George C. Dimitriou

Technology and Strategy Consulting
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Archive for the ‘Computing’

TOP500 List of World’s Most Powerful Supercomputers.

June 19, 2008 By: George Category: Computing, Digital World No Comments →

With the publication of the latest edition of the TOP500 list of the world’s most powerful supercomputers yesterday (Wednesday, June 18), the global high performance computing community has officially entered a new realm—a supercomputer with a peak performance of more than 1 petaflop/s (one quadrillion floating point operations per second).

The new No. 1 system, built by IBM for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory and and named “Roadrunner,” by LANL after the state bird of New Mexico achieved performance of 1.026 petaflop/s—becoming the first supercomputer ever to reach this milestone. At the same time, Roadrunner is also one of the most energy efficient systems on the TOP500.

The Roadrunner system is based on the IBM QS22 blades which are built with advanced versions of the processor in the Sony PlayStation 3, displaces the reigning IBM BlueGene/L system at DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Blue Gene/L, with a performance of 478.2 teraflop/s (trillions of floating point operations per second) is now ranked No. 2 after holding the top position since November 2004.

Rounding out the top five positions, all of which are in the U.S., are the new IBM BlueGene/P (450.3 teraflop/s) at DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory, the new Sun SunBlade x6420 “Ranger” system (326 teraflop/s) at the Texas Advanced Computing Center at the University of Texas – Austin, and the upgraded Cray XT4 “Jaguar” (205 teraflop/s) at DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Mapping the Mal Web.

June 10, 2008 By: George Category: Computing, Digital World, Security No Comments →

In a recent report, security provider McAfee listed Hong Kong (.hk), China (.cn), and .info as the three most dangerous places “to surf and search on the web.”

According to McAfee’s report, “Mapping the Mal Web Revisited,” 19.2 percent of all Web sites with the .hk domain and 11 percent of all Web sites ending in .cn “pose a security threat to Web users.” Rounding out the top five were Philippines (.ph) and Romania (.ro). McAfee ranked Finland (.fi) as the safest top-level country domain and .gov as the safest generic domain.

To create the report, McAfee analyzed nearly 9.9 million Web sites from 265 country and generic domains. McAfee collected the data using the company’s SiteAdvisor system. SiteAdvisor conducts automated tests of Internet sites looking for behaviors such as “browser exploits, adware/spyware/Trojans/viruses, high likelihood of receiving spam, affiliation with other risky sites, and aggressive pop-up marketing.” End users can also download McAfee SiteAdvisor and provide feedback on specific sites

Military Supercomputer Sets Record.

June 09, 2008 By: George Category: Computing, Digital World No Comments →

The US nuclear weapons programme has revealed a new supercomputer, known as “Roadrunner” made from consumer processors, which has broken the petaflop barrier just about in line with projections.

The New York Times reports this morning that Roadrunner – named in an allusion to the state bird of New Mexico, the computer’s home – can crank 1.026 quadrillion (1.026×1015) floating-point operations per second. It was developed by the Los Alamos national laboratory, home of the nuclear bomb, in conjunction with specialists from IBM. The Roadrunner is based on a radical design that includes 12,960 chips that are an improved version of an IBM Cell microprocessor, a parallel processing chip originally created for Sony’s PlayStation 3 video-game machine. The Sony chips are used as accelerators, or turbochargers, for portions of calculations. The Roadrunner also includes a smaller number of more conventional Opteron processors, made by Advanced Micro Devices, which are already widely used in corporate servers.

To put the performance of the machine in perspective, Thomas P. D’Agostino, the administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration, said that if all six billion people on earth used hand calculators and performed calculations 24 hours a day and seven days a week, it would take them 46 years to do what the Roadrunner can in one day.

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Virtual Super Computer Connects 60.000 Processors.

May 14, 2008 By: George Category: Computing, Digital World No Comments →

Enabling Grids for E-sciencE (EGEE) is the largest multi-disciplinary grid infrastructure in the world. Finding the Higgs boson; saving lives; addressing the energy problem; feeding the planet – the grid is swiftly becoming one of the extraordinary tools scientists use everyday. This month sees the start of the third phase of the project, EGEE-III, which is revolutionizing the way data is analyzed, stored and shared.One of the founding cases for EGEE and the grid came from the search for the Higgs boson, or “God Particle”. The computing demands of the Large Hadron Collider, the machine designed to search for the elusive particle, are presenting an unprecedented challenge, with over 15 Petabytes of data to be generated and processed each year. Analyzing such a large amount of information will require computing facilities that don’t exist in a single location, but the grid can distribute the workload, and let researchers around the world work together on key problems.
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Europe’s GEANT supercomputer research network to go global.

March 08, 2008 By: George Category: Computing 1 Comment →

Brussels aims to make “scientific collaboration (across the world) seamless and straightforward”, in the words of the Information Society commissioner. In a move towards this, the world’s largest super computer network, dubbed ‘GEANT’, is to go global.
The European Commission is investing a further 90 million euros in the project dedicated to research and education. Europe’s GÉANT already connects 34 national research networks.
High-speed links will be established with infrastructures in the Balkans, Black Sea and Mediterranean regions, Asia, Southern Africa and Latin America. In Europe, GÉANT has enabled ground-breaking collaboration in fields such as climate change, radio astronomy and biotechnology.