back to article European Commission pays IDC to take a hard look at HPC

The European Commission has commissioned IT market researchers and analysts at IDC to work with some of the top European supercomputing labs to rationalize and coordinate the efforts to push into petascale and exascale computing within Europe. HPC experts from Teratec, in France, Daresbury Laboratory, in the United Kingdom, …

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Whatever happened to Euro-Bashing ??

Nice to see that The Reg is not reiterating its "buy american, it's cheaper and better, anyway" mantra this time.

But to actually make this idea fly, there must be done much more than just gobbling together a large number of mobile-phone processors and call it a supercomputer. Certainly a SIMD FPU would be required and probably also a complete reimplementation of the ARM CPU.

Definitely a good idea for pan-european industrial cooperation. The best way would be to set up an Airbus-style systems company, as this arrangement worked excellent in the large airliner industry. Would be great to see a european CPU eating 50% of Intel revenue, as Airbus did with Boeing/McDonnel Douglas/Lockheed.

Much better than saving money so that bankers can transform it into golden dorknobs on Barbados.

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You are missing the point

Register bashes it when the "Buy EU/UK" part of it is a fraud and the money goes to USA or Barbados anyway as it does with BAE.

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Euro-bashing necessary

However, shovelling money towards the local favourites - ARM plus various semiconductor houses like various Philips spin-offs (note how Philips always has its snout in the EU trough) - is very EU and worthy of bashing in this case, especially given the valid points about how the ARM architecture is inadequate for many high-performance, large-scale computing activities.

Now in China, on the other hand, they've somehow managed to adopt the 64-bit MIPS architecture as some kind of generic technology, although it may be the case that MIPS Inc. have now given them the nod. There's probably a lot more scope for actual innovation from that starting point than paying companies to develop products to sell back to exactly the people who put the money up in the first place. Now that's very, very EU: corporate welfare for the multi-billion-Euro-sized chums of the Commission.

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France Needed

Certainly it would not work without the French being the major force behind it. German and British beancounters would kill this project at the first opportunity.

Also, ST semiconductor is the only european semiconductor company of any real commercial relevance.

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Germans are fairly rational

Actually, German beancounters are fairly rational. They tend not to cut the tree on the branch of which they sit and can run investment schemes into R&D and high capex/high up-front infrastructure with long term return spans. Their investment record into Eastern Europe and what used to be East Germany is a testament to this.

Now, British... If they were British in the first place... I have yet to meet a native CFO of a Fortune 500 company, the idea of "British Accountant in control" seems to be an oxymoron... So to be more exact Middle Eastern beancounters with british passports do not understand any return on investment from capital intensive infrastructure or R&D. It is all trading, branding and Capali Carsi .

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there's no such thing as fairies

Ain't no more ratchets here, only paradise. You've got a problem?

P.S. ARM has 32bit wide address bus, and even after that its bus is typically further crippled down to e.g. 24 bits in devices like linksys wrt54gl

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Arm Cortex-A9 MPCore Quad

did you miss the fact the Arm Cortex-A9 MPCore™ multicore processor SoC , system-on-a-chip is and Has all these things you ask for and more already joeuro ?

http://www.arm.com/pdfs/ARMCortexA-9Processors.pdf

and due for a commercial 2 gig quad release soon enough.

its SIMD is called NEON and its 128bit wide like and on par with the PPC Altivec SIMD

but more upto date and faster op codes etc.

its not clear if the linux Arm Cortex branch librarys are in any way optimised and made to take advantage of the SIMD, like apple OS librrys did for PPC SIMD altivec yet?

has anyone checked the Linux ARM Cortex codebase to see if its got these libray SIMD optimisations !, it might be intersting to know, and see any benches for this on Cortex SoC.

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H.264 HighProfile@L4.1 Arm

OC the A9 would be so much nicer if they bolted this on to it as a core genric item alongside the 2gig quad SIMD

http://www.imgtec.com/news/Release/index.asp?NewsID=440

"...Both VXE320 and VXE360 support H.264 High Profile encoding, offering improved video quality at lower bitrates. Features such as B-frames and CABAC encoding enable the consumer to record and transmit video at the highest possible quality, whilst maintaining the low data rates essential for storage and network transmissions. The provision of High Profile allows devices using POWERVR VXE360 to typically offer up to a 10x improvement in recording capacity of HD video compared to today's devices which use the less efficient M-JPEG algorithm.

The cores are scalable, allowing Full HD video to be encoded, as well as offering the ability to record at extremely high frame rates, (e.g. >1200 fps at QVGA), for detailed slow motion capture – one of the "hot new features" seen at the recent CES consumer electronics show in Las Vegas.

....

The VXE320 and VXE360 cores' multi-standard support has been tested with a wide range of raw image data to ensure high compression ratios with excellent visual quality and minimal image degradation. Supported standards include: H.264 HP@L4.1; MPEG-4 SP@L5.0; H.263 P0@L50; M-JPEG Baseline Profile 4:2:2 & 4:2:0; and JPEG Baseline Profile 4:2:2 & 4:2:0.

All POWERVR VXE video encoders contain a powerful real time stream manager, based on Imagination's META MTX 32-bit embedded processor, which performs rate control as well as overall core management functions. The VXE cores' comprehensive and flexible rate control algorithms include constant, variable, constant QP and low delay bit rate control to match the requirements of the end application. The unique architecture of POWEVR VXE enables future rate control requirements to be met using existing hardware, without the need for new silicon.

...."

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no stinkin locked down IPad.

and if jtag'ed mobile phones bug you so much joeuro then just go order some generic Arm A8 efika-mx-smartbook or some Efika MX A8 Open Client motherboards

http://bbrv.blogspot.com/2010/02/efika-mx-smartbook.html

for something Arm Neon SIMD based to play around with, you dont need no stinkin Arm locked down IPad.

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