its Advance boards to the Tsubame cluster's 5,240 dual-core Opterons increased performance by 24% with only a 1% increase in total power consumption.
While the ClearSpeed Advance co-processors are standard PCI-X cards, the Tsubame cluster's performance offers a hint of the potential of initiatives like AMD's Torrenza and Intel's Geneseo. The two initiatives would allow coprocessors to access a system's processors via HyperTransport or PCI Express, respectively.