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IBM's Sequoia - No. 1 supercomputer | 119 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Monopoly lawsuits as a business tool - Nathan Myhrvold Will Not Apologize for Patent Trolling
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, June 18 2012 @ 02:09 AM EDT

At one point several minutes into the video (the time isn't visible to me; sorry) Nathan makes a comment which seems to be telling about the Microsoft attitude to monopolies law and Google. He basically says that all such legislation is a competitive tool and people just start using it. This might be a partly his contempt for the hypocrisy some of his old MS buddies, but the way I understood it, it seemed more like something that the various MS old boys have come to understand.

It would be wonderful if someone could show that MS was deliberately abusing the legal process by making filings they don't believe in but just hope will damage a competitor. I wonder if Nathan's comment could be the start of a way into that.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Too much R&D, not enough R - Nathan Myhrvold Will Not Apologize for Patent Trolling
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, June 18 2012 @ 02:56 AM EDT

Having watched it to the end, the Nathan Myhrvold interview is great. One of his strongest points is the complete disappearance of true industrial research as opposed to "Advanced Development". "IBM research is a shadow of its self"; Apple doesn't do any. He doesn't mention it, but the destruction of Bell labs is one of the greatest recent crimes of American industry.

Myhrvold's argument is that this happens because the CFOs of big companies don't see any return from the research departments. Patents are the way that this return can be generated and so support that research.

One possibility for continuing research is funding from taxation. Another possibility is simply saying that research belongs to amateurs and charitable foundations, there's no obligation for the people who benefit from the results to support it. What other alternatives to patents could we suggest? Preferably ones which would fit into a free-market / USA / venture capitalist mind set?

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Aalto Talk with Linus Torvalds on Youtube
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, June 18 2012 @ 07:47 AM EDT
Link to VID This is a really great Video I enjoyed watching it a lot! Linus really sticks it to Nvidia, I guess they had that coming :-)

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Governments ask Google to remove more content
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, June 18 2012 @ 11:06 AM EDT

"countries you might not suspect — Western democracies not typically
associated with censorship,"

Someone isn't paying attention, the UK and USA really like censorship.

Also, looking at Google's stats, MS is issueing more takedown requests than the
next three on top of that list, which included the membership of the RIAA as a
single entry!

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Oracle shares slip on talk of management shake-up
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, June 18 2012 @ 05:53 PM EDT
... Keith Block is ending his 26-year career at Oracle. Block has been Oracle's executive vice president of North America sales and consulting for the past decade . In one instant messaging exchange submitted as evidence in the trial, Block said Oracle "bought a dog" when it acquired computer maker Sun Microsystems for $7.3 billion two years. Ago. Block also described Sun as "dead, dead, dead." Another IM exchange knocked Mark Hurd, Oracle's president and a close friend of the company's CEO, Larry Ellison. ... Click here

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

IBM's Sequoia - No. 1 supercomputer
Authored by: Gringo_ on Monday, June 18 2012 @ 08:56 PM EDT

Announcements such as the Sequoia's LINPACK performance of 16.325 petaflops always peak my imagination.

I remember back in 1976 when the Cray I was installed at Los Alamos National Laboratory. How many of you remember that? Hold up your hand. The Cray I was capable of a blazing floating point performance of about 136 MFLOPS and could peak at 250 MFLOPS. As I recall it made the cover of Scientific American.

That was a cool machine, made of vertical wedges back to back such that they formed a semicircle. Thus the backplane of each unit was a minimal distance to all the other back planes - a brilliant design.

It was a 64-bit system. Addressing was 24-bit, with a maximum of 1,048,571 64-bit words (1 megaword) of main memory, where each word also had 8 parity bits for a total of 72 bits per word. The machine and its power supplies consumed about 115 kW of power. Cooling and storage likely more than doubled this figure.

Today's smart phone processors could blow this machine away. Imagine if you could travel 36 years back in time with your iPhone, and show them how you could run off their calculations faster than they could with their brand new Cray.

We can assume from this that if Moore's Law keeps up, your cell phone in the year 2048 will be more powerful than IBM's shiny new Sequoia.

It's not actually Moore's Law, which says chip density will double every two years, but rather a variation of that that says performance will double every 18 months.

I just took a stab at the math, using the Cray I for the base and applying that law to see how well it predicted the Sequoia. Since 1976 there have been 24 18 month periods.
(2012 - 1976 = 36 years = 432 months, div 18 = 24).
2^24 = 16,777,216 * 136 mflops = 2,281,701,376 mflops
2,281,701,376,000,000 = 2.3 petaflops
2^24 = 16,777,216 * 250 mflops = 4,194,304,000 mflops
4,194,304,000,000,000 = 4.2 petaflops

So that variation on Moore's Law starting with the Cray I in 1976 would predict a supercomputer capable of between 2.3 and 4.2 petaflops today. According to that, the Sequoia at 16.325 petaflops is a bit ahead of the curve, but not too far off.

What if power requirement scaled the same as performance?
2^24 = 16,777,216 * 230 kw = 3,858,759,680 kw
3,858,759,680,000 watts = 3.8 terawatts vs 8 megawatts

Then the Sequoia would require nearly 4 terawatts, rather than the 8 megawatts it runs on. It is fortunate power requirement does not scale with performance, or we would be hitting a brick wall at this point.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Surface by Microsoft
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, June 18 2012 @ 09:48 PM EDT
Microsoft-made hardware to be available starting with release of Windows 8 and Windows RT

Suggested retail pricing will be announced closer to availability and is expected to be competitive ...

Some information relates to a prerelease product, which may be substantially modified before it is commercially released.
Surface by Microsoft

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Microsoft News Picks?
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, June 18 2012 @ 10:08 PM EDT
01: Microsoft’s First Surface Video Is Super Serious, In a Techno-Funk Kinda Way.
02: Microsoft to build its own tablet, the Surface.
03: Surface by Microsoft.
04: The New MacBook Pro: Unfixable, Unhackable, Untenable.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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