It's been an eventful International Supercomputing Conference (ISC'11) in Hamburg. The Japanese sprang their K Computer on an unsuspecting HPC world, throwing down 8.126 Pflops on the table and raising the high-water performance mark by a factor of three. Just as surprising was the fact that they did it the old-fashioned waywith …
GPU computing seems to be the only path for next generation HPC
Most of the issues described in the HPC Wire article do not hold water. If I wouldn’t rewrite my code multiple times already, and if I would be concerned of what if, I would still be running my programs on my old (very old) Commodore 64…. Hybrid computing (separate GPUs or integrated GPUs) will happen if we want to continue to increase our HPC capability. Right now it is the most cost/performance/efficient way for building supercomputers.
The new K Computer need to demonstrates not only performance, but also cost/performance and the ability to compete on more than top 10 supercomputers. If it will not go beyond the top 10, it is yet another one shot, second “Earth Simulator” kind of system.
Ben “HPC” Smith (http://hpc-opinion.blogspot.com)